Team Members

The Kindergarten Readiness Research Program

Megan McClelland, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Megan McClelland is the Hallie E.Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families Endowed Director and the Katherine E. Smith Professor of Healthy Children and Families in Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on optimizing children's development, especially as it relates to children’s self-regulation and school readiness including links between self-regulation and academic achievement from early childhood to adulthood, recent advances in measuring self-regulation, and intervention efforts to improve these skills in young children.


Alexis Tracy, M.S., Research Project Coordinator
Alexis is a Research Project Coordinator at Oregon State University. She received a bachelor’s degree in child development from California State University, Chico and a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Science from Oregon State University.  Her research interests include learning more about how children successfully develop self-regulatory and school readiness skills in preschool.  More specifically, she is interested in how childcare contexts can support the successful development of these skills in children with elevated levels of problem behaviors.  Additionally, she is interested in learning how early childhood education classrooms can support and foster the teacher-child relationship, particularly for those children perceived as having problem behaviors.


Jasmine Karing, MPH, Faculty Research Assistant
Jasmine Karing is a Faculty Research Assistant at Oregon State University. She received a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, specializing in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health. As part of her graduate work, she focused on maternal health, health equity and social justice. Jasmine previously worked at the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at the John A. Burns, School of Medicine as a Research & Evaluation Specialist coordinating the research, needs assessments, and data analysis of health focused interventions for high school and middle school children.


Alexandria (Allie) Nancarrow, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar 
Allie is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Oregon State University. She received a PhD in developmental psychology with a minor concentration in statistics from the University of Alabama. Her research interests include social cognition as well as ecological impacts on children’s school readiness. 


Jessica Alonso Dahlgren, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Jessica is interested in investigating mechanisms behind self-regulated classroom behavior and how this behavior impacts academic achievement in early education. In her current projects she is working on investigating differences in self-regulation and achievement in the full day kindergarten setting.  She is also working with foster youth data to explore the differences that contextual factors can have on classroom behavior as well as academic self-efficacy.  


Alexis Merculief, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Alexis is interested in how features of the built and social environment influence cognitive development (specifically, executive function) in early and middle childhood; as well as how community resilience and cultural identity can promote long-term health and academic achievement for children from underserved populations. Alexis graduated with her B.A. in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University where she researched self-regulation in children with Autism. She is an Aleut tribal member and previously worked to promote health and well-being in American Indian/Alaska Native children through youth program development at an AI/AN health organization in the Northwest.


Isabella Sciuto, Graduate Research Assistant
Isabella just recently graduated from California State University San Marcos with a degree in psychology. Her research interests involve children's development of self-regulation and academic readiness skills particularly in children from low-income families and the barriers they face to academic achievement. More specifically, she is interested in how self-regulation interventions can help preschool aged children from disadvantaged areas reach similar levels of academic achievement as their more advantaged peers by the time they reach kindergarten and elementary school.



Jennifer Finders, M.S., Postdoctorate Scholar, Purdue University

Christopher Gonzales, Ph.D., UC Davis

Derek Becker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University

Aya Bukres, B.S., Lab Manager, University of Rochester

Guadalupe Diaz, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Irvine

Robert Duncan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Purdue University

Alicia Miao, Ph.D., Oregon State University

Tiffany Nguyen-Van, B.S., Oregon State University

Christopher Partipilo, M.S., Oregon State University

Megan Pratt, Ph.D. Assistant Professor (Practice), Oregon State University

Sara Schmitt, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Purdue University

Shauna Tominey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Practice & Parenting Education Specialist, Oregon State University

Shannon Beth Wanless, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh