PhD Graduates

Theresa Murzyn (Ph.D., Childhood Studies, 2018) is the Senior User Experience (UX) Researcher at Comcast Headquarters. She also teaches part-time for Rutgers-Camden’s psychology department.

Ellen Malven (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2018) is a Research Coordinator for the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology at Iowa State University.

Clovis Bergere (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2017) is a post-doc at the Center for Advanced Reserach in Global Communcations at the Annenberg School at the University of Penn.

Julian Burton (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2017) has accepted a position co-running YouthLink Scotland’s Participation and Impact Project in Edinburgh.  The position is focused on building a national network of young people, youth program workers, and educators to contribute to evaluation of how partnerships between community youth organizations and schools can improve education, employment, and social outcomes.

Abigail Todhunter-Reid (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2017) was accepted into the Strategic Data Project Fellowship Program at Harvard University.  She will be placed with an education agency (i.e school district, state department of education, non-profit organization), and her role will be to help administrators use data to inform policy decisions.

Dianne Fabii (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2017) provides counseling services to diverse student populations in the Lee County School District in Fort Myers, Florida.  She plans to publish her research about Indian-American youth and their constructions of the arranged marriage process, as well as continue work with disadvantaged youth in India through the organization she founded, The Rose Foundation for Children.

Stephen Bernardini (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2016) is currently an Organizational and Equity Consultant for the School Climate Transformation Project (SCTP) at the Graduate School for Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. In this role, Stephen consults with over 30 schools in New Jersey to help them collect and analyze data and engage in organizational change management on issues of school climate and culture. He also continues to teach in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and Wilmington University. Stephen writes and publishes on LGBTQ youth of color, best practices for inclusion and diversity, and visions and voices of children and youth.”

Neeta Goel (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2016) serves as the Senior Evaluation Specialist for the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). 3ie is an international NGO that funds and produces high-quality research in international development. Neeta is a currently the 3ie team lead on a $2.4M grant window designed to generate evidence on the application of behavioral science approaches to address the issue of sanitation.

Jamie Dunaev (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2016) is currently an Assistant Teaching Professor for the Health Sciences program at Rutgers University—Camden. In addition to her teaching, she is continuing to pursue her research on weight bias and weight bias reduction.

Leigh-Ann Brown (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2016) is an Assistant Professor of Education at Castleton University in Vermont.  She teaches both general and special education courses to future educators. Now that she has finished, she enjoys hiking the green mountains, learning to snowboard, and living a happy simple life with her husband and two children.

Cyndi Maurer (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2016) specailizes in qualitative and quantitative research methodology in the fields of media, gender, social justice, play theory, and education.  She is currently exploring the role of mediation in health outcomes for young children.  She is an Adjunct Professor in Sociology and Research Associate at the Center for Play Research at Mills College.

Nyeema Watson  (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2015) is the Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement at Rutgers University—Camden which is focused on connecting the university to communities beyond the campus. Working with community partners, the Office of Civic Engagement supports efforts to meet the challenges facing the host city of Camden, the county, and region through engaged civic learning, volunteerism and service, community-based research, and integrated efforts and partnerships.

Marcus Woods (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2015) teaches at Central City Primary KIPP  school in New Orleans .

Martin Woodside (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2015) anticipates the publication of This River Goes Both Ways, a book of original poetry, in the fall of 2015. Currently teaching in the Philadelphia area, he is working on a book manuscript based on dissertation research about narratives of boyhood and the frontier in the American West.

Anandini Dar (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2014) is Assistant Professor in the School of Education Studies at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), India. She is also engaged in research projects at the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Care (CECED) at AUD. Her research interests include sociology of childhood; migration, culture, and identity; youth spaces; globalization; children’s geographies and politics, children’s rights, right to education, South Asian diaspora; race and ethnicity; qualitative research methods.

