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Spotlight 2017-2018

Undergrad RAs' great news!

Our undergraduate research assistants are making great progress in their academic endeavors! Congratulations to Vernika Jain on her acceptance of admission to UNCG for Clinical Mental Health Counseling! Congratulations to Margaret O'Brien on submission of her honor's thesis and poster!

CDL presentations at the 2018 SRA biennial meeting in Minneapolis

Congratulations to all of the lab members who presented at this year’s SRA biennial meeting in Minneapolis, MN!





Daphney Chancy received an honorable mention for her NSF proposal! Congratulations, Daphney!

Daphney Chancy, a first-year graduate student in the lab, received an honorable mention for her National Science Foundation pre-doctoral application. Her research focuses on the associations between physical space (e.g. school, home, and basketball court), chronic minority stressors, social support systems, and well-being.


Dr. Witherspoon gave a talk on the impact of "place" at the Spring 2018 Carolina Consortium on Human Development

The title of the talk is: Exploring Place in Developmental Research with Families and Children of Color: It’s More Than Disadvantage. For more information, please see


Jenny Zhao was selected as a scholar for the 2018 Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Undergraduate Scholars Program

Jenny Zhao, a former undergraduate research assistant, was chosen for the Undergraduate Scholars Program for the 2018 SRA meeting. This is a well-deserved recognition for her great academic records and involvement in research.


Saskia Boggs successfully defended her comprehensive exam

Saskia Boggs, a fifth-year graduate student in the lab, successfully defended her comprehensive exam in August 2017. Her comprehensive exam focuses on the academic identity of adolescents. 


Wei Wei defended her master's thesis 

Wei Wei, a third-year graduate student in the lab, successfully defended her master's thesis in August 2017. Her thesis focuses on how neighborhood contexts and parenting jointly impact achievement and mental health of Chinese American adolescents.


Sakshi Bhargave successfully defended her dissertation! Congratulations, Dr. Sakshi Bhargava!

On May 5th, 2017, Sakshi successfully defended her dissertation! Her dissertation focuses on the effects of neighborhood and parental involvement on African American and Latino adolescents' academic outcomes. 

Sakshi defense 


Joon Park graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University

Joon Park, a previous undergraduate research assistant, graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University on May 16, 2017, with a Masters of Arts in Developmental Psychology, Human Development program. Joon is now working in the lab as lab manager.


Dr. Witherspoon has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor

In May, 2016, Dr. Witherspoon was awarded tenure at the Pennsylvania State University and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.