Department Highlights

Faculty Highlights

Professor Christine McWayne and her colleague, Dr. Andres Bustamante (UC Irvine), received a grant of $849,825.00 from the Heising-Simons Foundation for the project entitled, "Building Capacity, Community, and Home-School Connections in Early Childhood Classrooms." The three-year project will evaluate the impact of professional learning for the Santa Ana Unified School District (California) teachers as they co-create culturally inclusive home-to-school practices across their early childhood classrooms. The project represents a replication and extension of the RISE approach developed in collaboration with ABCD Boston Head Start partners over the last 13 years.

Sara Johnson, Associate Professor and Matt Gee, doctoral student received  Springboard award for their project titled, “Transforming the Understanding and Measurement of Youth Civic Engagement."

Fernando Salinas-Quiroz, Assistant Professor and Noah Sweder, undergraduate student, co-authored an article that was published in June issue of Frontiers in Sociology, titled “Authentic Gender Development in Non-Binary Children.”  To read an abstract pulled from ResearchGate, see

Julie Dobrow, Jennifer Burton, and the Robbins House Museum are pleased to announce they have received a $10,000 grant from the Expand Mass Stories initiative from Mass Humanities. Mass Humanities announced grants to 42 cultural non-profits for projects that include exhibits, documentary films, oral histories, and public events. Totaling $751,424, the grants will help reimagine the story of Massachusetts.  These funds will support the new Half the History film, "Ellen Garrison: Scenes from the Life of an Activist." Production on this film begins Indigenous People's weekend, shooting on location in Concord, MA. Several Eliot-Pearson students and faculty are participating in this film project.

Jim Lipsky, ASL Program Coordinator and our ASL program have been featured in an article in the Tufts Daily  The article says a lot about the wonderful accomplishments of Jim Lipsky and his co-workers teaching ASL – a program that is, for students, more than about learning a language as it opens a door on an amazing culture and as it equips students to work with children and their parents where ASL is needed.

Julie Dobrow, along with Jennifer Burton (Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies and FMS) launched an initiative called Half the History. The Half the History project aims to tell untold and under-told stories of women's lives through short-form biography, film and podcast. Dobrow and Burton have been awarded several grants for this work, including Tufts Springboard, Diversity,  and Bridging Differences grants, along with a New England Humanities Consortium grant. Along with a team of Tufts students, have been busily crafting content in written, film and audio forms. Their website will officially launch in March, coinciding with Women's History Month. They will begin shooting their new film about the inspirational life of Ellen Garrison, a young Black woman who became an abolitionist, teacher and civil rights advocate, in October.  In the meantime, Dobrow and Burton were asked to mount an exhibit of their work, which will go up in Barnum Hall in early September. They were also asked to lead the kickoff Civic Life Lunch for Tisch College on the theme of untold stories.  This event will take place on September 19, and you can register for it here:

Anyone interested in participating in Half the History - including being in the upcoming film! - should contact Julie Dobrow.

Julie Dobrow was featured in Tufts NOW with article: “Six Tips for Keeping Children Safe Online.”  Julie is an expert in children’s use of digital media offers advice for helping kids protect themselves in the digital world.  See article here:

Richard M. Lerner has been re-appointed to serve on the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life for another five-year term, from March 1, 2023, through March 1, 2028.

Ellen Pinderhughes was recognized by our peers for her stellar research contributions!  Ellen was selected as one of the recipients of the Senior Distinguished Contribution Awardees by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).  Specifically, she is being recognized for Distinguished Contributions to Understanding International, Cultural, and Contextual Diversity​ in Child Development Award  Ellen will receive this award at the SCRD Biennial meeting in March in Salt Lake City.

Martha Pott has been selected as the 2023 winner of the Seymour Simches Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising.  As Dean Glaser conveyed to Martha, she is receiving this award for her “deep commitment to our students, your creative approach to pedagogy and advising, and the contribution that you’ve made to the education of countless Child Development students (and others!) over the past two decades…”  Martha will be presented with the award at the final faculty meeting of the year.

Fernando Salinas-Quiroz has recently been elected to serve on the SRCD Latinx Caucus Steering Committee 2023-2025, as the Technical/Social Media Manager!

Student Highlights

Sophomore Gabriela Perez, was recently featured on the cover of Tufts JUMBO magazine.  A double major in Child Study and Human Development and Biopsychology She is currently a research coordinator in CSHD where she helps with data collection and organization, and mediates students' transitions from research project planning to execution.  To read more about Gabriela, here’s a link to the magazine article: JUMBO

Senior Anna Goldsteinwon Honorable Mention by the International Photography Association for her photograph, “Blue Light.”

