Judith Pena-Shaff

Judith Pena-Shaff

Associate Professor, Provost and Academic Affairs

Developmental & Educational Psychology Team (Research Team 13)

Research Team Description: Our research team focuses on issues related to human development, learning, and education. Projects involve both qualitative and quantitative research to study human development and learning, educational issues, and evaluation of educational programs. Our team offers its members an excellent experiential learning opportunity to apply psychological methods of inquiry.


What do team members do? Members of our research team critically analyze research articles,  generate literature reviews for our projects; develop research protocols and/or surveys, collect, enter and analyze data,  write conference abstracts and develop conference presentations, and present our study results at student or professional conferences. Students in our team are ready to attend and thrive in graduate schools, work for educational,research, and other types of organizations,

Current Projects:

  • The Effect of Robotically Assisted Independent Locomotion on Attention in Pre-Crawling Infants : As part of a multidisciplinary experimental research project funded by the national Science Foundation our team is working on examining  the relationship between independent locomotion and attentional control in infants. At this stage, our team is focused on developing coding protocols, coding and analyzing video recording data. Students learn to use ELAN, a software that allows us to analyze these infant videos, Excel, and SPSS. This is an empirical study that used an experimental design, 
  • Evaluation of a local after-school tutoring program: During the academic year 2017-18 our team is also helping a local organization assess whether the program is meeting its goals. As part of this evaluation, students learn to analyze qualitative data from surveys as well as use statistical measures to compare academic performance between students in the program and a comparison group.

Our team emphasizes "TEAM work". For us there is no "I" in team! We take hard work and fun very seriously.

If you are interested in joining our team, contact me at jpenaper@ithaca.edu to schedule an interview. You can also review what current team members say about our team so you become more aware of what we do and our expectations.