Selma native selected to Child Life Research Fellows Program at Alabama

Published 12:22 pm Monday, January 18, 2021

Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader is honored to get selected into the Association of Child Life Professionals’ Research Fellows Program at the University of Alabama.

Burns-Nader’s is in Alabama’s inaugural class.  She will provide subject matter expertise to ACLP on a consult basis, serve as both a research mentor to other child life specialists. She will also serve as a research consultant to ACLP committees and contribute to research related initiatives of the ACLP.

“It is a huge honor to be chosen,” Burns-Nader said. “Child life professionals work with children and families who are experiencing healthcare events. “It is an achievement that ranks as one of my top professional moments.”

“Our job is to help minimize the stress of a healthcare event by providing children and families with information about diagnoses and procedures while promoting coping and normalization through play and other developmentally appropriate activities.”

Burns-Nader, an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Alabama, also coordinates the undergraduate and graduate child life programs, teaches child life coursework and maintains a research agenda.

A 2001 graduate of Morgan Academy, Burns-Nader said the profession of child life is in the early stages.

“The profession of child life is relatively new, we are still building the research of our field,” Burns-Nader said.  “This fellowship program is our profession taking an important step to continue to advance our field through research.

“As a researcher, my whole goal is to improve the lives of children and families during such a difficult life event by examining psychosocial services, like child life, that minimize pain, distress, and fear.  Being a ACLP Research Fellow allows me to not only grow in my research initiatives but support other child life specialist in advancing research.’’

Burns-Nader received undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees at Alabama after graduating from Morgan Academy.