Noelle M. Suntheimer Program: Human Development & Quantitative Methods, Ph.D.

Anticipated Graduation: May 2024

Philadelphia, PA

Professional Biography

Noelle is an interdisciplinary research professional; she applies quantitative methodologies and developmental science to answer policy-relevant research questions in support of economically marginalized families. She is currently an IES Predoctoral Fellow and Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development PhD Student. Prior to doctoral studies, Noelle worked for six-years as a Research Associate at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work serving as a program evaluator for the AdoptUSKids project. Moreover, she also was a Research Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education working as an analyst on the Quality Preschool for Ghana project. Noelle holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.S.Ed. in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Noelle's is interested in two primary streams of research: (i) examining the underlying processes by which adversity interrupts children's learning of academic and non-academic skills, and (ii) exploring protective mechanisms that can mitigate the negative consequences of adversity. She works with Dr. Sharon Wolf on the ongoing, longitudinal Quality Preschool for Ghana (QP4G) project.


Hatch, S.F., Gidra, A., Suntheimer, N.M., & Wolf, S. (under review). Parental beliefs about early childhood education: predictors and implications for parental engagement. Early Years.

Suntheimer, N. M., Weiss, E.M., Wolf, S., & Avornyo, E.A. (in revision). Patterns of cognitive and social-emotional parental stimulation practices among Ghanaian kindergarteners. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Suntheimer, N.M. & Wolf, S. (2023). Duration of poverty and Ghanaian children's learning and self-regulation outcomes. Applied Developmental Science.

Wolf, S., Aurino, E., Suntheimer, N. M., Avornyo, E., Tsinigo, E., Jordan, J., Samanhiya, S., Aber, J. L., & Behrman, J.R. (2022). Remote learning engagement and learning outcomes during school closures in Ghana. International Journal of Educational Research, 115, 102055.

Ahmed, I., Steyer, L., Suntheimer, N. M., Wolf, S., & Obradovic, J.O. (2022) Direct assessment, teacher report, and assessor report of executive function skills and behaviors: Unique associations with academic achievement in Ghana. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 81, 101437.

Wolf, S., Aurino, E., Suntheimer, N. M., Avornyo, E., Tsinigo, E., Behrman, J. & Aber, J.L (2022). Medium-term protective effects of quality early childhood education during the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana. Child Development, 93 (6), 1912-1920.

Suntheimer, N. M., Wolf, S., Sulik, M.J.,Avornyo, E., & Obradovic, J.O. (2022). Executive function mediates the association between cumulative risk and learning in Ghanaian schoolchildren. Developmental Psychology, 58 (8).

Suntheimer, N.M. & Wolf, S. (2020). Cumulative risk, teacher-child closeness, executive function and early academic skills in kindergarten children. Journal of School Psychology, 78, 23-37.

Wolf, S. & Suntheimer, N.M. (2020). Predictors and patterns of discipline practices among Ghanaian parents of preschoolers. Child and Youth Services Review, 112, 104518.

Wolf, S. & Suntheimer, N.M. (2019). A Dimensional Cumulative Risk Approach to Assessing Early Adversity and Development in a National Sample. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 62, 270-281.

Interest Categories

Global & International Education
Quantitative Research
Psychology & Human Development
Race & Equity


M.S.Ed. (Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development) University of Pennsylvania, 2017.
B.S. (Psychology) University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2013.

Faculty Advisors

Sharon Wolf
Associate Professor

Areas Of Expertise

Executive function
Poverty and child development
Risk and resilience

Profile information is provided directly by the student