Caroline C. DeWitt Program: Education Policy, Ph.D.

Anticipated Graduation: May 2023


Professional Biography

Caroline "Ellie" DeWitt is an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Predoctoral Fellow and an Education Policy Doctoral Student at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Public Policy (both with honors) with a minor in Educational Studies from Gettysburg College where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. As an undergraduate, Ellie worked on a variety of different research projects while working in a social psychology lab, which fueled her passion and excitement for research. Ellie also served two years as a student representative to the Pennsylvania State Board of Education's Council of Higher Education where she gained an understanding of how education policy decisions are made at the state level and how research can be used to inform those decisions. At PennGSE, Ellie works with Penn Child Research Center and is interested in improving the lives of our nation's most vulnerable young children through effective, evidenced-based education policy.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Ellie's research interests lie in evidenced-based problem solving to improve the lives of vulnerable young children using secondary and administrative data sources. She currently is playing a key role in a qualitative study seeking to center community perspectives in the City of Philadelphia's Integrated Data System. Relatedly, Ellie is working on the creation of a Data Quality Toolkit which will provide best practices and recommendations for practitioners using Integrated Data Systems (IDS) across the United States. She is also supporting Penn Child's Conquering Kindergarten initiative to promote 14 important social emotional skills on the Kindergarten report card in Philadelphia through evidenced-based strategies and home-school connection. Ellie is also interested in access to high quality early childhood education and is working on a systematic review of the literature on Early Care and Education Deserts to gain and understanding of how the literature defines and studies the existence of Early Care and Education Deserts in the United States. Along with a focus on early childhood education, Ellie is also interested in special education and how schools in partnership with social service agencies can help reduce the effects of inequities and risks that children experience outside of school.


Peer Reviewed Publications:

Fantuzzo, J.W., Barghaus, K., Coe, K., LeBoeuf, W.A., Henderson, C. & DeWitt, C.C. (in press). Expansion of Quality Preschool in Philadelphia: Leveraging an Evidence-Based, Integrated Data System to Provide Actionable Intelligence for Policy and Program Planning. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106093

LeBoeuf, W.A., Brumley, B., Fantuzzo, J.W., Hostutler, C., & DeWitt, C.C. (In preparation). Using early health risk and socio-familial risks to predict identification for special education disability categories. Psychology in the Schools.

Barlett, C.P. & DeWitt, C.C. (in preparation). The relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms and aggression in the general US population: The mediating role of emotion (dys)regulation.

Barlett, C.P., DeWitt, C.C., Madison, C.S., Heath, J.B., Maronna, B., & Kirkpatrick, S.M. (2020). Hot temperatures and even hotter tempers: Sociological mediators in the relationship between global climate change and violence over time. Psychology of Violence, 10, 1-7. doi: 10.1037/vio0000235

Barlett, C.P., Heath, J. B., Madison, C.S., DeWitt, C.C., & Kirkpatrick, S.M. (2020) You're not anonymous online: The development and validation of a new cyberbullying intervention curriculum. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 9, 135-144. doi: 10.1037/ppm0000226

Barlett, C.P., Madison, C.S., DeWitt, C.C., & Heath, J.B. (2019). The moderating effect of dispositional fear of retaliation on the relationship between provocation and aggressive behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 257-265. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2018.10.008

Barlett, C.P., Madison, C.S., Heath, J.B., & DeWitt, C.C. (2019). Please browse responsibly: A correlational examination of technology access and time spent online in the Barlett Gentile Cyberbullying Model. Computers in Human Behavior, 92, 250-255. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2018.11.013

Barlett, C. P., DeWitt, C.C., Maronna, B., & Johnson, K. (2018). Social media use as a tool to facilitate or reduce cyberbullying perpetration: A review focusing on anonymous and non-anonymous social media platforms. Violence and Gender, 5, 147-152. 10.1089/vio.2017.0057

Other publications:

DeWitt, C.C (2018). The Heart Wants What It Wants: Effects of Desirability and Body Part Salience on Distance Perceptions (DeWitt). The Cupola, Student Publications, 639.

Interest Categories

K-12 Education
Quantitative Research
Psychology & Human Development


B.A. (Psychology and Public Policy) Gettysburg College, 2019.

Faculty Advisors

John W. Fantuzzo
Albert M. Greenfield Emeritus Professor of Human Relations
Faculty Director, Penn Child Research Center

Areas Of Expertise

Early Childhood Education
GIS Mapping
Integrated Administrative Data

Profile information is provided directly by the student