My experiences at Adelphi set me on a career trajectory that I never thought possible as a first-generation college student.

Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10

Assistant Professor, Psychology, Adelphi University

For Christina M. Marini, PhD, her path in higher education had not always been clear. Because she had interests in many subjects, choosing her future career was, at times, arduous. It was a process that was compounded by the challenges that came with being a first-generation college student. Nonetheless, Christina persevered with the support of her family and mentors, finding success as a student, researcher, and now professor.

Marini started her journey at Adelphi during her sophomore year when she transferred into the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology and Honors College programs. Her intention was to pursue a career in psychology while taking advantage of the rigorous courses and cultural experiences offered by the Honors College. It was in Dr. Katherine Fiori’s classroom where Marini discovered her passion for research, which ultimately proved to be her calling. Dr. Fiori’s instruction and mentorship inspired her to pursue a career in academia. 

After receiving her undergraduate degree in psychology, Marini earned her doctorate in human development and family studies from Purdue University. As a graduate research assistant at the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue, she gained valuable experience conducting research and developed an interest in links between stress, coping, and well-being among military couples as they experienced deployment. This topic became a cornerstone in her career as a researcher. Marini went on to complete a postdoctoral training program funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) at the Center for Healthy Aging at Pennsylvania State University. She remains an affiliated scientist and active collaborator at both MFRI at Purdue and the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State. She has also launched her own independent research program focused on aging veterans and is an affiliate member of the Stress, Health, and Aging Research Program (SHARP) at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Marini was the recipient of a federally-funded $100,000 grant through the National Institute on Aging (NIA). She was awarded this highly competitive grant on her first submission and now holds the position of its principal investigator, focusing on links between sleep and marital quality among older adults. This accomplishment kicked off her career as an independent scholar. She is co-author of 16 peer-reviewed articles, serves as an editorial board member for two scientific journals, and is a co-chair of the Military Children and Families Focus Group of the National Council on Family Relations.

Wanting to give back to Adelphi by teaching and mentoring the next generation of scholars, Marini returned to Adelphi to start a tenure-track position as an assistant professor in psychology. As an educator, she strives to make her courses both accessible and fun for her students by helping them see the value of scientific inquiry in their own personal and professional lives. She also participates in the Emerging Scholars Program and is a mentor to students as they complete their own independent scholarship, finding joy in advising them on their research.

Staying true to her nature as a passionate researcher, Marini urges her students to “ask questions, be curious, and let yourself change your mind.”

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