Temple Infant & Child Laboratory | Lab Alumni
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Lab Alumni

austinStacey Austin

Stacey Austin was an undergraduate student at Temple University.  She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish.  She was part of the psychology honors program under Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Tilbe Goksun.  Her honors thesis explored the semantic components involved in acquisition of verbs.  In particular, she examined event components of figure (the agent of an action) and ground (the stationary setting) in nonlinguistic dynamic events.  Her research asked whether infants discriminate various figures similarly on different grounds to investigate the effect of animacy vs. inanimacy in event perception of English-reared infants.

ayzenVlad Ayzenberg

Vlad Ayzenberg is an undergraduate student at Temple University majoring in psychology and minoring in cognitive neuroscience. His interests include social, spatial, and cognitive psychology.  He is currently working with Justin Harris, investigating the link between children video game play and their spatial abilities.  In the future Vlad hopes to study how technology affects human behavior.

balcombDr. Frances Balcomb

Frances Balcomb received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the infant lab, working with Dr. Newcombe. Her research focused on spatial navigation and memory skills in toddlers, looking at their changing behavior over time as the brain develops. She is now working at the University of Pennsylvania.

Carey Birgel, Language Specialist

Carey Birgel joined the preschool intervention project as a Language Specialist in the fall of 2013. She earned a BA in art history from Villanova University, started her career in the curatorial and education departments of a contemporary art museum and later worked for a historic preservation/ land conservancy. She is currently a writer/ editor and was a founding member of the Seven Generations Charter School, in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Stacie Kovacs Crawley

Dr. Stacie Kovacs Crawley received a B.A. in Psychology from the College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College). Interests include cognitive and emotional development in children, specifically memory. Her dissertation in developmental psychology with Dr. Nora Newcombe focused on children’s memory for who said what, and how that memory is affected by emotion. Stacie now lives in Florida with her husband, Perry, and their three children.



daubertEmily Daubert

Emily Daubert was an honors student working with Dr. Hirsh-Pasek. During her time here, she completed a project examining the effects of a music intervention on self-regulation skills in preschool children. Emily will be attending a Ph.D. program at University of Maryland next year.

Dr. Shannon Pruden Dick

Dr. Shannon Pruden Dick received a B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from The University of California at San Diego, her M.A. in Developmental Psychology from San Francisco State University, and her Ph.D in developmental psychology from Temple in 2006. Her research interests include cognitive and conceptual development, individuation of objects and actions, and early language acquisition. Shannon completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in the Psychology Department. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Florida International University.



Darcy Dodd, Language Specialist

Darcy Dodd was a Rutgers University–Livingston College undergraduate who had majors in early childhood and elementary education and cultural anthropology.  Her graduate MLS degree is also from Rutgers, where she concentrated her coursework in public library children’s services with an additional K–12 teaching certificate in library science.  She has been a teacher in daycare and a Kindergarten teacher as well as a director in this setting.  She has also worked as a nursery school director, a children’s librarian and a Para–professional in a multi-disability primary grade classroom.  Working with the R.I.P.P.L.E. research study has allowed her to fulfill a professional dream of investigating language acquisition in young children.

ferraraKatrina Ferrara

Previously a lab coordinator of the Temple Infant Lab, Katrina Ferrara is now a graduate student in the Cognitive Science program at Johns Hopkins University. She works with Dr. Barbara Landau.



fisherDr. Kelly Fisher

Dr. Kelly Fisher will be an SRCD/AAAS Executive Branch Fellow in the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Kelly received her master’s degree in I/O Psychology at Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University. Kelly’s research examines how contextual factors (teaching practices, curricular materials, belief systems), personal attributes (motivation, learning disabilities), and neurophysiological factors influence children’s learning and academic achievement. She is also deeply invested in translating science to practice. She has given numerous presentations to scientists, educators, parents, and museum directors and staff. Additionally, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Re-Imagining Children’s Learning and Education, she was involved in creating novel ways to disseminate learning science research to nonacademic and professional audiences. Dr. Fisher’s primary goal after the fellowship is to continue conducting translational research that will inform educational practices and policy.

