Skip to main content
Faculty/Staff Resources
Human Development and Family Studies
Search search
Mobile Search:

Hundreds of students have graduate from HDFS and hold positions in research and academia all over the world.  Below are profiles of a few select students whose career pathways illustrate the types of positions our graduate students pursue.

Kristine Bova (2018)

Kristine's research focused on mechanisms by which parenting behaviors support children's development of self-regulation, particularly in high-risk contexts such as poverty.  In addition to her academic research training Kristine interned with the EPIScenter, to translate research to community agencies and stakeholders, and served as a research assistant for a professor in psychology, delivering community-based interventions for high-risk youth.  This range of of experiences prepared Kristine for her current position as a Research and Evaluation Specialist for the PA Child Welfare Resource Center.

Megan Maas (2106)

Megan's research focused on the role of technology on sexual development.  Megan established a strong record of productivity in her scientific pursuits at Penn State, which prepared her for her position as an Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University.  Check out Dr. Maas's faculty profile here

Frank Infurna (2012)

Frank's research focuses on the effects of stress on adult development and aging processes.  During his time at Penn State Frank received the Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization (ESPO) Interdisciplinary paper award (2009) from the Gerontological Society of America.  After graduating from Penn State, Dr. Infurna worked as a Visiting Research Fellow at the German Institute for Economic Research before taking a faculty position in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, where he is now an Associate Professor.  Check out his lab here.

Amanda Griffin (2018)

Amanda's research focuses on understanding the complex interactions between persons and environments.  Her work makes use of ecological momentary assessments to understand how transactional processes  unfold in real time, as well as genetically informative designs to examine the role of heritable mechanisms in individual development.  During her time at Penn State Amanda was a fellow on the Prevention and Methodology (PAMT) T32 training grant.  She was also selected as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Kligman Fellowship for the College of Health and Human Development.  While working on her dissertation, Amanda participated in the departmental grant writing course where she prepared the F32 application that currently funds her postdoctoral training position at the Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon.  Check out her website here.

Lauren Philbrook (2015)

Lauren's research focuses on children's biobehavioral regulation.  While at Penn State she studied factors that supported infants' development of diurnal rhythms that support consolidating sleep cycles at night, and the ability to self-sooth during the night.  Upon graduating Lauren completed a postdoc at the University of Auburn, before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Colgate University.  See Lauren's lab website here.  

Christine Fortunato (2011)

Christine's research focused on neurobiological implications of chronic stress and implications for children's socioemotional development.  Upon graduating from Penn State she was selected for a highly competitive policy fellowship with the Society for Research in Child Development.  Christine is currently the team leader for child welfare research in OPRE. Dr. Fortunato develops and coordinates research activities related to child welfare and other programs serving low-income children and their families. She oversees a diverse array of projects, including the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being, Feasibility of Linking Administrative Data to Better Understand Child Maltreatment Incidence, and the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. She is particularly interested in using research and data to aid key stakeholders in making more informed decisions about implementing feasible and effective interventions.