Cassie Simons Gerson

Cassie Simons Gerson

Research Scientist II

Areas Of Expertise

Education & Certification

PhD, Applied Developmental Psychology, UMBC, MA, Applied Developmental Psychology, UMBC

Cassie Simons Gerson, PhD, is a research scientist II in early childhood. Dr. Gerson is interested in evaluating programs with the potential to boost children’s social and cognitive development and enhance parent and teacher wellbeing in lower-income and underserved communities. She has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative analysis and typically takes a mixed-methods approach to research and evaluation. Before coming to Child Trends, she served as a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) policy fellow at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) in the Division of Early Childhood. In this role, she analyzed data on kindergarten readiness, child care subsidies, and other state programs. She also conducted an evaluation of Maryland’s Head Start State Collaboration Office and supported several other research projects, including Child Trends’ Child Care Policy Research Partnership with MSDE.

Prior to serving as an SRCD fellow, she worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Maryland, College Park at the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention. In this role, she managed an implementation evaluation of Washington, D.C.’s Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership, completed an analysis of inclusive learning opportunities for young children with disabilities in Maryland, and wrote journal articles related to infant-toddler teacher wellbeing, child maltreatment prevention programs, and the associations between environmental stress and child behavior problems. Her previous work has examined the implementation of early childhood programs, documented the experiences of parents who are immigrants, and tested associations between caregivers’ beliefs, psychological wellbeing, and interactions with children. Dr. Gerson holds a PhD and MA in applied developmental psychology from UMBC.