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Former Lab Members

Bridget Adduce

bta5051 at

Bridget was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD Lab. She is interested in bilingualism in the brain, particularly code-switching, as well as second language acquisition. Bridget loves learning language and plans to continue her research in hopes of eventually earning a PIRE grant to do this research abroad.

Sofia Alvarez

sla5198 at

Sofia was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab, majoring in Neuropsychology with a minor in women's studies. She has an interest in bilingualism, language acquisition and language processing and enjoyed working with ERPs.  Sofia is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and recently completed a practicum with the Health Psychology Group of South Florida in preparation.

Kathleen Ammerman

kea5165 at

Kathleen was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She is interested in child development, child psychopathology and language acquisition. She also has personal interests in foreign language and music. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Georgetown University, in the Neuroscience department.

Annemarie Butkiewicz

apb5186 at

Annemarie was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She is pursuing degrees in French and Communication Arts and Sciences. She spent a summer studying French at the Centre Linguistique Appliqué in Besançon, France. She is also a French tutor for the Penn State Learning Center and a reporter for the Daily Collegian. She hopes to gain more experience with research and learn more about bilingualism.

Chris Champi

cmc5294 at

Chris is a Hispanic Linguistics graduate student in the Center for Language Science at Penn State. He is pursuing a dual-title degree in Hispanic Linguistics and Language Science. His research interests include language acquisition and sociolinguistic variation with emphasis in subject expression in Spanish. He also works with Dr. Karen Miller in the Language Acquisition Lab on her NSF funded project titled "The effect of variable input on children’s acquisition of null subjects" and travels frequently to Santo Domingo to collect both child and adult speech data. In the BiLD lab, he expanded his research depth to include a focus on language processing using experimental techniques.

Ingemarie Donker

icd2 at

Ingemarie was a visiting scholar from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. She is a research master student in Linguistics and the semester in the BILD lab was her internship. She loves basically anything to do with language, but is very interested in bilingualism, (second) language acquisition and language processing. In the BiLD lab she gained experience in EEG/ERP techniques and got involved in the great research done there.

Kevin Donley

kgd5037 at

Kevin Donley was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. He spent a semester studying Spanish linguistics in Quito, Ecuador. He is double-majoring in Spanish and psychology. Kevin is interested in gaining experience in research and learning more about bilingualism and code-switching, particularly between Spanish and English.
Paige Elinsky

pne5010 at

Paige dual majored in Psychology and Spanish. She worked as a research assistant in the BiLD lab for two years. She was awarded a summer PIRE fellowship in Granada, Spain. There, she conducted research on sentential code-switching in Spanish-English bilinguals with Teresa Bajo at La Universidad de Granada.

John Elkhoury

joe5066 at

John was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. He double majored in both Neuropsychology and French Linguistics. He also served as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for a Psych100 course as well as a psychology proctor and French Tutor. Language has always interested him because the majority of his family resides outside of the U.S. He plans on teaching English in France as well as pursuing graduate school in either medicine, linguistics, or neuroscience.

Sarah Fairchild

scf5081 at

Sarah is a graduate of Penn State with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in media studies.  She was a part of the BiLD lab since the fall of 2011, and as an undergraduate research assistant received a PIRE fellowship to conduct a code-switching study at Bangor University in Wales.  She is currently attending graduate school.

Katie Genovese

keg5230 at

Katie was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She majored in psychology with a concentration in Biology and Evolution and a minor in Spanish.  Katie worked in the Bilingualism and Language Development lab to further explore her interests in language and psychology and gain invaluable experiences in the world of research.  Katie plans to attend graduate school for psychology or speech pathology.

