Current Students and Staff


Lulu Song

Lulu comes from Beijing, China. After obtaining her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Delaware in 2009, she joined the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education as a postdoctoral fellow for the Early Childhood Cohort. In her graduate studies, she worked with Dr. Roberta Golinkoff studying young children's first language acquisition, the conceptual underpinnings of language development, and how the two relate to each other. Her dissertation studied how infants categorize human actions without language and how that relates to their vocabulary development. At the Center, she is working with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda on a range of exciting topics such as the vocabulary development of monolingual and bilingual children from low-income families of three minority ethnic groups, how children's language environment affects bilingual children's vocabulary development, and how mothers of low-income families teach actions to children and how that varies across cultures and develops as children grow older, etc.

Rebecca Kang McGill

Rebecca received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Vassar College in 2004. Following this, she received her Doctorate from Temple University in 2009 in psychology, under the mentorship of Dr. Ronald D. Taylor. Her research in graduate school focused on the associations between parent racial socialization and adolescent adjustment for African Americans in the context of the family, neighborhood, and school. Her dissertation addressed racial socialization practices from peers among African American adolescents. Rebecca has been a postdoctoral fellow at the CRCDE since Fall 2009, where she works with Dr. Diane Hughes and Dr .Niobe Way on the Early Adolescent Cohort project. She is continuing her work on racial socialization and context, and specifically racial socialization from peers.

Florrie Ng

Florrie Ng obtained her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the CRCDE from 2007 to 2009, working primarily with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on understanding how parents may shape children's motivation and achievement in school, and how parents' role in children's academic functioning may be influenced by parents' cultural and immigration background. She is particularly interested in examining how Caucasian American and Chinese parents transmit cultural ideas about achievement to their children through their response to children's academic performance. 

Kahlil Ford

Kahlil Ford is a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the ways in which parents talk to their children about race. His research is also concerned with how racial conversations shape children's emerging sense of racial/ethnic identity.

Maria G. Hernandez

María G. Hernández completed her Ph.D. in Social Welfare and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Child Development from California State University, Northridge. She is currently an externally funded NSF Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education in the Early Adolescent Cohort (EAC) study. Her research interests focus on how socio-cultural and contextual factors shape identity, mental health, and educational outcomes for immigrant Latino adolescents. She is in particularly interested in how the immigration process along with school and family context shape the identity, mental health, and educational outcomes of immigrant Latino adolescents.

 Yueming Jia 

Yueming Jia obtained her Ph.D. from Texas A & M University in 2004. She has been supervising and managing the MetroTeen Nanjing research group from 2006 to 2010, working primarily with Dr. Niobe Way and Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa. She is currently a senior research associate at Education Development Center, Inc. Her research focuses on adolescents' social and emotional development in different social and cultural contexts. She is particularly interested in patterns and changes of adolescent interpersonal relationships and their associations to social and psychological wellbeing.



  Doctoral Students

Carly Tubbs

undefinedCarly Tubbs is a doctoral student in the Psychology and Social Intervention program at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She holds a B.A. in comparative literature and an M.A. in psychology from NYU, from which she graduated summa cum laude. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Carly worked as a coordinator in the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, where she researched and wrote about such issues as Wal-Mart’s health insurance policies and the impact of corruption on the realization of economic, social, and cultural rights in Equatorial Guinea. She has also worked at the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education for over two years examining parental beliefs about adolescent friendships in urban centers in China, India, and the United States. Carly is particularly interested in exploring the pathways through which large-scale alterations in technological, economic, and ideological systems in societies impact adolescent development. She is currently working with the Early Adolescent Cohort of Project RAP to examine how the current economic recession is affecting family processes among an ethnically diverse sample of parents and adolescents in New York City.


Jessica Cressen 

Jessica Cressen is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt under the mentorship of Dr. Niobe Way. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Buckell University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2009. Before beginning her graduate studies, Jessica worked as a research assistant and lab technician for the Rutgers' Early Learning Project under Dr. Carolyn Rovee-Collier, studying the development of infant learning and memory over the first two years of life. She currently works as a research assistant at the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education with the Early Adolescent Cohort. Her research interests include the social, emotional, and academic development of adolescents, with an emphasis on racial/ethnic identity and the influence of stereotypes regarding race/ethnicity, gender, and class on adolescents' well-being. 

Erika Niwa

Erika Niwa is a doctoral candidate in the Psychological Development program in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU’s Steinhardt working with Dr. Niobe Way. Erika earned a B.A. in Child Development and African Diasporic Studies from Tufts University in 2000. Before beginning this doctoral program, Erika spent four years working with Global Kids, a grassroots non-profit educational organization where she coordinated and conducted youth leadership programs for high school students attending under-resourced public schools throughout New York City. Erika's professional and academic work is greatly shaped by a commitment to social justice, as well as to bridging research and practice. While pursuing her doctorate at NYU, she has worked as a Research Assistant for the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education, a Graduate Assistant for the Psychological Development Program in the Department of Applied Psychology and as an adjunct professor of Adolescent Development for the Department of Applied Psychology. Her research interests include a general focus on the role of the cultural context as it shapes social and emotional development among ethnically diverse, urban adolescents. Her work focuses on ethnic identity among ethnically diverse, immigrant adolescents, as well as the role of culture and discrimination in shaping peer relationships during early adolescence.

