Child Development Lab

Department of Psychology

Current Lab Members

Dr. Susanne Denham

Dr. Denham

Professor of Psychology

Susanne Denham, Ph.D., of George Mason University, is an Applied Developmental Psychologist with particular expertise in the social and emotional development of children.  After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Western Maryland College, Dr. Denham went on to receive her M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and her doctorate from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  Apart from using her experience as a mother of three children to initiate and explore her research on emotion and development in children, Dr. Denham has also used her 11 year hands-on experience as a school psychologist to aid in her research.  She has authored articles and two books on varying topics, from emotional and social competence in preschoolers and older children, to developmental psychopathology.  These projects have been supported by the National Institutes of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and the W.T. Grant Foundation.  Dr. Denham has also studied the development of forgiveness in children with the support of ‘A Campaign for Forgiveness Research’ of the John Templeton Foundation. 

Dr. Susanne Denham's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Hideko Hamada Bassett

Hideko

Research Assistant Professor

Hideko Hamada Bassett was born and raised in Japan. She received M.S. in Psychology at the University of Memphis, and Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University. Her main interest is children's social and emotional development.

Craig S. Bailey

Craig

Graduate Student

Craig is an advanced doctoral student originally from South Dakota. While at South Dakota State University completing a B.S. in Psychology, he worked for five years as an early childhood educator with a passion for fostering positive development in children. Craig's research focus at George Mason University is on social-emotional learning and social-emotional teaching practices in the preschool classroom. In particular, his current work explores teachers' as socializers of children's emotion regulation. Craig's current work also emphasizes integrating technology into the preschool classroom by providing teachers with easy to use, research supported tools they can use to enhance their classrooms.

Craig S. Bailey's Curriculum Vitae

Naomi Watanabe

Naomi

Graduate Student

Naomi is a doctoral student in the ADP program. She is originally from Tottori, Japan and earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of South Florida and M.A. at GMU. Through her work experience at the Social Skills Workshop for Children with Disabilities at USF and cultural experience living in the US, she developed her interests in children's social-emotional development, in relation to parenting, early childhood education, and the influence of cultural context. She is currently working on a project investigating Japanese preschoolers' emotional competence and its relation to parental socialization, in collaboration with the NTT Communication Science Laboratories.

Naomi Watanabe's Curriculum Vitae

Kristina Herndon

Kristi

Graduate Student

Kristina was born and raised in Northern Virginia.  Right now she is an undergraduate at George Mason University working towards earning her B.S. in Psychology.  She is applying to Developmental and Clinical Graduate programs to pursue her interest of working with children.  Her research interests include children’s emotion regulation and children with learning disabilities.

Sammi Plourde

Sammi

Graduate Student

I earned my bachelors of science from Virginia Tech in 2011.  I majored in psychology and philosophy and worked with Dr. Julie Dunsmore in her social development lab looking at prosocial behaviors in 9- and 10-year-olds.  My research interests consist of how peers affect each other's education and social and emotional competence.

Nicole Fettig

Nicole

Graduate Student

Nicole is in her fourth year of doctoral study in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. Nicole earned her B.A. in Psychology from East Carolina University (2007) and her M.A. in Psychology at George Mason University (2012). Her overall interest involves the development of social and emotional competencies in early childhood. In particular, she is interested in examining how child temperament, characteristics of the mother-child relationship, and stress each play a role and interact and lead to child behavior and psychopathology. In each of these areas, she strives to use measures of both maternal and child factors across multiple levels of analysis (i.e., biological, observational, and self-report).

Nicole Fettig's Curriculum Vitae

Grace Howarth

Grace

Graduate Student

Grace is in her fifth year of doctoral study in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. Grace earned her B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech (2007) where her interest in child development research was formed. Following graduation from Virginia Tech, Grace earned a Masters in Teaching in Early Childhood Developmental Risk (2009) from the University of Virginia. Grace's research interests include temperamental contributions to social and emotional development and self-regulatory behaviors in infants and young children. She is further interested in exploring brain-behavior relations utilizing EEG.

Grace Howarth's Curriculum Vitae

Sandy Salguero

Sandy

Graduate Student

Sandy was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia. She is currently a second-year graduate student at George Mason University earning her Master's in Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology. Prior to entering the School Psychology program, Sandy worked with Dr. Denham as an undergraduate student on her Honors Thesis. Her research focused on the social-emotional competence of Hispanic children.

