Mia Cheung is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education at the Penn Graduate School of Education. She also received her BA from Penn in 2022, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Linguistics with a certificate in French. As a multilingual speaker, she is interested in bilingualism and language acquisition. In addition to her interest in psycholinguistics, she is a pianist and played in a piano duo through Penn Chamber. After completing her master’s degree, she aspires to become an educator who supports and advises students.
Abby Laver is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in consumer psychology. She has been working in the lab since the fall of 2018 as a research assistant. She is interested in language acquisition and is doing a project related to young children’s understanding of figure-ground relationships in sentences with symmetrical meanings. In her free time, Abby enjoys reading, ballet, musicals, and playing board games.
Jenna DiStefano is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying psychology and ASL. She has been working with Dr. John Trueswell since the summer of 2020 on a project relating to the perceptual-conceptual connection of symmetry in American Sign Language. Jenna is a Philadelphia native who enjoys painting, running, and visiting coffee shops around the city when she is not working in the language learning lab
Gonzalo Ortega is an undergraduate student majoring in Linguistics with a second major in CIS. He is interested in psycholinguistics, language in the brain and speech pathology (and also morphosyntax). He recently joined the lab as a research assistant in Fall 2020. Gonzalo is a Chicago native who, outside the lab, enjoys reading, picking up different languages, and exploring the city (Philadelphia now as well)!
Ebony Goldman is an undergraduate research assistant in the lab. She is a senior majoring in Linguistics and Cognitive Science, minoring in Psychology and Hispanic Studies. Her main interests are language acquisition and sociolinguistics, specifically how the gender of interlocutors can affect the interpretation of language. She is passionate about childhood education and hopes to become a teacher after graduation.
Steven John Kounoupis is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Cognitive Sciences and minoring in both Classical Studies and Popular Music Performance. Since the Spring of 2021, he has been working as a research assistant helping with projects related to how prosodic elements impact how both children and adults understand and interpret speech. In addition to his work in the lab, Steven John also has an interest in mental health research and advocacy, and in his free time likes write and play a lot of rock, funk, and blues music.
Maryia (Masha) Fedzechkina
Masha is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. She was a postdoctoral fellow in our lab and received her PhD in Brain & Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester.
Elika Bergelson is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Language Sciences at the University of Rochester where she worked with Dr. Richard Aslin. There, she worked on a longitudinal study that incorporated at-home video recordings with in-lab experiments, to gain a better understanding of how visual and linguistic experience interact in early word-learning. Elika got her Ph.D. in psychology at Penn in 2013 under the supervision of Dan Swingley.
Lucia is currently a Data Scientist with Amazon. She was a postdoctoral fellow in our lab, and received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research focuses on comparing how children and adults acquire and process language and in particular how cognitive and linguistic constraints affect language development and change. In her spare time, Lucia is a yoga-enthusiast, a red wine lover and a cat lady.
Rachel was a lab coordinator in our lab. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 with a BA in Cognitive Science and Fine Arts.
Christine received her PhD in psychology from UPenn in 2015. She graduated from UChicago in 2008 with BAs in linguistics and biology. She is interested in psycho- and neurolinguistics, particularly (morpho-)syntactic and semantic processing, and will use any (IRB-approved) means necessary to study these, including neuroimaging, electrophysiology, eye-tracking, and behavioral measures. She is currently employed for Goodyear as a Data Scientist.
Tina Woodard was a lab coordinator in our lab. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a BA in Psychology. She is interested in children’s executive function abilities and their relation to language processing.
Corinne Schneider was a research assistant in our lab. She graduated from Villanova University in 2012 with a BA in Philosophy and concentration in Cognitive Science. In 2013 she received an MA in Language and Cognition from King’s College London.
Jorge Valdes Kroff
Jorge is an Assistant Professor of Spanish & Linguistics at the University of Florida. He was a postdoctoral research fellow in our lab, and completed his PhD in Spanish and Language Science at Penn State University in 2012. His research focuses on the comprehension of codeswitched speech, a bilingual linguistic skill that involves the fluid alternation between languages. Specifically, he examines what possible linguistic cues (i.e. morpho-syntactic, semantic, and phonological) may help guide this comprehension.
Yi was a lab coordinator for our lab. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She graduated from Smith College with BAs in Psychology and Economics, after which she completed a MSc in Psycholinguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in areas of language and thought, dialogue, language acquisition, and environmental influences on language.
Ann is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at Indiana University. She was a postdoctoral researcher both at our lab and at the University of Delaware, where she worked with Anna Papafragou. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the way that preschoolers describe events happening in the world around them and what this reveals about the way they understand the world.
Judith was a post-doctoral fellow in our lab. She finished her PhD on the interplay of word learning mechanisms at Saarland University in 2011. Judith is generally interested in sentence comprehension and production as well as first and second language acquisition. Currently she is focusing on the interaction of multi-modal sentence processing and (statistical) word learning.
Frances was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Delaware, where she worked with Anna Papafragou. She received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh, UK in 2009. Her interests include the interface between language and cognition, language acquisition, and bilingualism. She is currently a Principal Researcher at OCR(Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations).