freemanMax Freeman

Max Freeman worked in the Temple Infant and Child Lab as a co-lab coordinator from 2011 through 2013 with Dr. Hirsh-Pasek. He worked alongside Dr. Hirsh-Pasek and several collaborators in the development and creation of a computerized language assessment and also worked on several other projects in the lab focusing on language acquisition. He is currently a graduate student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University working with Dr. Viorica Marian. His primary interests include bilingualism, code-switching, language acquisition, cognitive control, and bilingual phonology.

frickDr. Andrea Frick

Andrea Frick was a post-doctoral fellow at Temple University from July 2008 until December 2010. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Andrea Frick’s current research area is cognitive development, with a special focus on development of imagery abilities and mental representations. She is specifically interested in dynamic imagery and transformations of mental representations (e.g., how to rotate an object in one’s head) and how these abilities are influenced by motor activity or hands-on experience.


publications & presentations

funkAmanda Funk

Amanda was a research assistant for Dr. Frances Balcomb during the summer of 2009 to spring of 2010 on a study of spatial cognition and episodic memory. She also conducted her senior honors thesis, “Local and Global Cue Use in Children,” at the Temple Infant Lab. Amanda is currently a graduate student at Lehigh University studying cognitive developmental psychology. She works with Dr. Almut Hupbach.

georgeNathan George

Nate was a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at Temple University. He received his B.S. in psychology from Lehigh University in 2008. Nate’s research interests include the development of children’s causal concepts, how causal concepts form the foundation for causal language, and how language in turn influences these concepts. Working with Dr. Hirsh Pasek, his projects at the Temple Infant & Child Lab involved testing the developmental predictions of the force dynamics theory of causal language in both infancy and early childhood.

goksunDr. Tilbe Göksun

Tilbe received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Temple University in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She had her BA in psychology from Bogazici University, Istanbul-Turkey in 2002 and MA in Developmental Psychology from Koc University, Istanbul-Turkey in 2005. In the infant lab, her main research questions centered on the relationship between language and cognitive development. By taking a developmental and cross-linguistic approach, she particularly explored the perceptual and conceptual precursors in events that are fundamental to learning verbs and prepositions in languages (e.g., path-manner, figure-ground, causal relations). She was also interested in studying how children understand the interactions between forces and actions and how they express them in both verbal and gestural modalities. Tilbe will be a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Neurology, working with Dr. Anjan Chatterjee.

Tilbe’s UPenn Page
Tilbe’s Website

hansenMelissa Hansen

Melissa Hansen is a Laboratory Coordinator for the Temple Infant and Child Lab. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Theatre from Northwestern University in 2010, completing a senior thesis concerning verb acquisition in 21-month-olds. At the Temple Infant and Child Lab, she plans on continuing to explore her interest in language as well as other aspects of developmental cognition.

harrisJustin Harris, M.S., M.A.P.P.

Justin is a fifth year graduate student in developmental psychology. He received his B.S. in Computer Science and Psychology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County; his M.S. in Interactive and Collaborative Technology from University of California, Irvine; and his Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology from University of Pennsylvania. He is currently studying early spatial cognition and age-appropriate assessment. He is specifically focusing on assessing mental folding, an important but unrepresented component of spatial thinking in children, and early pre-cursors of science success. The ultimate goal of his research program is to understand the development of and relation between these skills in early childhood. He is also currently mentoring a research assistant, Vlad Ayzenberg, who is conducting an honors thesis on the role of spatial thinking in children’s interactions with video games.

Dr. Elizabeth Hennon

Dr. Elizabeth Hennon received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Temple in 2002, where she studied language development in autistic children with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She is now Assistant Professor of Cognitive/Developmental Psychology at the University of Evansville.



Dr. George Hollich

Dr. George Hollich received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Temple in 1999. He studied the role of multiple cues in children’s language acquisition. Dr. Hollich is now Assistant Professor and Director of the Infant Language Lab at Purdue University.


click here to visit his website

Anja Hubert

Anja Hubert was an undergraduate student at the University of Potsdam in Germany. She was an intern at the Infant Lab in spring 2006. She is currently a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Her studies in Patholinguistics focus on the diagnosis and therapy of language disorders in both infants and adults.



jamiejDr. Jamie Jirout

Jamie Jirout was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University, and the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC). She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, where she developed a measure of young children’s curiosity and studied the relationship among curiosity, exploration, and question-asking. As a postdoc, Jamie was studying young children’s spatial scaling ability, and the effectiveness of interventions to teach spatial skills.

