Elise Cappella, Director

Elise Cappella is a clinical and community psychologist whose research integrates education and psychology with the goal to better understand what disrupts, and alternatively, promotes children's positive adaptation in schools and communities. Cappella has identified academic and social-emotional functioning among low-income children as priority areas of interest, with a particular focus on the social processes of schooling. With grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Spencer Foundation, she has studied predictors of academic achievement among students at risk for failure, and has designed and examined an intervention to enhance girls' social development and reduce relationally aggressive behavior. With colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Juvenile Research, and funding from the Institute for Education Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and NIMH, Cappella has worked with school and community partners to implement and study a mental health model focused on learning for disruptive children in high poverty schools. Cappella was awarded an Early Career Research Award from the Society for the Study of School Psychology, and a Community Collaborative Grant from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, to adapt and study a teacher consultation model focused on improving classroom processes in urban elementary schools. Within the context of a NIMH-funded developing center she examined the effectiveness of this program on classroom interactions and child behaviors in NYC schools. Finally, as a co-PI on an IES efficacy study, Cappella participated in a school-randomized control trial of a theory-based program to align parents and teachers around temperament-based strategies to promote children's behavior and learning. Beyond intervention research, Cappella studies children's social relationships and behaviors in classrooms and schools, with the long-term goal to create ways to activate peer leaders toward the development of positive social environments for learning. In addition, Cappella and colleagues have a recent Spencer Foundation grant to examine in a national sample the academic and psychosocial trajectories of children across the middle school transition. Methodological approaches include multilevel modeling, RCTs, community-based participatory research, mixed method research, systematic observational methods, and social network methods. Cappella studied history as an undergraduate at Yale University and received her doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Patrick Sharkey, Interim Deputy Director

Patrick Sharkey is an Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University, with an affiliation at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. His research focuses on stratification and mobility, with a specialized interest in the role that neighborhoods and cities play in generating and maintaining inequality across multiple dimensions. One strand of his research seeks to describe and explain the persistence of neighborhood inequality in America's cities, and the mechanisms by which this inequality persists over time and across generations of family members. A second strand of his work focuses on the consequences of neighborhood inequality for the life chances of individuals from different racial and ethnic groups in America.

Alison Garforth, Assistant Director
Email: Phone: 212 998 5876

Alison Garforth provides post-award support for the Institute. She maintains financial and administrative oversight on all sponsored projects managed through the Institute and provides training and support to investigators and their staff as they navigate project-specific challenges in grants management. Alison earned her B.A. from Barnard College and before joining IHDSC, she worked as a Grants Administrator in Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication.

Chris Barker, Assistant Director, Program Development
Email: Phone: 212 998 5540

Chris Barker oversees pre-award activities at the Institute. He works with investigators and their staff to develop grant proposals and budgets, identify funding sources, and coordinate all aspects of the proposal submission process. He also facilitates connections between faculty and projects that can benefit from shared knowledge and resources, and looks for bridges between new initiatives and ongoing IHDSC programs, such as events, working groups, and policy interchange activities. He earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and his B.A. from the NYU College of Arts and Sciences.

Alex Clothier, Grants Manager, Education Specialist
Email: Phone: 212 992 6103

Alex Clothier provides post-award support for IHDSC. He assists with financial and admistrative operations, including grant management, and communications. Alex earned his B.A. from Kalamazoo College and previously worked in the department of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at NYU.

David Meehan, Operations Coordinator
Email: Phone: 212 992 7384

David Meehan provides support to the IHDSC team with financial and administrative operations. His responsibilities include assisting with grant management, office organization, and administrative tasks. David earned his B.A. in Environmental Sociology from Hampshire College and previously worked for the Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Private Foundation.

Roslyn Sandy, Grants Coordinator
Email: Phone: 212 992 6108

Roslyn Sandy provides pre- and post-award grants administration and operational support for IHDSC. She supports the preparation of faculty proposals for federal agencies and foundations and the financial and operational administration of research projects housed within IHDSC. Roslyn has earned bachelor’s degrees from Oberlin College and Rutgers University. She worked in fundraising and grants administration for Single Stop USA and the College Board prior to NYU.

Eric Zhang, Communications and Operations Administrator
Email: Phone: 212 992 7695

Eric's primary responsibilities in the Institute involve managing the IHDSC Seminar Series and IES-PIRT Proseminar Series, as well as the Institute's other events. He also oversees the Institute's communications, such as maintaining the IHDSC website, mailing list, and social media. In addition, he provides administrative support to IHDSC staff and research teams. He earned his B.F.A. and M.A. from NYU Steinhardt. Prior to joining IHDSC, Eric worked at the Museum of Chinese in America.