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Chang (Cecilia) Liu

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Chang (Cecilia) Liu

Chang (Cecilia) Liu is in her 4th year of the Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program. Her research interests focus on the mechanisms and processes underlying child development within the context of their social interactions, particularly in regard to anger and aggression development in children. While in graduate school, Cecilia has pursued an interdisciplinary approach to her research, utilizing behavior genetics and dynamic systems analysis. By integrating the two approaches, she can examine the mechanisms underlying child development and the co-varying effects with other systems to help clarify possible causal pathways of the processes underlying child development. Her mentors are Dr. Jenae Neiderhiser and Dr. Ginger Moore.

Cecilia received her Bachelor of Science from Beijing Normal University in China with a major in Psychology and her Master of Science in Developmental Psychology from Penn State. As an undergraduate she received many awards, including a National Award (top 1% - China), an EF scholarship for ambition, and an award for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis. As a graduate student, Cecilia is first author on one publication and second author on two. She has presented many papers and posters across the United States, in China, and in South Africa. She is currently working on three separate projects with Dr. Jenae Neidrehiser (ECHO, PA Twins, and EGDS) to further her research as to the critical role of gene-environment interplay in anger and aggression development. Cecilia is also working on two projects with Dr. Ginger Moore to look more closely at a dynamic systems approach in order to research the change and self-organization of the processes underlying children’s social interactions.

The Strumpf Scholar Award will provide Cecilia a better opportunity to practice her skills in advanced statistics on dynamic systems analysis and more time to continue her interdisciplinary work with her mentors. She looks forward to collaborating on two projects with Dr. Jody Ganiban at George Washington University, as well as a project with Dr. Sy-Miin Chow at Penn State. She also anticipates having dedicated time to work on her manuscripts and the freedom to conduct a cutting-edge and rigorous dissertation project integrating her knowledge of behavioral genetics and dynamic systems theories. Cecilia believes the Strumpf Scholar Award will be invaluable in helping her prepare to be a more competitive candidate for a post-doctoral fellowship and eventually a tenure-track faculty position.