Program Faculty

Sarai Coba-Rodriguez, PhD, CFLE

Sarai Coba-Rodriguez Headshot

Sarai Coba-Rodriguez, PhD, CFLE, is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Learning in the Department of Educational Psychology. Her qualitative research focuses on how ecological context (community), individual, and family factors promote the resilience of low-income, ethnic-minority families and children’s transition from preschool to kindergarten. Challenging notions of dysfunction, Sarai emphasizes families’ strengths and cultural resources, and highlights the active role that low-income families play in preparing their child for school entry. Sarai also explores concrete ways to further enrich home-school collaboration.

Education

PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Human Development and Family Studies
MS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Human and Community Development
BA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sociology; Spanish (minor)

HDL Courses

  • EPSY 255: Child Development in Contemporary Society
  • EPSY 382: Child, Family and Community

Emilia Chico, PhD

Emilia Chico Headshot

Emilia Chico is a clinical assistant professor in the department of educational psychology. She has worked in collaboration with non-profit organizations, schools, and youth serving institutions for over 15 years. Emilia is committed to supporting local organizations aimed at creating equitable and inclusive environments for young people and the adults who support their development. She is especially skilled at small and large group facilitation and has developed curriculum and trainings on intergroup dialogue, racial justice, gender expansiveness, implicit bias and social justice education.

Emilia’s research explores strength-based sexuality development among adolescents and emerging adults. She has worked on multiple research projects that highlight the lived experiences of young people, educators, and youth workers who are engaged in improving relationships, program quality and organizational climate. She has partnered with schools & organizations to prioritize long term diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) needs, culture and climate assessments, and data informed decision making.

Emilia is a Chicago native, a proud alumnus of Chicago Public Schools and UIC.

Education

PhD Educational Psychology
Human Development focus area, with concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

MEd Youth Development
University of Illinois at Chicago

BA Sociology
BA Speech Communications
Syracuse University, Syracuse NY

Aisha Griffith, PhD

Aisha Griffith Headshot

Aisha Griffith, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on the development and function of supportive relationships between adolescents and non-parental adults within informal and formal learning contexts. She is particularly interested in the critical role of trust within youth-adult relationships and how these relationships support positive adolescent development. More broadly, she is committed to connecting research and practice on out-of-school time programming.

Education

BA, History, Northwestern University
MA, Human and Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
PhD, Human and Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

HDL Courses

  • EPSY446 Characteristics of Early Adolescence

Marisha Humphries, PhD

Marisha Humphries Headshot

Marisha L. Humphries, PhD is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Humphries’ research seeks to develop an integrated approach to studying African American children’s normative and prosocial development, and utilizing this basic research to create culturally and developmentally appropriate school-based behavior promotion programs. Her work examines African American children’s emotional and social competence, and the ways in which educational settings can support children’s development in this area. Due to her interest and experience in applied research, Dr. Humphries’ work considers the contextual and cultural factors associated with children, families, and schools.

Education

PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
MS, Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
BS, Psychology, Howard University

HDL Courses

  • EPSY 255: Child Development & Society
  • EPSY 320: Understanding Children’s Social Development & Socialization in an Urban Context
  • EPSY 420: Social Development of Urban Children

Dalal Katsiaficas, PhD

Dalal Katsiaficas Headshot

Dalal Katsiaficas, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her current research focuses on the positive social development of immigrant-origin youth as they emerge into adulthood. Specifically her work examines the social responsibilities of immigrant-origin youth as well as the impact of undocumented immigration status on educational experiences. With Participatory Action Research frameworks guiding her work, Dr. Katsiaficas utilizes mixed-methods such as ethnographic observations, semi-structured interviews, large-scale surveys, focus groups, and identity mapping in her studies. Dr. Katsiaficas’ research agenda is responsive to the socio-political issues most pressing to the communities she works with and believes research can be a powerful tool to take action towards social change.

Education

PhD (Human Development and Psychology): University of California, Los Angeles
BS (Applied Psychology): New York University

HDL Courses

  • EPSY 100: Introduction to Human Development & Learning
  • EPSY 256: Adolescence and Adult Development
  • ED 445: Adolescence and Schools

Catherine Main

Catherine Main Headshot

Catherine Main is a senior lecturer in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is also the coordinator of the M.Ed program in Early Childhood Education.

