Shana Ramsook Ratcliff is a sixth-year student in the Child Clinical Ph.D. program. Her primary research interest is in how early childhood factors, such as parent-child communication and child cognition, influence children’s emotional competence. She is also highly committed to bridging the gaps between research practice and policy. After completing her clinical internship at West Virginia University Medicine, Shana will graduate with a Doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology and minors in Developmental Science and Education Intervention. Her primary mentor is Dr. Pamela Cole.
Shana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Music, cum laude, from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. After graduating, she spent two years as a lab coordinator at Temple University where she gained experience using basic developmental findings to inform school- and home-based intervention design. During her first year as a graduate student in Penn State, Shana received an Honorable Mention on a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship application. She was also awarded an IES Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists (TIES) pre-doctoral fellowship. Shana has taken full advantage of the ability to collaborate with other developmentally oriented clinical scientists. Her research so far has focused on the development of emotional competencies in early childhood as they relate to children’s socio-emotional school readiness. Given her interest in translational science as it applies to dissemination and larger-scale policy, she sought out a pre-doctoral internship with the National Home Visiting Resource Center in the Washington, D.C. area. Through this internship, Shana has been able to expand her knowledge of translating research findings into high-quality community-based prevention and intervention services for children and their families.
The Irene E. Harms Award will allow Shana the ability to extend her work with the National Home Visiting Resource Center beyond the end date of her internship. This additional time will provide more opportunities for her to disseminate her research among other programs and contribute to on-going research spotlighting programs that work with families who have an incarcerated caregiver. Additionally, the award will support her ability to prepare research findings on emotion regulation development and her dissertation for presentation at conferences this fall. Finally, the funds will allow her to enhance her specialized methodological skills, which will facilitate her understanding of applied research and improve her ability to make substantive contributions to the translational science literature in the future. Following her internship, Shana hopes to remain in the D.C. area and secure a policy focused research position.