Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Graduate Student Spotlights

Sara Such

In the future, I hope to continue understanding parent-child behavioral interactions and internal processes to examine patterns of self-regulatory and coregulatory capacities.

Zhenyu Zhang

Ultimately, I hope to translate research findings to inform, develop, and evaluate timely, accessible, cost-effective, and precise intervention programs for populations affected by trauma and adversity.

Daiqing Zhao

My objective is to work as a research scientist in an academic or clinical setting, where I can further contribute to our understanding of child psychopathologies and assist in developing intervention strategies.

Miglena Ivanova

I want to research the development of psychopathology through different pathways, with the long-term goal of translating this knowledge into individualized preventive strategies for co-occurring psychological disorders and substance use.

Nicholas Neuwald

By focusing on childhood eating behaviors, I hope to aid in the development of more effective interventions addressing obesity-related health.

Kivilcim Degirmencioglu

My goal is to understand how parent-child dyads mutually influence each other during social interactions, and how behaviors and emotions evoked in these interactions are reflected at physiological levels.

Ulziimaa Chimed-Ochir

Following graduation, I plan to stay in academia and expand my research by investigating the neurobiological correlates of caregiving sensitivity and the attachment system in both parents and children who have encountered early attachment trauma.

Adithi Rajagopalan

In the future, I hope to focus my research on typically-underserved adolescent populations, using their own strengths and community strengths to redefine the ways in which we think about positive outcomes, coping, and contexts.

Berenice Anaya

My goal is to develop a comprehensive neuroscience program of research where I use a multimethod neuroimaging approach to understand the development of emotion processing and regulation during infancy and childhood.

Tiyobista Maereg

My ultimate goal is to conduct translational research and connect my work to policy to enact positive social changes.

Becca Slotkin

I am interested in the effects of peer relations on child and adolescent internalizing behaviors, as well as interventions to help improve social skills.

Holly Pham

I aim to develop a research program in which I investigate psychosocial and biological mechanisms underlying adolescence as a sensitive period for risk and resilience.

Xu (Elsie) Yan

In the future, I hope to continue applying basic research in cognitive neuroscience to identify specific etiological pathways towards maladaptive developmental outcomes.

Alexandra Roule

My hope is to study the nuances of neurocognitive mechanisms that drive and maintain transdiagnostic symptoms across development.

Myles Arrington

I am interested in finding a way to more holistically include contextual research in face recognition science to better account for the day-to-day experiences of individuals from differing racial and ethnic groups and the way that influences their social networks.

Kelley Gunther

I am interested in the way attention processes guide how developing children interface with their social environment.

Liu Bai

I am interested in parenting because it is a key predictor for child developmental outcomes.

Kayla Brown

The Child Maltreatment Solutions Network fellowship has shown me both the importance as well as the challenges of translating research into effective policy.

Frances Lobo

I try to understand moment-to-moment processes and how they relate to the development of children’s self-regulation and psychopathology.

Michael Sanders

My hope is to research contextual and risk factors of aggression and social difficulties, so we can inform intervention designs and use that information to promote positive adjustment for high-risk kids.

Elizabeth Youatt

My goal is to research temperament and capture early risk factors that will help us develop mental and physical health interventions and health policies to make an impact.

Anna Zhou

If we know enough about the timing of development, we can find the optimal periods of development where we can provide support for depressed and anxious parents.

Sky Cardwell

I am interested in developmental psychopathology and how children’s ability to regulate their emotions develops in early childhood.

Kingsley Schroeder

I am interested in the ways that children’s own characteristics, parenting factors, and the broader context affect the development of gender identity.

Kelsey Quigley

I want to detect physiological pathways by which early experiences get into the body to influence mental and physical health in adulthood. In the future, I’d like to apply this developmental lens to identify mechanisms that explain health disparities.

Sabrina Voltaire

I intend to further explore the connection between parenting competence, co-parenting and sleep quality from infancy through school entry especially as they predict socioemotional and academic outcomes.

Leigha MacNeill

Studying the dynamic relations between intrinsic (e.g., temperament, biology) and extrinsic (e.g., family, maltreatment) factors of the child may help identify potential mechanisms of risk and resilience across development.

Amanda Ramos

The prenatal environment plays a pivotal role in child development and needs to be better incorporated in broader conceptualizations of developmental etiology.

Hilary Galloway-Long

The development of clinical measures that tap into the entire distribution of performance will allow clinicians to detect the occurrence of attentional lapses that may be indicative of ADHD.

Jessie Fu

Eye-tracking as a methodology could provide new and pivotal insight into attention as a mechanism.

Mirella Maggi

Fathers are an understudied group in psychology, despite their importance for child development.

Charles Beekman, III

I chose Penn State’s program because of its fit with my research interests, opportunities for collaboration, and training in translational research.

Julie Beeney

I am very excited about research on parenting and factors that influence parental responses to infant behavior and hope to incorporate parenting research into intervention programs to promote positive relationships between parents and infants in high-risk contexts.

Lauren Philbrook

I chose Penn State because of the diverse research opportunities that were offered.

Marcela Torres

The resources made available by the Friends of the CSC were invaluable; with support from the Robert and Ruth Faris Fund, I was able to attend national and international conferences, and visit model programs to observe and discuss early childhood intervention strategies.

Patricia Tan

With a desire to help children, I was attracted to the Clinical Psychology program at Penn State because of its focus on training, its integration of developmental concepts to inform clinical practice, and the opportunities for collaboration.

Nissa Towe-Goodman

My interests have deepened during my two years as a trainee on the Early Childhood Mental Health Training Grant at the CSC, which has offered interdisciplinary collaboration with faculty and graduate students having a shared focus on early child development, particularly vulnerable children and families at risk.

Sarah Karalunas

One unique opportunity I had was the chance to collaborate with Dr. Joel Nigg, Professor at Oregon Health and Science University and the CSC’s 2009 Lois Bloom lecturer. During his visit to present the lecture, Dr. Nigg met with Dr. Huang-Pollock and her graduate students. I received more than advice and feedback related to my dissertation project; Dr. Nigg offered me one of his own datasets to use to supplement my dissertation research.