Meet Our Founder - Dr. Yalda T. Uhls

We were founded in late 2018 by Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, a former film executive who received a PhD in developmental psychology from UCLA.


My passion is to bridge the work of researchers and entertainment executives in order to help storytellers access useful science that can help them create impactful content and affect social change. This is why I founded the Center for Scholars & Storytellers at UCLA.

My background in both entertainment media and academia gives me unique insight into the intersection of social change, entertainment media and scientific research. The entertainment media that adolescents spend hours consuming represent a key opportunity to shape their world views. The work of researchers is critical to share with content creators who can apply the lessons learned to the stories that youth consume.

Why Dr. Uhls started The Center for Scholars & Storytellers:

Media content has never been more prevalent in the lives of children and teens. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry is going through enormous change and is ready to listen.

Although insights that can guide responsible storytelling emerge regularly from the work of social scientists, they are slow to make their way into the hands of the entertainment industry.

One major contributor to this problem: Storytellers and scholars rarely take the time to listen to each other, grapple with problems together, and gain a deeper understanding of the other’s mission and work. This is why we exist.

To find out more about Dr. Yalda T. Uhls work, speaking and research, please visit her website and this link for her bio.

Below are some of Dr. Yalda T. Uhls’s upcoming speaking engagements

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls will be speaking at The Actors Equity Fund’s Parent's Group Leadership Meeting.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls will be speaking at Pali Elementary on How to Raise Resilient Kids in the Digital Age at Pali Elementary.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls will be a featured speaker at Davis Parent University (DPU), a free lecture series devoted to parent education in Davis, CA.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls will be a keynote speaker at the 2020 TYA/USA Festival & Conference in Washington DC. 

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls will be a panelist at the Learning Through Play and Imagination Conference.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls will be a panelist at the Mom 2.0 Summit in Los Angeles.

    Below are some recent highlights

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, was a featured speaker at the University of Riverside’s Development Psychology Forum.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, moderated a Panel for UCLA Pritzker Center’s Foster Film screening.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls presented her webinar on “Storytelling 101: How Media Making Impacts Cognitive Development” sponsored by Britannica Digital Learning.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls was a featured on a panel for Advertising Week. The panel discussed the best ways to communicate with Gen Z and Gen Alpha in a meaningful and responsible way.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls was a Keynote speaker for the Families Connected Speaker Series in Hermosa Beach.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls was a a moderator for the BFS WIE Summit: Mental Health and Hollywood

  • Article written in WARC, an advertising trade magazine, about actionable insights about Dr. Yalda T. Uhls who spoke to delegates at the #SeeHer 2019 Creative and Media Leadership Summit in New York

  • Article in The Hollywood Reporter, quoting Dr. Yalda T. Uhls about fan engagement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls was a guest on 89.3 KPCC’s AirTalk speaking about “sharenting.”

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls research was referred to in The Washington Post talking about the Instagram egg.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls wrote an opinion piece for CNN about the power of the film Frozen.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls took part in a panel on unconscious bias at BU Envisions the Future at Paramount Pictures Studios.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls gave a keynote talk at the Disney Channels Television Group Diversity and Inclusion event.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls and Co-Director Wilson on Mattel’s new Dream Gap Initiative.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls was quoted in NBC News about ways to get your teen to talk to you.

  • September 22, 2018 Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) spoke and Dr. Yalda T. Uhls moderated a panel at the WGA called The Streaming Age: Creating Content that Resonates with Tweens and Teens.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls has recently spoken in the following places about Adolescents and Social Media: Washington Post Live in DC, Hope for Depression in NYC, and Child Mind Luncheon in LA.

  • Dr. Yalda T. Uhls was the host of Host of Disney Channel and Common Sense Media’s Conversations about Andi Mack