Education

BA: Marquette University
M.Ed: University of Illinois at Chicago

HDL Courses

  • EPSY 382: Child, Family and Community
  • EPSY 482: Forging Collaborations with Family, Community, and Staff
  • EPSY 520: Introduction to Early Childhood Curriculum and Practice

Larissa Mulholland

Larissa Mulholland

Larissa Mulholland is a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Educational Psychology. She has been in early childhood education (ECE) for about thirty years in a variety of roles and settings. She has many years of experience in direct service working with diverse children and families. She also has extensive experience supporting the professional development of in-service teachers as a coach and curriculum coordinator and of pre-service teachers as faculty in and director of teacher education programs. Her approach is grounded in the work of Dewey, Erikson and sociocultural constructivism. As an ECE professional committed to social justice and concerned with political implications of dominant discourse around childhood and education, her focus is on supporting the voice, agency, well-being and sense of belonging of both children and teachers and to put those at the center of programmatic and policy decisions.

Bernadette Sánchez, PhD

Bernadette Sánchez Headshot

Bernadette Sánchez is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an expert on mentoring relationships and the positive development of urban, low-income adolescents of color, particularly Latinx and African-American youth. Her research is on the role of formal and natural mentoring relationships in youth’s educational experiences, the resilience and resistance of youth who are marginalized in U.S. society, and the racial and ethnic processes, such as racial discrimination and racial/ethnic identity, that have an impact on the development of youth of color and on youth-adult relationships. Her current research projects are on a) the role of mentoring in adolescents’ science and ethnic/racial identities and b) an evaluation of a racial justice training intervention for volunteer mentors of youth of color. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), William T. Grant Foundation, and local foundations for her mentoring research. Bernadette is a member of the Research Board for the National Mentoring Resource Center. She is a first-generation college student and loves teaching and mentoring students at UIC.

Education

PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, Community & Prevention Research (Psychology)
MA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Community & Prevention Research (Psychology)
BA, Fairfield University, Psychology

Courses

  • Community Intervention Strategies in Human Development (ED 394)
    Critical Perspectives of Latinx Human Development

Kathleen M. Sheridan, PhD

Kathleen Sheridan Headshot

Kathleen M. Sheridan, PhD is an associate professor in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is also the program coordinator of the undergraduate Human Development and Learning program.  Kathy is the principal investigator on the Math at Home: Early Math Matters grant funded project.

Education

BA: Drake University
MAED: Washington University
PhD: University of Wisconsin-Madison

HDL Courses

  • EPSY 255: Child Development in Contemporary Society
  • EPSY 405: Educational Assessment and Evaluation
  • EPSY 426: Child Development, Health and Wellness
  • EPSY 429: Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget and Vygotsky
  • EPSY 370: Early Childhood Education and Curriculum
  • EPSY 151: Human Development and Learning Academic Success

Stephanie Torres, PhD

Stephanie Torres photo

Stephanie Torres, PhD is a Bridge to Faculty Fellow in the Department of Educational Psychology. Her program of research focuses on ecological risk and resilience factors among low-income, Latinx communities, particularly Latinx families impacted by immigration-related stress. Her research emphasizes the resilience and cultural strengths among the Latinx community. She hopes to create school-based and community-based programs that promote well-being and mental health while utilizing a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. She is also interested in avenues for promoting psychologists’ involvement in policy and advocacy efforts. Her clinical work has focused on addressing trauma exposure and she specializes in serving bilingual, Spanish-speaking families.

Education

PhD Loyola University Chicago, Clinical Psychology (2019)
MA Loyola University Chicago, Clinical Psychology (2016)
BA DePaul University, Psychology and Latin American/Latinx Studies (2013)

HDL Courses

EPSY 382: Child, Family and Community

Nic Weststrate, PhD

Nic Weststrate photo

Dr. Nic Weststrate’s research program investigates optimal psychosocial development across the adult lifespan. His research examines human development at the intersection of personal, social, cultural, and historical forces. He is primarily interested in Eriksonian developmental constructs, including personal and collective identity, generativity, ego integrity, and, especially, the development, manifestation, and transmission of wisdom. In recent research, Nic has been exploring the influence of intergenerational storytelling on psychosocial development. He is currently examining this within the context of families and the LGBTQ community.

Nic’s research orientation is informed by lifespan developmental, personality, narrative, and cultural psychology. He incorporates diverse quantitative and qualitative methodologies in his work, with an emphasis on narrative methods that successfully capture the diversity, complexity, and cultural embeddedness of human development.

Education

2017 – PhD, University of Toronto, Developmental Psychology and Education
2011 – MA, University of Toronto, Developmental Psychology and Education
2007 – HBSc, University of Toronto, Psychology and Philosophy

HDL Courses

  • EPSY 242 – Introduction to Sexuality Development Across the Lifespan
  • EPSY 257 – Adult Development & Aging in Contemporary Society
  • EPSY 340 – Self & Identity Development Across the Lifespan