Criscillia Benford, Ph.D.
Dr. Criscillia Benford works toward a future where digital tech supports human wellbeing by respecting––at all levels of design and business practice––the autonomy, attention, and creativity of humans, especially children. Recent findings from her on-going collaborative research into the link between digital tech, human attention, and human wellbeing appear in the Journal of Neural Computation. Criscillia has taught humanities courses at the University of Chicago, Duke, and Stanford. She earned her PhD in English from Stanford where she began formal study of the power of media design to influence perception and metacognition, and specialized in Narratology and Victorian Literature.
Patricia Cantor, Ed.D
Patricia Cantor is a professor of Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth State University in NH. She first began writing about the impact of screen media on young children in the late 1990s. She and her colleague, Dr. Mary Cornish, have presented extensively about screen media and children at regional and national conferences and have conducted numerous workshops for families and early childhood professionals. Their book, Techwise Infant and Toddler Teachers: Making Sense of Screen Media for Children Under 3, was published by Information Age in 2016. Dr. Cantor has taught hundreds of students in courses on child development, play, inclusive early education, infant and toddler care and education, the history and philosophy of early childhood education, and early childhood advocacy and policy. She is a four-time recipient of the Mary Stuart Gile Award from the NH Child Development Bureau for promoting excellence in early learning through the professional development of teachers. Additionally, Dr. Cantor is an author of the NH Early Learning Standards for Children Birth through Age 5 (2015) and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Children’s Literacy Foundation of NH and VT.
Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, M.D.
Kathleen Clarke-Pearson is a NC general pediatrician who currently spends time doing child advocacy work. She is an active board member of NC CHILD, a group which does research and legislative policy work at the NC state legislature. Dr. Clarke-Pearson is also a member of the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Federal Gov't Affairs and spends time on Capitol Hill advocating for child policy issues including health care, education and nutrition. She is an active member of the AAP Council on Media and Communications which oversees pediatric media policy statements. These include Media and Children's Health, Screen Time in Children Under Age 2, and many other media advisories to pediatricians and the general public. Dr. Clarke-Pearson is a frequent speaker to physicians, parents, and other community groups on the positive and negative impacts of media on family and child health, recommending balancing individual family media "diets." She and her husband of 45 years are the parents of 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Tracy Cutchlow is the author of Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science. An international bestseller, Zero to Five has been called "the coolest - and easiest - book for new parents" by Parents magazine. Zero to Five covers the strongest evidence-based tips on play, learning, parenting styles, and screen time. The research on limiting screen time is compelling enough, but as a mom, she has seen the benefits firsthand. Her young daughter's attention span and ability to play independently are often noted by teachers. The family has even ventured on airplanes and road trips without screens (or screams). Cutchlow joined the Children's Screen Time Action Network as a founding advisory board member because of her concerns about the prevalence of screens - and the harm that overuse can cause to communication, family ties, and overall happiness. She is also on the board of Program for Early Parent Support. Cutchlow is a journalist and editor of the bestselling books Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby. She reaches thousands of parents and professionals through speaking and through her parenting tips at www.zerotofive.net.
Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D.
Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D., the author of Reset Your Child’s Brain, is an award- winning integrative child psychiatrist who specializes in children with complex or treatment-resistant mental health conditions. By combining conventional methods with lifestyle interventions, she aims to optimize treatment while minimizing the need for psychotropic medication. She consults with schools, treatment teams, and courts, with a focus on the physiological impact of screen-time on the developing nervous system. She speaks for parents’ groups and mental health trainings, and divides her clinical practice between the private and public sectors in L.A. county.
Dr. Dunckley received a biology degree from UC San Diego, pursued her medical training at Albany Medical College, and completed her psychiatric residency and child/adolescent fellowship at U.C. Irvine's Neuropsychiatric Center. She’s worked in residential treatment centers, clinics catering to adoptive, foster, and transitional age youths, and Regional Centers serving clients with neurodevelopmental disabilities. In private practice she has extensive experience treating Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, bipolar disorder, attachment disorder and PTSD. Dr. Dunckley has also been named one of America's Top Psychiatrists by the Consumer's Research Council of America and won Patient's Choice and Compassionate Doctor awards by vitals.com.
Richard Freed, Ph.D.
Richard Freed is a child and adolescent psychologist and the author of the book Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age. The book calls attention to a generation of kids who are suffering because their overuse of addictive entertainment technologies is eclipsing connections with family and school—the most important contributors to their wellbeing. Dr. Freed is a contributor to the Huffington Post, and his insights have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, on NPR, and other media platforms. He speaks internationally to parents, teachers, and health care providers, with a focus on how—in this age of machines—we can build the childhood our kids need to grow up healthy, happy, and successful. He offers strategies that connect kids with family, protect them from screen addiction, engage them in school, and foster positive use of technology.
Dr. Freed received his professional training at Cambridge Hospital / Harvard Medical School and the California School of Professional Psychology. He lives in Walnut Creek, California and is the father of two girls. He is excited to be a part of the Children’s Screen Time Action Network.
Douglas Gentile, Ph.D.
