Meet the Team

Scott Hays

Program Director / 217 244 2616

Scott P. Hays, (Ph.D., Political Science), is a Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Prevention Research and Development of the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his team developed “Engaging Youth for Positive Change”. He has taught political science at the college level and his research has included municipal ordinance adoption in local communities, the role of policy change in substance abuse prevention and youth involvement in policy change. He is co-editor of Engaging the Public: How Government and the Media Can Reinvigorate American Democracy (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998) and his research has appeared in a variety of academic journals including Frontiers in Public Health, The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Drug Education, and in Children, Youth and Environments.

Tyler Soy 

EYPC Program Site Communications

Tyler is a Sophomore in Community Health and Biology, and loves getting involved in meaningful public health initiatives. Tyler serves as the public Relations and Brand Manager for his a cappella group “No Comment A Cappella”, which is currently featured in a Netflix docuseries and has over 3 million YouTube views (Check them out here:  He has also been involved with the Latino Health Science Enrichment and is hoping to one day go into the medical field as a physician. Tyler looks forward to working with current and future EYPC facilitators to implement successful sites across the state!

Kyle Bennett 

Data Analysis and Evaluation

Kyle Bennett is a 4th year doctoral student at the UIUC School of Social Work. He earned his MSW from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, and previously earned  his B.A. in International Studies from the University of Illinois with minors in Spanish and Anthropology. His research focuses on social determinants of health, and through a segmented assimilation theoretical lens, how intergenerational conflict impacts substance use prevention, intervention, and outcomes among emerging adult and
Latinx migrant populations. He has extensive experience with a variety of research methods and teaches a dedicated substance use course at the UIUC School of Social Work. His practice experience involves clinical work with adolescents, emerging adults, and families in outpatient, school, and residential treatment settings.