Temple Infant & Child Laboratory | Graduate Students
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Graduate Students

Susan Benear

Susan is a second year graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences program. She graduated from Penn State in 2015 with a B.A. in psychology and public relations and went on to spend a year teaching middle school language arts in Nashville through Teach for America. After working the following year as the lab manager for Dr. Isabel Gauthier’s visual perception lab at Vanderbilt, she began her Ph.D. work at Temple in 2017 and is co-mentored by Drs. Nora Newcombe and Ingrid Olson. Susan studies the development of episodic memory in early childhood and is interested in the effect of sleep on children’s memory systems.



Curriculum Vitae

Elias Blinkoff

Elias is a first-year graduate student in developmental psychology working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Educational Studies from Swarthmore College in 2017, where he worked with Dr. Daniel Grodner to investigate the roles of working memory and experience in relative clause sentence processing. He also served as a lab technician in Swarthmore’s Event-Related Potential (ERP) Lab under Dr. Amanda Elam. Before arriving at Temple, Elias mentored 7th-grade students in the School District of Philadelphia through City Year. He currently researches language development and literacy with a particular interest in comparing and connecting children’s home and classroom language practices to support their educational achievement.n.



Natalie Evans

Natalie is a third year graduate student.  She received her B.A. in Psychology and English from Muhlenberg College in 2015.  She then went on to work as a project coordinator at the College of the Holy Cross with Dr. Florencia Anggoro and Dr. Benjamin Jee where she investigated children’s astronomy learning and spacial skills.  Natalie works with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and is interested in playful learning and how to foster creativity in children.



Lillian Masek

Lillian is a fourth-year graduate student in developmental psychology.  She received her B.A. in psychology and Spanish from Smith College where she worked with Dr. Peter de Villiers investigating the relationship between early narrative skills and subsequent literacy development of bilingual children from low-income backgrounds.  She then went on to get a MAT from the University of Louisville while teaching middle-school Spanish at a persistently low-achieving school.  Working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Lillian’s current research focuses on predictors of early language development for children from different socio-economic and linguistic backgrounds.



NGOZoe Ngo

Zoe graduated from Denison University in 2010 with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. In 2011, she pursued a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology at Seton Hall University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Marianne Lloyd, her Master’s thesis examined the associative memory and context effects for objects in natural scenes.


Zoe joined the Brain and Cognitive Sciences PhD program at Temple University in 2013, working with Drs. Nora Newcombe and Ingrid Olson. Currently, her research examines episodic memory development in early childhood.



Curriculum Vitae

Molly Scott

Molly is a fourth year graduate student in developmental psychology, working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She received her B.A. in psychology from Barnard College in 2015. Molly is currently studying how playful learning experiences and book-reading can promote vocabulary growth in children from low-income backgrounds. Specifically, she is interested in how we can create deeper, more meaningful vocabulary learning experiences for preschoolers.