Diane Marano (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2014) continues her committee work with agencies that plan for the delivery of services to at-risk youth through both public and private funding streams. Based on her dissertation research,  Juvenile Offenders and Guns: Voices Behind Gun Violence, will be published by Palgrave in the fall of 2015. 

Marianne Modica (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2014) is Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, PA. She published an article, “Unpacking the Colorblind Approach: Accusations of Racism at a Friendly, Mixed Race School” with Race Ethnicity and Education in December 2014. Her book, Race Among Friends: Exploring Race in a Suburban School, is scheduled for October 2015 release with Rutgers University Press.

Lara Saguisag (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2013) is Assistant Professor of English (tenure track) at the College of Staten Island/City University of New York. She is currently working on a book project titled “Incorrigibles and Innocents: Constructions of Childhood in Progressive Era Comic Strips.” Her research has been supported by numerous grants, including a Children’s Literature Association Faculty Grant, a PCA/ACA Marshall Fishwick Travel Grant and a PSC-CUNY grant.  Dr. Saguisag recently published Incorrigibles and Innocents: Constructing Childhood and Citizenship in Progressive Era Comics (Rutgers University Press, 2018).

Deborah Shine Valentine (PhD Childhood Studies, 2013) is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education (tenure track) at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA. Her historical research examines how ideas about play and childhood influence the production and design of play environments, pedagogical practices and social policies and how these environments, practices and policies then impact young children, early childhood educators and families, especially members of non-dominant cultural and social groups. Dr. Valentine has recently published her research in the edited volume, Children and youth during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (NYU Press), and contributed to a chapter in Thinking critically about environments for young children: Bridging theory and practice. (Teachers’ College Press).

Marla Wander (PhD, Childhood Studies, 2013) continues her position as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Camden County College as well as her research involving adolescent decision making and optional HPV vaccination.

MA Graduates

Angela Randall (MA, Childhood Studies, 2017) is currently a Director of Supportive Housing working at Volunteers of America Delaware Valley. She works to provide housing and supportive services for homeless adults as well as families. 

Jessica DePaul (MA, Childhood Studies, 2017) is currently taking the pre-requisites for a MS to become a Physician Assistant.  She plans to use her MA to utilize a preventative perspective for children’s health.  Her end goal is to be able to contribute to a gap in children’s health with an interdisciplinary approach.

Stephanie Contreras (MA, Childhood Studies, 2015) continues her work in social services in Philadelphia.

Sarah Stone (MA, Childhood Studies, 2015) continues her study of mom-blogs and mediated social intimacy as a PhD student in the Department of Childhood Studies.

Doan Vassaf  (MA, Childhood Studies, 2015) works as Teen Leadership Program Coordinator at the Emagination Computer Camps in Boston, MA.

Rosemarie Pena (MA, Childhood Studies, 2014)  continues her work on children, adoption, migration and race as a PhD.

Sarita Espinosa (MA, Childhood Studies, 2013; J.D., 2013) clerks for the Honorable Charles Dortch who is the Presiding Judge of the Family Division of the Camden County Superior Court of New Jersey.

Clinton Connor (MA Childhood Studies, 2012) serves as the Director of Youth Services for the Drueding Center. Clinton leads a staff in the development and implementation of Head Start, Early Childhood Education and Out of School time (afterschool) programming.

Erin Hoesley (MA Childhood Studies, 2012) is an ABA Therapist and Preschool teacher in Fredericksburg, VA.

Omari Baye (MA, Childhood Studies, 2011) works in Philadelphia as family therapist with children and families deemed at risk for placement/incarceration or children returning home from such placements.

Qiana Cooper (MA, Childhood Studies, 2010) is currently Supervising Family Service Specialist II for the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

Denise Holmes (MA, Childhood Studies, 2010) continues her work in the Camden City School system as a teacher making use of her training and research on childhood emotions to turn classroom disruptions into teachable moments. She strives to influence as many students as possible with the proper guidance and instruction on academic and non-academic issues.