Jennifer Johnson, Language Specialist

Jennifer received her B.S. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Millersville University.  She has also taken graduate courses in education at East Stroudsburg University.   Most recently she was employed as a head Pre-K Counts teacher for Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers before becoming a language specialist for Ripple.  Prior to working as a Pre-K Counts teacher, Jennifer has had various work experiences with preschool to middle school age children in Marlyland, York, Pa, and in the Lehigh Valley. Jennifer is honored to be a part of the Ripple Team learning how children best acquire language at a young age.

Meredith Jones

Meredith Jones was the coordinator of the Infant Lab from 2004-2006. She received a B.A. in psychology and anthropology from Brown University in 2004, and is pursuing her Ph.D. in child clinical psychology at the University of Denver.



koskiJessica Koski

Jessica is a third year graduate student in Temple’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences program. She earned her B.A. in psychology from Lehigh University in 2010. Working with Dr. Nora Newcombe and Dr. Ingrid Olson, her current research at the Infant Lab uses eye-tracking to study developmental changes in relational memory during early childhood.

Dr. Amy Learmonth

Dr. Amy Learmonth received her Ph.D. in psychology from Temple University. She is now Assistant Professor of Psychology at William Patterson University.



Dr. Mandy Maguire

Dr. Mandy Maguire received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Temple in 2003, where she studied early verb learning at the Infant Lab. After a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Louisville, she is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas.


click here for more info on Dr. Mandy Maguire

Dr. Meredith Meyer

Meredith Meyer was Lab Coordinator at the Infant Lab from 2001-2003. She received a Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Oregon. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan under Dr. Susan Gelman.



Jo Minton

Jo Minton was an summer intern during 2010. She graduated in 2011 with a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was recently hired to be a Clinical Research Assistant in the General Pediatrics Department at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.

Yannos Misitzis



majanDr. Neha Mahajan

Neha is a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Yale University in 2011, working with Dr. Karen Wynn and Dr. Laurie Santos on the development and evolution of social categorization and intergroup bias. As a postdoc, she is working on developing a computerized language assessment for preschoolers.

parishDr. Julia Parish-Morris

Julia Parish-Morris is a post-doctoral fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Autism Research and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Using a variety of research methods including behavioral reenactment, infrared eye gaze tracking, and electroencephalography, Julia explores early social cognition and language development in toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Precursors to Theory of Mind, as well as the characteristics of infant siblings of children with ASD who do not go on to receive a diagnosis themselves but nonetheless exhibit the broader autism phenotype, are of particular interest.

pulvermanDr. Rachel Pulverman

Dr. Rachel Pulverman was a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Delaware. Rachel studies the relationship between word learning and concept development in infants learning different languages in different cultures. Her dissertation compared the action concepts of infants learning English and Spanish in the United States and Mexico. She has also investigated differences between the meanings of verbs in English and Mandarin Chinese and how those meaning differences may account for differences in the early vocabularies of children in the United States and China. Rachel’s future research plans include examining verb learning in children with autism.

ramsookKizzann Ashana Ramsook

Shana Ramsook was the Laboratory Coordinator working with Drs. Newcombe & Hirsh-Pasek at the Temple Infant & Child Lab. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Pomona College in 2012. At the lab, Shana primarily did research on cognitive development & the arts. She is currently in graduate school at Pennsylvania State University

Natalie Hansell Sheridan

Natalie Hansell Sheridan was Lab Coordinator at the Infant Lab from 2003-2004. She completed her M.A. in clinical psychology at West Chester University and is currently pursuing her Psy.D at Immaculata. She and her husband, Brian, were married in the summer of 2005.

Carly Simon, Language Specialist

An Early Childhood Education graduate from Lehigh Carbon Community College, Carly Simon now works as a Making Learning Transparent Specialist for the LCCC Teacher Education Department.  She is currently a PA Keys affiliate instructor specializing in language and literacy trainings.  She has been on the RIPPLE project as a language specialist for the past two years and is undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Adolescent Development at Southern New Hampshire University.