Matthew Gee, 4th Year PhD student, was named one of the 2023 Scholars and Mentors for the Towards 2044:  Horowitz Early Career Scholar Program from SRCD.

Carolina Goncalves, 4th Year PhD student, received from SRCD, a Dissertation Research Funding Award (DFA), which are given to dissertation research proposals that are exceptionally noteworthy and display a strong potential to contribute to the field of child development.

2022-2023 Award Recipients

Julian Balkcom - Eliot-Pearson Graduate Research Practice Integration Award
Chelsea Chin - Eliot-Pearson Alumni Award
Rachel Dooley - Honos Civicus Society
Abigail Donaghue - Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Prize; Phi Beta Kappa; Jane Anne Herman Newton Award
Katrina Ho - Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Prize
Margaret (MJ) Jones - Eliot-Pearson Alumni Award
Katelyn Malvese - Eliot-Pearson Alumni Award; Class of 1942 Prize Scholarship
Alexandra Matson - Honos Civicus Society
Logan McLennan - Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Prize
Grace Oh - Eliot-Pearson Doctoral Research Practice Integration Award
Irene Pantekidis - Phi Beta Kappa; Class of 1898 Prize; Constantine Ghikas Prize in Romance Languages
Kendall Roberts - Phi Beta Kappa; Alex Elias Memorial Prize Scholarship
Samuel Schwamm - Eliot-Pearson Graduate Research Practice Integration Award
Esther Sokoloff-Rubin - Phi Beta Kappa
Zainmarie Vela-Santana - Eliot-Pearson Undergraduate Research Practice Integration Award
Nicole Verde – Ethel M. Hayes Scholarship
Colin Wu - Eliot-Pearson Alumni Award

Members of the Development of Identity and Community Engagement (DICE) Lab and their collaborators presented their work at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting in March and the Society for Research on Adolescence Annual Meeting in April. Their presentations included: 1. Psychometric Testing of the Critical Reflection on Sexism Scale Among Young Adults in the U.S. 2. Exploring Conceptualizations of Racism Among Black and White College Students: Implications for Critical Consciousness Development Scholarship 3. An Exploratory Investigation of Associations between Personal and Social Identities among White, Heterosexual, Cisgender Young Adults in the U.S. 4. “That's When I Realized We Needed to Speak Up”: Exploring the Civic Socialization Narratives of White American Young Adults

Rachel Dooley, 2nd Year Master's student recently presented her research on her thesis titled "Implicit Bias in the Child Welfare System: Placement Decisions for White Children vs. Black Children" during a poster session at the Society for Research in Child Development's 2023 Biennial Meeting.

Melissa Lovitz, 5th Year PhD student accepted a full-time lecturer position at Queens College for the 2023-2024 academic year. She will be teaching in the Human Development and Family Sciences program in the Department of Family, Nutrition, and Education Sciences.  She has also built connections with researchers at The Ohio State University to share data for her dissertation about parent-provider relationships in early childhood education settings. She also applied for and used data from the Child and Family Data Archive and the Head Start FACES study for her dissertation work.  Using her knowledge from E-P classes on resilience, cultural sensitivity, and her teaching training from the GIFT fellowship, Melissa Lovitz created a monthly program for Jewish people who identify as women, trans, or gender-non binary, to recognize the new moon. This program is focused on integrating the Jewish practice of recognizing the new moon/new month and mental health recovery.  For the last 5 years, Melissa Lovitz has mentored Boston-area high school students to run marathons. The program uses principles of Positive Youth Development and has been enhanced by Melissa's knowledge of PYD from classes she's taken at Tufts. The program runs annually from November - May, culminating in a marathon that mentors and students run together.

Madeline Nievera, 2nd Year Master's student was accepted to the Formative Education PhD program in the Lynch School of Education & Human Development at Boston College. She will begin doctoral studies this upcoming Fall where she will be working with Dr. Marina Bers, whose research focuses on the role of coding, robotics, and technology in promoting positive youth development in early childhood.

DEIB Student Committee In response to the death of George Floyd, E-P doctoral students revived and reimagined the E-P Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Student Committee. The committee is comprised of students from all levels of study in the department (i.e., undergrad, masters, and PhD). The committee has worked on several projects related to internal department culture and awareness of current events and holidays, among other things.