Sandra Dias

Sandra I. Dias, M.Ed. received her Master of Education from The University of Texas at Austin, after receiving her B.A. in Anthropology and History with a minor in Archeology from Montclair State University. She is presently pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from New York University. Ms. Dias has worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Research on Culture, Development and Education, and continues her work there as a volunteer. Her research interest is on immigration, cultural and social contexts and its effects on school readiness.

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is a fourth year doctoral student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at NYU's Steinhart School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Prior to starting the program Ashley was involved in child care research at Boston's Education Development Center, as well as program evaluation research as part of Lesley University's Program Evaluation and Research Group. Ashley currently works at NYU's Center for Research on Culture, Development and Education as part of the MetroBaby Project. In addition, Ashley is working with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda and Dr. Diane Ruble on a study of father's impact on the gender socialization of their young children. Her research interests include the influence of culture and context on gender identity development in early childhood, with specific interests in parents' role in the socialization of gender in the early years of life. Ashley received a BA from Colby College and an M. Ed. from Boston University.

May Ling Halim

May Ling Halim is currently a 5th year doctoral student of social psychology at New York University's Psychology Department. She is focusing on developmental psychology and also minoring in quantitative methods. Her current research interests include the stability and change of gender identity and gender-typed behavior in young children across different ethnicities. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in psychology.



Lisa Silverman

Lisa Silverman received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University. She is currently an eighth year doctoral student in the Department of Developmental Psychology at NYU. Lisa has been affiliated with CRCDE for seven years and have been involved in all aspects of the EAC longitudinal study. She works primarily with Dr. Niobe Way, and her research interests focus on the social and emotional development of adolescents. She is also interested in the connections between adolescents’ family and school experiences. Lisa's dissertation explores the influence of siblings on the academic and social competence of racially and ethnically diverse middle school students.


Carolin Hagelskamp

Carolin Hagelskamp is a 6th year doctoral student in the Community Psychology program at NYU's Graduate School for Arts and Science. Her research interests are work-family experiences of immigrant and ethnic minority parents and their effects on children’s development. She is using ecological theories and mixed-methods to study various types of work-family dynamics - some of which specific to the immigration process (e.g. migration motivations, role identity shifts, experiences in the workplace) - and their consequences for children's academic development and socio-emotional well-being. She received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Kent at Canterbury in the U.K., and her M.Sc. in Organizational Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She was born and grew up in Germany.

Taveeshi Gupta

undefinedTaveeshi Gupta is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program in the Dept. of Applied Psychology here at NYU. She got her bachelors in Psychology Honors from University of Delhi, India and completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology from University of Delhi as well. Her research interests include understanding adolescents' gender identity development in international contexts. She is interested in how gender stereotypes influence the way parents and peers socialize gender in adolescents.


 Rufan Luo

Rufan received her BA in psychology from Peking University in 2007. After obtaining her MA in developmental psychology from Peking University in 2010, she joined the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education as a doctoral student. At Peking University, she worked with Dr. Yanjie Su studying the relation between caregivers' storytelling style and young children's theory of mind development in Chinese culture. At the center, she works with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda for the Early Childhood Cohort. She is interested in how parental beliefs and parent-child interaction relate to young children's developmental outcomes, and the role of culture and ethnicity in these relations. 


Stacey Alicea

undefinedStacey Alicea is a doctoral student in the Psychology and Social Intervention program. She received her dual B.A. in Community Health and Sociology from Brown University, and her MPH degree in Population and Family Health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Stacey has worked as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator and Project Director at Mount Sinai and School of Medicine and the HIV Center at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University. She has directed a variety of federally and foundation funded applied research and service projects involving HIV prevention and treatment for OVC, and adolescent and family mental health and academic achievement across urban domestic and international settings. Stacey's research interests include: strength-based approaches to adolescent development in the context of families and schools, emergent adulthood, teacher-youth relationships as they relate to mental health, identity and academic outcomes of at-risk youth. She is particularly interested in conducting community participatory and collaborative research. She is currently working at NYU's Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education with her faculty mentor, Dr. Diane Hughes.

Yana Kuchirko 


Yana Kuchirko is a Doctoral student in the Psychological Development program working with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda and Dr. Niobe Way. She received her B.S. from New York University in Applied Psychology . She is involved in both the Early Childhood Cohort's Metrobaby Project and the Metroteen Nanjing Project. Her interests primarily include linguistic development and socialization, with a focus on ways that parent-child interactions foster children's skills across cultures.