Douglas Gentile is an award-winning research scientist, educator, author, and professor of developmental psychology at Iowa State University. He is the editor of Media Violence and Children, and co-author of Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy. He has authored over 100 articles, including studies on the effects of video games on children, how screen time contributes to obesity, and video game and Internet "addiction." As head of the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University, Dr. Gentile researches media's impact on children and adults in order to help caregivers make informed choices for their children. He has been featured on Morning Edition, To the Point, and his work has been reported on hundreds of newspapers and television stations. He is creator and host of the radio show The Science of Parenting.
Dr. Gentile received his doctorate in child psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his work at Iowa State University, he was the Director of Research for the National Institute on Media and the Family. He lives in Ames, Iowa with his wife Jennifer and daughters Lauren and Kristin.
Susan Linn, Ed.D.
Susan Linn is Research Associate at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She served as Founding Director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood from 2000 to 2015. A psychologist, she has written extensively about the effects of media and marketing on children. Her book, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood, has been praised in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Mother Jones and helped launch the movement to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. The Boston Globe called her book The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, “a wonderful look at how play can heal children.” Dr. Linn’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Sixty Minutes, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and the acclaimed documentary The Corporation.
An award-winning ventriloquist and children’s entertainer, Dr. Linn appeared on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and is internationally known for her innovative work using puppets in child psychotherapy. Among other honors, she received a Champion of Freedom Award from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association for her work on behalf of children.
Roxana Marachi, Ph.D.
Roxana Marachi is an Associate Professor of Education at San José State University where she teaches Educational Psychology and supervises teacher candidates in the Department of Teacher Education. Marachi received her M.A. in Developmental Psychology (2000) and Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2003. Her early publications focused on school climate, student motivation, and school violence prevention, with more recent inquiries exploring health and safety related research gaps in initiatives to technologize and privatize public education. She has presented at national and international education conferences, was co-chair of the Safe Schools and Communities Committee for the American Educational Research Association from 2009-2012, and is currently chair of the education committee of the Silicon Valley/San Jose branch of the NAACP. Dr. Marachi hosts the EduResearcher blog in an effort to connect the education community with research, resources, and pending policy initiatives that would impact children in schools. She is the recipient of the 2015 Justice Award from Californians for Justice and the 2015 Freedom Fighter Award from the Silicon Valley/San Jose NAACP.
Jean Rystrom worked for medical group Kaiser Permanente for 30 years, administering pediatric and then Medicaid services. She created many programs both at Kaiser Permanente and in her community to support work such as weight management and autism services, and also dedicated herself to child abuse prevention. For over a decade she was Kaiser Permanente’s national leader on screen time reduction. Together with several community partners in Oregon, she organized the multidisciplinary Screen Time Awareness and Reduction Coalition. The Coalition produced a wide range of materials, trainings and events, including an extensive training and support program for in-home childcare providers and a widely distributed toolkit for early childhood educators to help them promote and participate in Screen Free Week. Jean has been a long-time fan of CCFC and she previously served on the Board of the Center for Screen Time Awareness (originators of what is now Screen Free Week). When the Center closed, Jean was immensely thankful that CCFC agreed to apply their expertise and dedication to this work.
Nikki Shearman, Ph.D.
Nikki Shearman is the Chief of Network Strategy and Evaluation at the Reach Out and Read National Center in Boston. She is responsible for guiding a planning process to formulate and implement the Network Unity Strategy – designed to unify organizational strengths to amplify the effect of the Reach Out and Read intervention. She also coordinates the strategy for research and evaluation that demonstrates Reach Out and Read's impact. Shearman has had a multifaceted career, with experience in research, operational strategy, and communications. She earned a Ph.D. in cancer research from the University of Southampton, UK and followed that with 10 years' experience in medical research in the UK, Japan, and Germany, publishing her work in international journals. Subsequently, Dr. Shearman worked within the management of a variety of non-profit organizations in the UK and the US, including national and international, grassroots and well-established organizations. With a passion for encouraging families to spend time with and meaningfully engage with their young children, Shearman is excited to be involved with the launch and growth of the Children’s Screen Time Action Network.
Joni Siani, M.Ed.
Joni Siani is an Assistant Professor of Media and Communications at Manhattanville College in New York. Siani is recognized as an authority in digital socialization and the cultural, social, and developmental effects of smartphone technology. She began her career in radio and television, eventually transitioning to teaching communications in higher education. In her work as a professor, Siani noticed the unintended consequences of new connection technologies. Her work inspired a group of students to develop strategies for addressing the effects of these communication trends on the social development of young people. Their efforts produced the award-winning documentary Celling Your Soul, one of the first films to address the impact of smartphones from the perspective of the first digitally socialized generation. She is a passionate advocate of media literacy education, working on legislative initiatives with Media Literacy Now. Her organization, No App For Life, makes creative media and school curricula, including her No App For Life Challenge, a mindful communication exercise used in schools during Screen Free Week.
Sherry Turkle, Ph.D.
Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. Trained as a sociologist and a licensed clinical psychologist, she is the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, a center of research and reflection on the evolving connections between people and artifacts. Referred to by many as the “Margaret Mead of digital culture”, Professor Turkle has investigated the intersection of digital technology and human relationships from the early days of personal computers to our current world of social networks, mobile connectivity, and sociable robotics. Turkle is the author of six books and three edited collections, including a trilogy of three landmark studies on our relationship with digital culture: The Second Self, Life on the Screen, and Alone Together. Her most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age. Among other honors, she is a recipient of a Guggenheim and Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, a Harvard Centennial Medal, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.