Development in School Contexts

Department of Psychology

Timothy W. Curby

Tim Curby

Dr. Curby is an associate professor of psychology and director of the applied developmental psychology program. Dr. Curby’s work focuses on examining the role teacher–student interactions have in promoting children's development, particularly in regards to children's social–emotional development. His work consistently applies advanced statistical models to school-based research. His PhD in Educational Psychology is from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education.  Prior to that, Dr. Curby earned an MA in Teaching and a BS in Biology from the University of Michigan.

Curriculum Vitae

Negar Fatahi

Negar Fatahi


Negar is a second-year PhD student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. She received her BA in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine. She later received an MA from New York University in general psychology, with an emphasis on child development. She previously worked with the New York Department of Education to assess social and emotional readiness inside classrooms and to provide data to policy makers who were implementing an expansion of the Free Pre-K for All program. She is currently interested in social and emotional development within the school context and social-emotional teaching inside classrooms. 


Emma (Gregory) Casey

Emma Gregory

Emma is a first-year masters student in Applied Developmental Psychology at GMU. She became a Registered Dietitian after receiving a B.S in Nutrition Science and a minor in Global Health from Penn State. As a research assistant there, she studied the impact of iron and zinc supplementation on mother-infant interaction. Prior to joining the program, Emma worked in food policy and science communications for five years in Washington D.C. Regarding research, she is interested in parent and teacher promotion of social and emotional learning in young children as well as parenting/family dynamics more broadly.

Vera Hawa

Vera Hawa

Vera is a first-year doctoral student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. She received her BA in Psychology and Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Cyprus. After completing her school psychology internship, she moved to the USA. Prior entering graduate school she worked as a School Psychologist at a middle school in Northern Virginia. Her research is currently focused on social-emotional development within the school context and teacher-student interactions. Early experiences and children’s development, school readiness as well as parent practices and challenging behaviors, are also among her research interests.