Naomi Caselli, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Deaf Studies and Deaf Education Programs at Boston University. She studies how language deprivation affects how people learn and process ASL signs. She earned a joint PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Tufts University, as well as an Ed.M. in Deaf Education and an M.A. in Psychology from Boston University.
Emily Kubicek, PhD is a Data Scientist in the LexLab at Boston University. She earned a PhD in Educational Neuroscience from Gallaudet University, where she studied the relationship between spatial cognition (a known predictor of STEM achievement) and sign language use. Emily combines her interests of being an advocate for diversity in STEM and coding to support various organizations both in academia and industry.
Amelia Becker, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the LexLab at Boston University. She graduated with an MA in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and earned her PhD in Linguistics from Georgetown University. Her research focuses on phonology and iconicity in American Sign Language and the interplay between the two. Along with Drs. Naomi Caselli, Amy Lieberman, and Jennie Pyers, she is currently investigating the mechanisms of lexical acquisition in Deaf children with hearing caregivers. Her work also aims to develop resources for studying signed languages and examines the extent to which traditional linguistic research methods are useful for studying signed languages.
Erin Finton, MA is a doctoral student in the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She earned an Ed.M. in Adult Education from the University of Toronto and spent the last six years before coming to Boston teaching English to Deaf students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She studies language deprivation in adult populations and specifically looks at L2 acquisition in Deaf adults. She is particularly interested in researching and developing curricula and interventions to remediate the effects of language deprivation past the critical period for language acquisition.
Michael Higgins, MA is a PhD student in the Department of Education at Boston University. He graduated with a degree in Bilingual Teaching from the University of California, San Diego and has 5 years of experience teaching early childhood and high school. Mike holds an interest in language development and predictive abilities in young children. Tangentially, he is currently examining the impact of ASL rhythms and rhymes on deaf children.
Elana Pontecorvo, EdM is a PhD student in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences PhD program. She holds an EdM in Deaf Education from Boston University. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she was the lab manager for the Lex Lab and Dr. Amy Lieberman’s LAVA Lab. She is interested in how deaf children with hearing families acquire sign language as a first language. She strives to conduct research which can be applied to ensure early language access for deaf and hard of hearing children.
Anna Lim Franck, PhD Anna Lim earned her PhD in Language and Literacy Education, with a specialization in ASL/Deaf Education at Boston University. She received her Master’s degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University. Anna has worked on Haskins Laboratory’s ASL SLAAASh (Sign Language Acquisition, Annotation, Archiving and Sharing) project for linguists Drs. Diane Lillo-Martin and Julie Hochgesang. She is interested in research on L2 pedagogy/acquisition of Deaf learners and educational issues in bilingualism in Deaf classrooms.
Lauren Berger, PhD Lauren Berger earned her PhD in Educational Neuroscience from Gallaudet University, and her BS in Psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology. Lauren’s research interests lie at the junction of sensory experience and language experience; her doctoral thesis investigated the neural underpinnings of ProTactile ASL, the language of the American DeafBlind community. This study demonstrated the modality-independence of the language neural network, but also a novel adaptation of the human brain to achieve the same level of performance regardless of sensory differences.
Ruth Ferster, EdM earned her Master’s degree in Deaf Education at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. During her time at Boston University, she worked within the LexLab. Ruth graduated from Gallaudet University in Psychology and minor in Spanish. At Gallaudet University, she worked under Dr. Lorna Quandt at the Action and Brain Lab (ABL) as a research assistant. Thanks to ABL that is where Ruth found her curiosity in science and research! Her research interests includes how deaf students acquire and develop literacy skills bilingually from an early or later age. Ruth is now a Deaf mentor for families with Deaf babies.
Connor Baer, EdM earned his Master’s degree in Deaf Education at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Connor graduated from Gallaudet University in History and International Studies. His interests are working with Deaf youths in all aspects inside and outside of education. Connor is now a high school social studies teacher at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C.
Adele Daniels, EdM earned her Master’s degree in Deaf Education at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She graduated from Gallaudet University with a BA degree in Art and Media Design and Communication Studies, with the goal of becoming a deaf teacher at a deaf school. She is interested in deaf children with dyslexia because they are similar to her, and she is trying to find the ideal resources for deaf people with dyslexia. Adele is now an ASL teacher at the Kendal Demonstration School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. Adele is also studying to complete a second master’s degree at Gallaudet University’s MSLED program.
Mia Goldberg, EdM is a graduate of Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, in Deaf Education. Mia plans to teach at school for the deaf. She also is interested in the process of language acquisition for the Deaf Children.
Erin Spurgeon, MA NIC is a Nationally Certified Interpreter for the Deaf based in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated with a Masters in Interpretation from Gallaudet University. She has worked within a variety of laboratories studying ASL acquisition and psycholinguistic research including Dr. Peter Hauser at Rochester Institute of Technology, Dr. Karen Emmorey at San Diego State University, Dr. Carol Padden at University of California San Diego and Dr. Laura-Ann Pettito at Gallaudet University.
Tali Cowen is a graduate student in the Deaf Education program at Boston University. Tali is interested in American Sign Language phonology as well as the language acquisition process for Deaf children. Tali is now an elementary school teacher at the Delaware School for the Deaf.
Chelsea Hammond is a graduate of the Deaf Education program at Boston University. She plans to become a teacher of Deaf+ students, specifically Deaf students with autism spectrum disorders. She is particularly interested in autonomy and language and literacy skill acquisition in early childhood for Deaf children with disabilities. Chelsea is now a middle school educator at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf.
Amy Mulkey is a graduate of the Deaf Education program at Boston University. She has a B.S., in Deaf Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Amy plans to become a teacher of the Deaf post graduation. Amy is interested in the process of language acquisition for Deaf children. Amy is now a night residential educator at the Texas School for the Deaf.
Odun Akintomide is a graduate of the Deaf Education program at Boston University. He is interested in language acquisition of deaf children. Odun is now a teacher and basketball coach at the Learning Center for the Deaf.
Emily Smith graduated from the Deaf Education program at Boston University. Emily graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a bachelors degree in Deaf Education. She plans to become a teacher of the Deaf after graduation, and is interested in how Deaf and hard of hearing children acquire language and literacy skills in early childhood.
Alyazyah Almarzooqi earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston University in Computer Engineering. Alyazyah is now working as a Senior Analyst at Etusakat And (e&), a global technology group in Dubai. She is interested in the application of computational linguistics and deaf education.
Ethan Hartzell, BS Ethan Hartzell is a graduate from Tufts University in Cognitive and Brain Sciences. He has previously worked at the Tufts Center for Cognitive Studies as a research assistant on the Central Taurus Sign Language project with Dr. Rabia Ergin and Prof. Ray Jackendoff. He is interested in the representation of language in the brain, emerging languages, and computational linguistics. Ethan is now a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on linguistics.
Saúl Villameriel is a collaborator from the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL, Spain) and visiting scholar at the LEX Lab. Saúl is a linguist and a Spanish Sign language Interpreter with a Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience of Language from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU, Spain) and the BCBL. He completed a PhD in sign language processing with Manuel Carreiras and Brendan Costello. Saúl is now a teacher at Valladolid University in Spain and a linguist at the Centre for Language Normalization of the Spanish Sign Language (CNLSE). Saúl is also currently working on projects connected to sign language linguistics.
Megan Canne is a graduate of the Deaf Education program at Boston University. Megan is interested in language deprivation and acquisition in deaf children. Megan is now a Literacy Specialist at the Texas School for the Deaf.
Stephanie Pennetti graduated from the Deaf Education program at Boston University. She also completed her BA at Boston University in Elementary education. She is now a full time teacher at the Learning Center for the Deaf. Stephanie is now a middle school math teacher at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.
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