Carly Slutzky

Carly Slutzky was Lab Coordinator at the Infant Lab from 1999-2001. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in family science at Arizona State University.



Dr. Julia Sluzenski

Dr. Julia Sluzenski received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Temple in 2004. She is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stockton State University.



snyderRachel Snyder

Rachel is a second year graduate student in the developmental program, working with Dr. Nora Newcombe. She recently earned her B.A. in Honors Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, completing a thesis entitled “Infant Imitation of Action Sequences: Single and Varied Concepts via Televised Models.” Rachel has also acted as a research assistant in developmental and social cognition labs at both Yale University (through the NSF’s REU Program) and Villanova University.  Her current research interests include early understanding of spatial representations, the uses of interactive technologies in early learning and how research on these topics can be applied within real world settings.

twymanDr. Alexandra Twyman

Alexandra Twyman received her B.S. in Psychology and Biological Sciences from the Univiersity of Alberta, Canada in 2006 and her PhD from Temple University in 2011 under the mentorship of Dr. Newcombe. She is interested in the development of spatial thinking and reasoning. Her dissertation examined the integration different type of cues from the environment that help us stay oriented during navigation. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Brain and Mind at the University of Western Ontario, she is examining the neural foundations of spatial orientation and hopes to relate the findings from the adult brain to a better understanding of the timecourse of brain development during early childhood. She is currently being advised by Dr. Marc Joanisse and Dr. Jennifer Sutton.



reed-jJessa Reed

Jessa was a doctoral candidate, working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. After earning her B.A. cum laude in psychology from Cornell University, Jessa spent two years as a research assistant at the Yale Child Study Center’s Developmental Disabilities Clinic. As a graduate student, she investigated how an arts-enriched preschool pedagogy can foster school readiness skills. Her second line of research was focused on how young children learn verbs within social context. Currently, Jessa is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Ohio State University College of Medicine. There, she is studying the language development of young children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing with cochlear implants or hearing aids.

weisbergDr. Deena Skolnick Weisberg

Deena Weisberg was a post-doctoral fellow at Temple University from 2011 to 2013, where she studied guided play with Dr. Hirsh-Pasek. Prior to joining the Temple Infant and Child Lab, she earned her Ph.D. from Yale University and completed additional postdoctoral training at Rutgers University. She is currently a Senior Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she investigates children’s imaginative and scientific reasoning.


Deena’s Website

yust-pPaula Yust

Paula Yust was the Laboratory Coordinator working with Dr. Hirsh-Pasek at the Temple University Infant & Child Lab. She received a B.A. in Psychology and English from Wellesley College in 2013. While at Wellesley, she completed a senior thesis examining the development of preschool unilateral and reciprocal friendship in relation to children’s social competence and acceptance by peers. Paula is currently attending graduate school at Duke University.

pace-aDr. Amy Pace

Amy Pace was a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She received her Ph.D. in Language and Communicative Disorders from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University in 2013, working with Dr. Margaret Friend and Dr. Leslie Carver on early language acquisition and event representation in brain and behavior. As a postdoc, she worked on developing a computerized language assessment for preschoolers and completing her clinical fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology. Amy is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington.


Dr. Junko Kanero

Junko was a PhD student in the developmental area, working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. Junko examines language as a window into human cognition, using a broad range of methodologies (behavioral measures, eye tracking, EEG, and fMRI). At Koç University, she primarily works on the L2TOR Project that aims to design a social robot for helping children learn second language (http://www.l2tor.eu/)!

Corinne Holmes

Corinne was a fifth year graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at Temple University. She received her B.A. from Hamilton College in 2006 with a double concentration in Psychology and French. Research with the category adjustment model brought Corinne to Dr. Nora Newcombe, with whom she now examines spatial cognition; specifically, the development of navigation ability, spatial reasoning, and the acquisition and retrieval of spatial information.


In her first year, Corinne examined the role of slope as a navigational cue in school-age children. Results from this study indicate that experience with sloped-terrains may impact slope perception, and subsequently the use of slope, to successfully reorient in an otherwise featureless environment. In her second and third years, Corinne examined how spatial skills, such as mental scaling and proportional reasoning, can be improved via play-based interventions.


