Meet Our Students

Our Current Graduate Students

Odetta Odartey Addo portrait

Odetta Odartey Addo

Odetta is originally from Ghana, West Africa. She received her M.S. in Criminal Justice and Human Services from Elmira College and her MSW from Syracuse University. Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. Odetta’s research interests are in single-motherhood and positive child outcomes, the relationship between social support and child outcomes, and the impact of acculturation on the value system and parenting strategies of the Ghanaian American woman.


DeAnna Laura Bay portrait

DeAnna Laura Bay

DeAnna is originally from Liverpool, NY. She received her B.S. in Psychology and Spanish from Wager College and M.Ed. 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.


Ayse Duygu Cakirsoy-Aslan portrait

Ayse Duygu Cakirsoy-Aslan

Ayse is from Istanbul, Turkey. She received her B.A. in Psychology and her Master’s in 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.


Meghan Hall portrait

Meghan Hall

Meghan is from Bow, New Hampshire. She received both her B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Child and Family Global Health from Syracuse University. Her advisor is Dr. Bruce Carter. 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.


Lei Jin portrait

Lei Jin

Lei is from Nanjing, China. She received her BS in Psychology from Nanjing Normal University in China and her master’s in 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).


Jennifer King portrait

Jennifer King

Jenn is from Brockport, NY. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Cornell University; an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University, PA; and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the U. of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. Jenn is a practicing marriage and family therapist. Her advisor is Dr. Bruce Carter. Her research interest is inter-generational communication and socialization processes, specifically between mothers and daughters at menarche.


Rachel Linsner portrait

Rachel Linsner

Rachel is from Clifton Springs, NY. She received her B.S. 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.


Aysha Mabin portrait

Aysha Mabin

Aysha is from Cerritos, California. She received her B.A. 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.


Debra Montroy portrait

Debra Powless Montroy

Debra is from Syracuse, New York. She received her B.A. in Sociology from State University of New York at Oswego. She has a Master’s Degree in School Counselor Education, a C.A.S. degree in Guidance and Counseling and a C.A.S degree in Educational Leadership, all from Syracuse University. Debra’s advisor is Eunjoo Jung. Debra’s research interests include educational attainment, children’s resilience and academic success, and family empowerment in school settings.


Staceyann Barbett Reid portrait

Staceyann Reid

Staceyann is from Queens, NY. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the City University of New York – Queens College and her M..S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from LIU Post. She also has a Post-Baccalaureate Advanced Certificate in Play Therapy from the State University of New York at Oswego. Her advisor is Dr. Rachel Razza. Staceyann’s research interests are in social-emotional development, childhood trauma, mindfulness, and the academic success of at-risk urban children and youth.


 Rodlyn Yafetto portrait

Rodlyn Remina Yafetto

Rodlyn is a doctoral student who received her Master’s in Administration with a specialization in Human Resources from Lasell College, and a B.S. in Management from Cambridge and Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Rodlyn’s research focuses on work and family. Her research interests are in immigrant and refugee families, family dynamics’ impact on relationship satisfaction and children’s academic performance, and the use of religion and spirituality practices as a coping mechanism for work and family stress within immigrant families. Rodlyn’s advisor is Dr. Kamala Ramadoss.


Kai Sun portrait

Kai Sun

Kai is from Shandong, China. She received her B.S. in Applied Psychology from East China Normal University (Shanghai, China). Her advisor is Dr. Matthew Mulvaney. Kai’s research interests are in parent-child teaching interactions, early math education at home and Chinese immigrant families.



Rui Tian portrait

Rui Tian

Rui Tian is from Beijing, China. She received her B.S in Psychology from Beijing Forestry University and her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University. Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. Rui’s research interests are parenting, marital quality, inter-parental conflict and how those factors affect children developmental outcomes. She loves cats and she is an indoor person.


Susima Weerakoon portrait

Susima Weerakoon

Susima Weerakoon is from Beverly Hills, Michigan. She received her B.A. in Child Development from Michigan State University. Her advisor is Dr. Bruce Carter. Susima’s research interests include early childhood education, preschool teacher training, and academic success for at-risk children.


Ying Xu

Ying Xu is from China and received her B.A. in English from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. She worked for 11 years at a US NGO aiming to provide quality care and education programs for orphans and left-behind children and families in China and other Asian countries. Ying is a certified professional trainer by CIIC. Ying’s research interests include parenting, sex education for children, how to support children and families who are separate, as well as how the parents’ relationship influence children’s development.


Xiaoyan Zhang portrait

Xiaoyan Zhang

Xiaoyan is originally from Guangdong, China. She holds a bachelor degree from Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University where she studied English (Translation). Her advisor is Dr. Ambika Krishnakumar. 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.


Ying Zhang portrait

Ying Zhang

Ying Zhang is from Jilin, China. She received her Master degree from Jilin University with a major in Applied Psychology. Her advisor is Dr. Rachel Razza. Ying’s research interests are parenting, self-regulation, mindfulness, and children’s school achievement.