I believe that every child has their own path to learning language. Biological and environmental influences interact to impact this path to learning and using language. My research focuses on investigating the interaction brain and environment have upon word learning during the school years. I believe that by identifying environmental and neurological factors that benefit a child’s ability to learn and grow, we can start to elicit positive change in the education system and in our communities.
I am excited to announce that beginning in August 2021, I will be joining the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Louisiana State University as an Assistant Professor!
I am currently an NSF SBE Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Delaware. My current research project combines measures of mother-child interactions, implicit language learning, and MRI in an effort to identify protective factors against the detrimental effects of poor linguistic input on vocabulary outcomes. I am also a ReproNim/INCF Fellow committed towards the promotion of reproducibility in neuroimaging.
In my current role as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Delaware, I work with Dr. Zhenghan Qi investigating how children with Autism Spectrum Disorder differ in how they learn language, and how differences in brain development underlie this variability (using both EEG and fMRI).
I am also affiliated with the College of Health Sciences, working with Dr. Barret Michalec to promote diversity initiatives, interdisciplinary education, and mindfulness at the Center for Interprofessional Development, Education and Research.
In February 2018 I completed my PhD in the Brain and Behavioral Sciences Department at the University of Texas at Dallas. I continue to be involved in an NSF funded research project that I began while at UT Dallas looking at the role income has upon brain development and word learning in school (using EEG).
Although I am busy conducting research, I am passionate about organizing community outreach events in an effort to make neuroscience and STEM “digestible” and approachable to kids. Towards this goal, I have built a partnership between UD and Girls Inc. Wilmington to promote STEM for underrepresented girls. I am an advocate for equal opportunities in education and will tweet passionately about these topics. I also love hiking and doing UD Crossfit to counteract my love of pizza and craft beer.