Meet Our Students

Our Current Graduate Students

Aida Abolhassani portrait

Aida Abolhassani

Aida is originally from Iran, Tehran. She received her bachelor in Microbiology and M.S. 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 Cognetive 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

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 M.S.W. 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.

Email: oodartey@syr.edu

Sara Alansari portrait

Sara Alansari

Sara Alansari, Fulbright recipient from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Human Development and Family Science. She has a B.A 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.

Email: salansaa@syr.edu

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.

Email: dbay01@syr.edu

Corinne Blake portrait

Corinne Blake

Corinne is from Gardner, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and her Master’s in 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

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.

Email: adcakirs@syr.edu

Shuangyue Cui portrait

Shuangyue Cui (Tracy)

Tracy is from Henan, China. She received her B.A. in Psychology from University of Texas at San Antonio. After graduation, she worked closely as residential specialist with mentally and physically abused children for half a year. She has also been actively involved in family education studies since 2014. Her adviser is Dr. Eunjoo Jung, and her research interests are spouse relationship and parent-children relationship.

Email: scui02@syr.edu

McKenna Farley Portrait

McKenna Farley

McKenna is from Dallas, Texas. She received her B.S. in Child and Family Studies from Baylor University. Her advisor is Kamala Ramadoss, and her research interests include childhood attachment, long-term effects of childhood trauma, and social influences on child development.

Email: mqfarley@syr.edu

Xiaoyu Fu portrait

Xiaoyu Fu

Xiaoyu is from Jiangxi, China. She received her B.S. in International Studies from Renmin University of China, and her M.A. 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 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.

Email: mbhall@syr.edu

Lei Jin portrait

Lei Jin

Lei is from Nanjing, China. She received her B.S. 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).

Email: lejin@syr.edu

Greg Kovacs portrait

Greg Kovacs

Greg is from Utica, New York. After receiving his M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of New Hampshire he relocated to practice in Buffalo, NY. He eventually returned to Utica where he currently resides with his wife and daughter. Greg has previously completed a Master’s degree at Syracuse University following his work in the Child and Family Studies Department. He also holds a Master’s degree in Data Analytics. Greg currently maintains a full-time private Marriage and Family Therapy practice in which he specializes in couples counseling and post-divorce co-parenting. He also practices Divorce Mediation in New York State and offers data analytics/business consulting services to small psychotherapy practices. His adviser is Dr. Matthew Mulvaney and his research interests are in pre- and post-divorce coparenting dynamics.

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.

Email: jnking01@syr.edu

Jiang Linghua portrait

Jiang Linghua

Linghua is from Fujian, China. She received her bachelor in Tourism Management from Sun Yat-sen University in China and her M.S. 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 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.

Email: rklinsne@syr.edu

Qingyang Liu portrait

Qingyang Liu

Qingyang is from Guangzhou, China. She received her B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University, B.S. in Applied Psychology from Guangzhou Medical University and M.S 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

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.

Email: amabin@syr.edu

Patricia McBride portrait

Patricia McBride

Patricia (aka Katie) is a spirit-filled person who lives and walks by faith. Who is always willing to help others. She had one child at a very young age in which, she is very proud. As a single parent Patricia knew the important role getting an education will play her family life, therefore most of her adult life she raised a child, worked full-time and went to school part-time.

She’s currently employed by the City of Syracuse as Deputy City Clerk at City Hall, whereas she works very closely with the local law makers of the City. She worked as Assistant Director, for Syracuse Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Program, for low income family. She has over 25 years in administrative management. However, what has been most reward was working with the less fortunate, she worked as a Counselor for Liberty Resources at the DePalmer Half-Way House a home for individual struggling from addiction and its consequences.

She is a proud graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies major Creative Leadership. She is currently working on her Master’s in Applied Human Development and Family Services, anticipating graduation in 2021. She also received an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Bryant and Stratton Business Institute.

She is very active in community engagement, she completed a board training in 2019 from Leadership Greater Syracuse, “Nourishing Tomorrow Leaders”, to be more equipped as an advocate for the voiceless. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the Syracuse Housing Authority Board and the Vera House Board.

Patricia was honored to have a scholarship presented in her name by Cuse Culture Foundation the “Katie McBride Scholarship Award”. It was recognized by Ben Walsh, the Mayor of City of Syracuse with a proclamation naming the 20th Day of April 2019 to be “Cuse Culture’s Katie McBride Legacy Day”. Cuse Culture’s mission is to help make a difference in youths in the City lives. The organization intends to annually honor a student or students with the Katie McBride Legacy Scholarship Award started in 2020.

Email: pmcbride@syr.edu

Dickson Mukara Matsantsa Ongayi Portrait

Dickson Mukara Matsantsa Ong’ayi

Dickson is originally from Kenya, East Africa. He received his B.ED. in Early Childhood Development and Education from Kenyatta University – Kenya and M.A 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

Terese is originally from Antigua, in the Eastern Caribbean. She has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Havana in Cuba, a M.A. in Linguistics & Literary Studies from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, and a M.S. in Counseling Psychology with emphasis on Marriage & 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

Abigail Rein Picinich portrait

Abigail Rein Picinich

Abigail is originally from Oneonta, New York. She received her B.S. in Psychology and English from Saint Louis University. Her advisor is Dr. Merril Silverstein. Abigail’s research interests include child development in cross-cultural contexts, the relationship between parental health and child development, and the effects of parental infidelity on children’s long-term development.

Email: arpicini@syr.edu

Jane Burrell Uzcategui portrait

Jane Burrell Uzcategui

Jane is from Cazenovia, New York. She received a B.S. in Applied Nutrition from Penn State University and a M.S. 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

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.

Email: sbreid@syr.edu

Sanum Shafi portrait

Sanum Shafi

Sanum holds a bachelor degree from SUNY Binghamton where she studied Psychology and French Linguistics. Her family is originally from Pakistan so she is also fluent in Urdu and Hindi. Sanum’s research interests are early childhood education, bilingual education, and child development in cross-cultural contexts. Her advisor is Dr. Bruce Carter.

Email: sshafi@syr.edu

Caitlin Smith Portrait

Caitlin Smith

Caitlin is originally from Coventry, RI. She received her B.A. in Political Science, International Education and Human Rights from the University of Connecticut and M.A. 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 B.S in Psychology from Beijing Forestry University and her M.A. 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’s Degree in English from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and her M.A. 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 degree 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

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.

Email: yzhan41@syr.edu