The Center for Research on Families is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Fall Travel Awards. Every semester CRF provides funding for graduate students to present their family research at an academic conference. CRF’s award helps offset the costs of travel and allows students the opportunity to meet and present with other researchers in their field. Since we began to offer the award in 2010, CRF has helped dozens of students from a wide range of disciplines attend national and international academic conferences.
This fall, CRF received the highest number of applications since the inception of the awards. Out of this highly-qualified group of applicants, CRF awarded three $300 Fall Travel Awards to the following graduate students:
Alexandrea is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She is working under the guidance of Professor Maureen Perry-Jenkins to study how risk and resiliency factors shape early child development among low-income families. Alexandrea’s current research focuses on investigating how early parental conflict and conflict resolution styles, experienced during a child’s first year of life, are associated with children’s behavioral outcomes at age 6. Specifically she looks at how parents’ conflict predicts children’s behavior problems and aggression (i.e., externalizing problems) or sadness and depression (i.e., internalizing problems). Alexandrea’s travel award will allow her to travel to The National Council of Family Relations Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Marina Donnelly, M.Ed., is a third-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program. Marina's current research focusses on school-based parent training for children with challenging behaviors. She will present a paper at an upcoming National Association of School Psychologists convention. Marina has facilitated several behavioral parent training groups and parent workshops and currently works as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist with children with developmental disabilities. During the past three years, Marina has been engaged in research projects under the mentorship of her advisor, Dr. Sarah Fefer, and through her graduate assistantship with Dr. Jennifer Randall at the Office of Academic Affairs at the College of Education. She plans to disseminate empirically-supported behavioral interventions to under-resourced families with children in Russia via the use of remote technology.
Monika is a California native who completed her undergraduate degree from the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. She then worked in Haiti for several years for an ecological sanitation non-profit, problem-solving in communities with poor access to water and sanitation. This experience led her back to grad school, where she completed an MSPH at Tulane’s School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, and then transitioned to her current PhD program here at UMass Amherst’s School of Public Health & Health Sciences. She is a member of the Timme-Laragy lab in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, where she researches emerging waterborne contaminants’ and their effects on embryonic development. She will present her findings at the North America region of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry this fall. She hopes that her research outcomes can help shape awareness efforts for pregnant women, as well as shape water quality policies that could improve health outcomes.