Meet our Research Team

Program Director

Graduate Students

Manya Jyotishi sitting

Manya Jyotishi

MA: University of Connecticut, Developmental Psychology -- 2016

BA: Hunter College, The City College of New York, Psychology -- 2012

My research interest lies in examining narrative development in children. My current project explores the interplay between language and culture and its impact on narrative construction. Specifically, I am interested in answering two questions: (1) how do the linguistic devices of a language allow narrators to filter their experiences to construct their narratives, and (2) how does culture allow narrators to package their narratives. I am planning to investigate these questions in Indian children speaking Indian English. 



Vivi Tecoulesco

my interest lies in how individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learn and use language, with particular emphasis on lexical acquisition and organization. I am interested in the central auditory system’s role in language processing, specifically how inconsistent neural coding of complex speech sounds affects word learning and use.  I am also interested in the lack of generalization often seen in ASD and its effect on category formation and extension as well as on word learning strategies.

Honors/Thesis Students

Undergraduate Students

Maddy smiling

Madeline Eldredge

Year of Graduation: 2019
Major: Speech Hearing Learning Sciences and Psychology

John Mugge

Year of Graduation: 2018
Major: Psychology
Christina Standing

Christina Su

Year of Graduation: 2017
Major: Speech Hearing Learning Sciences and Psychology

Caleigh Jacobson

Year of Graduation: 2018

Mariana Osello

Year of Graduation: 2018

Anneliese Lapides

Year of Graduation: 2020
Major: Biology
Picture of Liana Smiling

Liana Sandell

Year of Graduation: 2018

Major: Psychology and Communications

Silvia standing

Silvia Duque 


Major:  Linguistics/Psychology 

Minor: Cognitive Science 

Year of Graduation: 2018


Krishna Patel's face.

Krishna Patel

Year of Graduation: 2017

Major: Allied Health Sciences

John Rafferty standing against a wall

John Rafferty

Year of Graduation: 2017.

Major: Psychology

Jazmyn Franco pic

Jazmyn Franco

Year of Graduation: 2017

Major: Speech Language and Hearing Sciences

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Emily Longo

Year of Graduation: 2017
Major: Psychology
Picture of Julie Piskin

Julie Piskin

Year of Graduation: 2017
Major: Psychology
Kathryn Stevens sitting

Kathryn Stevens

Year of Graduation: 2018

Major: Physiology and Neurobiology

Nora Alpers sitting outside.

Nora Alpers

BA: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010 – Psychology

My interest in language acquisition lies in special populations, such as children with ASD, ADHD, bilinguals, and second language learners. I feel that these populations add a unique piece to the puzzle: How do children acquire language? I am currently working on a collaboration with the MIND Institute, looking at expressive language in typically developing children, children with ASD, and children with ADHD. Another line of research I would like to explore is cross-linguistic/cross-cultural language acquisition in atypically developing youth.
Estudio psicolinguistica del desarrollo y mas especificamente, estudio los niños con autismo, TDAH, los bilingues, y los que aprenden una segunda lengua. Me siento que estes grupos nos dan una pieza del rompecabezas que es "Como se adquieren el lenguaje?" En este momento, tengo una coloboracion con el MIND Institute, investigando el lenguaje expresivo de niños con desarrollo normal, niños con autismo, y niños con TDAH. En el futuro, me gustaria investigar la adquisicion del lenguaje de niños con desarrollo anormal en culturas diferentes/con idiomas diferentes . 
Ahmed Abdelaziz's face

Ahmed Abdelaziz

I am looking at the role Joint Attention/Engagement, as well as the role of Following-in utterances by the parents, in later language development of both Typical Children and Children with ASD. I want to explore the degree in which joint attention/engagement contributes to later language development, in comparison with the parental following-in utterances, therefore addressing two major questions: 1) The role of social-pragmatic aspects VS data-driven aspects of input, and 2) How does each of the two aspects of input play a role in children with ASD across the spectrum.

Iris Chen's face.

Iris Chin 

MA: University of Connecticut, 2013 -- Developmental Psychology

BA: Loyola University Chicago, 2009 -- Psychology

My research interest is in language acquisition in typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder, focusing on the areas of morphology, syntax, and pragmatics. More specifically, my work has focused on the following aspects of language development: how do children acquire morphosyntax (both its form and its meaning), what biases, if any, do children have when learning about the syntax of their language, and how do children come to understand the pragmatic use of language


Jihnee Park's face.

Jinhee Park

MA: University of Connecticut, 2012 -- Developmental Psychology

MA: Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Korea, 2007 -- Developmental Psychology

BA: Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Korea, 2005 -- Psychology

BA: Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea, 2003 -- Chinese

Currently, my research is focused on the relation between children's early joint attention and later lexical/grammatical development. By comparing children with autism to typically developing children, I want to understand the role of joint attention in both group of children's linguistic developmental courses. Also, I am preparing for my next research project which will involve the problem of shape bias and inductive reasoning. Relevant/furthur questions with be adressed in comparative perspectives with American and Korean children in the long term of my research