Shelley Alonso-Marsden (Policy & Communications Committee)

I am a PhD student in Child Clinical Psychology at Duke University and part of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. My primary research advisor is Dr. Kenneth Dodge. I am broadly interested in the etiology of externalizing disorders and racial and ethnic disparities in mental health. In particular, my research focuses on the role of stigma and discrimination in development of conduct problems and racial socialization and identity as protective factors. I am also interested in systems associated with development of problem behaviors and public policy related to preventive interventions for at-risk youth. I plan to pursue a career in public policy-oriented developmental psychopathology research. I am currently funded by an NIH Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

Jordan Booker (Teaching Committee)

I am a sixth-year doctoral scholar in Developmental Science at Virginia Tech. My research focuses on positive social development and ways youth and emerging adults relate to themselves and others. I am currently focusing on three research areas:  emotional communication between parents and children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder; associations of personal strengths and interpersonal behaviors among adults; and influences of expressive writings on socioemotional adjustment during the college transition. I serve as an instructor for undergraduate courses in developmental and social psychology. I am also active in University service, previously serving in outreach efforts for the College of Science and as panelist on the Graduate Honor System.

I am a former McNair Scholar and student participant in the Frances Degen Horowitz Millennium Scholars Program. I have previously been honored with fellowship awards including the Powell Fellowship, Virginia Tech Initiative to Maximize Diversity Fellowship, and Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Fellowship. 

Robey Champine (Policy & Communications Committee)

I am a third-year doctoral student in Child Study & Human Development at Tufts University and a research assistant at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, under the mentorship of Professor Richard M. Lerner. Prior to entering Tufts, I earned Master’s degrees in criminology and public health and worked for the U.S. Department of Justice. More recently, I served as a Radcliffe/Rappaport Policy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. I currently research how to promote positive development among youth who are involved with, or who are at risk of involvement with, the juvenile justice system. In particular, I am interested in how to foster healthy goal selection and pursuit skills in this population and among youth from lower-resource communities, more broadly. As the Student & Early Career Representative on the Communications & Public Policy Committee, I look forward to helping to advance developmental science research and policy initiatives.

Koeun Choi (Interdisciplinary Committee)

I am the outgoing SECC representative to the Interdisciplinary Committee. I am a graduate student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests lie in understanding the impact of media on children’s development with a focus on cognitive processes. I am especially interested in whether and how the use of digital media would provide benefits in delivering educational contents to young learners. Currently, I am working with Dr. Heather Kirkorian to investigate the effects of emerging interactive technology on young children’s learning. I am enthusiastic about pursuing research that will guide parents, teachers and policymakers to make informed decisions regarding children’s media use. My research is interdisciplinary in nature and encompasses many academic disciplines. I am excited to serve on the SECC Interdisciplinary Committee. I am looking forward to improving opportunities for cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration.

Josafá M. da Cunha (International Affairs Committee)

I am an assistant professor at the Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, in Brazil, and completed my doctoral studies in Education at the Federal University of Paraná. My research primarily focuses on peer relations, specifically in regard to its influence on school adjustment during adolescence. I’m very excited with the opportunity to serve as a SECC representative to SRCD’s International Affairs Committee. 

Chelsea Derlan (Equity and Justice Committee)

I am a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Family and Human Development Program at Arizona State University. Broadly, my research interests include examining factors that hinder and promote ethnic minority youths’ positive adjustment. Much of my work has focused on understanding the role of ethnic-racial identity, family cultural processes, discrimination, and the broader social context in Latino and African American adolescents’ development. I am currently completing
my dissertation, which examines predictors and outcomes associated with Mexican-origin kindergarten children’s understanding of their culture. In addition to my scholarly work, I serve as an officer for the Latino Graduate Student Alliance and as a mentor for Shades, a Multicultural Mentoring Program. As both a former undergraduate participant and graduate student junior mentor in the Millennium Scholars Program, I am excited to continue serving within SRCD as part of SECC and as the incoming Student Representative on the Equity & Justice Committee!

