302-831-7164 udslamlab@gmail.com

People

Dr. Giovanna Morini

Dr. Giovanna Morini

Lab Director

Associate Professor
Communication Sciences and Disoders
Joint appointment – Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science
Email: gmorini@udel.edu

Dr. Morini was born and raised in Colombia (South America). She received a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Florida in 2007. She then earned a PhD in Hearing & Speech Sciences and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science from the University of Maryland in 2014. After graduate school, Dr. Morini completed postdoctoral training in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. In 2017, she joined the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at UD as faculty. Dr. Morini’s research interests include early language acquisition, bilingualism, and questions related to speech perception. Furthermore, she is interested in how cultural and linguistic differences contribute to language development in children with typical language skills, and those who have language disorders.

Click for full CV
Karla Marie Mercedes

Karla Marie Mercedes

Lab Manager

Email: kmmerced@udel.edu

Karla Marie graduated from Williams College in June 2023 with a B.A. in Psychology. For her senior thesis, she studied the interactions Spanish-speaking parents have with their bilingual children during mathematics homework help, and how their negative behaviors were affected by either the language or the difficulty of the homework sheet. She plans to continue studying how bilingual children and families interact with the U.S. American education systems.

Mackensie Blair

Mackensie Blair

PhD Student

Email: mmblair@udel.edu

Mackensie earned a BS in Cognitive Science and a BA in Spanish Studies from from the University of Delaware. She started working in the lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant, while at the same time working at multiple childcare centers and gaining valuable experience regarding early child development. Mackensie is currently a 5th year PhD candidate in the Communicartion Sciences and Disorders program and is primarily interested in bilingualism and how it relates to early language acquisition.

Mels Ayala

Mels Ayala

PhD Student

Email: aayala@udel.edu

Mels graduated from Claremont McKenna College (located in Claremont, California) in May 2021 with a B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience. Their interest in learning about bilingualism was sparked while they were studying abroad in Bolivia and Argentina. They are particularly interested in how individuals from various cultural backgrounds acquire language skills, and how cognitive abilities (including memory processes) contribute to bilingual language development. Mels is currently a 1st year PhD student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program.

Emily Frazer-Abel

Emily Frazer-Abel

PhD Student

Email: emilyfa@udel.edu

Emily graduated from Wesleyan University (located in Middletown, CT) in May 2021 with their BA in Psychology, Education Studies, and International Relations. Emily is currently a 1st year PhD student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program. She is primarily interested in bilingual language development in children and adults, and in understanding the relationship between language learning and acquisition for bilingual children that are neurodiverse and/or have communication disorders that impact their cognitive and linguistics skills (i.e. Developmental Language Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, etc.).

 Ekaterina Novikova

Ekaterina Novikova

PhD Student

Email: novikova@udel.edu

Ekaterina received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Linguistics at Tambov State University in Russia. After graduation, she worked as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher for both children and adult students. She is currently getting her PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. Ekaterina is interested in studying families raising bilingual children as well as language development in outdoor settings.

Madeline Austria

Madeline Austria

MA Student

Email: maustria@udel.edu

Madeline graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2024 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Sociology. She began working at SLAM as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in August 2022. Madeline is currently pursuing a master’s degree through UD’s 4+1 Master of Science Program in Neuroscience. She is interested in studying the various factors that contribute to language acquisition in infants and young children.

Leolina Farinelli

Leolina Farinelli

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Psychology
Class of 2025

Bing Yang

Bing Yang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Psychology
Class of 2026

Leah Kenyon

Leah Kenyon

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Psychology & Neuroscience
Class of 2027

Mia Kehnast

Mia Kehnast

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science (SLP focus)
Class of 2024

Naomi Monaghan

Naomi Monaghan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science (SLP focus)
Class of 2026

Vivian Wiggins

Vivian Wiggins

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Psychology
Class of 2026

Noelle DiVirgilio

Noelle DiVirgilio

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science (SLP focus)
Class of 2025

Brooklyn Harden

Brooklyn Harden

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Linguistics & Computer Science
Class of 2025

Johana Mendoza

Johana Mendoza

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science (SLP focus)
Class of 2024

Naomi Lara Medina

Naomi Lara Medina

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science (SLP focus)
Class of 2026

Benjamin Carroll

Benjamin Carroll

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Psychology & Neuroscience
Class of 2026

Anna Gliwa

Anna Gliwa

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Neuroscience & Psychology
Class of 2027

Ashanti Craig

Ashanti Craig

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science
Class of 2025

Fahima Chowdhury

Fahima Chowdhury

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Science (SLP focus)
Class of 2025

Collaborators

  • Roberta Golinkoff, University of Delaware
  • Aquiles Iglesias, University of Delaware
  • Kaja Jasinska, University of Toronto
  • Thierry Morlet, Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • Rochelle Newman, University of Maryland
  • Amanda Owen Van Horne, University of Delaware
  • Yi Ting Huang, University of Maryland
  • Julie Schneider, Louisiana State University
  • Pumpki Lei Su, University of Texas at Dallas

Lab Alumni

  • Spring 2018: Jill Wilhelm, Teresa Jackson, Cynthia Hagerty
  • Summer 2018: Hannah Wissner, Boyang Qin
  • Fall 2018: Shruti Shirapu
  • Spring 2019: Paige Kassman, Jillian Lardiere, Jessica Michnick, Janina Boecher
  • Summer 2019: Emily Fritzson, Delaney Shertz
  • Fall 2019: Abhigna Rao
  • Spring 2020: Amanda Kalil, Ben Cushman, Sophia Emery, Madison Pruitt, Sarah Dombroski, Lauren Mellor, Aashaka Desai
  • Fall 2020: Claudia Kurtz, Sarah Blum
  • Spring 2021: Katherine Richard, Mariann Angela Agapito, Katrina Conner, Silpa Annavarapu, Brianna Postorino, Sydney Horne, Katherine Filliben, Taylor Hallacy, Kathryn Catalino, Kathryn Hall, Jackson Xiao
  • Summer 2021: Dea Harjianto
  • Fall 2021: Chaithra Reddy, Emily Arena
  • Winter 2022: Shreeya Parekh, Aparna Roy
  • Spring 2022: Talia Gillespie, Alexandra Stone, Nicole Khanutin, Nicole Scacco, Erin Felter, Emma Frampton, Stephanie Krause, Morgan Smith, Aurora Reible-Gunter, Lauren Mellor, Kate Chirinos-Cazar, Tyler Hecht
  • Summer 2022: Oluwaseun Ogundimu, Pumpki Lei Su
  • Fall 2022: Wendy Sanchez-Rodriguez, Zoe Cronin, Eden Groum, Jessica Price, Ryan Moore
  • Spring 2023: Jessica Michels, Samantha Kennedy, Sydney Goldstein, Brooke Barrett, Annabelle Goetter, Lindsay Hawtof, Stephanie Stollar, Natalie Harvey, Coleman Walsh, Grace Donaher
  • Fall 2023: Alanis Perez, Amanmeet Kaur Tethi, Emily Ward, Mackenzie Popp
  • Spring 2024: Jaida Damato, Dayana Lara, Alexander Marshall, Aisha Memon, Amalia Castillo