Jessica Astudillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a French minor from Hunter College, CUNY. She currently a playLab researcher working as a field-based data collector for the “Early Experiences Matter: Follow-Up RCT’s” project. Her research interests include the availability of health resources targeting low-income families in immigrant communities.
Research Mentor(s): Professor Astuto
Tatiana Bacigalupe (email@example.com) is currently working as a research affiliate with the Child and Family Policy Center (CFPC) at NYU, training NYC and NYS preschool teachers in implementing the authentic assessment tools in their preschool classroom. She is also a PhD candidate at the Administration and Leadership program at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. As an Early Childhood Teacher and graduated from Bank Street College of Education (M.S in Education) her research interests are primary focused on early childhood education and early childhood teachers training and education, particularly in understanding the work of teachers and how they develop meaningful learning experiences for young children. She has been very delighted to be working on the CFPC to learn about early childhood teachers experiences. In the future she would like to work with early childhood teachers at the university and college levels.
Una Dunphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) began working at the Child and Family Policy Center in 2016. Una has worked as a teacher at the Elementary and Preschool levels in both public and private school settings. She has completed graduate work in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education, with interests in Child Development and Reading Readiness. Una has worked with various agencies throughout New York City (including QualityStars, Right to Play and The Robin Hood Foundation) on Early Childhood Education improvement projects. She is passionate about finding ways to create high-quality learning environments for all children and is excited to be a part of the team at the CFPC.
Kalina Gjicali (Kg1317@nyu.edu) is a doctoral student and fellow at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Prior to her doctoral studies, she completed her MA at Teachers College, Columbia University in Cognitive Studies in Education and her BA at Hunter College, City University of New York in Psychology and Sociology.
She first began her work at the Child and Family Policy Center as a field-based data collector in the spring of 2012 for the “Learning More about Home Visitation” study and later worked as a teacher support specialist for the Common Metric Project. Currently as a Junior Research Scientist at the playLab, she oversees data-related efforts and performs data analysis for various projects.
Her research interests include: (1) the development of cognitive and metacognitive processes; (2) early childhood mathematics education; (3) the use of formative assessment in early childhood; and (4) learning trajectories and developmentally appropriate practice.
Kelsey Keays Hagerman
Kelsey Keays Hagerman (email@example.com) has been working at the Child & Family Policy Center since 2011. She recently enrolled in NYU-Wagner's master's program in public administration and non-profit management. For undergrad, she attended Hunter College, where she developed an interest in public policy and participated in the Public Service Scholar Program, ultimately attaining her BA in sociology, with a minor in urban studies. She loves working at the Center as a project coordinator, where she has the opportunity to help to facilitate research that informs policy and practice. She is particularly interested in workforce development in the early education field.
Cristina Medellin-Paz, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) is currently a Jr. Research Scientist at the Child and Family Policy Center and Play Scholar at the playLab. Her work focuses on exploring opportunities for play-based experiences in urban early childhood classrooms using the Early Childhood Time-Use in Schools-Profile. Her research interests center on identifying effective strategies for incorporating playful opportunities in early childhood classrooms that serve diverse low-income children through research and professional development. She has a specific interest in understanding the role of play in meeting the needs of Latino communities. Rather than focusing on the gaps in school readiness and opportunities for play, her work takes a strengths-based approach to examine the role of culture and context in understanding how development unfolds within different settings.
At the Center, she has collaborated on multiple field-based early childhood projects, professional development trainings throughout the City, and helps coordinate the Forum on Children and Families hosted by the Center. Currently she is a Project Coordinator for the “Early Experiences Matter: Follow-Up RCT’s of a School Readiness Intervention” evaluating post program impacts of a home visitation intervention that served families when children were 2-4 years old in 2010.
Cristina received her B.A. in psychology from Hunter College, City University of New York, and her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She lives in Long Island with her husband Eleazar and children Adriana and Alejandro.
Research Mentor(s): Professor Astuto, Professor Glick (CUNY Graduate Center)
Scott Mengebier (email@example.com) is a research assistant at the Child & Family Policy Center (CFPC), working on the Civic Engagement - Adolescents and Early Adulthood project. He assists on international research projects conducted in France, qualitative data analysis, grant searches and interviews with teachers. Scott is currently pursuing a master's degree in Business and Workplace Education in the Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. His interests focus on identity, motivation, mindfulness, and how social regularities can be improved in educational settings.
Ivonne Monje (firstname.lastname@example.org) is pursuing a master's in Human Development and Social Intervention at New York University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hunter College, CUNY. Currently at the PLAyLabNYU she is developing her thesis question. Her research interests explore the intersection between the socio-cultural influences on children’s development and cognition. More specifically, how culture and context influence learning and academic achievement for low-income minority children through program development and implementation.
