Ruoyun Zheng, MA, is currently studying as a third-year graduate student at University of Pittsburgh in the School of Education pursing her doctoral degree in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education. Ruoyunearned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature in China. During this time, Ruoyun worked part time as an English teacher and a translator. She also joined in an afterschool program, where she offered study aid to primary students inthe local community. In 2016, Ruoyun started her master’s study at UNC, majoring in International Education. Besides learning hard at school, she also volunteered in a Chinese-English bilingual kindergarten classroom at a local elementary school, where she helped with many classroom activities, such as reading stories to students. After completing her study at UNC, Ruoyun became a preschool teacher at Kiddie Academy. This year-long job aroused her interest in learning more in the field of education. After careful consideration, Ruoyun decided to go back to school and started her doctoral study.Throughout Ruoyun’s two years in Pittsburgh, she enjoyed taking graduate courses centering on various educational issues. Meanwhile, she continued to work with youngchildren through her on-campus job at The University Child Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh (UCDC).In her spare time, Ruoyun enjoys cooking, painting, and video-chatting with her families and friends in China. She could not be more excited to continue her journey while being a HealthyCHILD intern and continuing to pursue her career in early childhood education and development.
Sophie Shah, B.S.
Sophie Shah, B.S., is a Second-Year student in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP) Masters’ Program. Shah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor's degree in Psychology in April 2020, along with a minor in Music. During the summers early in her college experience, Shah worked at a summer camp in Rosemont, Pennsylvania called Camp Pegasus, which exists to serve children with social and emotional challenges in a therapeutic day-camp setting. She worked as a bunk counselor for a group of approximately 6 children aged 6-8. In December of 2017, she also began working at the University of Pittsburgh’s Early Social Development Lab as a Research Assistant. She enjoyed participating in all parts of the research process, including participant recruitment, data collection, and data entry.
Her interest in Developmental Psychology had grown throughout her years in college, and Shah thus decided to pursue a Masters’ Degree in ADP, as well as a certification in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), after graduation. Toward the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, Shah began an internship at HealthyCHILD, an initiative at the University of Pittsburgh that provides mental, emotional, and behavioral health care to children in the greater Pittsburgh region through consultation and a tiered-model approach to education.
Outside the classroom, Shah enjoys spending time hiking, jogging, and songwriting with her piano and guitar. She is so thankful to be part of the HealthyCHILD team and can’t wait to get started helping children in need in her community.
Shana DeVlieger, Ed. M.
Shana is a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education studying applied developmental psychology with a minor in research methodology. She is committed to supporting the next generation of early childhood educators and their future students through practice-based pre-service teacher education experiences that foster the perspectives, knowledge, and skills needed to enact responsive and racially equitable pedagogy. Employing mixed methods approaches that amplify the voices of teachers-to-be, she studies how pre-service experiences contribute to beliefs about supporting young children facing trauma and adversity. She is also interested in leveraging interdisciplinary theory and ecologically valid measurement to advance teacher education research. The ultimate aim of her work is to inform optimal teacher education practice and policy, in order to promote educator well-being, high quality teacher-child relationships, and positive developmental outcomes for children. Prior to doctoral studies,she worked as a public elementary school teacher (1st, 2nd, and 4thgrade), early childhood teacher educator, and consultant for a district-wide multi-tiered trauma-sensitive Schools intervention. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the Universityof Southern California and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Katelyn Smiles, B.S.
