Who We Are

GEAR UP Program Staff



Staff of the Urban Education, Prevention & Policy Research Area

Nadia L. Ward

Director of Urban Education & Prevention Research


Nadia L. Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D., is the Director of Urban Education & Prevention Research at The Consultation Center and Assistant Professor in the Division of Prevention & Community Research at Yale University School of Medicine. Her extensive work in the area of academic achievement for racial and ethnic minority students has spanned 20 years and has included training and consultation to universities, public school systems and private organizations; curriculum development; program development; implementation; and evaluation.


 Dr. Ward has worked extensively with high-risk as well as high achieving urban youth and their families in a variety of capacities. She has designed and evaluated academic enrichment and competence enhancing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school and community settings.


Additionally, Dr. Ward is a leader in comprehensive urban school reform efforts where she engages schools and communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of systemic interventions designed to improve school climate, academic performance and educational trajectories of low-income and minority youth.


Dr. Ward’s areas of expertise include school-based mental health, substance abuse prevention among youth, social-emotional learning, academic achievement, educational disparities, urban school reform, education policy and school-based prevention programs.


Dr. Ward has presented at regional, national and international conferences on topics related to systemic school reform, educational disparities, social-emotional learning, educational aspirations and attainment among urban adolescents, and school-based prevention. Her research has been published in recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ward has appeared on National Public Radio (NPR) and been quoted in the New York Post and U.S. News & World Report. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to the field.