College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Meet ICD’s 2023 first-year PhD cohort

Please join us in welcoming ICD’s new class of PhD students. We are thrilled to have the following students join us at ICD and are looking forward to working with them across the next several years!

Tyler Choate – Developmental Science

Tyler comes to ICD with 10 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist and infant/early childhood mental health consultant. Before that, he completed undergraduate and graduate work close to home in culture rich Southwest Louisiana, a region called Acadiana. Prior to coming to Minnesota, he served children and families in Chicago and mentored clinicians and educators around the globe in relationship-based models of early childhood. 

His research interests revolve around early childhood adversity and resilience. He is particularly interested in macro systems level adversity related to racism, poverty, violence, and other harmful forms of othering that disproportionately affect marginalized communities.

Emily Furtado – DPCS

Emily is a first year PhD student in the developmental psychopathology and clinical science program. Through her research she would like to characterize how negative life experiences during sensitive developmental periods affect emotional functioning. Toward that goal, she hopes to use skills in neuroimaging (fMRI and fNIRS) to better understand how stress can influence emotion-related psychophysiology and risk for psychopathology.

Angelina Jones – DPCS

Angelina is a first-year doctoral student in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science track working primarily with Jed Elison. She is interested in understanding the neural underpinnings of cognitive deficits in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. She aspires to investigate neuropsychological profiles and identify biomarkers of cognitive deficits during early childhood to be used as objective measures in order to individualize treatment development in these individuals.

She has a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Alabama.

Beyza Kazan – Developmental Science

Beyza is a first year PhD student working with Dr. Charisse Pickron and Dr. Melissa Koenig. She previously worked with Dr. Elizabeth Spelke and Dr. Ashley Thomas at Harvard University, focusing on understanding social relationships. She is interested in how infants and children make inferences of the world within social contexts.

Beyza has a B.A. in Psychology and Psychological Counseling and Guidance from Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Timothy Martin– DPCS

Timothy Martin is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science program. His research interests include developmental cognitive neuroscience and executive function. He is especially interested in educational practices and clinical interventions, such as self-reflection and mindfulness, which promote children’s cognitive functioning.

Prior to his studies at the University of Minnesota, Tim worked as a licensed professional counselor (LPCC) in New Mexico both in private practice and as the Director of Outpatient Services at Taos Behavioral Health.

Ngan (Nora) Nguyen – Developmental Science

Ngan (Nora) Nguyen 

Ngan (Nora) Nguyen is a first-year doctoral student on the Developmental Science track. She is interested in studying the impacts of intergenerational transmission of risks (e.g., parental psychopathology and adverse childhood experiences) on child and adolescent key regulatory processes and mental health outcomes among Southeast Asian populations and their diasporas. Additionally, her interests include looking beyond the nuclear family system to better understand intergenerational trauma by accounting for broader ecological contexts and interpersonal settings.

Shi Xin Ooi – Developmental Science

Shi Xin is a first-year doctoral student on the Developmental Science track. Her research interests include cognitive development; culture, cross-culture; early childhood; language development; and social and emotional development.

She has a B.S. degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and an Accelerated Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan.

Ayah Phuly – Developmental Science

 Ayah Pauly

Ayah is a first-year doctoral student collaborating with Dr. Glenn Roisman. Ayah’s main research interests are focused on the relationships that young children cultivate in their early years of schooling, both at home and in school, and how they impact development and educational achievements/beliefs. Particularly, Ayah is interested in the role infant attachment plays in teacher-student relationship quality and how the relationship quality can be improved, especially among historically underserved children.

Ayah has a B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Jaylen Santos – Developmental Science

Jaylen worked as a research assistant with the Center for Critical Public Health conducting qualitative interviews with young adults living in rural Northern California about their alcohol and substance use. Jaylen also worked with Dr. Emily Reeder at Southern Oregon University creating a decision-making matrix analyzing how jurors make decisions in a criminal trial. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Jaylen worked as a Juvenile Justice Specialist at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center in Jackson County, Oregon.

At ICD, Jaylen is interested in exploring the relationship between youth resilience, decision-making, and substance use. Jaylen is currently working with Dr. Sylia Wilson on the Social Inequality Project.

Akira Wang – DPCS

Akira Wang

Akira will be working with Dr. Sylia Wilson in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science program. Her research examines the biopsychosocial consequences of early life stress in children, with an emphasis on parental characteristics. She is particularly interested in using data-driven approaches and behavioral genetics to study how stress alters the normative trajectory of brain development, leveraging neuroimaging techniques to identify prodromal indicators of psychopathology. She is also interested in delineating individuals’ differences in their susceptibility and resilience to mental disorders through investigating neural structures, connectivity and how individuals are embedded in the society at the interpersonal and societal levels.