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.

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.

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. 

Millicent Kihiuria

Undergraduate Student

Millicent Kihiuria is a junior undergraduate student studying Public Health Science at the University of Maryland. She is on the pre-med track and is part of the Honors Humanities program. On campus, she is involved in student organizations like Public Health Beyond Borders and Women’s Health Network. 

Sierra Hall

Undergraduate Student

Sierra is an sophomore undergraduate majoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences. She aspires to be an SLP and is interested in understanding language barriers and assessing language development and articulation disorders in minority communities. She is eager to be involved in the lab through research and community building.

Ritwika Das

Undergraduate Student

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

Sam Miller

Undergraduate Student

Sam is a junior undergraduate student studying Computer Science and Linguistics at the University of Maryland. He is in the Honors College, ACES program, and PULSAR program. He has worked with children before, teaching them coding. 

Erykah Joseph

Undergraduate Student

Erykah is a senior Government & Politics (GVPT) undergraduate Project Rise intern with the Learning to Talk Lab. She is eager to intersect her interests of language and education with her major. She has worked with children in education for the past year as a Resident Advisor and Tutor. She has also published two short stories in her past life and hopes her next publishing is her research findings within the next year. Erykah has aspirations to open a non-profit to assist developing countries with infrastructure and educational resources. She loves listening to music and podcasts in her free time. 

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

Max Scribner

B.S. in Computer Science

Carolyn Mazzei

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Comfort Fabode

B.S. Hearing and Speech Sciences

 

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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