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CECE Research Team

The CECE research team is made up of faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University, CECE staff, and carefully selected students who are passionate about contributing to the field of early childhood education, child development, and/or family support. CECE researchers have published extensively in national and international journals, presented their work at national and international conferences, and influenced professional practice around the world. The individuals below are currently conducting or have recently completed empirical studies at the center.

The CECE encourages scholars and student researchers in all disciplines to conduct research on children and families within our facility. Find out more about conducting research through the CECE.

Julia DeLapp

Julia DeLapp CECE Director

Julia DeLapp is the Director of the Center for Early Childhood Education. She holds a master’s degree with a focus on families and public policy. She served as Co-Investigator of the TIMPANI Toy Study and currently serves as Co-Investigator of the "Factors that Influence the Social Participation of Dual Language Learners" study. She is the producer and author of dozens of professional development videos that are viewed by early childhood educators and administrators throughout the world. She is also author/developer of several online learning modules for home visitors.

Sudha SwaminathanDr. Sudha Swaminathan  Professor of Early Childhood Education
Chair of the Education Department

Sudha Swaminathan is a faculty member in the Center for Early Childhood Education. She holds a doctorate in early childhood mathematics education and has taught, studied, and written extensively about math, science, and technology learning and teaching in early childhood education. She recently served as Co-Investigator of "The Relationship of Teacher-Child Math Talk During Preschool Play To Young Children’s Mathematics Learning" study (funded by the Spencer Foundation) and the "Study of Coding and Debugging by Preschoolers."

Jeffrey Trawick-SmithDr. Jeffrey Trawick-SmithProfessor Emeritus
Former Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education, Distinguished Professor, CSU Professor

Jeffrey Trawick-Smith was the first Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair, a post he held at the CECE through 2018. He has authored/edited over 50 books/articles and presented over 100 papers at research conferences, mostly related to young children's play, culture, and teacher-child classroom interactions. Although retired, he continues to conduct research, provide consultation on CECE studies, and mentor student researchers.

Current Student Researchers

A part of the mission of the Center for Early Childhood Education is to provide undergraduate students with opportunities to engage in authentic research projects that contribute to our understanding of young children and how they learn and develop. CECE faculty scholars mentor students in carrying out all steps of scientific inquiry, including data collection, interpretation of results, and presentation and publication of findings. Below are the students who are currently serving as research assistants on CECE studies or conducting their research. Many former student research assistants also appear in videos reflecting on their research experience.

Madison BalleyMadison Bailey, Trawick-Smith Undergraduate Research Scholar

Study: Effective Teaching Strategies to Support Play by Children with Sensory Disabilities 

Majors: Theatre and Early Childhood Education

Abby BourdonAbby Bourdon, Student Researcher

Study: Factors that Influence the Social Participation of Dual Language Learners

Majors: Psychology and Early Childhood Education

Kendra FlanaganKendra Flanagan, Student Researcher

Study: Factors That Influence the Social Participation of Dual Language Learners

Majors: Early Childhood Education and Psychology

Fatima GodinaFatima Godina, Student Researcher 

Study: Factors That Influence the Social Participation of Dual Language Learners 

Major: Psychology