Lieny Jeon, Ph.D., is the Jane Batten Bicentennial Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. She is also leading the Baltimore Education Research Consortium’s Early Childhood Data Collaborative. She received her PhD degree in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Quantitative Methods at Ohio State University. She completed her post-doctoral training in the Department of Defense Child Development Virtual Laboratory School. Her research focuses on early care and education, family characteristics, and neighborhood disadvantage that impact children’s lives. She is passionate about early childhood educators’ social and emotional well-being and workforce development and the way it impacts young children’s development. She also examines how early care and education buffers challenging home and neighborhood environments and maximizes at-risk children’s development. Her research has been published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and featured in the New York Times. She was selected as an AERA-SRCD early career fellow in early education and development in 2017.
Research Interests: Early care and education; teacher well-being; social and emotional learning
Fun Fact about You: As a baseball lover, my dream is to complete all MLB ballparks tour. Fifteen stadiums out of thirty have been completed!
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Youtube workouts
Dayna Clayton is a research assistant who graduated from the University of Southern California (USC). There, she gained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and became interested in the cognitive aspects of behavior. Dayna has experience working in seven different research labs, that investigated topics such as economics, mental health, business, artificial intelligence, computational social science, and medicine. In addition, she has conducted independent research on the relationship between power and the metacognitive experience of difficulty, and on pathologist’s metacognitive abilities while viewing melanoma and breast slides. In the future, Dayna plans to get her PhD and conduct research on the cognitive, neurological, and biological elements of Psychology.
Fun fact about you: I am artist, and my mediums of choice are painting and drawing.
Favorite new hobby during the pandemic: During the pandemic I started to make pottery and roller-skate!
Briana is a PhD student at Johns Hopkins School of Education. Her work explores the ways in which early childhood educators’ well-being and perceptions of their work environment are related to children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development. She is also interested in how perception of collaborative support in the workplace is related to teachers’ job demands, resources, and geographic context. Briana earned a BA in Economics and Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as a MS in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University. Prior to coming to Hopkins, she was a preschool teacher. She was also a Leadership for Educational Equity Fellow for the Office of Social and Emotional Learning at Chicago Public Schools.
Research Interests: teacher well-being, social-emotional, workplace perceptions
Fun Fact about You: I buy a new plant every time I accomplish something “big”.
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Long distance running and creating desserts out of fruit that is nearly spoiled!
Sooyeon, or “Soo”, is a PhD student at Johns Hopkins School of Education. Along with her work in WELLab, she also works as a reviewer in the Center for Research and Reform in Education, conducting meta-analytic reviews in diverse educational topics. Her research focuses on the protective factors for children’s positive social and emotional development in early care and education settings, with particular interests in understanding the role of interventions promoting children’s and teachers’ social and emotional competencies and well-being. Previously, she served as an evaluation consultant for a nationwide civic education program. She is also a founding director of an educational nonprofit organization in South Korea. She holds two master's degrees, one in Child Development from Tufts University, and another in Education from Harvard University.
Research Interests: early care and education, teacher well-being, social and emotional learning, meta-analysis
Fun Fact about You: I am a semi-professional keyboardist who enjoys playing and writing music.
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Netflix
Nancy is an EdD candidate (with specialization in Mind, Brain, and Teaching) at Johns Hopkins School of Education. Her dissertation explores the relationships between early childhood educators’ emotional well-being, emotion responsiveness, and sense of efficacy when facing challenging behaviors in the classroom. She is also interested in expanding her knowledge and experiences in the field of special education to better understand ways of improving teaching and learning for neurodiverse individuals in the global context, particularly in Asian countries and in Hong Kong where she was born. Nancy earned a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from University of California Irvine, as well as an Ed.S. in School Psychology and M.A. in Educational Psychology from Chapman University. She is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a Licensed Educational Psychologist. She has spent over 15 years in the education sector, including working as a tutor/mentor for children who qualified for supplemental educational services and a behavior interventionist for children and youth with developmental disabilities. Nancy currently works as a school psychologist for the preschool-age population at a public k-12 school district in Southern California.
Research Interests: early childhood special education, social-emotional competencies, teacher well-being and efficacy
Fun Fact about You: I love to travel (pre-pandemic), play poker, and try out lattes at new coffee shops (matcha latte with espresso is my new obsession)
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: watching my two-year-old toddler grow up in front of my eyes!
Ebony is a PhD student at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Her research interests center around the creation and implementation of education policies and interventions in early childhood and beyond. Ebony also seeks to investigate how children’s social emotional development is impacted by trauma and stress related to racism and poverty, how teachers and parents can support children in navigating their social emotional learning, and how social emotional learning paired with equitable practices can maximize young children’s school readiness/success. Ebony earned a MS in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC Greensboro, and a BA in Psychology from North Carolina State University. She comes to JHU SOE with both applied and research experiences serving children, families, and educators such as through the U.S. Department of Defense, North Carolina Public Schools, and UNC Chapel Hill.
Research Interests: education policy, equity, social emotional development, teacher/parent practices and socialization
Fun Fact about You: Growing up, my family and I moved within and across states a total of over 9 times.
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Binge-watching reality tv shows (it’s my guilty pleasure!)
Jodi is a PhD student at Johns Hopkins in the School of Education. She studies how stress affects the brains and bodies of students. Her work specifically focuses on how we measure stress, how stress is related to academic achievement, and the extent to which aspects of schools can buffer against these effects. She is also the creator of WellCheq, a web-based app designed to allow schools to track student wellbeing. Jodi is also interested in how teacher wellbeing is related to student outcomes in the P-12 setting. She earned her BA in the Biological Basis of Behavior and her MSEds in Education Policy and Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to arriving at JHU, Jodi taught high school biology and anatomy in Philadelphia, which she loved. She is passionate about working with students and teachers to improve outcomes for all.
