News Story

Jenna Finch (C’13) Receives Sebastian Brenninkmeijer Award

May 27, 2013 – The recipient of the 2013 Sebastian Brenninkmeijer Award, established in honor of Sebastian Brenninkmeijer (C’94) and awarded by the Department of Psychology in recognition of uncommon accomplishment by an undergraduate major, is Jenna Finch.

Jenna first became involved in Psychology research during her sophomore year at Georgetown, when she began working as a Research Assistant (RA) for Professor Rachel Barr at the Early Learning Project (ELP), a laboratory dedicated to investigating learning and memory in young children. After her sophomore year, she spent the summer working at Stanford University with Jelena Obradović, an experience that sparked her interest in executive functioning and regulatory skills, especially in low-income children. When she returned to Georgetown in the fall, she began working with Professor Deborah Phillips and Dr. Anna Johnson at the Center for Research on Children in the United States (CROCUS), where she assisted in a study examining associations between child care quality and child outcomes.

Her 2 years at CROCUS since then culminated in an honors thesis that specifically looked at thresholds of child care quality and children’s effortful control outcomes. Her thesis work was supported by two grants, one from the Georgetown Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (GUROP) and one from Psi Chi . She has presented her work at such conferences as the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) and the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA).

In addition to her work at the ELP and CROCUS, Jenna has been doing a great deal of related work in other aspects of her life. She is President of Psi Chi; has worked for 2 years as a teacher’s aide at Hoya Kids Learning Center (HKLC); has taught English for 3 months to under-resourced children in India; and has helped spread her passion by volunteering at the Georgetown Research Fair to help other underclassmen learn about research opportunities on campus. She was interviewed as part of the Department’s Interview Series this Spring; you may read it here .

Jenna has been accepted into Stanford University’s Developmental and Psychological Sciences program in the School of Education. There she will work with Jelena Obradovic at the Stanford Project on Adaptation and Resilience (SPARK), where she will be supported by a Stanford Graduate Fellowship and expects to receive a PhD in 2019.

Congratulations, Jenna!