Core ADP Faculty

Timothy W. Curby, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and ADP Program Director

Teacher-child interactions; Achievement; Socioemotional development; Classroom observational measurement; Quantitative Methods. Dr. Curby’s work focuses on early childhood classroom experiences and applying advanced statistical models to school-based research. Specifically, he focuses on the interactions that teachers have with children as a mechanism for children’s development. Dr. Curby is also interested in measurement of classrooms and the development of observational measures of the classroom environment. More information about his work is available on the Development In School Contexts (DISC) lab website.

Links: Email | Website

Thalia Goldstein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Social-emotional learning and intervention; theory of mind, empathy, emotion regulation; sociodramatic play, pretend play, imagination; the arts, drama, theatre. Dr. Goldstein is a developmental psychologist with interests in children's social cognitive and emotional development, particularly how these developing abilities intersect with engagement in pretend play, theatre, and imagination. Her current research explores how engagement in dramatic pretend play and theatre enables learning of emotional control skills, empathy, and social understanding. This work spans typically developing children, at risk children, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also investigates how children reason and learn about morality, personality, and emotion in the fictional characters they encounter through television, movies and popular culture.

Links: Email | Website, Website

Olga Kornienko, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Child and Adolescent Development, Peer Networks, Peer Socialization, Development of Ethnically Diverse and Immigrant Youth, Psychological Adjustment, Health-Risk Behavior, Behavioral Endocrinology (Cortisol and Testosterone), Social Network Analysis.Dr. Kornienko's research examines how peer social networks promote and constrain psychological adaptation and health in adolescence and across the lifespan. She is interested in understanding peer socialization processes as well as protective and detrimental roles that peer relationships play in youth development. Her research focuses on understanding how peer social networks shape psychosocial adjustment, health-risk behavior, gender and ethnic-racial identity development, and biological processes related to stress, social status, and immunity. She employs longitudinal research designs, advanced statistical modeling approaches, and social network analysis methods to understand how social dynamics shape developmental and psychosocial outcomes. She uses salivary bioscience methods to measure stress physiology and activity of the immune system in naturalistic settings (e.g., schools, organizations). For more information, please see:

Links: Email |Website

Robert Pasnak, Ph.D.


Cognitive development, thinking and problem solving. Dr. Pasnak is a cognitive developmental psychologist whose teaching and research concern the development of children's thinking, particularly when they are young, have disabilities, or are at risk for cognitive delays. In much of this research, an advanced form of “patterning”, a cognitive intervention commonly taught in school systems, has been used to help children reach age norms in cognitive development and academic achievement. "Learning set" and "errorless teaching" techniques are methods used to help children learn age -appropriate concepts that they have been slow to develop. Graduate students are helped to learn these techniques and then they teach them to undergraduate research assistants. Dr. Pasnak also offers paid placements for students interested in ABA techniques, and will supervise student-initiated experiments using single-subject research designs.

Links: Email | Website

Adam Winsler, Ph.D.


Early childhood education; School readiness, educational success for ethnically diverse, low-income, preschoolers; Private speech and self-regulation; bilingualism; immigrant advantage/paradox; arts and child development. Dr. Winsler is an applied developmental psychologist with interests in children's transition to school, the development of self-regulation, children's private speech, Vygotskian sociocultural theory; bilingualism and early schooling for English-Language Learners (ELLs), and academic and other benfits of the creative arts (dance, drama, music, visual art) . His current research explores childcare, school readiness, and the educational trajectories of ethnically and linguistically diverse, low-income students including such outcomes as grade retention, school stability, placement in gifted programs, and school suspensions, Private speech and self-regulation in typical children and those with ADHD or autistic spectrum disorders; Music/dance and self-regulation; Self-regulated learning and motivation among college students.

Links: Email| Website