Temple Infant & Child Laboratory | Post-Doctoral Fellows
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Post-Doctoral Fellows

NAZARETHDr. Alina Nazareth

Alina is a post-doctoral associate working with Dr. Nora Newcombe, on investigating individual differences in navigation ability across the lifespan.  She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Florida International University, working with Dr. Shannon M. Pruden on the cognitive and experiential factors that affect adult mental rotation performance. Her dissertation investigated the different cognitive strategies as a function of the temporal properties of eye movement as recorded by the Tobii X60 eye-tracker. Alina’s research interests also include studying the role of cognitive strategy, gender beliefs and stereotypes, spatial activity experience, and spatial anxiety in explaining individual differences in spatial ability.



Dr. Annelise Pesch

Annelise is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on the expansion of Playful Learning Landscapes to Santa Ana, California in collaboration with Drs. Andres Bustamante and June Ahn at the University of California-Irvine. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota under the supervision of Dr. Melissa Koenig. Her dissertation examined how preschoolers’ epistemic and interpersonal trust in teachers impacted learning in classroom contexts. She is interested in understanding the components of interactions that support children’s learning, with the goal of bridging gaps between research and real-world application.



Dr. Brooke Rumper

Brooke is a Postdoctoral Fellow collaborating with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Dr. Rebecca Alper to implement a Spanish version of a remote delivery, early language intervention. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology, from the University of Miami under the supervision of Dr. Daryl Greenfield. Her dissertation investigated Head Start dual language learning children’s performance on science assessments in English and Spanish and the impacts that dominant language and teachers’ language use had on those scores. Her research interests include promoting early science learning and education, dual language learners, and early language development.



Dr. Rachael Todaro

Rachael is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on designing, implementing, and researching the impact of Playful Learning Landscapes at a local, national, and international level. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Kent State University under the supervision of Dr. Bradley J. Morris. Her dissertation investigated the effectiveness of innovative, evidence-based mathematical interventions and the impact of individual differences on performance with underserved elementary school students. Related work investigates the optimal presentation formats for early literacy and mathematical learning. Her research interests include promoting early math, number sense, and literacy learning through evidence-based, playful interventions.



Dr. Tamara Spiewak Toub

Dr. Tamara Spiewak Toub worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek for 3 years before shifting into her current role as a Research Area Expert at the lab. Broadly, Tamara is interested in the promotion of children’s development through playful and other common activities and in the translation of research findings to application in children’s lives. Tamara continues to contribute her expertise to multiple projects she helped to lead during her fellowship years, including research on the use of adult-supported book-reading and playful learning activities to facilitate preschoolers’ vocabulary development. Similarly, she remains actively involved in the lab’s work examining how involvement in a theater program might benefit
children with autism. These inquiries into developmental benefits of playful experiences connect back to Tamara’s dissertation on the relation between preschoolers’ pretend play and executive function (i.e., self-control). Tamara earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Washington, supervised by Dr. Betty Repacholi and Dr. Stephanie Carlson (University of Minnesota).

Beyond the lab, Tamara consults on the designs of museum exhibits, curricula for educators, and child-oriented community events, and researches gaps between common practices and science-based guidance. Given such gaps, Tamara also leads professional development workshops and writes for general audiences to communicate findings from the learning and developmental sciences to the families, educators, and policy-makers affecting children’s lives.



Dr. Hailey Gibbs

Hailey is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on the expansion of Playful Learning Landscapes and related research with national and international collaborators. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology from the University of Maryland College Park under the supervision of Dr. Lucas Payne Butler. Hailey is interested in the role that questions play in children’s interactions with peers and caregivers, their understanding of the relation between evidence and knowledge-building, and the features of learning environments that best support children’s scientific literacy and critical thinking. Her dissertation examined the intersection between children’s assessments of the quality of others people’s questions and their characterizations of those people as more reliable, knowledgeable, or competent.  Her work is also broadly motivated by the goal of translating scientific practice for broader application.