Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Program Faculty

Marisha Humphries, PhD (Program Coordinator) Heading link

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.


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

Youth Development Courses

  • EPSY 420: Social Development of Urban Children

Emilia Chico, PhD Heading link

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.

Aisha Griffith, PhD Heading link

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.


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

Youth Development Courses

  • EPSY 414:  Developing Programs for Youth in Urban Contexts
  • EPSY 446:  Characteristics of Early Adolescence

Dalal Katsiaficas, PhD Heading link

Dalal Katsiaficas Headshot

Dalal Katsiaficas, PhD is an Associate 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.


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

Youth Development Courses

  • ED 445: Adolescence and Schools

Bernadette Sánchez, PhD Heading link

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.


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