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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 a recent study on dual language learners, and she currently serves as Co-Investigator of the "Association Of Children’s Symbolic Play in the Pretend and Block Centers of Preschool Classrooms with Inhibitory Control" 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.

delappj@easternct.edu

Dr. Won LeeDr. Kwangwon Lee Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Special Education

Kwangwon Lee is a faculty member in the Center for Early Childhood Education. He holds a doctorate in special education with a focus on early childhood education. His research interests include studying joint attention and turn-taking in toddlers with autism. He currently serves as Principal Investigator of the study "Social Turn-Taking Intervention for Young Children with Autism."

leekw@easternct.edu

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."

swaminathans@easternct.edu

Jeffrey Trawick-SmithDr. Jeffrey Trawick-SmithProfessor Emeritus and Research Consultant
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. He is currently serving as Principal Investigator of the "Association Of Children’s Symbolic Play in the Pretend and Block Centers of Preschool Classrooms with Inhibitory Control" study.

trawick@easternct.edu

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.

Meghan McAuliffeMeghan McAuliffe, Student Researcher

Studies: 1) Association Of Children’s Symbolic Play in the Pretend and Block Centers of Preschool Classrooms with Inhibitory Control

Majors: Sociology and Early Childhood Education

Delaney Pike, Student Researcher

Studies: 1) Social Turn-Taking Intervention for Young Children with Autism, 2) Study of Coding by Preschoolers and Their Families, 3) Association Of Children’s Symbolic Play in the Pretend and Block Centers of Preschool Classrooms with Inhibitory Control

Majors: Psychology and Early Childhood Education