Sandy Salguero's Curriculum Vitae

David Ferrier

Dave

Graduate Student

David is currently a 3rd year doctoral student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at GMU. David is originally from Fort Fairfield, ME but has also spent several years in New York state. A graduate from Elmira College in 2010 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in French, he worked with Dr. Benjamin Lovett on the development of a moralization scale and looked at testing accommodations in a sample of college students with either a documented learning disability or a diagnosis of ADHD. In 2013, David received his M.A. in School Psychology under advisor Dr. Ellen Rowe. Currently, David's research interests include the relations between emotion regulation and emotionality with executive functions, as well as the adaptation of social-emotional assessments for use on tablet computers.

David E. Ferrier's Curriculum Vitae

Dani Sebille

Dani

Graduate Student

Dani graduated from the University of North Florida in 2011, with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration is Child Development. As an undergrad, she completed a practicum and research project through the Early Head Start and Head Start program. These experiences motivated her interests in early childhood intervention, low-income families, and social-emotional skills. Dani entered George Mason's M.A. ADP program in Fall 2012 and looks forward to further exploring her interests in Dr. Denham's Child Development Lab.

Daisy Andonyadis

Daisy

Graduate Student

Daisy graduated from James Madison University in 2012 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Family Studies. During her undergraduate career, she worked in a Cognitive Developmental lab and learned about executive functioning in young children. Daisy’s also completed a thesis examining the relationship between parenting practices and Narcissism personality traits in college students. Her research interests are to examine the social emotional development in young children and the influence of their parents. Daisy entered GMU’s M.A. program in Fall 2012 and looking forward to exploring her research interest in Dr. Denham’s lab.

Mandana Mohtasham

Mandana

Graduate Student

Mandana received her B.S. in Psychology from George Mason University in 2012. After graduation, she worked as a volunteer research assistant in Dr. Denham's lab and learned about the executive functioning and social emotional development in young children in classroom settings. Her research interests are to examine the social emotional development of young children and the influence of immigrant parents. Mandana entered George Mason's M.A. program in Fall 2013 and looks forward to further explore her interests in Dr. Denham's lab.

NiLa Austin

NiLa

Graduate Student

NiLa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from George Mason University with Latin honors in 2013. During her undergraduate career, she participated in research programs at both George Mason and Howard University. NiLa is in her first year of graduate study in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. Her ultimate goal is to open a “Concrete Center for the Youth” in her hometown of Brooklyn, the center will be a place to foster positivity and help children create and fulfill their dreams.

Gaby Espinoza

Gaby

Graduate Student

Gaby was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She graduated with her B.S. in psychology from Virginia Tech in 2013, where she was a research assistant at the Virginia Tech Autism Clinic. She is particularly interested in emotion regulation in young children diagnosed with autism. She is currently a first year graduate student in the school psychology program.

Chauntia Postell

Chauntia

Research Intern

Chauntia was born and raised in Prince Georges county Maryland. She graduated from Morgan State University in 2012 with a B.S in Psychology. She received an award through NIH’s Diversity Supplement to work under Dr. Denham’s’ project, Computerized Assessment of Preschool Social-emotional Learning (CAPSEL). Her ultimate goal is to one day open her own preschools in inner cities where the teachers, family, and the community all bridge the gap and work together to strengthen the foundation of the youth by building self-esteem and self-worth, developing their educational skills, and strengthening them socially and emotionally so that they can reach their full potential in life.

Natalie Williams

Natalie

Undergraduate Student

Natalie is an undergraduate at George Mason University studying psychology. She is planning on furthering her studies by getting her master’s degree in school psychology. She is a member of the Psi Chi honors society. She is looking forward to volunteering in Dr. Denham’s research and learning more about the field she is passionate about.

Nicole Campbell

Nicole

Undergraduate Student

Nicole is an undergraduate student at George Mason University studying psychology with a minor in childhood studies. She plans on entering into a Clinical PsyD program and eventually working with children and underprovided families in the DC area. She is beyond excited to be working in Dr. Denham’s research lab and to learn more about the psychology field and have a deeper understanding of children.

Cesia Sanchez-Corea

Cesia

Undergraduate Student

Cesia is an undergraduate studying psychology at George Mason University. Cesia takes considerable interest in working with children to enhance their growth and potential. She is fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with children with limited abilities, Head Start preschoolers, and kindergarten summer campers. These unique experiences have inspired her to continue exploring the field of developmental psychology. She looks forward to contributing to Dr. Denham’s Child Development Lab, as well as to expand her knowledge and understanding of child growth.

Allison Hawkin

Allison

Undergraduate Student

Allison is an undergraduate student at George Mason University studying psychology with a minor in applied behavior analysis. She is thrilled to continue volunteering in Dr. Denham’s lab and, after graduation, hopes to further her studies in the field of special education.