Katelyn Smiles, B.S., is currently a first-yearmaster’sstudent at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. She is pursuing her first master’sdegree in Applied Developmental Psychology with a specialization in Children with Special Healthcare Needs and Child Life. She received her bachelor’sdegree at the University of Pittsburgh in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. In the summers of 2018 and 2019 she worked at a pediatric sports camp at Franciscans Children’s Hospital in Boston, where she taught children ages 4-22 how to play soccer, baseball, and ride a bike. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing videogames, and walking her dog. As a Pittsburgh native, she is excited to be working with HealthyCHILD and giving back to the communities she grew up in at Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Jamie Cranmer, BA
Jamie Cranmer is a second-year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh working towards her Master’s in Applied Developmental Psychology as well as a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. She graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Health and Wellbeing. While in Virginia, Jamie worked as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. During her undergraduate career, Jamie was an avid volunteer and accumulated over 2000 combined hours of experience as a UVA hospital volunteer, a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a crisis line operator, a food pantry volunteer, and an upper elementary math and science tutor. During her first year, Jamie worked as a research assistant on a social-emotional learning project at The Pace School. Currently, she is an intern at the Office of Child Development with HealthyCHILD and a practicum student at The Children’s Institute. Jamie is excited about learning more about other fields who work with children and how best to collaborate with them.
Haya Abdellatif, M. Ed., M. Sc
Haya Abdellatif is, currently, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Urban Special Education Scholars Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She has a master’s degree in Special Education and is certified to teach Secondary English Language Arts and Secondary Special Education. She also completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology during which she interned for a year as a counselor for elementary level students with emotional and behavioral disorders in a special education school. In addition to her academic and professional experiences, Haya has had numerous volunteer experiences co-leading psychoeducation groups to help students, ranging in age from 9 to 16 years, overcome social, behavioral, and emotional difficulties.
Over time, Haya has developed a keen interest in examining the influence that contextual conditions have on the experiences of students with emotional and behavioral difficulties in schools and in their communities. She is currently leading a research study which looks at special education teachers’ experiences of stress and coping to help identify and address factors that might help special education teachers commit longer to their jobs and deliver high quality instruction and services to special education students. For her next research project, Haya plans to examine school engagement of families of students with or are at risk for disabilities and who are from marginalized communities. She hopes that this study will help her identify barriers that keep marginalized families from engaging fully with their schools. The goal of this study will be to inform implications on how schools can address these barriers so they can become more accessible and engaging to all families.
In her free time, Haya likes to meditate, watch travel vlogs, and read world literature. Whenever she has a bit more time (and when the weather is nice) she enjoys going on long hikes with her husband and two miniature Schnauzers.
Gigi Stephens, BS
Gigi Stephens, BS, is currently a first-year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh’s Applied Developmental Psychology program with a concentration in Behavioral Health in Schools and Communities. Stephens was selected to be a part of the Applied Developmental Psychology’s Applied in Five program and started taking graduate courses in her final undergraduate year to be able to complete her Master’s in Science degree the following Spring in 2021. Stephens completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 with minors in Linguistics and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. During her undergraduate education, she interned at Family Resources Therapeutic Preschool from 2019-2020 working with children aged 3-6 which prompted her to further her education in developmental psychology.Outside of academics, Stephens is a member of the Pitt Women’s Rugby team and enjoys reading and watching movies with friends. She is excited to be a part of the HealthyCHILD team this year to continue working with children in schools and furthering her career in behavioral health.
Xinrui Huang, BS
Xinrui Huang, BS, is currently studying as a second-year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing her first master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health. Huang completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Michigan State University. During her undergraduate education, she spent holiday seasons at the mental health department in a hospital working with all ages and expanding her developmental knowledge. After graduation, she became a research assistant at a Child Emotion Lab at Michigan State University and developed skills of analyzing children's emotions. After leaving the lab, she worked at a family therapy center working with parents and children in Beijing. Throughout Huang’s first year in Pittsburgh, sheenjoyed interning at Community Living and Support Services, helping people of disabilities get involved in the community. It was during this time she learned the importanceofadvocating and supportingminority people.In her spare time, Huang learns video editing with Adobe Premiere. She is an equestrian and enjoys attending horse shows. She also enjoys scuba diving, sky diving, and rock climbing. She looks forward to her future as a licensed professional social worker and a certified Mental Health specialist.
Christopher Wesling, Jr.
Sumeyye Esra Koten-Guclu
Jao Whai Seo