Ruby Natale (UM UCEDD) is Recipient of the Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence

December 6, 2022

Ruby Natale, PhD, PsyD was honored with the 2022 Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence in Children’s Health Research. As a recipient of this award, Dr. Natale’s work will be focused on Improving the Social-Emotional Development and Resiliency of At-Risk Preschool Children in Childcare Centers using a Mobile Application. This award will allow her team to fulfill an important need in the community which is to improve early childhood resiliency and reduce problematic behaviors within early care and education centers through the use of a mobile app, Jump Start on the Go.

This is especially important for children of color living in communities that are significantly impacted by disparities including health and education and so the Jump Start on the Go app is designed to address these disparities by increasing anytime-anywhere access to much needed mental health resources.

Dr. Natale is a pediatric and community psychologist whose work has made a transformative impact in establishing and sustaining community-based partnerships in South Florida to promote positive development in young children in low-income, underserved communities.

Since arriving at the University of Miami, Dr. Natale has held several positions with the Mailman Center for Child Development within the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. In that time, her team has addressed a critical gap in the field by providing evidence-based services and programs to childcare centers aimed at improving children's developmental trajectories. Through her role as Principal Investigator on local and national grants, she has developed toolkits for childcare providers that have been widely distributed. Her team was one of the first in the nation to develop an obesity prevention program for preschoolers with disabilities in childcare settings that both parents and teachers could use to promote healthy lifestyle habits.

Dr. Natale earned her Ph.D. and Psy.D. degrees in Clinical Child Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 2000, after also receiving a master’s degree there, and at Barry University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami in 1993.

Dr. Natale’s work is frequently published, and she serves on many task forces related to early childhood development.