2019 - 2021 Student and Early Career Council (SECC)
Representatives to SRCD Committees
Robey B. Champine
Co-chair and Incoming SECC Representative to the Governing Council, Incoming
I am Co-Chair of the Student and Early Career Council (SECC) and the SECC representative to the Governing Council. From 2015-2017, I was the SECC representative to the Science and Social Policy Committee. I am an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University and a Research Affiliate at the Yale School of Medicine. I earned my doctorate in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University and completed my NIH T32 postdoctoral training at Yale and the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut. In partnership with stakeholders, my program of research examines how community programs (e.g., trauma-informed initiatives) help to prevent risk and promote thriving among youth, families, and communities exposed to adversity. Prior to earning my doctorate, I was a Radcliffe/Rappaport Doctoral Policy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a psychological and behavioral analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Co-chair and Outgoing SECC Representative to the Governing Council
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). 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.
Fiorella Carlos Chavez
Equity and Justice Committee, Incoming Representative
Fiorella L. Carlos Chavez is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from Florida State University. Her research examines: (1) the implications of family, work, and cultural-related stressors on Latino migrant youth’ mental health and development, and (2) the health effects of household food insecurity among Latino/a families. Her dissertation focused on understanding the individual and family expectations contributing to Latino youth migration and entrance into the U.S. agriculture, and the psychological consequences of that decision. Her postdoctoral work focuses on identifying protective factors (e.g., prosocial behaviors, familism, religiosity, coping mechanisms, and resiliency) for positive development and well-being among Latino migrant youth. At her mixed-methods lab, Dr. Carlos Chavez serves as research mentor for underrepresented college students. She has been awarded with the 2019 SRCD Latino Caucus Dissertation Award.
Daisy E. Camacho-Thompson
Equity and Justice Committee, Outgoing Representative
Daisy E. Camacho-Thompson is a T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the REACH Institute in the Psychology Department at Arizona State University. She graduated from the Psychology Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, with a concentration in Developmental Psychology and a minor in Diversity Science. Her research focuses on the academic achievement of underserved adolescents, with attention to social networks associated with academic resilience or desistance. Her dissertation focused on familial stress and parental involvement at school, home, and in organized after-school activities. Her postdoctoral work is examining the effects of a prevention program on parental involvement and academic socialization across adolescent development. She has served in several mentoring programs for underrepresented students, such as the Millennium Scholar Program, and both as the elected Latino Caucus student member and currently the Media Manager. She has received several service awards, the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, and an NICHD Diversity Supplement.
Ethnic & Racial Issues Committee, Incoming Representative
Lauren Mims is a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science at the University of Virginia. Her work examines how schooling environments influence how youth, particularly Black girls, learn and develop their identities. Her dissertation, Meeting Black Girls on the Moon, employs a qualitative approach to elevate the unique experiences of Black girls in contemporary public schools and to identify key features of Black girl’s social ecologies that relate to psychosocial and academic well-being. Lauren aims to construct policies and practices and develop new theoretical frameworks capable of better understanding and addressing the challenges faced by Black youth, particularly in systems of education. Lauren was formerly Assistant Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during the Obama Administration. Lauren obtained a M.A. in Child Development from Tufts University in 2014 and a B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012.
Ethnic & Racial Issues Committee, Outgoing Representative
I am currently in my third year in the Psychological Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Dallas specializing in developmental psychology. Currently, I work with Dr. Jackie A. Nelson in the Family Research Lab where our research investigates the influence of stress and parent-child conflict on parent-child and marital relationships. My research interests broadly include the effects of internalizing symptoms, daily stress, and parenting behaviors on family processes and child outcomes. In particular, I am interested in how the effects of daily stress and symptoms of internalizing symptoms in both parents and children influence the quality of their interactions.
Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro
Interdisciplinary Committee, Incoming Representative
I am a fourth-year doctoral student in Speech and Hearing Science in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University (under Dr. Pittman and Dr. Restrepo’s mentorship). My research goal is to identify cognitive and linguistic factors that predict and facilitate language development children with hearing loss. Particularly, I am interested in factors that can be translated into early interventions aimed to reduce the language and academic gap between children with hearing loss and their hearing peers, especially present in children from bilingual or low socioeconomic backgrounds. I believe that impactful research is synonymous with interdisciplinary research and I look forward to building connections among researchers, educators, and clinicians to serve early childhood education.
Learn more about me:
Interdisciplinary Committee, Outgoing Representative
I am currently a doctoral candidate in Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University and will be transitioning to a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center upon completion of my degree. My research focuses on the role of sleep in child and family functioning, particularly within the context of neurodevelopmental disorders and other at-risk populations. I believe that developmental science can be best approached through an interdisciplinary, collaborative lens. My work is therefore at the intersection of psychological, behavioral, physiological, and genetic factors—providing a comprehensive toolbox to answer important developmental questions.
My continued goals for this committee are three-fold: 1) to foster networks across disciplines for student and early career members, 2) to apply developmental science to policies and practices for improving child and family well-being, and 3) to facilitate research and professional development opportunities for student and early career members.
International Affairs Committee, Incoming Representative
I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute (NCI). My program of research seeks to comprehensively understand how contextual factors (e.g., sociocultural, family, school) influence child and adolescent development in socioemotional, behavioral, academic, and health domains. I have developed three main lines of research inquiry, investigating 1) how ethnic minority-related experiences influence family processes and adolescent well-being, 2) how school, family, and peers influence adolescents’ academic and psychological outcomes, and 3) how to interpret and handle parent-adolescent discordance in perceptions of parenting. My research involves diverse populations with a particular focus on ethnic minority, immigrant, and low-income families and utilizes a variety of advanced quantitative methodologies and complex datasets.
International Affairs Committee, Outgoing Representative
I am a third-year doctoral student in the Psychological Sciences program at the University of Texas at Dallas. I work in the Family Research Lab under the advisement of Dr. Jackie Nelson. Our lab’s research goals lie in the better understanding of family relationships and children’s well-being. I am specifically interested in marital and parent-child relationships, how mothers and fathers influence one another’s parenting practices, negative spillover of family stress, and children’s emotional development. My current project investigates the longitudinal impact of marital and parent-child conflict during middle childhood on adolescent’s depressive symptoms. As the SECC representative for the International Affairs committee, I look forward to advocating the committee’s mission for international representation and perspective in membership, publications, and informal exchanges of knowledge regarding child development.
Program Committee, Incoming Representative
I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota completing a joint training program in the Institute of Child Development and the Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research program. I am also a Clinical Psychology Intern at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. My research uses a developmental psychopathology framework to examine modifiable risk and protective factors that influence the developmental trajectory of individuals who have experienced childhood victimization. My dissertation in particular examined revictimization and friendship quality as potential mediators of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adolescent psychopathology and substance use. As an intern and in the future as a postdoctoral fellow, I will be translating this knowledge into conducting research on interventions with victimized children and adolescents. Within SRCD, I am a member of Black Caucus and a 2017 Millennium Scholar. I look forward to increasing my involvement as the incoming SECC representative for the Program Committee.
Program Committee, Outgoing Representative
I am a Research Scientist at Child Trends in the Early Childhood area, focused on the quality of low-income children’s environments and relationships. After completing my Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona in 2016, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. As a young scholar, I’m dedicated to applied and translational research, and have sought out opportunities to engage with and write for policymakers and practitioners. I’ve worked on program evaluations, collective impact initiatives, and contracts for state and federal agencies, all focused on improving child well-being, school readiness, and healthy families. I am pleased to serve on SECC, and previously served as the representative to the Program Committee
Steven O. Roberts
Publications Committee, Incoming Representative
I am an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Stanford University. I completed my PhD in Psychology at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on social concepts, and how those concepts emerge across development and contribute to social biases. I am particularly interested in concepts of race and social groups, and how these concepts vary as a function of social experience. I’m excited and honored to serve at the Student and Early Career Representative on the Publications Committee!
