Students

Alyssa Pintar | Doctoral Student

Alyssa Pintar is a second-year doctoral student in the Psychological Development Program at NYU Steinhardt. She is interested in the development of children’s coping: the dynamic between the socialization, and the child’s own organization, of developing self-regulatory skills to mitigate contexts of stress. In this vein, she is interested in how parents experiencing poverty-related stress perceive their child’s experiences of stress, in addition to their child’s capacity to mitigate stress. Alyssa received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2012, double-majoring in Child Psychology and Art History. During her time in Minnesota, she worked as a research assistant in several labs, completing her undergraduate honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Megan Gunnar, as well as working in labs run by Dr.’s Stephanie Carlson, Philip Zelazo, and Ann Masten. Currently, she is finishing up an empirical manuscript investigating how effortful control protects against the influence of maternal depression on early anxiety symptoms, using data from the Family Life Project.

Andy Ribner | Doctoral Student

Andy Ribner is a first year graduate student in the Psychological Development program at NYU Steinhardt. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Educational Psychology and Learning Theory, Biology, and Psychology, and worked in the Cognitive Development Labs under Dr. Anna Shusterman. There, he did research on numerical and spatial development in 3-7 year olds and had a specific interest in individual differences in mathematical development across socioeconomic status. He plans to continue investigating early mathematical development across SES and its interplay with self-regulation. His Curriculum Vitae can be found here.

Eric Finegood | Doctoral Student

Eric Finegood is a doctoral student in the Psychological Development program at NYU Steinhardt.  Broadly, his research interests are in exploring the psychobiological relationship between context and neural development in parents and their children.  Particularly, he is interested in the interface of biology and environment as it shapes parenting strategies and influences cognitive and social-emotional outcomes in children via stress physiological systems.  Before coming to New York, Eric received his BA at the program for Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science at the University of Michigan.  After graduating, he worked as a research technician in a neuroimaging laboratory at the University of Michigan’s Psychiatry Department, investigating functional brain changes in response to attachment-based parenting interventions provided to economically disadvantaged families.  Eric’s primary advisor at NYU is Dr. Clancy Blair. His Curriculum Vitae can be found here.

Jill Gandhi | Doctoral Student

Jill Gandhi is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program at NYU Steinhardt. She is interested in examining parental and institutional inputs on early childhood educational and emotional development, particularly among children from low-income families. Jill received her B.A. from the University of Texas and her M.A. at the University of Chicago, where she examined the relationship between the frequency of early parental math input and children’s later math anxiety. Before coming to NYU, she worked under the mentorship of Dr. Ariel Kalil and Dr. Susan Mayer to coordinate parenting interventions in Head Start centers. Jill is currently investigating the development of parent sensitivity and its relationship to children's stress and self-regulation. 

Kat Adams | Doctoral Student

Kat Adams is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at NYU Steinhardt. She is interested in how experience shapes children’s real-time cognitive and emotional processes, particularly in the context of social and environmental risk. A key aim of her research is to create and collaborate on innovative uses of technology and statistical methods for data collection and analysis. Kat graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in linguistics from UCLA in 2010. She joined NYU after four years as a lab manager and research coordinator at Stanford University.

Paula Daneri | Doctoral Student

Paula Daneri is a doctoral candidate and IES-PIRT Fellow in the Developmental Psychology program at NYU Steinhardt. She received her B.A. in psychology from Duke University and spent two years doing early childhood education research at a non-profit research organization focusing on early childhood education interventions before coming to NYU. Her current research interests include the development of language and executive function in early childhood and their associations with school readiness, particularly in Latino and dual language learner populations. She is currently working with Dr. Clancy Blair on several projects examining early predictors of language and executive function, and working with Drs. Pamela Morris and Cybele Raver on a project to support the research infrastructure behind New York City's Universal Pre-K Program. Her Curriculum Vitae can be found here.

Rachel McKinnon | Doctoral Student

Rachel McKinnon is a doctoral student in the Psychological Development program at New York University. She received a bachelor's degree in Family Studies and Human Development from Arizona State University and a master's degree in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are in self-regulation and children's school readiness, especially in the context of economically disadvantaged children. She is particularly interested in the extent to which the social relationships children develop in the classroom setting (with peers and teachers) are related to self-regulation. Her Curriculum Vitae can be found here.

Stephen Braren | Doctoral Student

Stephen Braren is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program at NYU Steinhardt. Broadly, he seeks to better understand how social and biological factors contribute to learning and cognitive development, particularly within the context of stress and poverty. Currently, in the Neuroscience and Education Lab, he is examining how neural, inflammatory, and endocrine biomarkers associated with early life adversity interact with executive function. Ultimately, he hopes to use this and other research to critically inform education and health policy, especially to improve outcomes for disadvantaged and underprivileged groups. Previously, he earned a BA in Psychology and Public Policy from Hunter College of the City University of New York where he worked with Dr. Peter Serrano researching the neurobiology of spatial learning and working memory. He has also participated in psychology and neuroscience research with Dr. Elizabeth Phelps at NYU, Dr. Jon Kaas at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Eduardo Vianna at LaGuardia Community College.