McKenna Halverson portrait

Cohort: 2021

McKenna Halverson

McKenna is an incoming Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. She is a research assistant at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy. McKenna conducts policy-oriented research focused on the individual-, family-, and community-level factors that influence the development of young children living in poverty. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of nutrition assistance and early care and education programs on the well-being of low-income children. McKenna received her M.S. in Psychology from Villanova University in 2021 and her B.S. in Psychology from the University of South Dakota in 2019.

Recent Publications

  • Halverson, M. M., Hatchimonji, D. R., Treglia, D., Flatley, C. A., Herbers, J. E., & Cutuli, J. J. (2021). Risky sexual behavior and STI testing among teens experiencing homelessness: An intersectional approach. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Halverson, M. M., & Lowmaster, S. (2020). Campus-Based Autism Spectrum Disorder Living and Support Communities: Students’ Attitudes and Engagement. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Recent Presentations

  • Halverson, M. M., Wallace, L. E., & Herbers, J. E. (2021). Homeless Shelter Staff: Who They Are and What They Know About Early Childhood Development. Poster session presented at the SRCD Biennial Meeting. Virtual Conference.
  • Halverson, M. M., Hayes, K., Jacobs, E. L., & Herbers, J. E. (2020). Person-Centered Analysis of Parent-Child Relationships and Well-Being of Families Experiencing Homelessness. Poster session presented at the SRCD Special Topics Meeting: Addressing and Reducing Inequality Through Developmental Science. Virtual conference.
  • Davis J., Halverson, M. M., & Struckman-Johnson, C. (2018). Racial acceptance and prejudice on the USD campus and in the Vermillion community. Poster session presented at Ideafest, Vermillion, SD.
  • Halverson, M. M., & Bragg-Brock, T. (2018). Participant Interaction/Sensory Sensitivity. Training presented to Avera research team, Sioux Falls, SD 

Professional Experiences

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Education and Social Policy, 2021-present
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Adversity and Resilience in Development Laboratory, 2019-2021
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Personality Laboratory, 2018-2019
  • Research Intern, Avera Center for Pediatric and Community Research, 2018
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Social Personality Laboratory, 2017-2018 

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s Scholar Award, University of Delaware, 2021
  • Strategic Plan Poster Award, Society for Research in Child Development, 2021
  • Promise Award, Society for Research in Child Development/William T. Grant Foundation, 2020
  • Psychology Department Outstanding Senior Award, University of South Dakota, 2019
  • Psychology Department Outstanding Researcher Award, University of South Dakota, 2018-2019
  • Psychology Department Outstanding Junior Award, University of South Dakota, 2018

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Past Education

  • S. Psychology, Villanova University, 2021
  • S., Psychology with Honors, University of South Dakota, 2019