Meet Our Students

Our Current Graduate Students

Ayse Duygu Cakirsoy-Aslan portrait

Ayse Duygu Cakirsoy-Aslan

Ayse is from Istanbul, Turkey. She received her bachelor of arts in psychology and her master of developmental psychology from Koc University in Turkey. Her advisor is Dr. Matthew Mulvaney. Ayse’s research interests are in predictors of control of women’s bodies and sexuality, conceptions of honor and attitudes towards honor and honor-related violence in Turkish cultural context. Her advisor is Dr. Matthew Mulvaney.
Email: adcakirs@syr.edu


Aida Abolhassani portrait

Aida Abolhassani

Aida is originally from Iran, Tehran. She received her bachelor in microbiology and masters of science in family counseling from Beheshti University, also she had one semester experience in guidance and counseling in University of Putra Malaysia. In addition she worked as a counselor with the approach of cognitive behavior therapy and schema therapy about 5 years in Iran. Her advisor is Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine and her research interest are in children’s play/parent-child relationship and child development in cross-cultural contexts, and the effects of parental behavior on child development.
Email: aabolhas@syr.edu


Sara Alansari portrait

Sara Alansaari

Sara Alansaari, Fulbright recipient from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). She is currently pursuing a master of science in human development and family science. She has a bachelor of arts in special education from UAE University, with a specialization in teaching students with mild/moderate disabilities. She worked as a research assistant in Special Education and Psychology departments, focusing on topics related to inclusive education, developmental psychology, mental health assessment standardization, and academic success. Besides her academic work, she worked and volunteered at different children’s centers, hospitals and schools. She worked directly with families and children with developmental disabilities including children diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. Her research interests include addressing adverse environmental effects on children with developmental disabilities wellbeing and risk indicators of developing comorbid disorders by the time they reach adulthood. Her advisor is Dr. Sara Vasilenko.
Email: salansaa@syr.edu


Isabella Barzuna portrait

Isabella Barzuna

Isabella is from San Jose, Costa Rica. She received her bachelor of arts in psychology and liberal arts at the Florida Institute of Technology. Her advisor is Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine. Isabella’s research interests include child and adolescent development, social and environmental influence on development and parent-child relationships.
Email: labarzuna@syr.edu


DeAnna Laura Bay portrait

DeAnna Laura Bay

DeAnna is originally from Liverpool, NY. She received her bachelor of science in psychology and spanish from Wager College and master of education in therapeutic recreation management and child life from Springfield College. Her advisor is Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine. DeAnna’s research interests include one-person child life programs, children’s play/recreation in medical settings in multicultural contexts, patient and family centered care, and family expectations of dolphin-assisted therapy/activities.
Email: dbay01@syr.edu


Corinne Blake portrait

Corinne Blake

Corinne is from Gardner, Massachusetts. She received her bachelor of sociology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and her master of social work from Simmons College. Her advisor is Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine. Her research interests include cross-cultural study of early childhood, sibling relationships, parent-child relationships, and early childhood education.
Email: coblake@syr.edu


Jane Burrell portrait

Jane Burrell

Jane is from Cazenovia, New York. She received a bachelor of science in applied nutrition from Penn State University and a master of science in clinical nutrition from Rosalind Franklin University. She is also a registered dietitian/nutritionist. Jane is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Nutrition and Food Studies programs in Falk College at Syracuse University. She teaches nutrition in health, lifespan nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. Her advisor is Rachel Razza. Jane’s research interests include nutrition and behavior and the effects of adverse childhood experiences on eating behaviors and health outcomes.
Email: jbuzcate@syr.edu


Colavito, Dominica portrait

Dominica Colavito

Dominica is from Burlington, NJ. She received her bachelor of arts in forensic science and psychology and a minor in chemistry at Syracuse University. Her advisor is Dr. Kamala Ramadoss. Her research interests include early childhood development, attachment, and parenting styles, and how illness can affect children’s growth and mental health.
Email: dlcolavi@syr.edu


