College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Five undergraduate students win ICD departmental awards

ICD presented departmental awards to five undergraduate students at the May faculty meeting. Dr. Chryle Elieff, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Developmental Psychology, delivered the awards and shared remarks about each of the students.

From left: Alharith Dameh, Milena Yishak, Ellie Schwartzman, Michaela Haig, and Alejandra Rivera

The Anne D. Pick Award is named in honor of ICD Professor Emeritus Anne Pick, who served as the honors thesis advisor and taught the undergraduate honors seminar for many years. Students selected for the award demonstrate excellence in both research and academics in the area of child development. This year, a Senior and Junior were selected for the award.

Anne D. Pick Award for Outstanding Developmental Psychology Senior - Milena Yishak

Milena Yishak graduated this semester with her degree in Developmental Psychology and a Psychology minor. She served as the Co-President/Founder of the Eritrean Student Association and PR/Marketing Chair of the Association of Black Psychology Students. Her leadership extended off campus also, as she was selected to attend the Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) Black Student Leadership Network (BSLN) conference the past two years. She will be starting a graduate program in school psychology at the U of M this fall. 

Anne D. Pick Award for Outstanding Developmental Psychology Junior - Ellie Schwartzman

Ellie Schwartzman recently completed her junior year as a Developmental Psychology major with minors in Family Violence Prevention, Family Therapy and Sociology. She has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant, worked in the Family Cognitive Affective Neurodevelopment (Fam CAN) Lab led by Dr. Sylia Wilson, and is working on an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) project and honors thesis focusing on how postpartum depression could impact the developmental trajectory of infants. Ellie also does volunteer work with Camp Kesem, an organization supporting children whose caregivers have cancer. 

ICD Advancement of Developmental Science Award - Michaela Haig

Michaela Haig graduated this semester with her degree in Developmental Psychology and minors in Integrative Neuroscience and French Studies. Michaela was an honors student who worked in the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, led by Drs. Stephanie Carlson and Phil Zelazo, as well as with Dr. Ann Masten in ICD. She is completing a UROP project studying adolescents' focused and divided attention and she completed an honors thesis focusing on executive function, kindergarten achievement, and neighborhood opportunity. Michaela is set to begin a PhD program in Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

ICD Undergraduate Applied Development Award - Alharith (Harith) Dameh

Harith Dameh is working toward a dual degree in Developmental Psychology and Neuroscience. He has worked in several ICD labs related to cognitive and neuroimaging research, as well as serving as a research assistant in the Medical School. He has served as a Child Life Zone volunteer at Children's Minnesota and volunteered as a forensics coach at Apple Valley High School. This award recognizes his commitment to applying his knowledge and understanding of diverse children with varying abilities to help foster their comfort in community and hospital settings. 

ICD Undergraduate Campus Leadership Award - Alejandra Rivera

Ale Rivera graduated in fall 2023 with a degree in Developmental Psychology. In her first year at the U of M, she was selected as a College of Liberal Arts President's Emerging Scholar. She volunteered in a community elementary school supporting the use of the arts to foster positive, inclusive environments for young children. She also co-founded The Porres Collective, a Catholic young adult group that focuses on diversity, equality, and social justice and has organized food and clothing drives in communities.

Congratulations to the ICD award winners! We are very proud of you and all your accomplishments.