Monika Goralczyk
mzg5295 at

Monika was an undergraduate student in the BiLD lab. Her goal is to be accepted into a Dietetic Internship this spring and possibly work towards a Master's in Nutrition. Her dream is to work with adolescents who struggle with eating disorders. Growing up speaking Polish, Monika is extremely interested in learning more about bilingualism through research.
Angela Grant

amc497 at

Angela was a cognitive psychology graduate student, and has obtained a dual degree in Cognitive Psychology and Language Science. She had a broad range of research interests, including the influence of language status (i.e. first vs. second language) and pragmatics on lexical access. She was also interested in the way various disciplines (neuroscience, psychology, and linguistics) approach these problems and has experience using behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and event-related potential (ERP) methodologies. She is currently working in a postdoctoral position at University of Montreal.

Sarah Grey

seg24 at

Sarah Grey was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Language Science at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University where she worked with Drs. Cristina Sanz and Michael Ullman on the effects of immersion experience on additional language development, the neurocognition of late-learned language, and the role of bilingualism in adult additional language learning. At Penn State she studied neuropragmatic effects of speaker identity and listener experience in bilingualism.

Kyle Jack

kaj5195 at

Kyle was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. He double majored in Psychology and Integrative Arts and minored in Dance and Theater. He has done his own research on how different variables effect stress levels for the ACURA (Abington College Undergraduate Research Activities). He is looking forward to broadening his horizons in Psychology. In the future he wants to go to graduate school for dance therapy or become a teacher.

Merel Keijzer

mck21 at

Merel Keijzer was a visiting scholar at the Center for Language Science at the Pennsylvania State University. Her home institution is the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where she holds a position as assistant professor/Rosalind Franklin fellow at the Center for Language and Cognition, working within the Neurolinguistics and language development group. Her research interests are best described as covering language development across the lifespan with a focus on bilingual language acquisition and processing. Her current research project investigates the cognitive and language control of late L1 Dutch speakers of L2 English who moved to an English-speaking environment (Australia) at a post-puberty age and who are now classified as older adults (75 years or older). In particular, the project sets out to see if the often anecdotally reported reversion to the L1 in this age group is more accurately defined as age-related reduced cognitive and bilingual control.

Grace Kim

jqk5576 at

Grace was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She is interested in child development and language processing in bilinguals. She hopes to gain a better understanding of research in psychology and prepare for graduate school.


Jenny Kline

jrk5458 at

Jenny Kline was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. After receiving a PIRE grant, Jenny had the opportunity to extend her bilingualism research abroad where she examined the effect of child and foreign-accented speech on sentence comprehension in bilingual and multilingual listeners in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Kaitlyn Litcofsky

kal378 at

Kaitlyn was a cognitive psychology grad student in the BiLD lab and Center for Language Science at Penn State. She has also pursued a dual-title degree in Language Science and a Specialization in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her research interest was in interaction in adult language processing. Her Master's work focused on the interaction between a bilingual's two languages in sentential code-switching in Spanish-English bilinguals using behavioral and ERP methods. She conducted her dissertation research examining the interaction of production and comprehension within a speaker during different dialogue situations. See more at her website.

Silviana Lee

syl5461 at

Silviana majored in Neuropsychology and minored in Biology and International Studies. After spending a semester abroad in Singapore, she returned to the BiLD lab for a second year. Due to her background as a bilingual in Korean and English she is interested in all sorts of languages and is keen on bilingual research.

Amalie Maranhao-Klahr

aqm5516 at

Amalie was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She is interested in psychology and biology as it relates to the language processes of the brain and how these processes affect how we perceive the world and how the world perceives us. She hopes to become more familiar with the research process and gained valuable experience working in the lab. She plans on using the knowledge she gained to apply to graduate schools.

Mahsa Morid

mxm1160 at

Mahsa is an MA student of Teaching English as a Second Language in Iran. She is interested in second language learning, bilingualism, inferencing, and discourse analysis. She conducted research in the BiLD lab using event related potential techniques. She investigated how the morphosyntax in the first language influences the second in highly proficient L2 learners.
Ama S. Nimako-Boateng

asn5072 at

Ama was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab, majoring in Science: Biological Science and Health Profession Option and minoring in business. She spent 10 days in Ghana, West Africa with the Global Medical Brigades and plans on eventually moving there to practice medicine. She is interested in studying Spanish because she wants to practice medicine in the States and has a personal interest in bilingualism. She is interested in doing research to learn more about bilingualism.

