Education Staff

Child Trends’ education research strives to identify the educational policies, programs, and structures that create the positive conditions for learning that help youth flourish in primary and secondary school, college, career, and beyond.  Areas of research expertise include: social and emotional learning and non-academic competencies; health and nutrition policies; college and workplace readiness; school climate and discipline; bullying; integrated student services; charter schools; family strengths and involvement in education; international comparisons; character education; dropout prevention and recovery; science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM); and afterschool and summer learning. We offer technical assistance (including survey, measure, and indicator development, as well as strategic planning around school initiatives), research syntheses, data and policy analysis, training, program evaluation, and reviews of best practices to identify what works and what doesn’t.

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Deborah Temkin

Program Area Director for Education
Education: M.A., Education Theory and Policy; M.S., Human Development and Family Studies; Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Deborah Temkin is a senior research scientist in the Education research area, where she is focused on the intersections between education and healthy social and emotional development. She brings a wide array of methodological skills including multi-level modeling, social network analysis (including visualization and longitudinal analysis using SIENA), latent class analysis, dyadic social relations modeling, and qualitative data collection and analysis.

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Lina Guzman

Director of Child Trends' Hispanic Institute and Co-Director for Reproductive Health and Family Formation & Senior Research Scientist
Education: Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Lina Guzman is a family demographer with expertise in qualitative research and survey design. Her current research focuses on reproductive health and decision-making among young adults, in particular racial/ethnic minorities, as well as union formation and stability among vulnerable couples.

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Tamara Halle

Co-Director for Early Childhood Development and Senior Research Scientist
Education: Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan

Tamara Halle conducts research and evaluation studies on children’s early cognitive and social development, early childhood care and education, family and community supports for school readiness, and school characteristics associated with ongoing achievement and positive development.

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Zakia Redd

Deputy Program Area Director
Education: M.P.P., Georgetown University

Zakia Redd has more than 12 years of experience studying how programs and policies affect the outcomes of low-income children and families.

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Karen Walker

Senior Research Fellow
Education: Ph.D., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Karen Walker is a sociologist with broad expertise in evaluation research on programs that support child and adolescent development, with a particular emphasis on after-school and other youth development programs.

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Sarah Daily

Senior Research Scientist
Education: Ph.D., Educational Psychology, George Mason University

Sarah Daily, Ph.D., focuses on early childhood research and the role that state public policies and programs play in serving the needs of young children. Dr. Daily’s portfolio of projects focus on quality improvement initiatives and state school readiness practices.

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Manica F. Ramos

Research Scientist
Education: Ph.D., Applied Developmental Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Manica Ramos is a developmental psychologist who conducts mixed methods research. Her research focuses on early care and education programs, specifically, parental engagement, assessing the quality of parent-teacher relationships, understanding and measuring cultural sensitivity and parental empowerment, and conducting evaluations of early care and education interventions.

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Brandon Stratford

Research Scientist
Education: Ph.D., Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

Brandon Stratford received his Ph.D. in public health at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on child and adolescent health. He has worked as an educator and a school-based social worker in the United States and Latin America and has experience implementing a number of evidence-based programs related to students’ behavioral health as well as positive parenting behaviors in both English and Spanish.

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Kristen E. Darling-Churchill

Research Scientist
Education: M.P.P., American University

Kristen Darling-Churchill is a senior research analyst with Child Trends' education and early childhood teams. Currently Kristen specializes in qualitative research focused on: early childhood social and emotional development; early childhood developmental screening and assessments; positive child well-being indicator development, in school and community contexts; technical assistance related to measurement of and improvements to conditions for learning in schools (a.k.a. school climate); school discipline policy research and analysis; needs assessment; and resource dissemination strategies. Kristen also serves as Child Trends’ education program area manager, and as a project manager and proposal development lead.

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Joy Thompson

Senior Research Analyst
Education: M.A., Applied Developmental Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Joy Thompson has a background in applied developmental psychology. To date, her graduate work has involved examining the various interdependent contexts that affect pre-k-12 educational outcomes, including school and home-based interventions, parents’ beliefs and practices, and teacher-child interactions.

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