Tamara Nicol Medina
Tamara was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab from 2007 to 2011. She found her way here via Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, 2007). Her research interests include word learning, conceptual development, verb meaning and argument realization, and syntactic theory. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware.
Ben was an RA on the SES epiphany studies from September 2010 to August 2011. After leaving our lab, he began graduate school at Wake Forest University. He graduated in 2013 and is now furthering his studies at McGill Univeristy. He received his B.A. in Religion from Temple University in 2008 and spent the next two years teaching English in Taiwan and China. He enjoys cooking and, in his spare time, he enjoys running.
Hila was a graduate student in the lab, and received her B.A. in psychology from Columbia University. Her research interests include the definite and indefinite reference, along with a healthy dose of metaphor, humor, and irony. Outside of the lab she enjoys writing, reading, coaxing soft melodies from the piano, and taking long contemplative walks. She is currently working as a freelance writer in NYC.
Aviad received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Penn in 2011 and received his B.A. in linguistics and psychology from Tel Aviv University in 2004. His interests include the acquisition of expletive negation and other context-sensitive items, variable input acquisition in first-generation Modern Hebrew, and the way in which children deal with morphosyntactic parametric variation. He is currently working for Pedago, LLC in Washington DC as a content developer.
Carolyn received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2010 and is now an assistant professor at Portland State University. She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 2004 with departmental honors in Psychology and a minor in Music. Her research addresses language-acquisition issues including the acquisition of phonology, the application of phonological knowledge to word learning, and how regularities in the input constrain children’s word-learning hypotheses.
In 2012, Gisi Cannizzaro received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She investigated the difference between the comprehension and production of sentences by preschoolers. Specifically, she looked at how the relative animacy of subject and object affects the comprehension, but not the production, of word order by young Dutch- and English-speaking children. Her Ph.D. research was a part of Professor Petra Hendriks’ project “Asymmetries in Grammar.”
Sarah Rosenbach was an undergrad at Penn, majoring in psychology and minoring in math. She worked in the lab from October-December 2009 as a volunteer. She then took on an independent study project from January-May 2010, working under John Trueswell and Tamara Medina. She is now a graduate student at NYU, studying Psychology and Social Intervention.
Laura graduated from Penn in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Urban Education. She volunteered in the lab in the fall of 2009 and completed an independent study project on socioeconomic status and word learning in the spring of 2010. In the lab, she enjoyed working with infants and children, and has continued to pursue those interests as an intern at a preschool in Boston. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Boston University, and is expected to graduate in 2017.
Ranjani received her Ph.D. from Penn in 2010 and her Sc.B. in Neuroscience from Brown University in 2004. Her research focuses on the neural correlates of working memory, language processing, and the role of prefrontal cortex in executive functions. In particular, she is interested in the extent to which prefrontal cortex functions in a domain-general fashion across verbal and nonverbal domains. She is also interested in genetic influences on individual differences in cognitive control abilities. Since graduating from Penn, she has been an instructor at Yale and worked at the NIH. Currently, she is the Director of Business Operations and Behavioral Science at Knack.it.
Emily Zenger Bass
Emily worked in the lab from 2008 to 2009, and is now working in New York City as an attorney for the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. She graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 2015.
Katie was the lab coordinator from 2006 to 2008. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Psychology and a MS in Developmental Science. She is currently employed as a Improvement Science Analyst at the Tennessee Department of Education.
Sudha received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Penn in 2008 and is now an Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Linguistics at Boston University. She is particularly interested in how children acquire verbs, including their lexical and event semantic properties, how they represent these along with their syntactic properties, and how they access these representations during online comprehension–in both typical and atypical development. At BU, she is also the director of the Child Language Lab.
David received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2008. He is currently a Lead Market Access Writer at Evidera.
Rebecca received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2007. Since leaving Penn, she has been a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and a postdoctoral researcher at MIT, in addition to lecturer positions or professorships at the University of New Hampshire, Emmanuel College, Merrimack College, and Tufts University. She is now working as a Data Specialist for Amazon.
Youngon was a postdoctoral fellow in our lab from 2003 to 2006 and is now an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Chung-Ang University.
Karen received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2006. She is currently working as a Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Jared received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2005, and was a research assistant in our lab, as well. After receiving his Ph.D., Jared completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT. He is now an Assistant Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Advanced Study of Language at the University of Maryland.
Allison was the lab coordinator from 2004 to 2006.
Elsi received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Penn in 2003 and is now an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California.
Felicia received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2001. She was an Assistant Professor at Drexel University, where she was also the Founder and Director of the Drexel Autism Support Program. She is now a Founding Partner of EdMent Consulting.
Albert received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2000 and is now an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Jesse received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 1999 and was also a postdoctoral fellow in our lab from 2000 to 2001. She is now a professor at Harvard University.
Julien was a postdoctoral fellow in our lab from 1998 to 2001 and is now an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University.
Edward received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 1998. He is currently a Senior Research Associate at Mission Analytics Group.
Irina was a postdoctoral fellow in our lab from 1997 to 1999 and is now a professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Staten Island.
Jennifer was a postdoctoral fellow in our lab from 1998 to 2000 and is now a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.