Judith Pena-Shaff

Professor, Psychology


A good way to learn about what our team does and see if this team is a good fit for you is to review what team members think of team. Read below and if you are interested in joining our team please e-mail Judith Pena-Shaff (me) to schedule an appointment

Seren Ozkan (3rd semester, Spring 2012)

 The three semesters that I’ve spent on the Educational and Developmental Psychology research team have been a highlight of my undergraduate career at Ithaca College. I was initially interested in joining this team because of the possibility of working on projects within the local community, as well as my interests in educational issues and working with children. Our team is great for students interested in school psychology, education, and community program evaluation.

Over the course of three semesters, we have worked on a diverse range of projects, and this has exposed us to just about every stage in the research process. We have created surveys, collected data, written literature reviews, performed statistical analyses, worked on content analysis, created professional posters, and practiced our presentation skills. Every team member is also given a chance to present at a research conference, which is an invaluable learning experience. Presenting at EPA in March 2012 was beneficial both personally and professionally, as we were able to gain experience presenting our original research and data findings with the professional psychology community. Speaking with conference attendees who were interested in, and appreciative of, our particular field of research was a particularly memorable experience.

The Educational and Developmental Psychology research team is a great way to develop leadership skills, build strong relationships with fellow teammates, and make a difference in the community, all while applying skills learned in psychology courses.

Joelle Fingerhutt (3rd semester, Spring 2012)

I think the research teams that Ithaca offers are extremely valuable and meaningful ways to learn. With that being said, I think the Developmental and Educational team offered by Judith is a great opportunity for students who are specifically interested in educational psych, school counseling, and other school-psychology related fields to gain knowledge and skills. I specifically recommend this team because I feel like it isn’t really a class as it is more of a group/team effort. When we meet every T/TR, I feel like we are meeting to have a discussion and to achieve as much as possible as a group rather than competitively work to achieve individual grades. I really value the work I have done in Team because I feel that Judith expects excellent work from all of us and expects us to try and learn as much as we are capable of. Don’t join this team if you want an easy A. You have to actually do a lot of work, which can sometimes be hard since it is only a 2 credit class. But if you value learning how to create professional posters and presentations, as well as detailed studies and experiments, I would recommend joining this team. You DEFINITELY need to know how to work independently and without direct supervision and instruction, otherwise you will have absolutely no idea what is going on. Taking leadership is valued in this team as well. Overall, I think it is a rewarding experience and I think that on this team you probably gain the most professionalism and understanding of what research in the educational field really entails.

Stephanie Strzepek (3rd semester, Spring 2012)

Research team is one of the most rewarding experiences as a psychology major. I am on my third and final semester and could not have made a better decision to join Judith's team. I have learned so much and am able to apply everything I have learned to the projects that we are involved in. The projects I have worked on include working with local high school and middle schools surveying the students' perceptions of disciplinary practices, working with a federal credit union on evaluating their financial education program, and most recently evaluating an Ithaca College course on sustainability involving the community. You will learn many skills that you will need in the future, including how to write human subject proposals, improving SPSS skills, and developing surveys, to name a few. You will only have to commit a couple hours a week to team work. But the most rewarding aspect on this team are the students I get to work with. Not only are we doing projects that help the community, but we support each other and create friendships. I highly suggest you join research team 13!

Callie Lehrer (3rd semester, Spring 2012)

I am in my third and final semester of research team and could not be more pleased to have worked with a great group of individuals. Research team 13 has allowed me to expand my knowledge about statistics and other aspects of research. I now feel comfortable using SPSS and I have helped with content analysis, survey development and literature reviews for various studies. Some of the previous studies I have worked on [involve working with school districts] examiing student’s perceptions about disciplinary practices and differential treatment as well as the school climate. Also, I helped to conduct research for evaluation of a federal credit union’s financial education program and administered the surveys at the end of the course. Currently I am working on research for a course Ithaca College offers on social justice and sustainability. I coded and entered the data and ran various analyses throughout the semester. Judith has provided a warm and friendly atmosphere throughout team while still being professional and focused. I would highly recommend research team 13 if you are interested in educational research that will help better the community.