Start Early. Start well.

Buffett Scholars

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute Graduate Scholars program awards 1- or 2-year fellowships worth up to $25,000 annually to a maximum of four doctoral students every year. The program is designed to foster the growth of diverse, exceptional graduate students conducting research about young children and their families, with particular attention to children placed at risk as a consequence of poverty and social and environmental circumstances. It is the first financial support program for doctoral students who have reached Ph.D. candidacy at the University of Nebraska that focuses on young children and their development.

2017-18 Buffett Scholars

Sonya Bhatia

Sonya Bhatia
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Sonya Bhatia, of Lisle, Ill., a school psychology student in the Department of Educational Psychology and affiliated with the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools at the University of Nebraska ̶ Lincoln. Bhatia’s research will examine conjoint behavioral consultation’s effects on teacher-student interactions. Conjoint behavioral consultation is an evidence-based family-school partnership intervention designed to promote positive teacher-child interactions and support the learning and development of young children with challenging behaviors.

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Susan Sheridan.

 

 
Amy Colgrove

Amy Colgrove
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Colgrove, of Naperville, Ill., is a student in human sciences in the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska ̶ Lincoln. Colgrove will study the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention designed to provide strategies and skills for stress management and increasing general well-being among teachers. Teachers play a vital role in promoting the learning and social-emotional development of their students, and high levels of stress make teachers’ important work more difficult and may even lead some to leave the profession. 

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Victoria Molfese.

 

Jordan Wickstrom

Jordan Wickstrom
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Wickstrom, of Columbus, Neb., is a student in exercise science (concentration in motor development and control) in the Department of Biomechanics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Wickstrom’s research seeks to improve early assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through identifying early differences in motor development (specifically sitting posture control), eye gaze behavior, and social brain activation. Her findings could provide insight into the underlying factors contributing to developmental delays, improve early detection, and aid development of interventions to improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD.

Her faculty mentors are Dr. Anastasia Kyvelidou and Dr. Jennifer Yentes.

 


2016-17 Buffett Scholars

Jon Cavanaugh

Jon Cavanaugh
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Cavanaugh, of Mont Vernon, N.H., is a student in the neuroscience and behavior program in the Department of Psychology at UNO.  Cavanaugh's research focused on the effects of oxytocin on social motivation and social attractiveness in early development. This work, using young marmosets, is especially important, given the lack of pre-clinical work on using oxytocin in children suffering from social disorders (e.g., autism, social anxiety). 

His faculty mentor is Dr. Jeffrey French.
Abbey Gregg

Abbey Gregg
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Gregg, of Omaha, is a student in health services research and administration in the College of Public Health at UNMC. Gregg investigated how school-based health centers can deliver primary medical care to children from low-income families. Gregg's research sought to clarify how school-based health centers can organize themselves to implement progressive and promising concepts such as patient-centered care. This study has clear practical and policy implications particularly around using "school as a hub" as one mechanism to support young children's development and learning. 

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Li-Wu Chen.

Amanda Moen

Amanda Moen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Moen, of Frisco, Texas, is a student in the Department of Educational Psychology and the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools at UNL. Moen's project aimed to contribute a valid and psychometrically sound measure for assessing and supporting family-school partnerships to the field. The importance of family-school and parent-teacher partnerships is essential for supporting children's development and learning. 

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Susan Sheridan.

For more information about the Buffett Scholars program, please contact Machaela Cavanaugh at mcavanaugh@nebraska.edu.

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