Graduate Students Awarded Dissertation Grants
October 10, 2014 – Anna Markowitz (mentor: Ryan) and Laura Zimmermann (mentor: Barr), fourth year doctoral candidates, have been awarded the Society for Research in Child Development’s Student and Early Career Council’s Dissertation Funding Award. It is a $2,000 award given for dissertation research proposals that merit special recognition and display the strong potential to contribute to the field of child development.
Anna Markowitz’s dissertation examines the role of school connection and educational policy in youth’s social and emotional development. It uses rigorous econometric techniques to (1) assess the potentially causal links between students’ connection to school and their social and emotional behavioral outcomes, (2) explore whether this influence is moderated by age and socioeconomic status, and (3) uses a counterfactual interrupted time series design to identify whether No Child Left Behind has influenced youth’s reported connection to school.
Laura Zimmermann’s research focuses on age-related changes in visuospatial working memory (VSWM) in early childhood. VSWM is the ability to maintain and update spatial information (i.e. location) and visual information (i.e. color or shape) for a short time. Her dissertation will use near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to examine the neural correlates of VSWM on a touchscreen task in children under 5. NIRS is a non-invasive imaging technique that has been used with infants and young children to measure changes in blood oxygenation that are caused by neuronal activity.