Currently, Corinne is examining the effect of object rotation versus perspective taking on the formation and retention of spatial representations. Results from these studies will elucidate how spatial information – such as inter-object location – is encoded, stored, and retrieved from memory, as well as how model-based learning can be most effectively implemented in the classroom.




Kate Margulis

Kate Margulis is the Laboratory Coordinator working with Drs. Newcombe & Hirsh-Pasek at the Temple Infant and Child Lab. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College in 2014. While at Smith, she conducted a senior thesis with Dr. Jill de Villiers examining the role of language in understanding second order relations. She plans to pursue a degree in speech-language pathology.


Joselina Tejada

Joselina Tejada is the Laboratory Coordinator working with Dr. Hirsh-Pasek at the Temple University Infant and Child Lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Italian Studies from Smith College in 2013. Prior to joining the Infant and Child Lab Joselina worked as a Child Development Specialist at a non-profit in East Harlem with at risk immigrant families. Joselina plans to pursue a Ph. D. in Developmental Psychology.


Dr. Nicole Fletcher

Nicole Fletcher is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsch-Pasek on a research project exploring ways to best facilitate development of spatial skills in preschool children. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from Columbia University, where she completed a dissertation entitled “Development and Evaluation of a Computer Program to Teach Symmetry to Young Children” under the supervision of Dr. Herbert Ginsburg. Her research interests include early childhood and elementary mathematics, early geometry teaching and learning, special education and mathematics, and elementary mathematics professional development.

Jacob Schatz

Jacob Schatz was a Lab Coordinator who worked with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Dr. Tamara Spiewak Toub and Dr. Emily Hopkins on a multimedia vocabulary intervention for underprivileged preschoolers. Jacob graduated from Princeton University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, where he conducted a senior thesis with Dr. Casey Lew-Williams investigating the educational impact of early childhood storytelling. In Fall of 2017, Jacob will begin a PhD program at New York University with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, and intends to study playful learning and parent-child interaction.

Dr. Kreshnik Begolli

Kreshnik Begolli is motivated to understand how humans learn and impart knowledge and the desire to advance science and education to promote positive social impact, Kreshnik’s research arena alternates between the laboratory, the classroom, and our communities. By blurring the line between the two, Kreshnik’s research draws primarily from cognitive research in analogical reasoning. After receiving his PhD in Education with an emphasis on Learning, Cognition, & Development from the University of California, Irvine in 2015, he joined Temple as an IES postdoctoral fellow.  His work focuses on the links between analogy making, math cognition, spatial thinking, and language – in hopes to discover effective learning techniques (in & out of school) that foster generalizable knowledge in mathematics.

Want to know more? click here.



richieRussell Richie

Russell Richie was a co-lab coordinator for Dr. Hirsh-Pasek from 2009 to 2011, during which time he primarily assisted with studies on early event perception and language acquisition. He is currently a Developmental Psychology PhD student at University of Connecticut under Dr. Marie Coppola. There he studies language creation and emergence through homesign and Nicaraguan Sign Language.



roseberryDr. Sarah Roseberry

Sarah received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University in 2011 under the supervision of Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. At the Infant Lab, she studied precursors to language acquisition and was also interested in how social interactions facilitate children’s word learning. Her dissertation used video chat to ask whether contingency is one mechanism of social cues. Sarah is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington where she works with Dr. Patricia Kuhl.


I-LABS: http://ilabs.washington.edu/

Dr. Brenna Hassinger-Das

Brenna was a research scientist working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on a series of projects designed to foster playful learning opportunities in home, school, and community settings. She received her Ph.D. in Education (Learning Sciences) from the University of Delaware, working with Dr. Nancy C. Jordan on developing number sense and mathematics vocabulary interventions for at-risk kindergartners. Brenna’s research interests include investigating the role of games in supporting learning as well as designing additional intervention studies in both language and mathematics.



Dr. Rufan Luo

Rufan Luo was a post-doctoral fellow, who worked with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She was working on the Enhancing the Communication Foundation (ECF) project, which aims to promote the quality of parent-child communication and children’s language development through center-based and home-based interventions. Rufan received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from New York University in 2015, supervised by Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda. Her dissertation examined preschool children’s language and literacy experiences in low-income, ethnically diverse families. In general, Rufan’s research interests include children’s home learning experiences, parenting, parent-child interaction, language and cognitive development, and sociocultural contexts.



