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About PLI's Director of Research and Program Evaluation

Shaunqula (Shaun) Wilson, Ph.D.
Co-founder/Director of Research and Program Evaluation, Preservation LINK, Inc.

As a child, I recognized how media impacted the assembly of identity, particularly my own.  Watching television, film, and commercials, and reading books, newspapers, and magazines, I can recall numerous moments during which I questioned the portrayals of characters- their physicality, their dialogue, and the intention behind the media in which these characters were portrayed. These encounters have undoubtedly shaped my belief that images and identity matter and must be a part of a larger discussion regarding youth development.

A number of students grow up without developing the skills necessary for them to critically think about their interaction with media-either as a producer or as a consumer.  Without these critical thinking tools, however,  many of them face a difficult time problem solving, collaborating, leading, and making the connection between their classroom learning and their personal and social goals. Committed to empowering youth, it is within the larger discussion of youth media and youth development that I choose to examine the use of media arts education among children as a lens for exploring knowledge construction, self concept, and creativity.

University of Pennsylvania – Graduate School of Education Philadelphia, PA
Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development

University of Pennsylvania – Graduate School of Education Philadelphia, PA
M.S., Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development 

Morgan State University-Honors Program Baltimore, MD
B.S., Psychology


Wilson, S. (2009). Exploring avenues toward activism: Using a Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST) to examine the perceptions of black youth engaged in community-focused, media skills training. (Doctoral dissertation). Dissertations available from ProQuest. (Accession Order No. AAI3381884) 

Tinsley, B., Wilson, S., & Spencer, M. B. (2009). Commentary: Hip-Hop Culture, Youth Creativity, and the Generational Crossroads From a Human Development Perspective. In C. Milbrath, & C. Lightfoot, (Eds.) The Arts and Human Development (pp. 83-97). New York, NY: Psychology Press/ Taylor & Francis Group.

Spencer, M. B., Harpalani, V., Cassidy, E., Jacobs, C., Donde, S., Goss, T., Miller, M. M., Charles, N., & Wilson, S. (2006). Understanding vulnerability and resilience from a normative developmental perspective: Implications for a racially and ethnically diverse youth. In D. Cicchetti & D.J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental Psychopathology (pp. 627-672). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.