Our People

All NCCF People
  • All NCCF People
  • Graduate Fellows
  • Research Assistants / Administrative Staff
  • Research Scientists
  • Former Students & Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Current Research Collaborators

Gina Jihyun Ahn

Graduate Fellow

Gina Jihyun Ahn

Gina (Jihyun) Ahn is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology. She received a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from Brandeis University in 2009 and a M.Ed. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013. Previously, Gina worked as a data analyst at a charter school in the Bronx and as a research assistant at a non-profit organization that develops intervention programs for students with learning differences such as ADHD. Her research interests lie at the intersection of parenting, family structure, sociocultural contexts, and early childhood education.

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Graduate Fellow

Samantha Melvin

Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Samantha Melvin

Samantha Melvin is the research assistant for NCCF’s UPK Implementation project. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Science from Wesleyan University, and is currently a Master’s student in Education Policy at Teachers College. Prior to NCCF, she was the Lab Manager at the Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development Lab at TC, where she researched the influences of early home and school environments on language and cognitive development. Her current research interests include policies surrounding early childhood workforce development and infant/toddler care and education.

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Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Katherine Y. Chung

Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Katherine Y. Chung

Katherine Y. Chung is the Administrative Director at the NCCF. She has a BA in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University and pursued graduate studies in Social Welfare Policy at Columbia University. Before coming to NCCF, Katherine wrote committee reports to the Trustees on behalf of Columbia University’s Committee on Socially Responsible Investing; served as the Chief of Staff to the Provost at Pace University; and held appointments in the Dean’s Office at Columbia Law School.

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Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Melissa Nogues

Graduate Fellow

Melissa Nogues

Melissa is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology. She earned her B.A. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Psychology from the University of Rochester. Before coming to NCCF, she was a Research Assistant at the Children’s Institute in Rochester, New York, where she worked on childhood obesity research in the city school district. Her research interests include parent-child relationships and the role of poverty in social and emotional development. 

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Graduate Fellow

Meredith Stevens

Graduate Fellow

Meredith Stevens

Meredith (Molly) is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology. She received a B.A. in 2014 from the College of the Holy Cross where she majored in Psychology and History.  Before coming to Teachers College, Molly worked with mentally ill and chemically addicted patients in an inpatient setting at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, and as a volunteer Research Assistant in a University of Rochester study on adolescent information management and moral development.  Her research interests focus on the interplay between individual and social development, specifically in the contexts of socioeconomic status, neighborhood, and housing. 

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Graduate Fellow

Sarah Lazzeroni

Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Sarah Lazzeroni

Sarah Lazzeroni is the Administrative Associate to NCCF Co-Director Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. She received her BA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Oregon. She also earned two MS degrees from Portland State University, one in Criminology and Criminal Justice and another in Educational Leadership and Policy. Previously, she worked in student services at both the University of Oregon and Portland State.

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Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Jessie Roth

Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Jessie Roth

Jessie Roth is the Research Assistant to NCCF Co-Director Sharon Lynn Kagan. Jessie earned her B.A. in Narrative Psychology at New York University’s Gallatin School, with a double minor in Child-Adolescent Mental Health Studies and Creative Writing. At NYU, Jessie worked as a Peer Writing Assistant and served on the editorial board for Gallatin’s Literacy Review publication. Her research interests focus on the art and science of narrative as a therapeutic device, and the ways in which storytelling can be used to enhance psychology research and clinical practice.

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Research Assistant / Administrative Staff

Marisa Morin

Graduate Fellow

Marisa Morin

Marisa Morin is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and English (with a minor in Education, Inquiry, and Justice) from Georgetown University. Prior to coming to NCCF, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Georgetown Early Learning Project, where she conducted research examining the quality of parent-child interactions with the juvenile justice system. Her research interests focus on understanding and addressing educational disparities across race, ethnicity, gender, and social class.