Leah Sheline

Leah was a graduate student in Temple’s developmental psychology Ph.D. program. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and a B.S. in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington. She also spent two years as the lab manager for Boston University’s Child Language Lab, where she investigated toddlers’ acquisition of novel verbs via syntactic bootstrapping, and took two graduate seminars in developmental psychology. At the Temple Infant and Child Lab, Leah works with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and a team of investigators, examining differences in early precursors to later language outcomes for children from a range of backgrounds.



Yu (Tina) Chen

Yu (Tina) Chen was a lab coordinator working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Dr. Rebecca Alper, and Dr. Rufan Luo on language intervention and assessment projects in early childhood. She is now pursuing a PhD at University of Maryland with Dr. Natasha Cabrera.  Tina graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Psychology and Economics. Prior to joining the Infant and Child Lab, she has worked on multiple child development projects at University of Notre Dame, Yale University, and Grinnell College. Tina is interested in exploring how children’s early experiences (e.g. SES and parental input) shape their language development and how bilingualism affects children’s social cognitive development (e.g. perspective-taking).



mohrigDr. Wenke Möhring

Wenke was a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Nora Newcombe on the development of children’s spatial scaling abilities. She received her PhD in September 2011 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Under the supervision of Dr. Friedrich Wilkening, she investigated human’s early cognitive processes. In particular, she examined the development of infants’ and toddler’s spatial knowledge as well as their mental rotation abilities.

Ying Lin

Ying Lin was a Research Assistant working half time for Dr. Nora Newcombe and half time for Dr. Liz Gunderson. She is now pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Rochester. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Japanese from Colgate University in 2015.  While at Colgate University, she studied abroad in Japan for one semester. During her senior year she completed a thesis examining the role of gesture in the perception of implicit and explicit racism. In addition to her neuroscience thesis, she also completed a Japanese honors thesis that analyzed the characters of Mishima Yukio’s novels using theories of psychoanalysis. She plans to pursue a Ph.D in the field of Psychology, but is not sure in which specific area yet.



Siffat Islam

Siffat was a Lab Coordinator working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Dr. Cori Bower on a preschool intervention geared towards improving early spatial skills in young children. She is now pursuing a clinical psychology degree at Widener University. Siffat graduated from New York University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She also focused her education in the pre-medical field and in child and adolescent mental health studies. During her undergraduate education, Siffat worked at the NYU Infant Action Lab directed by Dr. Karen Adolph on a study focusing on early motor development. She explored infant locomotion to investigate whether or not infant exploration is destination-directed. Siffat plans to pursue further education geared towards clinical psychology in a pediatric setting.



Dr. Jeremy Sawyer

Jeremy was a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on the Philadelphia Playful Learning City project, which transforms urban public spaces to encourage playful learning and meaningful communication between children and caregivers. He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center, investigating how sociodramatic play enhances children’s private speech and motivation to master new challenges. Jeremy is a certified bilingual (Spanish) school psychologist who worked in NYC public schools, and he explores bilinguals’ private speech in relation to emergent bilingual cognitive advantages. Jeremy is also interested in how social movements transform our implicit and explicit attitudes.



Dr. Rebecca Alper

Rebecca was a post-doctoral fellow and licensed speech-language pathologist working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on the Enhancing Communication Foundations project. Rebecca completed her M.A., Ph.D. and a graduate certificate in Biostatistics at the University of Iowa, where she was a Presidential Fellow under the co-mentorship of Dr. Richard Hurtig and Dr. Karla McGregor. Her research thus far has focused on the role of clinicians and caregivers as agents of early speech-language and pre-literacy intervention, with a focus on the impact of psychosocial factors on intervention gains. Additionally, Rebecca is interested in research methodology and data analysis for speech-language research.



Dr. Andres Bustamante

Andres was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the Institute of Education Sciences “Network for Integrating Cognitive and Educational Sciences (NICE) Postdoctoral Research Training Grant Program.” He has a dual appointment in the Department of Psychology and the College of Education under the mentorship of Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Dr. Annemarie Hindman. He earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from Emmanuel College, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Miami under the mentorship of Dr. Daryl Greenfield. His research focuses on early childhood science as an ideal context for fostering domain general learning skills like approaches to learning, executive functioning, and social emotional development. With Dr. Hirsh-Pasek, his focus has been on translating his research from the classroom to the community through the learning landscapes projects (e.g. a life-sized board game installed in parks targeting STEM and reasoning skills).



