Nissa Towe-Goodman followed a winding path before landing in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Initially drawn to medical school by her interest in biology, Nissa instead chose HDFS, attracted by the interdisciplinary training and the capacity to study family influences and early childhood development. Her interests deepened during her two years as a trainee on the Early Childhood Mental Health Training Grant at the CSC, which offered interdisciplinary collaboration with faculty and graduate students having a shared focus on early child development, particularly vulnerable children and families at risk. Before Nissa studied early emotional development with Dr. Cynthia Stifter, she focused on mothers' physiological reactions and parenting under stress with Dr. Doug Teti. Nissa made substantive contributions to Dr. Teti’s Minds Of Mothers Study (MOMS), and based on this pilot work Dr. Teti was awarded funding to expand the project, including support from the National Institutes of Health. Nissa also received a separate award from the National Institutes of Health to support her dissertation research on the effect of parents’ inter-partner violence on children’s emotion regulation. She was awarded a postdoctoral training fellowship through the Center for Developmental Science at UNC-Chapel Hill to extend her training in early psychopathology and parenting processes contributing to early risk. Through this fellowship she worked with Drs. Adrian Angold and Helen Egger at Duke University’s Center for Developmental Epidemiology (CDE), as well as Dr. Martha Cox at UNC-Chapel Hill, focusing on presentation and etiology of preschool psychopathology (particularly preschool anxiety), as well as training in the design and application of coding systems to assess parenting quality across at-risk and clinical populations. Following her postdoctoral training, she accepted a position as Assistant Research Professor of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill and Assistant Director of CDS Observes, working on multiple projects focused on ameliorating risk within the parent-child relationship.
We wish Nissa luck as she continues to pursue her professional career!