Christina Nguyen

ctn5059 at

Christina was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She majored in Psychology and minored in Human Development and Family Studies. Christina is interested in child development and how speaking a language of a specific culture could influence the way in which a child perceives respect and hierarchy and how that could affect his/her brain development. She plans on furthering her interest on this topic through applying to applied developmental programs.

Leah Pappas

ljp5110 at

Leah was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab, seeking to broaden her knowledge in linguistics and explore new areas of research. She received degrees in French and Linguistics with a minor in Spanish. She completed research through the PIRE fellowship. Her research looked at German-French and English-French bilinguals and their use of grammatical gender in French.

Eleonora Rossi

exr22 at

Eleonora was a Visiting Assistant professor in Linguistics and she was affiliated with the the Center for Language Science -CLS- at the Pennsylvania State University. Her primary research interest is bilingual language processing in healthy populations utilizing behavioral and neuroimaging methods, such as Eye-tracking, Event related Potentials (ERPs), and functional Magnetic resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Eleonora received her Masters and Ph.D. from the Linguistic department at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Her dissertation focused on investigating language processing in speakers with agrammatic aphasia, and in bilingual aphasic speakers.

Kaylee Roupas

kma5296 at

Kaylee was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab, majoring in Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Linguistics, with minors in French and International Studies. She is still exploring the many facets of linguistics, but is especially drawn to the fields of psycholinguistics and historical linguistics. She spent the summer of 2013 conducting research on a PIRE grant. Her project focused on the influence of L1 grammatical gender and notional number on L2 sentence production. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar in Romania.

Laura Schubel

lcs5222 at

Laura Schubel was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab. She majored in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in psychology. She hopes to soon become a doctoral student specializing in speech-language pathology with specific interests in autism spectrum and the cognitive aspects of language. Laura completed a PIRE fellowship in Nijmegen, Netherlands where she conducted a study along with postdoctoral researcher Sarah Grey on foreign accented speech and language processing.

Genevieve Stafford

gks5078 at

Genevieve was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD Lab. She double majored in Psychology and Spanish. Her main interest lies is clinical psychology, but she enjoyed exploring research as well, gaining insight into the connections between her two majors by studying bilingualism. Genevieve’s other interests include flute and choral performance, quilting, and traveling. She hopes to continue her education with graduate school.

Antje Stöhr

a.stohr at

Antje was a visiting Fulbright Fellow at the Center for Language Science. She is a PhD student at Radboud University Nijmegen and the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences in the Netherlands. In her PhD project, Antje is investigating phonological acquisition in bilingual preschoolers, comprising measures of their speech production, perception and parental input. She conducted an EEG-experiment on the perception of speech sounds with English-Spanish bilingual children during her 9-month stay at Penn State.

Darren Tanner

dstanner at gmail dot com

Darren was a postdoctoral researcher in the Bilingualism and Language Development (BiLD) lab at the Center for Language Science and Department of Psychology at Penn State. His main research interests center around sentence processing in monolinguals, bilinguals, and beginning second language learners, as well as individual differences in language processing and language learning. Using behavioral and electrophysiological (ERP) methods, he studies how individuals coordinate and access syntactic and semantic information during reading, and how we encode and retrieve grammatical information during sentence language comprehension and production. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab at the University of Washington. His work there focused primarily on ERP correlates of syntactic interference and complexity during the processing of grammatical agreement in native English speakers and second language learners of English. He has also investigated neural correlates morphosyntax in the earliest stages of second language learning, with a particular focus on using individual differences to understand learning trajectories.

He is now an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and director of the new UIUC Electrophysiology and Language Processing Lab.