Publications Committee, Outgoing Representative
I am an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at California State University, Chico. I earned my PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. My research has focused on the influence of coparenting on child outcomes across the transition to parenthood. More recently, I have begun to explore differences between mothers’ and fathers’ behaviors within coparenting for first-time parents, as well as parents of two children. My interdisciplinary research background has led me to teach undergraduate courses in psychology and family relationships. I have enjoyed furthering my involvement with SRCD by serving on the Student and Early Career Council and contributing to the development of SRCD’s highly-acclaimed publications. You can learn more about my research on ResearchGate.
Science and Social Policy Committee, Incoming Representative
Yesenia Mejia is a 4th year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, working under the advisement of Dr. Gabriela Livas Stein. She is the incoming SECC representative to the Science and Social Policy Committee. Her current research focuses on exploring links between academic performance and mental health in Latinx youth, and the role that cultural factors play in the development of academic and depressive trajectories over time. More broadly, Yesenia is interested in understanding risk and resilience factors that may help reduce racial/ethnic disparities in mental health, developing culturally informed assessments and treatment interventions for underserved populations, and improving mental health treatment access for ethnic minority youth and their families.
Science and Social Policy Committee, Outgoing Representative
Dr. Rachel Katz is a SRCD Post-Doctoral State Policy Fellow at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the Division of Early Intervention. She is using her research and early childhood expertise to inform practice and policy initiatives at the state level and to support and develop the agency’s research activities, data collection methods, data analysis, and evaluation processes. Dr. Katz received her Ph.D. in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University where she studied the influence of early experiences on developmental functioning, including how development can be impacted by factors such as early childhood education, home visiting experiences, caregiver-child relationships, and adversity. Supported by a Doris Duke Dissertation Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being, her dissertation investigated child care as a contextual asset in at-risk populations and how child care participation may buffer against risks that adversely influence development. Dr. Katz has served as part of the SRCD SECC since 2017.
Teaching Committee, Incoming Representative
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Diversity and Inclusion Sciences Initiative in the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. I earned my Ph.D. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology in May 2018 from Boston College. I research positive youth development and prosocial behaviors in adolescents, with direct applications for fostering actively engaged young populations. I am particularly concerned with understanding access to personally meaningful community engagement for youth with consideration for their many social identities and contexts. Additionally, I research critical consciousness, or the understanding of structural inequities in society along with the motivation to dismantle inequities. Through bridging my research and teaching, I aim to facilitate the growth of a generation of critically informed youth who contribute toward the creation of a more equitable society. You can learn more about my work on ResearchGate.
Teaching Committee, Outgoing Representative
I am the outgoing SRCD SECC teaching committee representative. I received my PhD in Counseling Psychology from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in 2018. I am a currently lecturer of Psychology at the same university. I specialize in trauma, grief and adolescence issues. My research focuses on the positive outcomes of trauma with my dissertation having focused on posttraumatic growth among terrorist attack survivors. I also do private clinical practice, develop psychological programmes for high schools and conduct end of life planning for the elderly population in Kenya with the aim of facilitating quality dying. I am a director of BeautifulMind Consultants, a Kenyan social enterprise that provides mental health services and psychosocial support through body mind approach.
Representative At-Large, previously History Committee, Outgoing Representative
Henry Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor in Family Studies and Human Development at California State University, Sacramento. He teaches undergraduate courses in children’s development and family relationships. Dr. Gonzalez received his doctoral training in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Arizona State University. His scholarly interests include fatherhood, immigrant and Latinx families, and children’s positive development. Dr. Gonzalez’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Administration for Children and Families. He strives to continue working closely with other SECC representatives to best serve the interests and needs of students and early career SRCD members.