Five Minutes With Jackie Horan
Welcome to Five Minutes With, where we take a few moments to better get to know the CASAColumbia staff. Today we’d like to introduce Jackie Horan, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist and Project Director.
What work do you do at CASAColumbia?
I work as an Associate Research Scientist and Project Director within the Adolescent and Family Research department at CASAColumbia. I work on a number of different projects that all focus on identifying the most effective intervention and treatment approaches for adolescents experiencing mental health and substance use problems.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that my job allows me to wear different hats on different projects — this has allowed me to broaden my understanding of how research can impact policy and to better understand the various levels at which intervention can be effective. I also love that my job allows me to collaborate with colleagues and experts across the country on large-scale projects. For example, at the end of July I travelled to Lexington, Kentucky to meet with experts in adolescent substance use research, where we discussed ways we can ensure that adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system are screened and treated for substance use problems.
What has been the most exciting thing you’ve worked on during your time at CASAColumbia?
The start-up of a new project is always exciting and right now we’re rolling out a project that aims to compare a number of different treatment protocols for adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), some of whom also have substance use problems. It’s been really exciting to begin new relationships with experts at behavioral mental health centers around New York City and on Long Island, and to collaborate with them to figure out how to recruit families into the study. It’s also been fun to work with our new research staff on this project and to see their excitement about going into the field for the first time and interacting with the community, with the feeling that they can make a difference!
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t lucky enough to be doing what I love at CASAColumbia, I think I would be living by the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. I would have about 10 dogs and I would own a sailboat and a local coffee shop that I would only open for business when I wasn’t sitting by the lake or in front of the fire pit!
If you could pick anywhere in the world to visit, where would you want to go?
My bucket list of travel destinations is extensive, but if I could go anywhere right now, I would love to visit South America. I’ve traveled extensively around Europe and to various locations in Asia and Africa, but I have never been south of the U.S. and I can’t wait to begin exploring a continent that I have yet to step foot on. I think my first stops would be the places that I’ve heard so much about from other avid travelers, such as Patagonia in Chile and Macchu Pichu in Peru.