NICHD Grant Supports Development of Bullying Prevention Game

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development has awarded 3C Institute a fast-track grant to support the development of a bullying prevention game aimed at children in kindergarten and 1st grade. The game will assess children’s social-emotional behavior, problem-solving abilities, and bullying awareness using a variety of topical scenarios. Predicted outcomes […]

SXSWedu Featured Session: “Effective SEL: From Classroom to Community” [VIDEO]

Kids come to school with a lot of feelings: fear, anxiety, abandonment, and confusion. Educators teach social and emotional (SEL) skills like empathy, persistence, and problem-solving to support them, but too often kids find themselves on playgrounds, sports teams, and even in homes where these skills are not valued or modeled. Extending effective SEL beyond […]

3C Institute CEO Invited to White House for ED Games Workgroup

As part of ED Games Day in Washington, DC, 3C Institute Founder and CEO Dr. Melissa DeRosier (on left in picture at right) was invited to a meeting at the White House with the Office of Science and Technology Policy to analyze the landscape of games for assessment in education. Participants shared progress made and […]

3C Institute Game Development Showcased at ED Games Expo in DC

3C Institute CEO Dr. Melissa DeRosier presented social and emotional learning game Zoo U at the annual ED Games Expo in Washington, DC. Hosted by global start-up incubator 1776, the event featured 30 game developers funded by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and five other federal […]

3C Institute CEO Invited to Join Lucas Education Research Advisory Group

Dr. Melissa DeRosier, CEO & founder, is a founding member of Lucas Education Research‘s new Technology Advisory Group. The goal of the invite-only group is to leverage technology to enrich the student experience in project-based learning. Dr. DeRosier possesses expertise in using technology for assessment. Assessment is a vital piece of research-proven project-based learning because it enables […]

3C Institute and IBM Host U.S. Department of Education

3C Institute and IBM will host the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) on the RTP leg of their national Ed Tech Developer’s Tour on Tuesday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at The Frontier in Durham, NC. As OET Director Richard Culatta explains, the tour is “designed to ignite collaboration […]

3C Social and Emotional Learning Game Zoo U Featured in Newsweek

Zoo U, a social and emotional learning game developed by 3C Institute, is featured in a Newsweek article on stands this week about the rise of the “gaming for good” movement. The article includes interviews with Dr. Melissa DeRosier, CEO of 3C, and Jessica Berlinski, chief impactofficer of 3C’s distribution partner Personalized Learning Games, as well as schools […]

RAND Study Finds 3C Online Course as Effective as In-Person Training

Researchers at RAND Corporation say an online course developed in collaboration with 3C Institute is as effective as in-person instruction for training clinicians in evidence-based treatments. The study, published online by the journal Psychiatric Services, compared face-to-face training with online training for Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy to treat bipolar disorder. “Our findings suggest that […]

Zoo U’s Roll Out in Sacramento Featured in Education Innovation Publication

Zoo U’s recent roll out in the Sacramento City Unified School District is featured in Bright—a publication dedicated to covering innovation in education, with funding by the New Venture Fund and support by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the feature-length article, Journalist Ellen Lee writes: Last month, with the help of educational game marketer Personal Learning […]

ExitEvent Reports on Zoo U and 3C Institute CEO in Feature-Length Article

ExitEvent featured Zoo U and 3C Institute CEO Dr. Melissa DeRosier in a recent article. The article details Dr. DeRosier’s transition from a clinical psychologist to an entrepreneur determined to promote the social good. Zoo U’s prestige at being selected out of 150 games for Games for Change’s “Most Significant Impact” nomination is highlighted, as […]


Chief of Research and Learning Content


Dr. Childress obtained her PhD in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to 3C Institute, she served as a research associate and a postdoctoral fellow in the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working on a longitudinal imaging study aimed at identifying the early markers of autism through behavioral and imaging methodologies. She has 19 years of autism research experience, during which she has examined the behavioral, personality, and cognitive characteristics of individuals with autism and their family members. Dr. Childress also has experience developing behavioral and parent report measurement tools, coordinating multi-site research studies, and collecting data from children and families. She has taught courses and seminars in general child development, autism, and cognitive development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • autism
  • early development
  • behavioral measurement
  • integrating behavioral and biological measurement


  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (Institutional NRSA-NICHD), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • PhD, developmental psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BS, psychology (minor in sociology), University of Iowa

Selected Publications

  • Elison, J. T., Wolff, J. J., Heimer, D. C., Paterson, S. J., Gu, H., Hazlett, H. C., Styner, M, Gerig, G., & Piven, J. (in press). Frontolimbic neural circuitry at 6 months predicts individual differences in joint attention at 9 months. Developmental Science.
  • Wassink, T. H., Vieland, V. J., Sheffield, V. C., Bartlett, C. W., Goedken, R., Childress, D. & Piven, J. (2008). Posterior probability of linkage analysis of autism dataset identifies linkage to chromosome 16. Psychiatric Genetics,18(2),85-91.
  • Losh, M., Childress, D., Lam K. & Piven, J. (2008). Defining key features of the broad autism phenotype: A comparison across parents of multiple- and single-incidence autism families. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 147B(4):424-33.
  • Wassink, T. H., Piven, J., Vieland, V. J., Jenkins, L., Frantz R., Bartlett, C. W., Goedken, R., … Sheffield, V.C. (2005). Evaluation of the chromosome 2q37.3 gene CENTG2 as an autism susceptibility gene. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 136, 36-44.
  • Barrett, S., Beck, J., Bernier, R., Bisson, E., Braun, T., Casavant, T., Childress, D., … Vieland, V. (1999). An autosomal genomic screen for autism. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 88, 609-615. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19991215)88:63.0.CO;2-L
  • Piven, J., Palmer, P., Landa, R., Santangelo, S., Jacobi, D. & Childress, D. (1997). Personality and language characteristics in parents from multiple-incidence autism families. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 74, 398-411.
  • Piven, J., Palmer, P., Jacobi, D., Childress, D. & Arndt, S. (1997). Broader autism phenotype: Evidence from a family history study of multiple-incidence autism families. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 185-190.