Research Interests: stress, student wellbeing, school climate, teacher wellbeing
Fun Fact about You: I really love playing and watching football.
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Baking challah bread and delivering said bread to friends
Olivia is a Ph.D. student at the School of Education-Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include the social-emotional effects and psychological wellbeing of teachers and students and its impact within early-childhood environments. She desires to provide effective interventions for improving early childhood teachers' wellbeing. Her practical and research experiences within Head Start programs in the United States and early childhood centers in China inspired her to explore the cultural and educational similarities and differences between China and the United States. Her goal is to become an academic and/or researcher in the early childhood education space and relate what she has accomplished and learned to improve early childhood education from a global perspective, specifically those that live in rural areas of the world.
Research Interests: Early Childhood Education; Teachers' Wellbeing; Social-Emotional Development; Cross-Cultural Study
Fun Fact about You: I have been trying to adopt a dog and was rejected three times. But I will not give up!
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Try instant noodles from different brands.
Jun is a PhD student at the School of Education-Johns Hopkins University. She holds a Master’s degree in Education with a focus in Early Childhood Education from Johns Hopkins University. Her interests lie in supporting bilingual/multilingual children’s linguistic and cognitive development, understanding the associations of language socialization and early bilingual’s development, and improving their formal and informal learning environment as a means to incorporate children from diverse backgrounds. She also works as a research assistant at the Center for Research and Reform in Education, conducting meta-analyses on SEL interventions. Before coming to the US, Jun worked as an overseas financial business manager in a commercial bank, where she provided financial plans related to overseas education to her clients. She also worked part-time as an administrative staff member in an English after-school program to support Chinese children’s English learning.
Research Interests: bilingualism, childhood education, linguistic and cognitive development
Fun Fact about You: I love knitting.
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: sketching
Annika is a Masters of School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a major in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies and minors in Biology and Legal Studies. She holds a Paralegal Certificate from Boston University. Prior to joining WELLab, Annika conducted research with the Legal Aid Society of Rochester (Education Law Unit), New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney’s Office, and completed her senior thesis with Dr. Bakhmetyeva (Perception of Korean Comfort Camp Survivors Throughout History). She founded the Justice for Asian Americans Coalition, working to serve families and young children in difficult situations. Annika is also working as a violin and piano instructor at Music & Arts and serves at a local Korean restaurant!
Research Interests: Early Childhood Education and Social Emotional Development; Family and Education Laws; Equity in Social Systems; Childhood Trauma and Development.
Fun Fact about you: I have been in a Netflix Korean Drama as an Extra!
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: I am working on my Yoga Teacher Training Certificate thanks to my new pandemic hobby!
Junyu or Lyan is a master student at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Education with a focus in Early Childhood. She is interested in the causes and prevention of children’s and teenagers’ mental problems and difficulties resulted from early childhood. Moreover, she is also interested in how parenting styles can affect children’s behavior in mental status, academic performance, coping mechanism, etc. Her internship in psychological center and volunteer experience in a primary school in rural area in China inspired her to devoted herself into psychology and education with early childhood domains. After graduating from the master program, Lyan is looking forward to study in a doctoral degree and become a instructor in the future.
Research Interests: Social and emotional learning, Early childhood education, Parenting style, Effect of environment in early childhood
Fun Fact about You: I really like cooking and I keep learning to cook new cuisine from other countries like Korea, Japan and Thailand, etc.
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Learn how to paint on iPad.
Yuxiang is a graduate research assistant and a student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a master's degree in Education. Currently, She is very interested in family influence on children's development and mental health. She is passionate about cognitive development and children's learning as well. Before coming to America, she worked as an English Teacher in an educational institution for one year and also worked as an assistant teacher in an international school. She wants to do children's research based on her teaching experience.
Research Interests: Cognitive development, Emotions, Children Development, Mental Health Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Snapchat Enthusiasts
Cecilia is an undergraduate research assistant and a student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a dual degree in Behavioral Biology and Psychology. Currently, she is aspiring to become a physical therapist, and thinks that she wants to specialize in pediatrics. She is passionate about mental health, especially pertaining to children and their caregivers.
Fun Fact about You: My favorite animal is the goat, and in high school my dream was to have a goat farm!
Favorite New Hobby during Pandemic: Making too many friendship bracelets to give to friends!
Dr. Amorim has been an EdTech entrepreneur since he was 15 years old. In Brazil where more than half of children were graduating from third grade without the ability to read, he started his career developing games that were easily accessible by low-resource schools and low-income families. His current research focuses on the development, evaluation and improvement of evidence-based digital games and learning analytics to support early literacy and mathematics skills. His games have demonstrated their effectiveness for fostering Brazilian children in poverty's early reading and writing skills. In partnership with the WELLab, these educational games were translated into English and Spanish to gain a broader global reach.
Find out more about our research collaboration here.
Natalie Schock is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Marsico Institute of Early Learning and Literacy at the University of Denver. She earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where she studied family engagement in early care and education (ECE) settings. Natalie has conducted qualitative and quantitative research on school marketing, ECE teacher well-being, family engagement, and interventions supporting school readiness and child development. Previously, Natalie worked as a third-grade teacher through Teach For America in New York City, a writer/producer at preschool media company Sockeye Media in New York City, a teaching assistant at Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, a youth mentor through AmeriCorps in San Diego, and a newspaper copy editor. Her research interests focus on early childhood mathematics, ECE teacher practice, and supports for ECE teachers and children at the policy and center levels. Natalie holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Italian from the University of Kansas.