Updated 12/2021

Aarti Bodas


September 2021 – present Boston University
PhD in Psychology (Developmental Science)
GPA: 4.00/4.00
Advisor: Dr. Deborah Kelemen

2019 – September 2021 Villanova University
Master of Science in Psychology, Expected September 2021
GPA: 3.92/4.00
Thesis: Investigating the Influence of Educational Media on Children’s Environmental Views
Committee Dr. Deena Weisberg (Chairperson), Dr. Janette Herbers, Dr. Irene Kan

2015 – 2019 University of Washington, Seattle
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, June 2019
Minor: Global Health
GPA: 3.68/4.00 (Major GPA: 3.89/4.00)
Honor’s Thesis “Can I Count on You?”: Infants’ Expectations of Prosocial Behavior Across Contexts
Mentors Dr. Jessica Sommerville, Dr. Kelsey Lucca

I am a PhD student pursuing a career as a psychological scientist and academic. My professional experiences include conducting research with young children (8-months-old to 10-years-old) in lab and applied settings (science museums and preschools). I’m interested in studying how young children learn to think scientifically, and in public trust and understanding in science. I’m also very interested in science identity, or the extent to which young children identify as capable of learning science, and, in the same vein, the extent to which science educators, researchers, and others identify young children as capable of learning science.

Professional Skills
• Conducting quantitative and qualitative psychological research
• Using SPSS, R and JASP for data analysis.
• Using Eye-Tracking programs to collect child participant data
• Developing scientific research studies, designing data collection methodology and planning analyses
• Writing scientific research proposals, manuscripts, and giving research presentations
• Using Datavyu and BeGaze Data coding programs; experience transcribing participant interviews
• Bilingual: English (native speaker), Marathi (native speaker)
• Recruiting participants via Phone, Email, Social Media (Facebook), and in large public settings (Museums, Preschools)

Research Manuscripts
Chlebuch, N.C., Bodas, A., Weisberg, D.S. (2021). What does the Cat in the Hat know about that? An Analysis of the educational and unrealistic content of children’s narrative science media. Accepted for publication.

Conference Presentations
Weisberg, D. S., Chlebuch, N., & Bodas, A. (2021). Impossible elements in children’s educational media. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Fiction and Fictionality Studies. Chicago, IL: October 2021.

Chlebuch, N., Bodas, A., Weisberg, D.S. (2021) Wile E. Coyote, Physical Science Genius: A content analysis of children’s science media. Poster for the Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Meeting.

Herbers, J.A., Jennings, K., Cutili, J.J., Abdul-Masih, M., & Bodas, A. (2021) Parent-child relationship quality among dyads with infants and toddlers experiencing family homelessness. Paper Symposium presentation for the Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Meeting.

Bodas, A., Kyuchukova, K., Lucca, K. & Sommerville, J. (2019) “Can I Count on You?” Siblings influence infants’ expectations of trustworthiness of fair and unfair agents. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 31st Annual Convention. Washington D.C.

Bodas, A., Kyuchukova, K., Lucca, K. & Sommerville, J. (2019) “Can I Count on You?” Siblings influence infants’ expectations of trustworthiness of fair and unfair agents. Presented at the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Bodas, A., Kyuchukova, K., Lucca, K. & Sommerville, J. (2019) “Can I Count on You?” Infants notice inconsistencies in prosocial behavior across contexts. Presented at the 2019 Northwest Social Cognitive Development Conference. Friday Harbor, WA.

Research Talks
Bodas, A. (2020) Children’s environmental learning from fictional media. Invited speaker for Cognitive Science Brown Bag Group, Villanova University.
Bodas, A. (2020) Applying to experimental psychology masters programs, navigating the first year of graduate school, and staying positive during Covid-19. Invited speaker for Emerging Minds Lab, Arizona State University.

Research Experience
August 2019 – Present Graduate Research Assistant, Scientific Thinking and Representation (STAR) Lab, Villanova University
Adviser Dr. Deena Weisberg
• I have developed a thesis project investigating whether educational media can teach children resource conservation and thereby shape their thoughts about nature and the environment. Data is collected by interviewing children and their caregivers via Zoom video call, and data collection is still underway. I’ve served as lead experimenter on projects examining children’s learning from educational media, and a qualitative research study examining children’s interactions with a dinosaur museum exhibit. I’ve also co-developed content analysis projects examining the prevalence of fantasy content in children’s educational science media, and a project examining differences college students scientific reasoning skills across scientific disciplines.

August 2019 – Present Graduate Research Assistant, Adversity and Resilience in Development Lab, Villanova University
Adviser Dr. Janette Herbers
• I have developed a project examining the association between caregivers’ use of pretend play and positive parenting, as measured by caregivers’ sensitivity, nonhostility, structuring of play, and caregiver-child dyads’ Mutual Responsiveness Orientation. This project utilizes previously collected video-recordings of caregivers interacting with their infants. Data coding on this project is still underway.

January 2018 – June 2019 Undergraduate Research Assistant and Honor’s Thesis Candidate, Early Childhood Cognition Lab, University of Washington
Adviser and Mentor Dr. Jessica Sommerville, Dr. Kelsey Lucca
• I developed an honor’s project which asked about the development of infants’ understanding of prosociality, and the influence of siblings on this development. This project found that infants with siblings detected inconsistences in others’ prosocial tendencies earlier than infants without siblings.

Honors and Awards

Fall 2021- present Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Boston University
Fall 2019 -2021 Graduate Student Assistantship, Villanova University
Summer 2020 Villanova Graduate Research Fellowship for Summer 2020
Spring 2020 Induction into Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society
Spring 2019 Guthrie Prize for Best Empirical Research Paper
Spring 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Award
Winter 2019 Hagenstein Endowment Travel Scholarship
Autumn 2018 Research Scholarship from the Mary Gates Endowment

Relevant Coursework
Master of Science Psychology
Professional Seminar, Biopsychology, Development of Imagination, Statistics and Experimental Design, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Science, Translating Developmental Science, Independent Study: Investigating Associations between Positive Parenting and Caregivers’ Use of Pretend Play
Bachelor of Science Psychology
Introduction to Psychology, Writing in Social Sciences, Biopsychology, Research Methods, Abnormal Psychology, Probability and Statistics, Statistical Inferences, Introduction to Drugs and Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Creativity in Early Childhood Education, Cognitive Psychology

Academic Work Experience
August 2018 – June 2019 Peer Mentor, Odegaard Writing and Research Center
• Mentored tutors in improving their tutoring style and abilities
• Planned and organised bi-weekly workshops and small-group meetings for mentees
• Created resources and reference guides for writers and tutors
July 2016 – August 2018 Tutor, Odegaard Writing and Research Center
• Provided feedback to graduate and undergraduate students on writing and research assignments
• Conducted independent research to improve marketing of Health Sciences Library satellite site
• Assisted managers in annual hiring cycle

Leadership Experience
May 2020 – Present Vice President, Psi Chi, Villanova Chapter
• Co-organizes community events, such as annual banquet for Psi Chi members
• Co-authored statement on commitment to diversity and inclusion
May 2018 – June 2019 Social Media Coordinator, Diversity in Psychology
• Co-organised conference for high-school students from under-represented minorities to learn about the Psychology program at UW
• Designed marketing materials for bi-weekly meetings
• Communicated with club members via weekly email newsletters
• Communicated with Psychology Department about club activities

Professional Membership
Graduate student member of the Society for Research on Child Development

Graduate student member of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology