Jelena Obradovic

Dr. Jelena Obradović, Project Director

Jelena is an assistant professor at Stanford University in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Jelena received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in 2007 from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, under the supervision of Dr. Ann Masten. From 2007 to 2009, she was a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, working with Dr. Tom Boyce at the Human Early Learning Partnership. In her first two years at Stanford, from 2009 to 2011, she was a junior fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Experience-based Brain and Biological Development Program. She is currently a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar and is a recipient of the Society for Research in Child Development Early Career Research Contribution Award. Together with her collaborators, Jelena studies processes that contribute to resilience in diverse groups of children, including immigrant youth, inner-city children from high-risk, low-income backgrounds, and children living in rural Pakistan.

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GRADUATE STUDENTS

Ximena Portilla

Ximena Portilla

Ximena is a doctoral candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and is a recipient of the IES fellowship training grant. Her research interests include early childhood development, resilience, executive functioning, stress reactivity, social inequality, and domestic/international early childhood and social policy for low-income children and their families. Before coming to Stanford, Ximena worked for five years as a research associate for the Family Well-Being and Child Development policy area at MDRC on evaluations of early childhood and mental health interventions. She received her B.A. in psychology from New York University in 2003.

Nicole Tirado-Strayer

Nicole Tirado-Strayer

Nicole is a doctoral student in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Wesleyan University, where she completed an honors thesis exploring identity formation in Spanish-speaking immigrant communities. Before starting her doctoral training at Stanford School of Education, Nicole worked as a research assistant in Dr. Cybele Raver's Chicago School Readiness Project Lab at New York University. As a research assistant for Dr. Raver, she measured the impact of cumulative neighborhood, school, and family risk factors on the academic and behavioral outcomes of low-income minority youth. Prior to her work with Dr. Raver, Nicole worked in clinical and school settings serving children and families from low-income Latino neighborhoods in the California Bay Area and in New York City. Her research interests include early childhood education intervention, minority child development, and self-regulation in young children.

Sarah Bardack

Sarah Bardack

Sarah is a doctoral student in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University and a recipient of the IES fellowship training grant. She holds a B.A in French and Comparative Literature from New York University and an M.P.P. from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where she wrote a masterís thesis examining the determinants of family participation in early childhood development programs in India. Prior to coming to Stanford, Sarah worked for four years as a research associate in the Education, Human Development and Workforce Division at American Institutes for Research. Her research interests include classroom-based interventions, social and emotional development, executive functioning and resilience in at-risk children.

Jenna Finch

Jenna Finch

Jenna is a doctoral student in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and is a recipient of the Stanford Graduate Fellowship. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Mathematics from Georgetown University, where she completed an honorís thesis examining the impacts of child care quality on childrenís regulatory skills. Her research interests include early childhood education and social policy, executive functions, and how positive adult-child relationships can promote resilience in disadvantaged youth.


GRADUATE STUDENT AFFILIATES

Elisa Garcia

Elisa Garcia

Elisa is a doctoral student in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Before coming to Stanford, Elisa worked at the Institute for Womenís Policy Research and the American Institutes for Research, non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C. There, she worked on research projects that assessed the economic impact of the early care and education sector, and evaluated the effects of a literacy professional development program for low-income, urban elementary schools. Elisaís current research interests center on early childhood education and the language and social-emotional development of low-income children and dual language learners. Elisa received her B.A. in psychology and Spanish language and literature from Kenyon College in 2008.

Liam Aiello

Liam Aiello

Liam is a doctoral student in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education program at Stanford University. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education from Middlebury College, as well as a clear multiple subject teaching credential in California. Prior to coming to Stanford, Liam was a fifth grade language arts and social studies teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. His research interests include literacy across the subject matters, writing instruction, and the ways students build comprehension of texts through small-group discussion. He also works with pre-service teachers as an instructor for Stanford's Teacher Education Program, and conducts research for the Promoting Learning, Understanding Self-Regulation (PLUS) Project.


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