About the Collaborative on Early Adolescence (CEA)


Nina Mounts, Ph.D. 
Director of the Collaborative on Early Adolescence 
Department of Psychology 
Developmental Psychology 
Associate Professor 
Profile: http://www.niu.edu/psyc/faculty/mounts.shtml

Interests: My interests are in adolescent social development. Specifically, I am interested in parenting and peer relationships during the adolescent period. I am especially interested in linkages between parenting and peer relationships. I am also interested in the social experiences of diverse adolescents including ethnically diverse adolescents and adolescents with disabilities.

Amanda Durik, Ph.D. 

Department of Psychology 
Social and Industrial/Organizational Psychology 
Assistant Professor 
Profile: http://www.niu.edu/psyc/faculty/mounts.shtml

Interests: I study situational and individual factors that promote optimal motivation (interest and performance) in achievement situations.  I also examine sequelae of achievement goals, the developmental phases of interest, and processes that link motivation and performance.

Joseph Flynn, Ph.D.
Department of Teaching & Learning 
Curriculum & Instruction 
Assistant Professor 

Mark Pietrowski, M.A.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 
External Programming Coordinator  
Profile: http://www.niu.edu/clasep/contact/mpietrowski.shtml

Laura Pittman, Ph.D.  
Department of Psychology 
Clinical Psychology 
Associate Professor  
Profile: http://www.niu.edu/psyc/faculty/pittman.shtml

Interests: My research interests lie in the field of developmental psychopathology, specifically focusing on how family processes and broader contextual factors influence the socioemotional and cognitive functioning children and adolescents. I take a risk and resilience approach, focusing on protective factors that enhance the likelihood for successful trajectories through childhood and adolescence and into young adulthood in at-risk populations. My current work focuses on the role of grandparents in the development of children and adolescents in a variety of sociocultural contexts.

Jennifer Schmidt, Ph.D.
Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations 
Educational Psychology 
Associate Professor 
Website: http://www.cedu.niu.edu/%7eschmidt/

Interests: I am generally interested in adolescent engagement in contexts that facilitate optimal development. I study academic motivation as well as the extra-curricular involvement of youth. I am currently involved in a study of student engagement in high school science courses. Other recent work has focused on the benefits of youth community service involvement for adolescents' academic, behavioral, and civic outcomes. 

Lee Shumow, Ph.D.
Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations
Educational Psychology
Website: http://www.cedu.niu.edu/%7eshumow/index.shtml

Interests: My research focuses on the influence of out-of-school contexts on the educational adjustment of children and adolescents. In particular, I have examined relationships between educational adjustment and aspects of parenting (especially parental school involvement), neighborhood/ community characteristics, and time use  (especially homework, after school activities, reading, and community service).  I am also interested in teacher education. 

David Valentiner, Ph.D. 

Department of Psychology
Clinical Psychology
Associate Professor
Website:  http://davidvalentiner.weebly.com/

Interests: My research examines anxiety disorders and the treatment of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, test anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. I am particularly interested in how these conditions develop during adolescence, the social and academic consequences of anxiety disorders, and the development of early intervention and prevention programs.

Donna E. Werderich, Ph.D.
Department of Literacy Education
Graham Hall 119A
Profile: http://www.cedu.niu.edu/ltcy/aboutus/faculty/werderich.shtml

Interests: My research interests include adolescent literacy, motivation and strategy instruction in writing, and teacher education. I am currently working on a study of writers' self-perceptions and practices across a span of educational levels from middle school through college. My long-term research goals include examining preservice and inservice teachers' views about themselves as writers and teachers of writing, a dimension that would contribute to the overall picture of writing instruction.

Corrine M. Wickens, Ph.D.
Department of Literacy Education
Northern Illinois University
Assistant Professor
Profile: http://www.cedu.niu.edu/ltcy/aboutus/faculty/wickens.shtml

Paul M. Wright, Ph.D.
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Northern Illinois University
Associate Professor

Interests: My interests are in the area of youth development through physical activity. Specifically, I am interested in helping youth learn and practice life skills such as goal-setting and leadership in both school- and community-based programs. I specialize in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs for underserved youth and I am interested in ways such programs may benefit youth in terms of social-emotional development, obesity prevention, and academic success.