Meet the Scientist Luncheon

Registration for this luncheon is full. Please email the office if you would like to be added to a waiting list at [email protected].

The Meet the Scientist Lunchon is a traditional event at the SRA Meeting that provides a forum for emerging scholars to interact with senior scholars who have central roles in the field of adolescent development and in the Society. Over a catered lunch, emerging scholars and senior scientists will have dedicated time to discuss career development, challenges in the field, research initiatives, and where the field might be heading.

Margarita Azmitia, PhD   

Professor, Social Sciences Division, Psychology Department

University of California, Santa Cruz  
[email protected] 

Summary of Expertise: How culture, peers, family, and schools provide a context for adolescents and emerging adults’ development. Special emphasis on how close relationships influence the educational pathways and identity intersectionalities of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations.

Aprile Benner, PhD

Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences
University of Texas, Austin
[email protected]

Aprile Benner’s substantive research interests center on the development of low-income and race/ethnic minority youth, investigating how social contexts influence experiences of marginalization and discrimination, school transitions, and developmental outcomes during adolescence. As a developmental psychologist, the core of her research program is a fundamental developmental question—what are the continuities and changes in the social, emotional, and cognitive growth and maturation of young people? Reflecting her training in educational demography, she works to answer this question with an awareness of how such developmental patterns are embedded in the groups, contexts, and social structures of society.

Charissa Cheah, PhD

Professor, Psychology Department
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
[email protected]

Dr. Cheah uses mixed-method and innovative approaches to understand how individual characteristics, relationships, socialization agents, and contexts interact to influence child and adolescent identity development, social-emotional development, and physical health. Her research focuses on families from underrepresented (ethnic/racial, religious minority), immigrant, and low-income backgrounds within the United States and across different countries.

Mike Cunningham, PhD

Professor, School of Science and Engineering
Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellow 
Associate Provost, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Tulane University
[email protected]

Professor Cunningham's primary research interests include examining adolescent development in diverse contexts. Specifically, he examines resilience and vulnerability in African American children and adolescents.

Elan Hope, PhD

Director of Research & Evaluation
Policy Research Associates, Inc.

[email protected]

Dr. Elan C. Hope, Director of Research and Evaluation at Policy Research Associates, is an expert in youth development, racial justice, and well-being. She is an award-winning author of over 70 publications that explore how young people challenge oppression and create positive change in their communities. Dr. Hope is a proud alumna of Smith College, where she received a B.A. in Psychology, and the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), where she earned a Ph.D. in Education & Psychology. Prior to joining PRA, Dr. Hope was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, then an associate professor of psychology, and a university scholar at NC State University.

Lisa Kiang, PhD

Professor of Psychology

Wake Forest University
[email protected]

My research is in the intersection of self and identity, family and social relationships, and race and ethnicity. The bulk of my work has focused on ethnic-racial identity (ERI) among adolescents from minoritized backgrounds, and how its development is shaped by social relationships and context.  My approach examines well-being and sociopolitical adjustment, particularly in the face of negative experiences and discrimination.  Primary themes in my work include: (1) establishing ERI, ethnic-racial socialization, and culturally-relevant processes as positive resources in development, (2) understanding the developmental impact of sociocultural stress (e.g., ethnic-racial discrimination, stereotypes, rejection), including the identification of resiliency factors to minimize disparities, and (3) contextual approaches to self and identity.

Moin Syed, PhD

McKnight Presidential Endowed Professor, Psychology

University of Minnesota
[email protected]

I am a cultural and developmental psychologist who is associated with a personality graduate training program, and thus seek to bring a broad and integrated perspective to the study of psychology. My current focus is on meta-science and scientific reform, aiming to foster a deeper understanding of how we conduct psychological research, with the goal of improving our collective knowledge base. To this end, I pursue projects related to research methods, theory development, inference, open science, and history of psychology. I am particularly interested in pursuing these topics in a way that brings greater integration of racial/ethnic minority psychology with mainstream psychology.

Although not my primary focus, I do continue to engage in some lines of my substantive research on identity and personality development among adolescents and emerging adults from diverse ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, including work on master narratives and identity integration.

Laura Taylor

Associate Professor, School of Psychology

University College Dublin
[email protected]

Laura's research is framed by an intergroup developmental approach to study risk and resilience processes for children, families, and communities in settings of protracted conflict. Her work has implications for youth outcomes, such as aggression, prosocial behaviours and social identity, as well as broader psychosocial processes, such as shared education and intergroup relations, which may fuel or constrain conflict. Toward this end, she studies how and why violence affects behaviours and attitudes related to conflict transformation, primarily during childhood adolescence. Through teaching and mentoring, Laura engages undergraduate and graduate students in research that is sensitive to the psychological needs of individuals and communities, particularly in divided societies.

Laura Wray-Lake, PhD

Professor of Social Welfare
Luskin School of Public Affairs
University of California, Los Angeles

[email protected]

Dr. Laura Wray-Lake is Professor of Social Welfare at UCLA. Her research examines the development of civic engagement in adolescence and young adulthood and factors that enhance youth civic engagement. She has written over 80 research articles and chapters, a monograph (Wray-Lake & Abrams, 2020), and a new book entitled Young Black Changemakers and the Road to Racial Justice. Her research demonstrates that adolescents and young adults hold abundant potential to act as positive change agents and address society’s problems on local, national, and global scales. She has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation, Templeton Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and AmeriCorps. She serves as Associate Editor of the Journal for Research on Adolescence.

Tiffany Yip

Professor of Psychology
Fordham University
[email protected]

Tiffany Yip, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at Fordham University. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Cornell University, earned her MA and PhD in Psychology at NYU, and completed a NIMH and NSF-funded postdoctoral fellowship in the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan. Her research on ethnic identity, discrimination, and sleep among minority adolescents and young adults has been published in the American Psychologist, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Current Directions in Psychological Science. Dr. Yip served as a former Associate Editor for Child Development, the Asian American Journal of Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. She currently serves on the NIH MESH study section. Dr. Yip is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 7 (Developmental Psychology), Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race) and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and her research has been funded by NICHD, NIMHD, NIMH, and NSF.