The Team

Julie Dobrow is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Child Study and Human Development and a Senior Fellow in Media and Civic Engagement at Tisch College, Tufts University. She has written for both academic and popular publications on topics relating to her research on children and media. She’s also a biographer who has written on 19th century women; her book After Emily:  Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet, will be published in 2018 by WW Norton. Dobrow earned her AB from Smith College in anthropology and sociology, and MA and Ph.D. degrees from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Calvin “Chip” Gidney is an Associate Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. Chip teaches courses in children’s language development, bilingualism and bilingual education, children’s language disorders, and the Department’s introductory course in child development. Dr. Gidney’s research focuses on the sociolinguistics of children’s animated television. Dr. Gidney’s interest in children’s television and film extends beyond just his research. He has served on the advisory boards of several children’s television shows including the critically acclaimed bilingual children’s program, Maya and Miguel, and the educational show Word Girl. Dr. Gidney received his AB from Harvard University in Russian and Soviet Studies, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics from Georgetown University.

Eileen Crehan is an Assistant Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan. Her research focuses on improving access to care for autistic adolescents and adults through studying experiences with sexuality and relationship education, trainings for medical providers, and measurement development. Dr. Crehan’s research lab collaborates with their Autism Community Advisory Board to inform research priorities. Dr. Crehan received her BA from Wellesley College in Mathematics and Psychology and her PhD from the University of Vermont. She is excited to be exploring themes of disability representation in children’s television with the team.

Laura de Ruiter received her M.Sc. in Developmental Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh (UK), and her Ph.D. from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (The Netherlands). After holding positions at Bielefeld University (Germany) and the University of Manchester (UK), Dr. De Ruiter joined Tufts University as a Research Assistant Professor in 2018. Her main research interest is child language acquisition and cognitive development. Using both experimental and corpus-based methods, she investigates how and when children learn the mapping between mental representations (of events and referents) and their manifestation in language, and the factors that affect language processing in children. She is also working on early foreign language learning and teaching, and the development of culturally appropriate assessments.

Kathy Manning Robinson After graduating from Gettysburg College with a degree in Spanish and Psychology, Kathy taught children with disabilities. She later earned her master’s degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Throughout her extensive professional career, she has worked in ed tech, school reform, public schools, professional development for educators, project management, product management, and research. Now a sixth-year PhD Developmental Science student at Tufts University, Kathy’s research interests include socioemotional development, school climate, and the effects of stereotypes in children’s televisual media. 

Deb Frank is a production coordinator on Arthur and other projects in the Children’s Programming department at WGBH in Boston. She’s a recent Tufts graduate (A’15) with a major in Child Study and Human Development and a minor in Communications and Media Studies. During her time at Tufts, she worked as a researcher for the first round of CTV coding, and later completed an honors thesis on the content analysis data. She also collaborated with Griffin Quasebarth on developing an original children’s cartoon to implement some of what they learned working on the Children’s Television Project. Deb is thrilled she is still living in the Boston area and able to continue contributing to the CTV team.

Sarah Pila is a third year doctoral student in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University, working in the Center on Media and Human Development with Ellen Wartella. Her research interests focus on the benefits of prosocial and educational media for young children. Before starting at Northwestern, Sarah earned her Master of Arts degree in Child Study and Human Development from the Eliot Pearson department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. While at Tufts, she worked as the project manager for the Children’s Television Project and completed her masters thesis using data from the first round of content analysis coding. Even though she’s currently in the central time zone studying at a different university, Sarah is proud to be a frequent collaborator with the Children’s Television Project and firmly believes in the mission of the project.

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Lizzie Sullivan is a recent Tufts graduate who double majored in Cognitive & Brain Sciences in the Psychology Department as well as Child Study & Human Development in the Eliot Pearson Department. She has been working in the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development with CTV since 2017 and is interested in gender and LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

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Libby Hunt is a second-year Master’s student in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, with a concentration in 21st Century Literacies: Media and Technology. Her research interests include the impacts of media on young children’s social-emotional development, learning from televisual content, and media literacy. Her Master’s thesis (in progress) explores the potential differences in learning social-emotional content from live-action and animated characters. Libby holds a B.A. in English Literature and Studio Art from Wheaton College (MA). She is an avid reader, writer, and illustrator.

Rumeysa Ozturk is a Ph.D. student in the Child Study and Human Development program. Her research interests include children’s media, representation of social groups in children’s television, and media literacy. Before joining the  CTV team at Tufts University, she completed her MA in the Developmental Psychology Program with a focus on Children’s Media at Teachers College, Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar. She enjoys reading picture books, photographing nature, and loves watching cartoons and animations.

Kate Farrell is a first year Master’s student at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study & Human Development. She spent seven years working on a book-to-film fansite and became fascinated by the communities that form in response to pieces of media. She has worked in children’s publishing and as a publicity assistant for the Screen Actors Guild Awards(R), and is looking forward to further exploring children’s media at Eliot-Pearson.

Madeline McGee is a first-year master’s student in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. She is interested in the role news media play in youth civic engagement and education, an interest that was informed by her experience working as a reporter, copy editor and news researcher for several newspapers around the United States, including The New York Times in Washington, DC and the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. Outside of her studies, she produces preschool education videos through the Tufts chapter of Jumpstart, a national early childhood education program benefiting disadvantaged children. She holds a B.S. in Communication from Kennesaw State University (GA) and enjoys YA adventure fiction, history podcasts and bluegrass music.

Mitch Choi is a fourth year Bachelor’s student studying Engineering Psychology as well as Child Study & Human Development. Mitch first started working with CTV in in 2018 and is interested in studying the socio-emotional development of children through their relationships with people and their environments.