Ph.D. 2021

Bronwyn Nichols Lodato is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development. Nichols Lodato’s current mixed methods research examines adolescent development, the transition to adulthood and postsecondary experiences of diverse youth.  She studies the impact of contexts and exogenous shocks, such as the Great Recession and Covid-19, on developmental processes and outcomes over the life course. Nichols Lodato also holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago, where her research focused on immigrant national identity development in select European Union countries.  Her research agenda is enhanced by her deep experience leading and coordinating interdisciplinary research on diverse populations for governmental and non-governmental agencies. Her academic service includes participating on the University of Chicago Social Science Division’s Dean’s Advisory Council and Student Executive Committee, UChicagoGRAD’s Diversity Advisory Board as well as the Department of Comparative Human Development’s Mentoring Planning Committee.   Please connect with her via email ( or on LinkedIn.

Select Refereed Publications

Nichols Lodato, B., Hall, J., Spencer, M.B. (Expected 20XX). Sociology of the Family and Child Development in The Oxford Handbook of W. E. B. Du Bois. Oxford University Press. (Full Citation Pending). 

Nichols Lodato, B., Hall, J. Spencer, M.B., (Expected 20XX). Culture, Diversity and the Development of Coping in Handbook on the Development of Coping. Cambridge University Press  (Full Citation Pending).

Nichols Lodato, B., Hall, J.  & Spencer, M.B. (in-press). Vulnerability and Resiliency Implications of Human Capital and Linked Inequality Presence Denial Perspectives: Acknowledging Zigler’s Contributions to Child Well-being. Development and Psychopathology:  Special Issue Honoring the Contributions and Legacy of Edward Zigler. (Full Citation Pending)

Fajardo, S., Nichols Lodato, B., Spencer, M.B., Graziul, C. (in-press). Positive Identity “Development as an Immigration Integration Device: Reframing Alternative Conceptual Findings for Academically Resilient, Low Income Urban Youth” in Re/Formation and Identity: The Intersectionality of Development, Culture, and Immigration. Debra Johnson, ed. Springer. (Full Citation Pending).

Nichols Lodato, B., Harris, K., and Spencer, M.B. (in-press). Human Development Perspectives on Public Urban Education: Novel Conceptualizations for the 21st Century. In The Urban Education Handbook. Rich Milner, ed.  Routledge.

Spencer, M.B., Nichols Lodato, B., Spencer, C., Rich, L., Graziul, C., and English-Clarke, T. (2019). “Innovating resilience promotion: Integrating cultural practices, social ecologies and development-sensitive conceptual strategies for advancing child well-being” in Advances in Child Development Behavior. Vol. 57, p. 101-148. Elsevier

Nichols, B., Zimowski, M., Lodato, R., and Ghadialy, R. (2004).  “The Survey of Diverse Students” in Readings on Equal Education, Volume 20, Improving access and college success for diverse students:  Studies of the Gates Millennium Scholars program. p. 23-44.

Select Non-refereed Publications and Technical Reports

Spencer, M.B., Rich, L., Spielberger, J., Graziul, C., Lodato, B.N., Fajardo, S., Zheng, C. (2019). Evaluation of the YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Program: Year 1. Unpublished Final Report for Evaluation of the YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Program: Year 1. 

Nichols Lodato, B., Simko, C., Yang, M., Zurawski, E., Cuanas, J., Jwo, S., and Sipulski, E. (2016). National Education and Employment Survey (NEES) Methodology Report. Technical Report for The Lumina Foundation.

Select Invited Talks and Presentations

Spencer, Margaret Beale and Nichols Lodato, Bronwyn  (November 23, 2020).  PVEST: An Identity-focused Cultural Ecological Theory and Its Context Relevant Utility.  Presentation at the Developmental Psychology Colloquium. Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz.  Santa Cruz, CA (via Zoom.) 

Nichols Lodato, B. (December 14, 2018).  Postsecondary Experiences in the Shadow of the Great Recession. Presentation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, College of Education. Urbana-Champaign, IL. 

Nichols Lodato, B.  Putting it All On the Table: Parks as Democracy? Case Studies and Conversation.  (June 9, 2018).  Panel Member at the Friends of the Parks Annual Conference In Black and White: A Continuing Discussion about Parks as Public Spaces, Chicago, IL.

Nichols Lodato, B. Asset Mapping:  Situating Research in a Geographic Context. (February 20, 2018).  Invited lecture for Adolescent Development - Graduate Course, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Nichols Lodato, B. and Selfa, L. (January 31 – February 3, 2016).  A Foundation of Data Literacy:  A Journey to Improved Insights.  NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop, New Orleans, LA.


Bernice Neugarten Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2020

Doctoral Research Innovation Fund, University of Chicago, 2020

Volunteer of the Year, Friends of the Parks, 2019