Ashleigh EngbretsonPhD Student, Human Development & Family Studies


Ashleigh is interested in children’s socio-emotional development in relation to family relationships and how those relationships are formed and maintained in different family configurations. Ashleigh has the motivation to translate research into policy and practice, and is interested in evaluating whether or not those policies and practices are successful. Other interests include divorce and resiliency in family relationships.

Education and Relevant Experience

Ashleigh is a graduate student enrolled in the M.S. program within the Human Development and Family Studies Department working with Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan. She is also a project assistant for the Center for Child and Family Well-Being. As a project assistant, Ashleigh develops contacts with many professionals within the field; organizing seminars and child and family-related workshops. Currently, Ashleigh is helping to organize a Prenatal to Five Initiative which will bring together community practitioners, members, leaders, and campus scholars to advance best practices and strategies that promote equity and equal opportunity for our state’s youngest members. Ashleigh also works part-time as a nursing assistant at University Hospital.

Ashleigh received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. As an undergraduate student and afterwards, Ashleigh has experience in a variety of positions including seminar assistant for the Family Impact Seminars with Karen Bogenschneider. After receiving her degree, Ashleigh completed the required 40 hours of training in Divorce and Family Mediation from the Continuing Studies Department of UW-Madison. Prior to graduate school, Ashleigh worked as a research volunteer in Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan’s lab on the Compassionate Parenting Project, which evaluates a mindfulness-based parenting intervention with young children.

Awards and Recognition

Normandin, H., Japinga, M., & Grendziak, A. (2016) Training Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s Jobs.(Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars)

Normandin, H. & Grendziak, A. (2015) Helping Foster Kids Succeed: State Strategies for Saving Lives, Saving Money. (Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars)


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program