Lindsay Till Hoyt Selected as Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar

Lindsay Till Hoyt Selected as Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar

Lindsay Till Hoyt

Lindsay Till Hoyt, a doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy program, was selected as a Health and Society Scholar of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This highly competitive program is designed to build the nation’s capacity for research, leadership and policy change related to the health of the U.S. population. 

Only 12 scholars are selected nationwide. From more than 100 semifinalists, universities choose 45 to 50 finalists to interview, and 12 scholars are selected from those interviewees. Harvard University, University of California, San Francisco-Berkeley, University of Wisconsin and Columbia University participate in the program. Hoyt will spend two postdoctoral years at University of California, San Francisco-Berkeley, her top choice.

Hoyt’s research focuses on defining, measuring and promoting positive health. “Modern theories conceptualize health as not only the absence of illness, but also as the presence of wellness. This emerging concept, positive health, has inspired multidisciplinary research examining social, psychological, and behavioral contributions to wellness throughout the life course. I'm particularly interested in examining positive health across adolescence, a sensitive period of development when a particular set of individual experiences can have longstanding effects on lifelong health and well-being,” says Hoyt.

In her current research, Hoyt seeks to identify developmental assets — protective psychological, social, and behavioral factors — that predict long-term health and wellness. “My dissertation work reveals a unique pathway between psychological well-being (during the teen years) and biomarkers of stress and health, but also raises many new questions about how the mind-body connection operates in a broader social, cultural, and economic context. The faculty affiliates of the Health and Society Scholars program comprise many of the pioneers of health inequalities research. In collaboration with these experts, I hope to expand my work by examining inequalities in developmental assets within these nested environments,” she explains.

Hoyt has received other honors for her outstanding research. In 2012 she was one of five recipients of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Dissertation Funding Award. At Northwestern, Hoyt is a member of the Cluster for Society, Biology, and Health, an interdisciplinary graduate training environment that fosters innovative research on the associations among human biology, society and health. She also is a graduate student affiliate of the Institute of Policy Research (IPR) and Cells to Society (C2S). She works with SESP professors Emma Adam and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public's health. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/27/17