Infant Growth and Development Study at UNCG


Megan Chandler, M.S.

Sr. Project Coordinator

Megan has been a part of the iGrow team from the very beginning. She now oversees the iGrow, iGrowUP and iGrowCARES Studies.  She has worked at UNCG since 2010, starting as a research assistant on the Triad Child Study. She then moved into a project coordinator position for the S.T.A.R. Project for 4 years, until the grant ended. She also served as the Assistant Coordinator for the Child and Family Research Network at UNCG for over a year. She graduated with her M.S. in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University in December 2009, and her B.S., also from E.C.U. in Family and Community Services in May 2008. In her free time, she enjoys playing softball, photography, attending her kids’ sporting events, spending time with family and friends, shopping for a good book and traveling. Her family loves to visit new places and find something unusual to do in each location. She has 2 kids, 3 step-kids, 3 dogs and a cat!

Meghan Parrish, B.A.

Assistant Project Coordinator
Meghan graduated from UNCG with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS). Afterward, she attended the Child & Family Studies graduate program at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, where she had the unique opportunity to conduct field research in Ethiopia. During her undergraduate studies, Meghan worked on another of Dr. Esther Leerkes’ research projects (Triad Child Study – TCS) and is thrilled to have returned to her alma mater as a member of the iGrow research team. In her free time, Meghan enjoys spending time with family and friends, teaching private violin & fiddle lessons, singing and playing music, and traveling whenever possible.

Juliana Ganim, B.S.

Scheduler, Research Assistant

Juliana graduated from NCSU in 2022, earning her degree in Psychology alongside a minor in Middle Eastern Studies to pursue her passion for behavioral research while remaining connected to her Palestinian heritage. Since 2020, she has worked in the Social Development Lab at NCSU as a research assistant, contributing work to several projects centered around topics including gender-based cyber bullying, adolescent peer interactions, and young-adults’ perception of microaggressions. Juliana is personally interested in understanding the ways socio-emotional regulation strategies are modeled in parent-child relationships and researching ways to positively impact that dynamic to help build stronger families in the future. She is absolutely thrilled to be welcomed onto the iGrow team to be able to contribute to the important research being conducted every day. In her free time, Juliana loves to spend quality time with her friends and family, watch good movies, read thrillers, and is currently learning the saxophone.

Vaeda McGarr, B.S., B.S.

Research Assistant

Vaeda graduated from NCSU in 2020 with a degree in Animal Science specializing in animal behavior. She also graduated from UNCG earning her degree in Psychology, kickstarting her journey towards earning a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She has contributed to numerous psychology labs at UNCG as a research assistant, such as the DTRP Lab, IDEA Lab, and Parenting and School Readiness Lab, as well as an internship focusing on community violence for RTI International. She is interested in studying adversity in youth and how it intersects with biopsychosocial development and emotion regulation. She is a mother of two daughters and a dog, is learning to play the violin, loves to travel and spend time with friends.


Previous iGrow Staff




Elisha Lee




Ciani Ricks









Rachel Schmitz






Sally Eagleton





Maleek Holmes




Angelica Villanueva




Aran Garnett-Deakin

Article about Aran’s journey with research at UNCG: https://news.uncg.edu/from-undergraduate-researcher-to-phd-student/


Lauren Bailes




Mikafui Antonio




Angelica Knight