Henricks-Lepp, GenevieveAfter earning my Bachelor’s of Sociology and Linguistics and my Master’s of Library and Information Science, I began my PhD in 2011 with Dr. Michelle Perry in the Child Development division. This division has been the perfect fit for me, especially because of its interdisciplinary approach. I have been able to take classes not only in Educational Psychology, but also in Psychology, Sociology, Human Development and Family Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, and Education Policy Studies. All have allowed me to view development from a variety of lens, giving me a well-rounded perspective on issues.

Although I generally knew what I wanted to research when I first began the program, I still had some uncertainty. My adviser and other faculty members allowed me room to explore and were very helpful during my journey of honing my interests. My research involves studying the development of critical thinking skills in minority populations, with special attention given to the investigation of the social and environmental influences on their cognitive abilities. This passion has led me to develop and use evidenced-based teaching practices to help underprepared students succeed.

The Child Development division has given me a variety of opportunities to engage with my interests. In addition to taking classes, I have been involved in activities ranging from running experiments and being on committees to teaching Introductory Psychology and developing materials for a new Psychology textbook. These diverse experiences have allowed me to publish and present at conferences and have left me prepared for my future role as a professor. I must also note that although these opportunities have certainly been more than helpful, my success truly stems from the ample support that the faculty, staff, and students alike give.

I more than welcome anyone to contact me to further discuss the program and my own experiences with it.  Please feel free to email me at henrick2@illinois.edu