Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Meghan Scrimgeour

Meghan Scrimgeour is a senior research analyst in the Data, Research, and Accountability Department with Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). WCPSS is the largest school district in North Carolina and the 15th largest in the United States. One part of Meghan’s responsibilities is to conduct evaluation research on school assessments and programs. Recently, she became responsible for her department’s internship program. Meghan has four first-authored papers published in two top journals. Additionally, she has written seven non-peer-reviewed research reports for the school district, four of which are first-authored.

Megan graduated from Penn State’s Developmental Psychology PhD program in December 2015, after defending her dissertation titled, “The Role of Marital, Coparenting, and Sibling Relationships on the Development of Children’s Prosocial Behaviors in Early Childhood.” Her primary mentors were Dr. Alysia Blandon and Dr. Kristin Buss. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Wheaton College with a double major in Psychology and French before coming to Penn State to pursue her graduate degree. While in graduate school, Meghan’s research examined the development of children’s social and emotional development, particularly prosocial behavior, within the context of the family. Although some research had examined the role of mothers in the development of prosocial behavior, little research examined how parenting, co-parenting, and children’s temperament interact to affect children’s developing prosocial behavior. Further, in addition to using observations and questionnaires, Meghan also assessed children’s social and emotional development using psychophysiological measures, which was innovative for this area of study. She continued her lab work by leading prosocial behavior and maternal emotion socialization coding teams and leading a cardiac physiology editing team. Before graduating in 2015, she earned the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate through Penn State’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.

Meghan was able to use the Strumpf Scholarship funds to aid in the advancement of her research training. The funds helped cover the cost of attending and presenting her work at research conferences and helped provide the opportunity to devote most of her time to writing and submitting manuscripts for publication.