Lab Member Highlight: Meet Jessica Burdick!

by: Megan Zhang

Jessica Burdick is a project coordinator at the lab and an important fixture in the lab’s day-to-day proceedings. Read below to see what she had to say!

Tell us about what you do at NEL.

I am a Project Coordinator at NEL, specifically on Dr. Raver’s Chicago School Readiness Project. My job is to facilitate the administrative and grant management responsibilities of the project with the university. I handle things like IRB submissions, tracking the budget, arranging payments, organizing meetings, and coordinating data collection.

What lab accomplishments from the past few months are you most proud of?

We recently submitted a rather large IRB proposal as well as several impressive grant proposals this year, which are always busy but exciting projects that enable us to think about the bigger picture. I’m also proud to have recently joined the team on Dr. Raver and Dr. Pamela Morris’s Universal Preschool Project, which will be studying New York City’s huge pre-k expansion this year.

What do you think is one of the most pressing issues or questions in developmental psychology today?

I think one of the most pressing issues in developmental psychology is converting what we’ve learned from research into real-world practice.  We know poverty can disproportionately affect children’s developmental outcomes, but it is very hard to implement effective interventions and policy changes that can close the gap on a large scale.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I really enjoy working in a lab with a bunch of talented researchers and great projects, so I hope to continue to work on research teams or at universities in some capacity in the future.