View this email in your browser


On March 8th, DevSci cluster students presented at our Data Blitz, hosted by the Center for Transdisciplinary Training. Four graduate students spoke on their current research relating to early life and lifespan health, exemplifying DevSci's vision toward interdisciplinary modes of inquiry. If you missed the event, read about the presenters below. 

Ava Jackson on “Racial/Ethnic Identity Development in Critical Pedagogies” with Onnie Rogers
Ava Jackson, a 4th year PhD student in Learning Sciences spoke on the development of ethnic identities, as well as how such identities and learning environments inform each other. Jackson questioned how we develop identity, especially racial identity, and what forms of identity development emerge from explicitly political learning environments. As part of her research, she surveyed students from a US history class in which the instructor uses a form of critical pedagogy. Through student interview surveys,she was able to gauge how an individual student's personal view on racial identity and how that student considered race to be relevant in their daily life. 
Sarah Pila on “Parent-Child Interaction and Children’s Learning from a Coding App” with Ellen Wartella
Sarah Pila, a 4th year PhD in Media, Technology, and Society, presented a study on maximizing children’s learning from touchscreen media. Looking specifically at a STEM app, Pila’s research questioned how parents could help children learn STEM concepts with co-play. Pila's study focused on the conversation between parent and child during co-play, observing interactions such as question asking and comparing the volume of interactions against the child's learning measurement. 
Naomi Polinsky on “Promoting Families’ Use of Comparative Language during Informal Engineering” with David Uttal
Naomi Polinsky, a 2nd year PhD in Cognitive Psychology described a study with the Tinkering Lab at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Polinsky’s research asked how children learn STEM concepts in a tinkering lab, and focused on two types of learning processes: parent-child conversations and relational reasoning. Polinsky looked at comparative language coding, such as when parents used causal explanation comparisons or connecting prior knowledge when giving directions to their child. By examining comparative language parents use while in the Tinkering Lab, the study aims to connect such interaction to an increase in children's STEM learning. 

Sirada Rochanavibhata on “Influence of Maternal Scaffolding on Children’s Developing Narrative Skills: A Cross-Cultural Comparison” with Viorica Marian
Sirada Rochanavibhata, a 4th year PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders, lead a study looking at American and Thai parent-child dyads to compare the cross-cultural variation in conversation styles. The study examined monolingual mothers with four-year-old children in the US and Thailand using a battery of language assessments. Rochanavibhata then looked at the correlations between Thai and US mother/child use of affirmation, negative feedback, and subjective perspectives to find a distinctive discourse pattern. Findings showed such patterns congruent with linguistic and cultural backgrounds, suggesting maternal elicitation styles influence a children's developing narrative skill. 

No wires, more cuddles: Sensors are first to monitor babies in the NICU without wires
John Rogers, along with DevSci affiliates Dr. Debra Weese-Mayer and Dr. Aaron Hamvas, are part of an interdisciplinary team that has developed a pair of soft, flexible wireless body sensors to replace the wire-based sensors currently monitoring NICU babies. 
Infants’ advances in speech processing play a central role in their establishment of a language-cognition link
Dr. Sandy Waxman and Danielle Perszyk have put forth a study that reveals evidence of infants' advances in speech processing playing a central role in establishment of a language-cognition link. 
Does a Teen's Bedtime Really Matter?
PhD candidate Jacquelyn Stephens is leading preliminary research on the relationship between a teenager's bedtime and critical cognitive abilities.
Findings Overturn Old Assumptions in Maternal Care
Dr. William Grobman is senior author of a study that found inducing labor at 39 weeks reduces risk of C-sections.
Kids with Cochlear Implants since Infancy More Likely to Speak, Not Sign
Dr. Nancy Young is part of a team who discovered further evidence that deaf children with cochlear implants before 12 months of age rapidly learn spoken language. 


March 19
Hear from international and local experts on bilingualism at the
Bilingualism Matters Launch (RSVP)

April 24
Grad students and postdocs are welcome to join us for a career panel where four newly appointed Northwestern assistant professors from different departments will speak and answer questions on early career topics.
DevSci Career Panel (RSVP)

Sponsored by DevSci and the Center for Research Incubation

Submissions due April 15.

Click for guidelines. 

Call for Abstracts
Early Career Investigator Poster Session on Alcohol and Drug Use Disorders, 127th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. This session is targeted for grad students, postdocs, and early career faculty. Deadline for consideration is March 22nd. 
For more information email Suena Massey
Congratulations Rachel Flynn

DevSci's Associate Director Rachel Flynn has been awarded a Research Fellowship in Middle Childhood Education and Development by the American Educational Research Association (AERA)- Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).
Congratulations Lauren Bush

DevSci Cluster leader Lauren Bush has scored an internship with the University of Chicago, Medicine with an emphasis on Pediatric Neuropsychology. 
Congratulations Lisa Hurwitz

Former Northwestern grad student Lisa Hurwitz, who graduated in 2017 under Ellen Wartella's mentorship, recently won outstanding dissertation in the 2019 SRCD Biennial Awards for her multi-study dissertation assessing the impacts of early educational media use on children’s emergent and long-term literacy outcomes
Participant Recruitment
If you are a parent of a 3 or 4 year old child, consider taking part in a research study with the Center on Media and Human Development.
Click for flyer.
If you have a call for participant recruitment you would like us to advertise, please contact us at
The power, and limits, of positive thinking when facing illness
Listen to Elizabeth Addington on WGN Radio discussing how effective a positive attitude towards illnesses is in treatment. 
If you have any news, opportunities, honors, or events you'd like us to share please email

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Northwestern DevSci Institute · 633 N Saint Clair St Fl 19 · Chicago, IL 60611-5106 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp