Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Jan Edwards

Director of the Learning to Talk laboratory

Jan Edwards joined the University of Maryland in the Fall of 2016 as a faculty member in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences and  an Associate Director of the Language Science Center. Her research focuses on children from a wide range of language experiences, including children who speak non-mainstream dialects of English or different first languages as well as children with cochlear implants or autism spectrum disorders. She is particularly interested in how  children learn the sounds and words of their language and how this relates to language skills, literacy and school success.

Tatiana Thonesavanh

Lab Manager

Tatiana Thonesavanh received a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in May 2013. From 2013-2016, she was a Research Specialist at the Waisman Center at UW-Madison where she was the Recruitment, Outreach and Testing Coordinator for both the Learning to  Talk Lab and the Infant Learning Lab. She is very interested in child and family research as it relates to development as a whole and she looks forward to the exciting new projects the Learning to Talk Lab endeavors at the University of Maryland.

Carolyn Mazzei

Teacher Training and Support Coordinator

Carolyn Mazzei received her Masters in Teaching and K-8 Certification from the University of Washington through the Seattle Teacher Residency. With a developmental psychology background, Carolyn is interested in how evidence-based practices, culturally inclusive classrooms, and continuing professional development for inservice teachers impact long-term outcomes for students from historically underserved populations. She is looking forward to partnering with public school communities in the area alongside the Toggle Talk Team.

Meg Cychosz

Post Doctoral Trainee

Meg Cychosz is a Post Doctoral Trainee at the University of Maryland working with Drs. Jan Edwards and Rochelle Newman in Hearing and Speech Sciences. Meg received her PhD in linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies acoustic and articulatory phonetics in young children. Meg also applies computational methods to model children’s phonological acquisition. She is very excited to be joining the Learning to Talk Lab.

Michelle Erskine

Ph.D. Student

​Michelle Erskine received her MS in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland (College Park) under the guidance of Dr. Jan Edwards. Her current research focuses on the relationships among literacy development, language development, and phonological acquisition in culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She is also interested in the intersection among language, literacy, and poverty.

Allie Johnson

Ph.D. Student

Allie Johnson is a PhD student in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland-College Park. She earned her MS degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. Allie’s research focuses on using a variety of methods to assess speech production skills and exploring factors that influence lexical and phonological development in young children. She is particularly interested in how children with cochlear implants develop speech and language skills despite having degraded auditory input.

Zachary Maher

Ph.D. Student

Zachary Maher is a PhD student in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at the University of Maryland-College Park. He holds a BA and MA in Linguistics from Yale University, where he was a founding member of the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project. He has also worked in a variety of roles in the field of education, including time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany and as an Education Pioneers Analyst Fellow at the Newark Charter School Fund in Newark, NJ. Zach’s interests lie in the educational implications of language research, with a particular focus on supports for students who speak non-mainstream dialects.

Christina Blomquist

Ph.D. Student

Christina Blomquist is an MA/PhD student in Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland-College Park.  She is working under the supervision of Dr. Jan Edwards and Dr. Rochelle Newman.  Her primary research interests focus on language and literacy development, specifically the relationship between the development of language processing and reading acquisition.  Christina earned her B.A. in Speech and Hearing Science and Psychology from the University of Iowa

Arynn Byrd

Ph.D. Student

Arynn Byrd received her MA in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Georgia in 2018. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland, College Park under the guidance of Dr. Jan Edwards. Her research interests include language development, code switching, dialect instruction, and non-mainstream dialects. She is particularly interested in African American English and the educational impacts of code switching.

Kathleen Oppenheimer

Ph.D. Student

Kathleen Oppenheimer received her MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University and her BA in Linguistics and Chinese from Harvard College. She previously worked as a speech-language pathologist in a children’s hospital and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Maryland at College Park under the guidance of Dr. Yi Ting Huang and Dr. Jan Edwards. Kathleen’s research interests include language and literacy development in children with typical and atypical development. She is also interested in the diagnosis and treatment of language disorders in children who speak non-mainstream dialects of English.

Max Scribner

Undergraduate Student

Max Scribner is a senior undergraduate student studying Computer Science and Linguistics at Maryland. He is a member of the Maryland Honors College, and the Maryland Filmmaker’s club. Max is excited to learn about language acquisition while working in the lab, and is glad he can utilize his experience repairing computers to help the research continue smoothly.

Robyn Toler

Undergraduate Student

Robyn Toler is a senior undergraduate student studying Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland. She joined the Toggle Talk project as an assessor during the Fall of 2019 and is currently the treasurer of UMD’s National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association as well as the Enrichment Chair for the Non-Traditional Student Society. She is excited to return as a research assistant in the Learning to Talk Lab to further her knowledge of language acquisition and development. 

Ritwika Das

Undergraduate Student

Ritwika Das is a junior undergraduate student studying Computer Science and Math at the University of Maryland. She is part of the Departmental Honors Program for Computer Science and is a member of UMDLoop, an engineering team on campus. Ritwika is excited to work with the lab to learn more about research and facilitate the development of online studies. 

Comfort Fabode

Undergraduate Student

Comfort is a senior undergraduate Hearing and Speech Sciences major at the University of Maryland. She was previously involved in mentoring elementary school Children through UMD’s Lakeland STARs program and has also worked as a peer mentor for Social Interaction Group Network for students with Autism (SIGNA) at the University of Maryland. She is a Project RISE intern for the lab and is excited to learn more about language acquisition and be a part of the Learning to Talk Lab.

Collaborators

Elise Baker 

University of Sydney

Mary Beckman

Ohio State University

Naomi Feldman

University of Maryland- College Park

Yi Ting Huang 

University of Maryland- College Park

Eun Jong Kong

Korean Aerospace University

Ben Munson

University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Bob McMurray 

University of Iowa

Rochelle Newman

University of Maryland- College Park

Natalie Munro 

University of Sydney

Patrick Reidy

University of Texas- Dallas

Jenny Saffran 

University of Wisconsin- Madison

Susan Ellis Weismer 

University of Wisconsin- Madison

L2T Alumni

Maddie Rolf

Sr. Undergraduate, HESP, UMD

Abby Rosler

Sr. Undergraduate, HESP, UMD

 

Megan Gigliotti

Second Year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, UMD

 

Kayla Horning

Second Year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, UMD

Michele Liquori

Second Year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, UMD

 

Rachel Niemann

Second Year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, UMD

 

Alyssa Smith

M.A., Speech Language Pathology, UMD

Currently: CF-SLP, Frederick County Public Schools District

Joseph Smith

M.A., Speech Language Pathology, UMD 

Currently: CF-SLP, Montgomery County Public Schools District

 

Hannah Del Rosario

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD

Currently: First year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, UMD

 

Katelyn Fulmore

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD 

Currently: First year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, Gallaudet University

Becca Higgins

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD

Currently: First year Au.D. student, UMD

Kristen Ho

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD

Currently: First year M.A. student, Speech Language Pathology, Boston, MA

 

Dominique Jenkins

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD 

 

Ileana Thompson

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD 

 

Jaclyn Davis

B.A., English and Secondary Education, UMD

Brianna Johnson

M.A., Speech Language Pathology, UMD

Nora Leonard

M.A., Speech Language Pathology, UMD 

Sidra Sheikh

M.A., Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Currently: Ph.D. Student, Urban Education, Temple University

Lauren Eisner

M.A. Student, Speech Language Pathology, UMD

Erica Younkin

M.A., Speech Language Pathology, UMD 

Joelle Latorre

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD

Alea Goodridge

B.A., Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD

Ashley Forster

M.P.S., Clinical Psychological Science, UMD 

Tristan Mahr

Ph.D., Communication Sciences and Disorders, UW-Madison 

Currently: Research Scientist, UW-Madison 

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