Research Mentor(s): Professor Astuto
Kari Morales (email@example.com) received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies from New York University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in School Psychology from St. John’s University. She currently is a research team member at the playLab working as a field-based data collector for the “Early Experiences Matter: Follow-Up RCT’s” project. Her research interests include school-based prevention and intervention efforts targeting the academic needs of culturally-diverse, young children.
Research Mentor(s): Professor Astuto, Professor Ortiz (St. John’s University)
Rivka Narvekar (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University. Rivka is currently working as a research assistant in the Department of Applied Psychology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is interested in understanding the relationship between civic engagement and both, ethnic identity and self-esteem.
Research Mentor: Professor Allen
Millie Olivia Symns
Millie Olivia Symns (email@example.com) is a research assistant at the Child & Family Policy Center (CFPC), working on the Civic Engagement—Adolescents and Early Adulthood and Reading Readiness & Authentic Assessment projects. On the civic engagement project she assists in conducting interviews with teachers and research on first-generation college students. On the Authentic Assessment project she assists in producing materials, such as the media materials, for the hotline. Millie is a currently a master’s student of the Human Development and Social Intervention program in the Applied Psychology department at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her master’s thesis focuses on first-generation college students and understanding the motives that students enter with in comparison to continuing-generation college students. In the future she hopes to work in private sector helping businesses have a bigger impact on positive social change.Research Mentor: Professor Allen
Mikaela Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org is currently a Senior double-majoring in Applied Psychology in Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and Politics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Mikaela is currently working as a research assistant in the Child and Family Policy Center working on Civic Engagement - Adolescents and Early Adulthood. On the civic engagement project, she assists in coding interviews, conducting statistical analyses, and paper writing processes. In the future, Mikaela hopes to attend graduate school for Psychology and continue her research.
Adina Schick (email@example.com) is a Visiting Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Program in Applied Psychology. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Child and Family Policy Center, and continues to co-manage the Common Metric and Reading Readiness projects.
Her work to date has focused on cultural variations in children’s narrative development, with a particular emphasis on the individual and combined contributions of the home and preschool contexts on this development. As part of her position at the CFPC, she has been working on the development of a Common Metric to link the three most commonly used preschool authentic assessment tools. In working on that project, she has helped develop and supervise the implementation of a large intervention aimed at professional development of early childhood educators in ACS and DOE programs throughout New York City, as well early childhood educators from across New York State. She has also been working to design an exploratory study to investigate the use of authentic assessment tools with dual-language learning preschoolers. In addition to her work with the CFPC, she spends her "free time" teaching undergraduate classes and collaborating on research initiatives with Dr. Gigliana Melzi. Most recently they have designed a classroom oral narratives intervention for Latino Head Start children, which is currently in the implementation phase. Her work has been funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and well as the Brady Education Foundation.
Prairna Sethi (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a master's student in the school counseling and guidance program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Currently, she works as a research assistant at the Child & Family Policy Center (CFPC), working primarily on the Authentic Assessment and Reading Readiness project. As part of her work at the CFPC, she collaborates closely with teachers to support their daily practices and has served as a facilitator at various professional development opportunities, in turn working to ensure that preschool children are reaching their potential to succeed in later schooling. Through her experience, she has further explored her interests in social justice research, particularly access to education and opportunities that are available for Children of Color and First Generation students.
Emma Turner (email@example.com) graduated from the applied psychology program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Emma is currently working as a research assistant, training New York City and New York State preschool teachers in implementing authentic assessment in their classrooms. She is particularly interested in the utilization of differentiated instruction in preschool, and hopes to gain classroom experience in this area.
Cruz Vargas-Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) is currently working as a research assistant with the Child and Family Policy Center (CFPC) at NYU training NYC and NYS preschool teachers in implementing the authentic assessment tools in their classes. Cruz is a master's student in the Human Development and Social Intervention program in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her research interests are focused on academic equity, particularly among minority students. She is very excited to be working on the CFPC team and hopes to work in education policy in the future.Research Mentor: Professor Allen
Tess M. Yanisch
Tess M. Yanisch (email@example.com) is a doctoral student in the Psychology and Social Intervention program at NYU Steinhardt. Since September of 2013, Tess has worked as project manager of Dr. Allen's civic engagement projects, including surveys of the motivations, intentions, and styles of civic engagement among youth in New York and Paris; American youths' ethnic identity, self-esteem, and civic engagement; the relative importance of different political issues to emerging adults (18-25) in the United States; philosophies of civic engagement and teaching in Muslim women teachers; and how French parents think about civic engagement, parenting, and responsible citizenship. At the request of the research team, she has taught informal statistics and research methods "classes" over the summer. After a two-semester internship researching participatory budgeting, the nonpartisan public engagement nonprofit Public Agenda hired her as a part-time consultant for research on teacher collaboration.
Tess's many and varied research interests all relate to factors that influence whether people treat each other well or poorly.
Research Mentor(s): Professor Allen, Erin Godfrey, Rezarta Bilali
Juliana Karras-Jean Gilles