Hi, I'm Shana.
I pronounce my name like this: Shay-nuh De-Flee-gur. I use she/her/hers pronouns. I was born and raised as an able-bodied, neurodivergent, cisgender Irish-Dutch-German-American girl on Lenni-Lenape land (Philadelphia, PA). I spent my early adulthood on the West Coast and abroad, studying psychology and education, and working as a public elementary school teacher. I returned to the East Coast to pursue applied research in human development and early education in 2017.
My master's research focused on understanding and communicating the science of early childhood adversity to practitioners and policymakers in education. My doctoral research has focused on teacher education activities and ecologies that promote teacher wellness and trauma-responsive, racially equitable practice.
Currently, I engage in qualitative and mixed-methods research at the intersection of teacher mental health and social justice at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. In this role, I enjoy listening, imagining, and agitating with educators to help advance healthy, just, and regenerative learning spaces. A beneficiary of trauma-responsive teachers, and a trauma-responsive practitioner, myself, I am deeply committed to amplifying the voices of teachers and teachers-to-be, and co-constructing pathways to healing and growth.
I enjoy traveling (when public health conditions allow), doing the New York Times Spelling Bee and Crossword, exchanging snail mail, gardening, running, and cooking.
alt="Shana, a white, blonde woman in glasses, smiling"
Fun fact: the "What if?" background image on this site is a framed card that was given to me in 2012. It has hung in every classroom and office I've had since, as a reminder to stay curious. (If anyone knows who the original artist is, please let me know, so that I can credit them!)
University of Pittsburgh
PhD training, Applied Developmental Psychology
Minor, Research Methodology (2019 - 2022)
Instructor, Department of Health and Human Development
Graduate Student Researcher
Psychology in Education Department Representative, Council of Graduate Students in Education (2019-2020)
First Experience in Research Mentor (2020)
AERA Division K Campus Liaison (2020-2021)
PA Psychological Foundation Student Education Award Recipient
Ad Hoc Reviewer: Journal of Trauma Studies in Education; Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Ed.M, Human Development and Psychology
President, HGSE Early Childhood Community
Graduate Resident Advisor
Harvard Alumni for Mental Health SIG (2019-)
HGSE Education Grant Recipient
University of Southern California
MAT, Urban Elementary Education
Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential
Graduate Research Assistant
Licensure: CA, AZ, HI
President's Award Scholarship
University of Arizona
Coursework, Spanish & Psychology
Freshman Class Council
Arizona Promise Grant
Coursework, Latin & Psychology of Stigma
La Casa del Niño Nueva Familia
Buenos Aires, Argentina - K-5
Pomaika'i Elementary School
Kahului, Hawaii - 1st Grade
Wailuku Elementary School
Wailuku, Hawaii - 2nd/5th Grade
Kihei Elementary School
Kihei, Hawaii - 4th Grade
Beijing, China - Early Childhood Teacher Educator
Attentional Teaching Practices
University of Pittsburgh School of Education, MAT Program
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Child & Youth Work Practice I & II
University of Pittsburgh School of Education, Undergraduate
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From Classroom to Community: Inter- and Intra-personal Life Skills
University of Pittsburgh, Dept. of Athletics, Undergraduate
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"We must remain constructively dissatisfied with the status quo."
Dr. Jack Shonkoff