Student Seminar Series

Our Student Seminar Series brings Harvard undergraduate and graduate students into conversation with leaders in the field of early childhood development. The yearlong, non-credit series covers an interdisciplinary set of topics. Each interactive session introduces students to the integrated science of health, learning, and behavior, as well as the science’s implications for policy and practice.

Serving as a complement to the Center’s Doctoral Student Leadership Collaborative, which provides doctoral students with opportunities for idea exchange and skill building, and the Center’s Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship, which is for advanced doctoral students working on their dissertations, the series presents a unique opportunity for students to join a university-wide community interested in promoting the healthy development of young children in the United States and abroad. Featured speakers include researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.

Session Schedule 2017-18

The seminars take place on selected Tuesdays, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at 50 Church Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge, and dinner is served. While attendance at all sessions is not mandatory, interested participants are required to complete a one-time registration for the series. Room capacity is limited, so students will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. An email reminder will be sent prior to the date of each session, and a response is required to confirm attendance. We must place dinner orders 48 hours in advance of each session, so last-minute cancellations from confirmed attendees are highly discouraged.

Session I: September 26, 2017
Child Development and Severe Poverty: How Early Experiences Get “Under the Skin”
Sarah Jensen, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Headshot of Dana Charles McCoySession II: October 17, 2017
Understanding Early Childhood Development in Diverse Settings: The Development of a Cross-Cultural Measure of Infant and Toddler Skills
Dana Charles McCoy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Headshot of Wayne YsaguirreSession III: November 14, 2017
A Practitioner’s Tale: When Science and Policy Meet a Place-Based, 2-Gen Approach
Wayne Ysaguirre
President and CEO, Nurtury, Inc.
Headshot of Sujata GhoshSession IV: February 13, 2018 
Early Childhood and Massachusetts Child Welfare: Highlights from Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant 2013-2015

Sujata Ghosh, MSW, M.Sc.
Policy & Research Analyst
Massachusetts Department of Children & Families, Executive Office of Health & Human Services
Headshot of Jessica NelsonSession V: March 20, 2018
IDEAS Impact Framework: An Innovative Approach to Program Development and Evaluation
Jessica Nelson, M.A.
Project Manager
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
Headshot of Janet MacDougallSession VI: April 10, 2018
Constructive Dissatisfaction: Using science based research to improve practice in the infant and toddler classroom
Janet MacDougall
Divisional Director
Child Care Division of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston

Register for 2017-18 Student Seminar Series

Photo of Wayne Ysaguirre by Mim Adkins


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