Cynthia Burnson Named AQC Scholar by William T. Grant Foundation

March 3, 2021 | Evident Change

Cynthia Burnson

Evident Change senior researcher Dr. Cynthia Burnson was recently named a 2021 William T. Grant Advanced Quantitative and Computational (AQC) Scholar. Dr. Burnson will be part of a critical quantitative, computational, and mixed methodologies group working on “critical approaches to data science [that challenge] researchers to use these methods in ways that can dismantle the structural barriers to success for underrepresented communities, professionals, and young people.”

Dr. Burnson has been a senior researcher at Evident Change since 2018, where she works with child welfare agencies to improve equity, accuracy, and consistency in decision making; use data to inform practice and policy; and evaluate practices and programs.  

Prior to joining Evident Change, Dr. Burnson was with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied postpartum depression treatment in Wisconsin home-visiting programs, infant and family mental health, and the assessment of parent–child relationships. She received her PhD in human development and family studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied resilience processes in young children of incarcerated parents and quantitative methods. Before receiving her PhD, she taught preschool for 10 years.

Dr. Burnson has worked on a wide range of research and outreach projects, including studying self-regulation in children born preterm, a compassionate and mindful parenting intervention, the efficacy of Sesame Street toolkit materials in promoting positive jail visitation between young children and their parent, marital quality in families with a child with autism, postpartum depression treatment programs, young children experiencing homelessness, and reading programs geared toward preschoolers whose parents have low income. Throughout all her work, Dr. Burnson has carried her passion to promote the well-being of children within systems that impact their development: family, school, community, and policy.

As an AQC Scholar, Dr. Burnson will affiliate with the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed-Methodologies (ICQCM) for two years. ICQCM is committed to advancing the use of data science methodologies among scholars at institutions serving predominantly underrepresented students; underrepresented postdoctoral and faculty researchers at all institutions; and those who conduct research with Latinx, Indigenous, and Black communities.

Evident Change congratulates Dr. Burnson on this important accomplishment and applauds the William T. Grant Foundation’s support of critical research methodologies that promote race equity in data science.

Please visit for more information about ICQCM’s work and to learn about the program sponsor, the William T. Grant Foundation.