PhD Student Jacque Buck Selected to National Leadership Program

Headshot of Jacque Buck
Jacque Buck

We are proud to announce that PhD student Jacque Buck has been selected to participate in one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s leadership programs. These programs connect changemakers across the country—from diverse professions and fields—to learn from and work with one another in creating more just and thriving communities.

Specifically, Jacque was selected for the Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) program. Designed for doctoral students from historically marginalized backgrounds and populations underrepresented in specific disciplines, Health Policy Research Scholars helps students from all fields apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse network of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics.

Acceptance into the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation HPRS program will considerably enhance Jacque’s academic training at UW-Madison and offer her an unparalleled opportunity to further develop skills, learn from mentors, and cultivate leadership abilities,” says Jacque’s advisor, Assistant Professor Pajarita Charles. “We are excited to see her make progress toward creating equitable solutions for children and families affected by the criminal legal system through research and policy change.” Dr. Charles is the Director of the Family Wellbeing & Justice Lab where Jacque also works.

As a member of HPRS’ newest cohort, Jacque will focus on building knowledge about alternatives to incarceration to mitigate harm to parents and children through safe and evidence-informed strategies that keep families intact and parents out of prison or jail. She aims to conduct research on alternative sentencing to improve individual and family socioeconomic, social-emotional, and behavioral health outcomes for groups that have been historically targeted by the criminal legal system, specifically racialized and low-income communities, with the goal of contributing to efforts to advance health equity and dismantle structural racism.

“We are so proud and excited for Jacque that she has been selected for the HPRS program!,” says Doctoral Program Chair and Assistant Professor Tova Walsh. “Through her participation in this leadership program, Jacque will join a national network of scholars committed to health equity and social justice and gain skills to effect change through her research.”  

To learn more about Health Policy Research Scholars and RWJF’s other leadership programs, and to meet other participants, visit