Davis, Kristin portrait

Kristin Davis

Kristen is from Syracuse, New York. She is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in biology, master’s degree in Nutrition Science and completed a Dietetic Internship at Syracuse University. She has worked locally at Golisano Children’s Hospital providing nutrition care for children with genetic disorders, physical and developmental disabilities as well as in private practice and as an adjunct instructor of nutrition for Syracuse University and Utica University. Kristen’s advisor is Dr. Kamala Ramadoss. Her research interests include the influences on the development of health-related behaviors in children from a socioecological perspective.
Email: kljohn03@syr.edu@syr.edu


Xiaoyu Fu portrait

Xiaoyu Fu

Xiaoyu is from Jiangxi, China. She received her bachelor of science in international studies from Renmin University of China, and her master of arts in public administration from Northeastern University. Her advisor is Dr. Eunjoo Jung. Fu’s research interests are in parenting, parent-child relationship, early childhood education, and children’s school achievement.
Email: xfu104@syr.edu


Meghan Hall portrait

Meghan Hall

Meghan is from Bow, New Hampshire. She received both her bachelor of arts in biology and master of science in child and family global health from Syracuse University. Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. Meghan’s research interests are racial and ethnic health disparities in child and family health, child development in cross-cultural contexts, and the effects of parental health and behavior on child development and parent-child relationships.
Email: mbhall@syr.edu


Lei Jin portrait

Suzanne Holland

Suzanne earned her bachelor of science in early childhood education from Illinois State University and has taught in an elementary setting for 8 years. During that time she also started a business as an early childhood development consultant. Her advisor is Dr. Rachel Razza and her research interests are in neurological development in utero and how that intersects with development through childhood and adolescence.
Email: suholan@syr.edu


Lei Jin portrait

Lei Jin

Lei is from Nanjing, China. She received her bachelor of science in psychology from Nanjing Normal University in China and her master of educational psychology with an emphasis in human learning from University of Colorado-Denver. Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. Lei’s research interests are in cross-cultural studies, the effects of acculturation on parent-child relationships, adolescent school outcomes and their heritage language acquisition in Immigrant families (e.g., Asian American families).
Email: lejin@syr.edu


Jiang Linghua portrait

Linghua Jiang

Linghua is from Fujian, China. She received her bachelor in tourism management from Sun Yat-sen University in China and her master of science in educational psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her advisor is Dr. Matthew Mulvaney. Linghua’s research interests are in parent-child relationship, children’s emotion regulation, gratitude, and mindfulness.
Email: ljiang04@syr.edu


Rachel Linsner portrait

Rachel Linsner

Rachel is from Clifton Springs, NY. She received her bachelor of science in human development from Cornell University. Her advisor is Dr. Matthew Mulvaney. Rachel’s interests are in early childhood education, teacher training, family policies, and families in the social services/foster care system.
Email: rklinsne@syr.edu


Qingyang Liu portrait

Qingyang Liu

Qingyang is from Guangzhou, China. She received her bachelor of arts in psychology from San Francisco State University, bachelor of science in applied psychology from Guangzhou Medical University and a master of science in educational psychology and methodology from University at Albany, SUNY. Her advisor is Dr. Rachel Razza. Qingyang’s research interests are in social cognition development, self-regulation, executive function and theory of mind among at-risk preschooler.
Email: qliu08@syr.edu


Qingyang Liu portrait

Chloe Ludden

Chloe is from Baldwinsville, New York. She received a bachelor of arts in psychological sciences and human development and family sciences with a concentration in early childhood development from the University of Connecticut. Her advisor is Dr. Eunjoo Jung. Her research interests include cognitive and socio- emotional development, the development of bias, and child development in cross-cultural contexts.
Email: cludden@syr.edu