Mona Timmermeister

mxt49 at

Mona was a visiting scholar at the Center for Language Science for the fall semester of 2015. She is a PhD student at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In her PhD project, Mona studies the language abilities and cognitive development of Turkish and Moroccan child heritage language learners. During her visit at Penn State she worked to gain additional research experience by helping out in different ERP projects.

Caitlin Ting

cyt5016 at

Caitlin was a graduate student pursuing the dual title Ph.D. in Psychology and Language Science and the Specialization of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. For her dissertation, Caitlin examined the relationship between language and music. In her first experiment, Caitlin examined whether cognitive control is involved in syntactic processing in music and whether prior experience modulates how cognitive control is involved (e.g., bilingualism, musical training, and tonal language use). In her second experiment, Caitlin used ERPs to examine whether and how the time course of syntactic processing of ambiguities and violations in language and in music are similar (or different). For her Master's, Caitlin investigated whether bilinguals and monolinguals rely on the same or different cognitive control mechanisms to resolve within-language conflict (bilinguals and monolinguals) and across-language conflict (bilinguals) using behavioral measures. She also investigated whether the same or different mechanisms recruited to resolve linguistic conflict are used to solve non-linguistic conflict, as well as whether the mechanisms vary by speaker type. Additionally, Caitlin has investigated how semantic information provided by sentential context affects language processing in monolingual and bilinguals, the neural correlates of codeswitching using fMRI, as well as the effect of socio-contextual triggers and living environment on the processing of upcoming codeswitches.


Brendan Tomoschuk

bit5047 at

Brendan was an undergraduate research assistant in the BiLD lab from 2011-2014. He was a member of the Schreyer Honors College pursuing degrees in Linguistics and Science, with minors in Italian and International Studies.  During the summer of 2013 Brendan received a PIRE grant to study linguistic relativity with Guillaume Thierry at Bangor University.  His project looked at color perception in Greek-English and Russian-English bilinguals using ERPs.  Brendan currently attends graduate school at UCSD in Psychology.

Delaney Wilson

drw5218 at

Delaney was a lab manager for the Center for Language Science and assisted in the BiLD lab with various projects. She obtained a degree in Linguistics and a minor in Arabic from Penn State in December 2015. She had a special interest in bilingualism, language acquisition, and code-switching. Delaney received the PIRE fellowship for the summer of 2015 and conducted research on code-switching at the University of Granada in Spain. She is now pursuing her graduate degree at University of Kansas.

Kiley Wolfenstein

kow5252 at

Kiley majored in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  Her goal was to attend graduate school for Speech Pathology, specializing in working with children with cochlear implants. She loved learning about languages (especially sign language), music and bilingualism. She has worked as a research assistant in the BilD lab for three years.

Weihua Xu

wxx11 at

Weihua was a visiting scholar from National University of Defense Technology, China. Her research interests include cognitive linguistics, constuction grammar, L2 language acquisition and processing, and the comparative study of L1 and L2 learners.

John Zhang

jqz5242 at

John majored in Psychology. He has worked in the BiLD lab for two years, and this was his first time as a research assistant. John was a frequent traveler and student of different languages. John signed up out of interest in language and speech production and comprehension after hearing about the language research from Dr. van Hell during a Psi Chi meeting. He hoped to get hands on experience and get to know how labs work while contributing to science.

Megan Zirnstein

mkz2 at

Megan was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Language Science at Pennsylvania State University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Her past research has centered on the following topics: (1) individual differences in reading behavior and comprehension ability, and (2) the behavioral and neural correlates of psycholinguistic phenomena in sentence processing, particularly at the syntax-semantics interface. At the CLS, she extended her work in monolinguals to investigate how cognitive control affects semantic prediction in second language sentence processing.

Jessica Zurlo

jqz5203 at

Jessica was a undergraduate student in the Eberly College of Science, and pursued a degree in Biology focusing on genetics and developmental biology along with a minor in Psychology. She began working as a research assistant in the BiLD lab in January of 2015 and has worked as a research assistant for 3 years. Jessica was interested in how knowing a second language affects perception of a person’s first and second languages.

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