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PhD in Psychology and Social Intervention Alumni


The Psychology and Social Intervention program trains social scientists to work in a variety of settings to understand the experiences of people in the contexts and systems in which they develop across the lifespan and transform and improve these contexts and systems.

Our program prepares students for diverse roles in academia and applied research. In the academic arena, our students are well-positioned for jobs in psychology, human development, education, public health and public policy. In the area of applied research, students are prepared to obtain positions in research organizations, policy institutes, social service agencies, community-based organizations and advocacy.

Our rigorous theoretical and empirical training positions our students extremely well to respond to the ever-increasing demand for evidenced-based prevention and intervention strategies in health, education, and social services.


The data below depicts job placement information for students who graduated in the NYU Psychology and Social Intervention PhD Program within the past five years.

20 percent of graduates of the past 5 years are tenure-track professors. 50 percent of graduates of the past 5 years are researchers at research organizations 20 percent of graduates of the past 5 years are researchers at social service organizations

10 percent of graduates of the past 5 years are involved in entrepreneurial work.

Total alumni (n) = 10 
Researcher at research organization or consulting firm - 5 alumni - 50.00% 
Researcher at social service organization - 2 alumni - 20.00% 
Tenure/tenure-track professor - 2 alumni - 20.00% 
Entrepreneurial work - 1 - 10.00%

Recent Graduates

Tenure-track Professors

Dana Charles McCoy
Faculty Mentor: J. Lawrence Aber
Dissertation Title:: Child Self-Regulation in the Context of Poverty-Related Environmental Risk: Neighborhood Crime and Family Instability as Predictors of Cognitive, Behavioral, and Emotional Control
Job Title & Employer: Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Dr. Sharon Wolf
Faculty Mentor: J. Lawrence Aber
Dissertation Title:: Adapting Conditional Cash Transfer Programs to Wealthy, Services-Rich Societies: Theoretical Issues and Empirical Findings
Job Title & Employer: Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania


Researchers at Research Organizations

Jessica harding wearing a white blouseResearcher 
Mathematica Policy Research 
New York, NY

Faculty Mentor: Pamela Morris
Dissertation Title:: Maternal Education and Children's Academic Outcomes: Understanding Predictors and Potential Mechanisms

Jessica F. Harding, Ph.D. (2016) is a Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. Jessica’s work focuses on how early childhood education and family support programs can promote low-income children’s development. She studies policies and programs that support at-risk families to promote their children’s school readiness, including through increasing parents’ income, employment and education, their parenting skills, or their engagement with their children’s education. She conducts secondary data analysis using methods such as factor analysis, propensity/ principal scoring, and multi-level modeling to understand how parenting practices and maternal education influence young children’s development. She also designs and manages intervention research. View Jessica's CV here.

Nia Gordon wearing a blue shirtResearch Associate 
Harder+Company Community Research 
San Diego, California

Faculty Mentor: Erin Godfrey
Dissertation Title:: Patterns of Receipt Of Government-Provided Services and South African Children's Academic and Cognitive Development

Nia Gordon, PhD (2016) is a Research Associate at Harder+Company Community Research in San Diego, CA. Nia has extensive expertise working to improve large-scale programs and policies in the areas of education, social welfare, and health, particularly those affecting children and families, both domestically and internationally. She is skilled at conducting rigorous quantitative and qualitative statistical analyses, developing and managing databases, synthesizing and presenting complex research findings to audiences, creating research protocols, developing research participant recruiting strategies, and leading training sessions. View Nia's CV here.

Dr. Leslie D. Williams
Faculty Mentor: J. Lawrence Aber
Dissertation Title:: Understanding and Testing the Relationships Among HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma, Health Service Utilization, HIV Outcomes, and Mental Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Level Framework
Job Title & Employer: Research Associate, Institute for Infectious Disease Research

Dr. Carly Tubbs Dolan
Faculty Mentor: J. Lawrence Aber
Dissertation Title:: Methods for rigorously and responsively improving children's holistic learning and development in crisis contexts: Towards an evidence-based education in emergencies field
Job Title & Employer: Director of Measurement and Metrics - 3EM at Global TIESNew York University

Dr. Meghan P. McCormick
Faculty Mentor: Elise Capella
Dissertation Title:: Insights into Social-Emotional Learning and Academic Achievement: An Approach for Strengthening Causal Inference
Job Title & Employer: Research Associate, MDRC


Researchers at Social Service Organizations

Dr. Stacey Alicea
Faculty Mentor: Elise Cappella
Dissertation Title:: Social Networks in Community Colleges: Influences on Social Capital, Academic Achievement, Employment Skills and Psychosocial Wellbeing
Job Title & Employer: Associate Executive Director, Ramapo for Children

Dr. Maia C. Connors
Faculty Mentor: Pamela Morris
Dissertation Title:: Learning at Scale: How Can Policy Support Early Care and Education Quality?
Job Title & Employer: Senior Research Associate, Ounce of Prevention Fund


Entrepreneurial Work

Justina Grayman wearing a white button down shirt

Dancer, Director and Professor 
Manhattan School of Music, Walden University 
New York, NY

Faculty Mentor:  Erin Godfrey
Dissertation Title: Challenging the Assumption of Spontaneous Collective Action: Community Organizers' Messages that Predict Future Collective Action

Justina Kamiel Grayman, PhD is an artist who builds communities that are deeply connected, powerful, and mobilized to take transformational action - and a psychology PhD who studies how to do so. With a BA in Psychology from Stanford University and a PhD in Psychology and Social Intervention from New York University, Justina’s studies have always centered on understanding how we communicate with others in ways that build power, connects, and mobilizes. In line with these tenets, Justina’s early efforts at doing this included founding a magazine-creation program for middle schoolers and creating an action-research project where she collaborated with community organizers to reflect on their event invitation strategies.

Realizing art and movement are communication tools to build power, connect, and mobilize, her original artworks are efforts to mobilize people. Justina’s dance films Woman Versus (2016) and Black Man in America (2018), both of which were recognized by American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers, explored the mobilization of women and Black men, respectively. Justina began dancing in college and her professional dance experience includes being a company member in STREB Extreme Action Company (2014-16) and dancing with Kristin Sudeikis Dance (2015-present). 

Justina is currently leading two movement-based programs, a series of celebrations of Black men and a movement class, Raw Movement, that connects people through their moving stories. Justina is a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Choreography & Gregory Millard Fellow, and is an Artist in Residence at University Settlement Performance Project (2019-20).