Kristin Lyons Portrait

Kirstin Lyons

Kirstin Lyons, RD is from the Onondaga Nation reservation in Nedrow, NY. She received her Bachelor of Science in nutrition with a minor in psychology from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Health from SUNY Upstate Medical University. Her advisor is Dr. Sara Vasilenko. Kirstin’s research interests include how the home environment, culture and the world’s current state of affairs impacts child health. Her other interests include early childhood education as well as value and outcomes of school nutrition programs.
Email: kllyon01@syr.edu


Aysha Mabin portrait

Aysha Mabin

Aysha is from Cerritos, California. She received her bachelor of arts in psychology with a minor in child and adolescent development from California State University, Fullerton. Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. Aysha’s research interests include the influences of parents’ personal health, involvement and marital impediments on child social-emotional development and academic achievement. Her interests also include examining societal and familial culture on the educational endeavors of Black/African-American youth.
Email: amabin@syr.edu


Dickson Mukara Matsantsa Ongayi Portrait

Dickson Mukara Matsantsa Ong’ayi

Dickson is originally from Kenya, East Africa. He received his bachelor of education in early childhood development and education from Kenyatta University – Kenya and a master of arts in child development from University of Haifa-Israel. His advisor is Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine. Dickson’s research interest is in parent-child relationship, and paternal involvement and their influence on children’s socio-emotional and cognitive development across sub-Saharan Africa. He is also interested in cross-cultural child disciplining strategies, allocare, and intimate partner violence and how these factors affect children’s psychological well-being and academic outcome.
Email: dmongayi@syr.edu


Terese Millet Portrait

Terese Millet Joseph

Terese is originally from Antigua, in the Eastern Caribbean. She has a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Havana in Cuba, a master of arts in linguistics and literary studies from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, and a master of science in counseling psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family from the University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad. Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. Her research interests include cross-cultural parenting, race relations, epigenetics, intergenerational trauma, mindfulness, and othering.
Email: tsmillet@syr.edu


Morgan Parella Portrait

Morgan Parella

Morgan is from Syracuse, New York. She received her bachelors from University at Buffalo in psychology and health and human services with a minor in counseling and her master’s in mental health counseling from Cazenovia College. Her advisor is Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine. Morgan’s research interests include children with chronic illnesses in long term care facilities and their families and children’s play/recreation in reducing anxiety within these families.“
Email: maparell@syr.edu


Caitlin Smith Portrait

Caitlin Smith

Caitlin is originally from Coventry, RI. She received her bachelor of arts in political science, international education and human rights from the University of Connecticut and master of arts in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. Her advisor is Dr. Rachel Razza. Caitlin’s research interests include effects of family systems on child health, nutritional access within schools and neighborhoods, gender, race and socioeconomic disparities in family health, and early childhood education.
Email: csmith68@syr.edu


Rui Tian portrait

Rui Tian

Rui Tian is from Beijing, China. She received her bachelor of science in psychology from Beijing Forestry University and her master of arts in marriage and family therapy from Syracuse University. Her advisor is Dr. Kamala Ramadoss. Rui’s research interests are work-family related issues including gender equality, work-family and well-being in cross-culture context.
Email: rtian100@syr.edu


Ying Xu portrait

Ying Xu

Ying Xu is originally from Jiangxi, China and lives in Beijing. She received her bachelor in english from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and her master of arts in human development and family science from Syracuse University. She used to work at an American NGO providing educational, emotional, rehab and other intervention services to orphans, left-behind and immigrant children in China for 11 years. Her advisor is Dr. Merril Silverstein. Ying Xu’s research interests are in individual trauma especially for women and children, and parenting for reverse-pyramid families in China.
Email: yxu136@syr.edu


Xiaoyan Zhang portrait

Xiaoyan Zhang

Xiaoyan is originally from Guangdong, China. She holds a bachelor from Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University where she studied english (translation). Her advisor is Dr. Merril Silverstein. Xiaoyan’s research interests are early childhood education, parenting, and the effects of maternal negative emotion on children’s long-term development. She can usually be found training for her next run or eating Cantonese food.
Email: xzhan147@syr.edu