Skip Navigation

UNL Announce

Lady Gaga's foundation taps Swearer to lead research, advisory board

Susan Swearer
Susan Swearer

Susan Swearer will lead a new research board to advise Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation on its youth empowerment and tolerance programs. The group also will work to boost the influence of the foundation's proposals and apply well-founded research to all of the foundation's upcoming programs.

Swearer, professor of school psychology in the College of Education and Human Sciences, will be chairwoman of the six-person group, called the Research and Advisory Board. It includes researchers from New York University, Harvard University and the University of Chicago, among other schools.

"It's an honor to be working with an esteemed group of scholars," Swearer said. "The Research Advisory Board has been helping the Foundation make sure that its initiatives are grounded in research and will make sure that research guides their programming."

Gaga's foundation, co-founded by her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, recruited Swearer to help its launch in February. Swearer co-directs the Bullying Research Network, which promotes international collaboration among bullying and peer victimization researchers. Swearer has been working with Born This Way since 2011, helping to create resources as it prepared to enter the national anti-bullying discussion.

"Susan Swearer knows how to translate strong, solid research into practical, relevant strategies for youth, families and the professionals who work with them," said Marjorie Kostelnik, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. "She is a bridge from the research world that cares about bullying, to the public that cares about bullying. Her ability to connect those two worlds will serve her well in this role."

In a statement, Germanotta said the board includes "some of the brightest minds in education and adolescent research. With the help of these university-based experts, we will be able to reach even more youth and provide them with the tools necessary to be the brave person they were each born to be."

The board will evaluate ongoing programs and give feedback on new proposals, while also providing assessment and evaluation strategies for existing programs — including Born Brave Nation, localized groups of supporters working to affect change in their homes, schools and communities.

— Steve Smith, University Communications