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

Dr. Cori Bower

Cori is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on a project that explores 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.



Dr. Brianna McMillan

Brianna is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Temple University under the Institute of Education Sciences “Network for Integrating Cognitive and Educational Sciences (NICE) Postdoctoral Research Training Grant Program”, working with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Annemarie Hindman. She received her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. McMillan’s research explores how children’s environments affect their ability to learn language. In her postdoctoral work, she is expanding her research focus beyond environments that might hinder language development, into environments that can facilitate language development and more general cognitive development.



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. Molly Schlesinger

Molly Schlesinger is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek on a research project studying active and guided learning. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of California in 2017, where her research focused on young children’s social cognitive development, problem solving skills, and learning STEM content from educational media. Her dissertation focused on how young children’s self-perceptions and social cognitive perceptions about characters related to their solving STEM-related problems. Overall, Molly’s research interest include social cognitive perceptions, creative and divergent reasoning, and engagement with media.

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. Lauren Stites

Lauren Stites is a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Kathy Hirsch-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.