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Graduate Fellow

Dr. Jeanne L. Reid

Research Scientist

Dr. Jeanne L. Reid

Dr. Jeanne L. Reid is a Research Scientist at NCCF. She earned her doctoral degree in Early Childhood Policy from Teachers College at Columbia University, and her Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Her research interests focus on issues of both equity and excellence in preschool settings. Her doctoral work examined the relationship between the socio-economic composition of preschool classrooms and children’s learning during a year of Pre-K. Additional interests include studying the efforts at different levels of government to create systemic supports for high-quality early care and education, and she is working on several studies at NCCF to analyze the alignment and quality of early learning standards and the implications for policy and practice.

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Research Scientist

Dr. Margo Gardner

Research Scientist

Dr. Margo Gardner

Dr. Margo Gardner, a Research Scientist at NCCF, earned her doctoral degree in developmental psychology at Temple University, and her B.A. in psychology at Duquesne University. Her past research has focused on risk-taking among adolescents and the development of juvenile offending. Her current research interests include the roles of peer, parent, and community processes in adolescent social development. Additional interests include studying factors that facilitate and prevent the development of problem/risk behavior among both normal and at-risk youth. Dr. Gardner leads the Mothers’ Gains in Postsecondary Education and Children’s Development study. She has also worked on the Parenting and Adolescent Risk Behavior in Context and the Neighborhood Context and Adolescent Psychological and Behavioral Health projects.

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Research Scientist

The effectiveness of the training provided to NCCF researchers is borne out by the positions they obtain in academic and research institutions after leaving our Center at Teachers College. Many choose to maintain “affiliate” relationships with our Center, and continue to contribute to ongoing research projects. Following is a list of former NCCF students and postdoctural fellows.

Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D., Senior Researcher & Developmental Psychologist, Girl Scout Research Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA; Program and Evaluation Director, Uniquely ME! (sponsored by GSUSA & Dove Campaign for Real Beauty).

R. Gabriela Barajas, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor at NYU Child Study Center.

Nazli Baydar, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Family and Child Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle; Psychology & Sociology, Koc University, Rumelifeneri Yolu, Istanbul, Turkey.

Katherine A. Beckmann, Ph.D., M.P.H. Senior Policy Analyst for Early Childhood Health and Development. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families.

Lisa J. Berlin, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University.

Christina Borbely, Ph.D., Research Consultant, California Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Programs (Managed by the Center for Applied Research Solutions, or CARS).

Christy Brady-Smith, Ph.D., Consultant.

Erin Bumgarner, Ph.D., Project Director, Tufts Interdisciplinary Evaluation Research.

Pia Rebello-Britto, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Child Study Center, Yale University.

Jondou Chen, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow, Teachers College.

Laura Mielcarek DeRose, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University.

Rebecca Fauth, Ph.D., Principal Research Officer, National Children’s Bureau, London UK.

Jocelyn Friedlander, a former Research Assistant to NCCF Co-Director Sharon Lynn Kagan, is currently pursuing graduate studies at Havard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Holly Foster, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University.

Allison Sidle Fuligni, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Center for Improving Child Care Quality, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA.

Christina Gibson-Davis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Policy Studies, Center for Child and Family Policy, The Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University.

Rachel A. Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Julia Graber, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Area Director of Developmental Psychology, and Associate Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Florida.

Phyllis Gyamfi, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Macro International, a division of Opinion Research Corporation, Atlanta, GA.

Veronica Holly, M.A., Senior Program Associate, Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME), Teachers College, Columbia University.

Kimberly Howard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, Marymount Manhattan College.

Anna D. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Georgetown University, Department of Psychology.

Kristie Kauerz, Ed.D., Research Assistant Professor of P-3 Policy and Leadership at the University of Washington.

Dafna Kohen, Ph.D., Sr. Research Analyst, Health Analysis and Measurement Group, Statistics Canada Ottawa, Ontario Canada ; Adjunct Professor, Dept. Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa; and Affiliate Scientist, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa.

Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, Ph.D., Associate Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corp., Santa Monica, CA.

Kyunghee Lee, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Michigan State University.

