Research

Parenting and School Readiness Lab

Parenting and School Readiness

Please contact us for more information or to introduce yourself to our team. My publications can be accessed through my profile on Research Gate.

Julia Mendez, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and faculty mentor. She is a licensed psychologist and a core member of the APA-accredited graduate training program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Mendez received her doctoral degree in School, Community and Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. John Fantuzzo. She has worked with low-income, ethnic minority children for over 15 years and has over 30 publications on these populations. Dr. Mendez has directed two multi-year, multi-site research projects funded by the Administration on Children and Families, Office of Head Start, examining the effectiveness of a community-based intervention designed to improve family involvement and engagement within Head Start programs. She served as Technical Workgroup Advisor for the federally funded Center for Child Care and Educational Research on Dual Language Learners (CECER-DLL). She is presently a co-investigator for the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Mendez is interested in applied developmental science that can inform early childhood and family-focused policy efforts. She enjoys mentoring graduate students in community-engaged research and preventative intervention strategies for reducing risk of mental health and educational problems for at-risk children. She is a mom to three children and enjoys swimming and watching baseball games with her family. Her favorite ice cream is coffee.

Contact Information

Julia Mendez, Ph.D.

Psychology Department
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402

336-256-0036

jlmendez@uncg.edu


Diana Westerberg, M.A., is a Ph.D candidate in the clinical psychology graduate program at University of North Carolina, where she earned her Masters in clinical psychology in 2011. Ms. Westerberg worked full time for two years in a research lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in psychology and political science. She has worked as a research assistant for Dr. Mendez since August 2009, implementing parenting interventions and managing data collection for parents enrolled in a county literacy program. She also piloted a stress paradigm for assessing cortisol reactivity, funded by the UNCG Arts and Sciences Dean’s Research Fund.  She and Dr. Mendez were awarded the Head Start Graduate Student Research Scholars Grant Program, by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Office of Administration for Children and Families, to investigate children’s physiological stress response, classroom behavior, and teacher relationship. Broadly, her research interests lie in understanding socioemotional development in preschoolers from high-risk backgrounds from a biopsychosocial perspective.  Diana is presently completing her pre-doctoral internship at Boston Children’s Hospital.  She enjoys running, spending time outside, traveling, and exploring new cities.  Her favorite ice cream is sherbet with hot fudge.

Contact Information

Diana Westerberg

Psychology Department
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402

336-256-0051

d_wester@uncg.edu


Alex Thibeault, M.A.  graduated from the University of San Diego with a major in Psychology and minors in Business Administration and Media Studies.  Following USD, he was an English Language Arts teacher and Teach For America corps member in Oakland, California.  He earned a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Teaching from Alliant International University in San Francisco, and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he is currently a PhD student.  He works in the Parenting and School Readiness Lab studying resilience in youth, children’s development and parent involvement in promoting school readiness.  The lab is actively involved with community partnerships and collaborate projects.  Alex’s research examines adolescent refugee and immigrant adjustment and adaptation in the United States, specifically the acculturation experience during initial transition.  He enjoys traveling with his wife and being active outdoors. Alex’s favorite ice cream is mocha chip.

Contact Information

Alex Thibeault

Psychology Department
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402

336-256-0051

mathibea@uncg.edu


Holly Paymon, M.A., graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a BA in Psychology. During these years, she provided in-home therapy for children with autism and also worked as a clinical assistant on a Neurobehavioral unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She earned her MA in Infant-Family Practice from Arizona State University, during which time she worked as an Early Head Start teacher and interned in a NICU follow up clinic. She then obtained a research assistant position at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, working on early detection of autism studies. She is currently a Clinical Psychology student in the MA/PhD program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has clinical interests in working with parents and their young children. Her research interests include risk and resilience among families with young children, particularly the adaptive behaviors and social competence of children in preschool settings. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, being outdoors, and frozen yogurt.

Contact Information

Holly Paymon

Psychology Department
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402

336-256-0051

h_paymon@uncg.edu


Emily Andrews received her bachelor of arts in psychology from Georgia State University in 2010. After graduating, Ms. Andrews taught preschool in Chicago for two years as a Teach For America corps member. Ms. Andrews also worked in Depaul’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) lab for one year before starting her graduate program. As a research assistant in the lab, Ms. Andrews was trained in the Dyadic Parent Child Interaction Coding System and conducted home visits for the Strengthening Relationships Program, an experimental application of PCIT in the home with foster parents and their adopted children. Ms. Andrews is a student in the MA/PHD program in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her current research interests include the interaction of parent and child characteristics and how they predict Head Start children’s social emotional outcomes.

Contact Information

Emily Andrews

Psychology Department
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402

336-256-0051

ekandrew@uncg.edu

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