Dr. Emily Hopkins

Emily is a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Hirsh-Pasek on the Language for Reading project: an IES-funded study aimed at developing methods to teach vocabulary in low-income preschool classrooms using stories and play. Emily completed her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in 2014, working with Dr. Angeline Lillard on learning from pretend play and fictional stories in early childhood. Her primary research focus is understanding how we can leverage children’s interests in play, fiction, and fantasy to teach important academic content as well as help children develop key learning-to-learn skills.



Jessica Eye, Project Coordinator

Jessica is currently a doctoral candidate at Lehigh University and is working in Temple’s Infant and Child Laboratory as an assistant project coordinator on the Read, Play, and Learn project (a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt University, University of Delaware, and Lehigh University). She earned her M.S. in developmental psychology from Lehigh University in 2009. Her current research interests are in early literacy, parental discipline strategies, and moral development.

Dr. Lauren Stites

Lauren Stites is a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. She completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Georgia State University, where she was a graduate fellow in the Research in the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy Initiative, supervised by Dr. Şeyda Özçalışkan. Her dissertation examined the relationship between children’s expression of metaphors in gesture and their acquisition of literacy. Lauren’s research interest include children’s acquisition of complex speech forms (such as narrative and metaphor) in speech and in gestures and the relationship between language and cognition in both typical and atypical learners.



Wendy Shallcross

Wendy Shallcross was the coordinator of the Infant Lab from 2006-2008. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Criminology from Millersville University in 2004, an M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Villanova University in 2006, and is currently pursuing her licensure in School Psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is now working as an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist with the Lovaas Institute.



ilgazDr. Hande Ilgaz

Hande is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on a preschool intervention project (Increasing Vocabulary in Preschoolers: Using Cognitive Science to Guide Pedagogy). Hande’s main research interests include pretend play, narrative and theory of mind development in preschool children from a cognitive-developmental perspective. Her dissertation compared children’s abilities to represent character perspectives in storytelling and role play contexts and investigated whether children’s perspective-taking abilities in these two symbolic contexts contribute to their theory of mind development. Hande’s future research plans include investigating children’s perspective-taking abilities in spontaneous play and narrative contexts.

Haley Weaver

Haley Weaver was a lab coordinator working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Dr. Emily Hopkins on a reading-based vocabulary intervention for preschoolers. Haley graduated from the University of Rochester in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics. Before joining the Infant and Child Lab, she worked on multiple language development projects at the University of Rochester and Syracuse University. She is currently a graduate student working with Dr. Jenny Saffran at University of Wisconsin, Madison pursuing her PhD in developmental psychology.

Dr. Cori Bower

Cori is currently a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Kelly Mix at the University of Maryland exploring the development of young children’s numeracy skills. From 2017-2019, she was a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on a project that explored the effectiveness of a spatial cognitive intervention and its implementation strategies to increase preschoolers’ spatial skills and facilitate math learning. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Penn State working with Dr. Lynn Liben on creating a spatial skill intervention with the goal of facilitating science learning. Cori’s research interests include creating and implementing embodied and spatial cognitive interventions in both formal and informal educational contexts as well as evaluating their effectiveness in facilitating STEM learning.



Zoe Ngo

I recently obtained my PhD in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences program at Temple University under the mentorship of Dr. Nora Newcombe and Dr. Ingrid Olson. Prior to joining the graduate program at Temple, I received a BA in Psychology from Denison University in 2010, and an MS in Experimental Psychology from Seton Hall University in 2013. My doctoral research aims to characterize the development of episodic memory using a multi-componential approach by focusing on pattern separation and pattern completion computations as potential key contributors to the offset of childhood amnesia. In September 2019, I will join the Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin as a postdoctoral fellow. My research will be housed in the Lifespan Psychology Center, and will be supervised by Dr. Ulman Lindenberger. During my postdoc training, I intend to investigate the developmental changes of computations instantiated to support episodic memory in early childhood using behavioral and neuroimaging approaches.