Child sewing

Center for Young Children (CYC)

CYC Researchers


Dr. Kelly Mix, Ph.D., is the Chair of the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1995 and has held faculty positions in the Department of Psychology at Indiana University and the College of Education at Michigan State University.  She has received research funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Spencer Foundation.  Her research is focused on the development of number concepts and mathematical reasoning, with a particular interest in the use of cognitive science principles to improve children's learning.

Dr. Kelly Mix’s Learning and Cognition Lab website


Melanie Killen

Dr. Melanie Killen, Ph.D., from the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley. The topics that she studies with young children include conflict resolution, moral judgment, social cognition, social exclusion, intergroup attitudes, gender stereotypes, and peer relationships.  She has a team of doctoral students and undergraduate research assistants who are well trained in interview methodologies with young children. Currently she is conducting two studies at the CYC, one on moral judgment and resource allocation, and a second project social exclusion and inclusion in peer groups.

Dr. Melanie Killen's Social and Moral Development Laboratory web site.

Report on Children’s Understanding of Resource Allocation


Lucas Butler

Dr. Lucas Butler, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University, and was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. His research program explores the nuanced interplay between two critical components of early learning: the capacity to learn important information about the world by making inductive inferences on the basis of limited evidence, and the ability to flexibly and selectively learn from others. He is working to understand how early cognitive development is fundamentally shaped both by the social context in which it occurs, and by children’s developing social cognitive capacities.


Richard Prather

Dr. Richard Prather, Ph.D.,  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Prior to joining the university of Maryland Dr. Prather received degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (PhD) and MIT (BS). He investigates children's neurocognitive development with a primary focus on cognitive processes relevant to early mathematics learning. His research uses neuroimaging, computational modeling and behavioral experimentation to develop mechanistic explanations of behavior and insights into the relationship between children's behavior and neural activity. Additionally, he works in schools to develop interventions to improve children's mathematics performance. 

Dr. Lucas Butler and Dr. Richard Prather co-direct the Cognition and Development Lab.



Kenneth Rubin

Dr. Andrea Chronis-Tuscano, Ph.D., and Dr. Kenneth Rubin, Ph.D., and have been conducting a 5-year intervention study for children who are extremely shy. Dr. Rubin is a Professor within the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology and Founding Director, Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture. Previously, he was Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, and has held Visiting Appointments at Stanford U., U. Washington, U. Melbourne (Australia), and the Max-Planck-Institut fur Psychologische Forschung (Munich). His research interests include the study of child and adolescent social development, especially peer and parent-child relationships; social and emotional adjustment and maladjustment in childhood and adolescence; the origins and developmental course of social competence, social withdrawal, and aggression; and “all of the above” from a cross-cultural perspective.

Dr. Chronis-Tuscano, Ph.D.,  is a Professor within the Department of Psychology. Her research aims to examine the trajectory of young children displaying early behavioral inhibition, including the development of psychopathology, and to intervene by targeting key moderators of outcome (e.g., parenting and social relationships). She also studies developmental outcomes for children with ADHD and develops novel treatments to target early risk and protective factors.

The Preschool Shyness Study is conducted by Drs. Rubin and Chronis-Tuscano through the Laboratory for the Study of Child and Family Relationships


Dr. Jeffrey Lidz, Ph.D., and Dr. Andrea Zukowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey Lidz, Ph.D., and Dr. Andrea Zukowski, Ph.D., from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park, have conducted research at the Center for Young Children for many years. Dr. Lidz received his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1996 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Dr. Zukowski received her PhD in 2001 from Boston University. Researchers in the Department of Linguistics focus on how children learn the structure of sentences in their language (syntax) and how sentence structure relates to meaning (semantics). An important component of this research involves the comparison of children learning a wide range of languages. Dr. Zukowski’s work also compares typically developing children’s language development with that of children with various developmental disorders, especially Williams Syndrome.

 Project on Children’s Language Learning web site.


Geetha Ramani

Dr. Geetha Ramani, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Ramani’s research focuses on how young children’s social interactions with adults and peers influence their cognitive development.  She is also interested in how play and informal learning activities can promote children’s thinking in the areas of mathematics, problem solving, and planning. 

Dr. Ramani's Early Childhood Interaction Lab web site.



Hedwig Teglasi

Dr. Hedwig Teglasi, Ph.D., ABPP, a professor in the School Psychology Program within the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education at the University of Maryland, received her Ph.D. from Hofstra University. Dr. Teglasi and her students have conducted research at the CYC on children's temperament, social understanding, and social competence. Her interests are in how the interplay between children’s temperamental dispositions and exchanges with various environments impacts their learning and development.  

Dr. Hedy Teglasi’s Temperament and Narratives Lab .



Yi Ting Huang

Dr. Yi Ting Huang , Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Harvard University and trained as a post-doctoral fellow in Cognitive Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Huang’s research focuses on how young language learners acquire the ability to coordinate linguistic representations during real-time comprehension. She explores this question by using eye-tracking methods to examine how the moment-to-moment changes that occur during processing influence the year-to-year changes that emerge during development.

Dr. Yi Ting Huang’s Language and Cognition Lab 


Johnathan Beire

Dr. Jonathan Beier, Ph.D.,  is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2008 and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany prior to coming to the University of Maryland. His research is focused on the development of social cognition, in which he studies how mental states and social relationships impact children’s social behavior.

Dr. Jonathan Beier’s Lab for Early Social Cognition website


Rochelle Newman

Dr. Rochelle Newman  is Chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, as well as Associate Director of the Maryland Language Science Center. She also assisted in founding the UMD Infant and Child Studies Consortium and the UMD Autism Research Consortium. Her research examines speech perception and language acquisition. The focus of her work lies in how the brain recognizes words from fluent speech, especially in the context of loud environments, and how this ability changes over time.

Dr. Rochelle Newman’s Language Development and Perception Laboratories website.


Byoung-Suk Kweon

Dr. Byoung-Suk Kweon is a registered landscape architect and an associate professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. Her research is interdisciplinary and involves looking at how school environments may impact children’s behavioral, health, and educational outcomes. Her current work is examining the effects of green school on children’s well-being and academic performance.




Dr. Melinda Martin-Beltran is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics at Stanford University and has worked as a bilingual and ESOL teacher in both the U.S. and Latin America. Her research is focused on how learners (students and teachers) build knowledge and engage in social processes of learning.



 Dina Borzekowski

Dr. Dina Borzekowski  is a Research Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health within the UMD School of Public Health. Prior to coming to UMD, Dr. Borzekowski was at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work, both domestic and international, investigates how the media impacts child health and well-being.




Jan Edwards

Dr. Jan Edwards joined the University of Maryland Fall of 2016 as a faculty member in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences and she also serves as an Associate Director of the Maryland Language Science Center. Her research centers on how preschool-aged children learn the sounds and words of language, how this relates to language skills, literacy and school success. She investigates how children learn to talk with a wide range of language experiences - multiple languages, cochlear implants, autism spectrum disorders, and mainstream and non-mainstream dialects of English.

Dr. Jan Edwards’ Learning to Talk Laboratory website.