Radosveta Dimitrova (Ethnic & Racial Issues Committee)

I am a developmental and cross-cultural psychologist with strong interest in enhancing positive youth development in highly marginalized ethnic minority children and youth in Europe, most notably Roma. My scholarly research interests regard migration, identity, acculturation, disadvantaged ethnic minority groups. I obtained my PhD in Developmental Psychology in 2008 at Trieste University, Italy with a dissertation on psychosocial adjustment of immigrant children, awarded the Best Doctoral Thesis by the Italian Psychological Association. In 2013, I completed my 2nd PhD in Cross-Cultural Psychology in Tilburg University, the Netherlands with a project on collective identity of ethnic minority youth in Eastern Europe. My second PhD received the 2012 SECC Dissertation Award. I have international mobility experience as a research fellow at the Brent Centre for Young People, London (UK), Brown University (USA) and ongoing collaborations in Europe, Asia, the USA, and Africa. Additionally, I am actively involved in international professional service as the President of the Early Researchers Union (ERU) of the European Association of Developmental Psychology (EADP), representative of the Emerging Scholars Committee at the Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD), SecNet at EARA (European Association for Research on Adolescence), the Society for Research on Adolescence’s (SRA) Study Group Committee and the Advisory Board of the Global Network for Human Development Intervention Research in Low- and Middle-Income (LAMI) countries.

Dawn England (Co-chair)

I am a co-chair of the Student and Early Career Council (SECC). I was formerly the SECC representative to the History committee. I am a doctoral student in Family and Human Development in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University with Dr. Carol Martin. My research interests include gender development in boys and girls with a focus on cognitive processes and the effects of gender socialization on children. Currently I am participating in an investigation of children’s gender related identities, attitudes and beliefs and the development of these from Kindergarten through college in the US, England, Colombia, Italy and the Netherlands. I also have an interest in Dynamical Systems theories and the application of these methodological approaches to current questions in child development.

Guadalupe Espinoza (Equity and Justice Committee)

I am an Assistant Professor in the Child and Adolescent Studies Department at California State University, Fullerton. I completed my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2013. My research examines adolescent social interactions with peers in both the school and online contexts, particularly among ethnic minority youth from Latin American backgrounds. Bridging across both lines of my school and online research is my interest in examining negative peer interactions, specifically school bullying and cyberbullying. I was formerly the SECC representative to the Equity and Justice committee. During my tenure in the committee, I helped with the organization and planning of the Inaugural Presidential Pre-Conference on Equity and Justice in Developmental Sciences.

Larissa Gaias (History Committee) 

I am the incoming SECC representative to the History committee. I am a doctoral student in Family and Human Development in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, working with Dr. Richard Fabes and Dr. Larry Dumka. My research interests include how teacher practices and school policy can respond to and support children's individual and cultural backgrounds in early education settings. Currently, I am working on developing a mixed-methods measure that integrates multicultural and anti-bias education practices into traditional measures of early childhood education classroom quality. I am also interested in conducting community-based research, and translating research for practice and policy settings.

Jose Michael Gonzalez (Ethnic & Racial Issues Committee)

I am a second-year Ph.D. student in Family Studies & Human Development at the University of Arizona, with a minor in Interventions and Evaluation. I have a B.A. in Child Development with training in developmental research from California State University, Stanislaus. I possess both Child Development Teacher and Site Supervisor credentials and Behavioral Health Technician certification. My scholarly and research agenda lie in the intersection between developmental and prevention science, on understanding the influences of context, culture and family processes that mitigate the effects of multiple risks associated with growing up in a high risk community. My research aim is to use developmental knowledge to advance the theories and methods that can improve our understanding of the dynamics of, contributors to, and impacts of prevention/intervention programs and evaluation, that can help build protective mechanisms in early childhood with effects through the lifespan. I also have an interest in Evolutionary theories and physiological measurements of stress responsivity (i.e., HRA, IBI, GSC, and Cortisol) and mind-body responses to stress.

Brenna Hassinger-Das (Program Committee)

I am the outgoing SECC representative to the SRCD Program Committee. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate in Education (Specialization: Learning Sciences) at the University of Delaware, where I am advised by Dr. Nancy C. Jordan. I will graduate in Spring 2013 and plan to pursue a postdoctoral research position. My research focuses primarily on the intersections between vocabulary and mathematics development. I am particularly interested in developing educational interventions to improve vocabulary and mathematics outcomes for high-risk students using proven effective instructional methods, such as playful learning. I am also interested in identifying early predictors of learning difficulties in mathematics and language. I look forward to using my previous experience organizing professional conferences to serve the student and early career members of SRCD in the coming years. 