Tama Leventhal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Eliot-Pearson Dept. of Child Development, Tufts University.

Miriam Linver, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Child Studies, Montclair State University.

Lizabeth M. Malone, Ph.D., Survey Researcher, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Lisa Anne McCabe, Ph.D., Extension Associate, Early Care and Education/Early Childhood Program, Dept. of Human Development, Cornell University.

Marla McDaniel, Ph.D., Research Affiliate, The Urban Institute, Center on Labor, Human Services, & Population, Washington, D.C.

Rachel McKinnon, doctoral student, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Daphne Koinis Mitchell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School; Staff Psychologist, Rhode Island Hospital.

Jodi Herbst Roth, Ph.D., Consultant.

Michelle J. Neuman, Ph.D., Senior Early Childhood Development Specialist, Africa Region, Human Development, The World Bank.

Denise Newman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Tulane University.

Tracy Nichols, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Lisa O’Connor, Ph.D., Research Associate, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), Columbia University.

Colleen R. O’Neal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Maryland College of Education.

Rachel Razza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies, College of Human Services and Health Professions, Syracuse University.

Elizabeth Rigby, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, George Washington University.

Rebecca Ryan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University.

Sara Schley, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Research, Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Marc Scullin, M.A., Research Coordinator, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center.

Arjumand Siddiqi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Judith Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University.

Kate Tarrant, Ph.D., Consultant.

Nitika Tolani-Brown, Ph.D., Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, Education Global Initiative, Save the Children.

Audrey R. Tyrka, Ph.D., M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University.

A. Jordan Wright, Ph.D., Independent Practitioner.

Yange Xue, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Following is a list of individuals with whom we regularly collaborate on research projects.

Within Columbia University

Yumiko Aratani, Ph.D., Acting Director, Child Health and Mental Health, National Center for Children in Poverty.

Trey Avery III, M.S.Lab Manager, Neurocognition of Language Lab, Teachers College.

Anne Conway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Work, Columbia University School of Social Work.

Helena Duch, Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University Medical Center.

Pam R. Factor-Litvak, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Medical Center.

William Fifer, Ph.D., Associate Director, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology.

Karen Froud, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Speech & Language Pathology, Teachers College.

Irv Garfinkel, Ph.D., Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems, Columbia University School of Social Work.

Michael Hanson, Ph.D.Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, Teachers College.

Michael MacKenzie, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work.

Ron Mincy, Ph.D., Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, Columbia University School of Social Work.

Kim Noble, M.D., Ph.D., Resident, Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center.

Natasha Pilkauskas, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Columbia Population Research Center.

Andrew G. Rundle, Dr.PH., Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Elliott D. Sclar, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Planning and Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Development, The Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Ezra S. Susser, M.D., Dr.PH., Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Jane Waldfogel, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs, Columbia University School of Social Work.

Outside Columbia University

Lawrence M. Berger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Social Work/Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Christopher R. Browning, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University.

Marcia J. Carlson, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental Psychology, Northwestern University.

Felton Earls, M.D., Professor of Child Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

Holly Foster, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Texas A&M University.

Julia Graber, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Area Director of Developmental Psychology, and Associate Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Florida.

Lauren Hale, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine, SUNY Stony Brook.

Wen-Jui Han, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work, Silver School of Social Work, NYU.

Jennifer L. Hill, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development, NYU.

John Love, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Katherine Magnuson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Marie McCormick, M.D., Sc.D., Sumner and Esther Feldberg Professor of Maternal and Child Health, Harvard School of Public Health.

Sara McLanahan, Ph.D., William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University.

Jane Mendel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Cornell University.

Colter Mitchell, Ph.D., Faculty Research Fellow, University of Michigan.

Yoko Nomura, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; Assistant Professor, Queens College/CUNY, Department of Psychology (Neurosciences), Flushing, NY.

Rachel Razza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies, College of Human Services and Health Professions, Syracuse University.

Pia Rebello-Britto, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Child Study Center, Yale University.