Meredith Henry (Teaching Committee)

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Lifespan Developmental Psychology program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  I work in the Youth Development Lab under Dr. Sylvie Mrug.  Our research focuses on the development of aggression and other maladaptive behaviors in at-risk youth.  Currently, I am developing a dissertation project on the relationship between sleep and aggression.  In addition, through UAB, I am very active in the CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) network.  CIRTL provides a variety of resources to train better teachers by promoting teaching-as-research, learning communities, and learning-through-diversity.  Through CIRTL, I have learned much about pedagogical theories of learning, active learning techniques, and several other skills I look forward to sharing with SECC.  In the future, I hope to be a professor and contribute my own experiences to the problem of developing effective teaching strategies.  To that end, I have been fortunate enough to teach as an adjunct at both UAB and Samford University for general psychology, developmental psychology, and statistics.

Erin Hillard (Publications Committee) 

I am in my second year of a PhD program in Developmental Psychology at the University of Notre Dame.  My primary research advisors are Dr. Dawn Gondoli and Dr. Alexandra Corning.  Prior to Notre Dame, I pursued a Master’s in Experimental Psychology at Western Illinois University.  My research interests broadly include contextual risk and protective factors that influence body image and disordered eating behavior in adolescence.  Specifically, I focus mother-daughter relationships to determine how communication with mothers affects daughter body image.  Further, I am interested in intervention and prevention programs in adolescence related to promoting positive body image.  I look forward to being a part of the SECC and Publications committee.

Anna Markowitz (Publications Committee)

I am the outgoing Publications Committee representative and a 4th year student at Georgetown University, pursuing a Masters in Public Policy and PhD in Psychology. Prior to Georgetown, I received an MA in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College, and taught middle school through Teach For America. Broadly, my research focuses on the intersection of developmental science and social policy, particularly for low-income youth. I explore policy-alterable contexts of human development, as well as how these contexts interact with other family- and child-level risk factors. My dissertation will focus on how students' connection to their schools influences their social and emotional outcomes, and whether academically focused policies enhance or detract from students' affiliation with their schools.

Diana Meter (Program Committee)

I am the incoming SECC representative to the SRCD Program Committee and I look forward to representing student and early career SRCD members through this position. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. I received my M.S. from this program in 2013, and my B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Asheville in 2008. Broadly, my research interests include peer victimization, aggression, friendships, and prosocial behavior among children and adolescents. My current research focuses on children and adolescents who defend others from peer victimization. This research, supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, investigates the positive and negative consequences of adolescents' receipt and enactment of defending for both victims and defenders of peer victimization.

Erica Musser (Interdisciplinary Committee)

I recently began my second year as an assistant professor of psychology at Florida International University after completing my doctorate at the University of Oregon and internship at Oregon Health & Science University. My research goal is to better elucidate the mechanisms linking emotionality, emotion dysregulation, reward sensitivity, and socio-emotional cognition to externalizing behavior problems in children. To do this, I utilize a multi-method approach, which has included behavioral ratings, laboratory computerized testing, behavioral coding, and measures of both autonomic and central nervous system activity. My work is interdisciplinary almost by its very definition, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to work on behalf of students and early career members to help SRCD work toward its mission of building connections across the disciplines represented within the study of child and adolescent development.  You can learn more about me here:,, and, or by emailing me at

Natalia Palacios (Co-chair and SECC Representative to the Governing Council)

I am co-chair of the Student and Early Career Council (SECC) and the SECC representative to the Governing Council (GC). I previously served as the SECC representative to the Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee. I am an assistant professor in the Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Sciences program at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. I completed my doctoral degree in human development and social policy at Northwestern University. My research is focused on improving the developmental and academic outcomes of young immigrant children across multiple contexts. In particular, I investigate the school readiness and achievement of children from low-income, minority or immigrant backgrounds, focusing on the interaction language and context. I am current projects is focused on understanding the culturally specific teaching practices that Latino Spanish speaking parents engage in with their young children prior to school entry. My research also explores the role of teachers and schools in serving language minority children.

Nan Zhou (International Affairs Committee)

I am a doctoral candidate and graduate teaching fellow in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  My research interests lie in understanding the healthy adjustment and development of immigrant and at-risk families with young children in different sociocultural contexts.  I am currently working with Dr. Charissa Cheah.  I have three lines of research focusing on: (1) understanding parenting and young Chinese children’s risk for obesity as immigrants in the U.S. and internal migrants in China; (2) exploring the meaning and function of parenting across different cultures; and (3) examining the acculturation, adaptation and well-being of immigrant parents.  As the SECC representative to the International Affairs Committee, I look forward to increasing the active voice of international students and scholars in the SRCD and supporting the development of early career scholars worldwide.  I also hope to expand opportunities for international collaboration in child development research, policy, and application of knowledge.