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 is a senior in HESP and in her last semester this Fall! She wears many hats in addition to being a student – she is currently the student lead assistant for the Social Interaction Group Network for All (SIGNA) with a focus on students with autism.  One interesting fact: Robyn is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

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.

Sam Miller

Undergraduate Student

Sam is a junior undergraduate student studying Computer Science at the University of Maryland, focusing in Computational Linguistics. He is in the Honors College, ACES minor, and PULSAR program. He has worked with children before, teaching them coding. Sam is excited to address and tackle the Lab’s computational needs to foster a smooth and welcoming technological environment.

Ellie Arrow

Undergraduate Student

Ellie is a junior undergraduate Hearing and Speech Sciences major at the University of Maryland. She has had a variety of opportunities working with children and is interested in a becoming a pediatric Speech Pathologist. Ellie joined the Learning to Talk Lab to gain research experience and learn more about language development and acquisition. Outside of the lab, she is part of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association and is a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, a sorority on campus. She is excited to be a research assistant and looks forward to learning more about working in a lab setting and supporting the research studies.

 

Megan Park

Undergraduate Student

Megan is a junior undergraduate student studying Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland who is interested in working with stroke patients. Megan’s love for working with kids makes the opportunity to work in the Learning to Talk Lab one for which she is incredibly ecstatic. Outside of the lab, Megan is involved with Alpha Chi Sigma, a national chemistry fraternity, and she is currently raising a puppy for the Guide Dog Foundation.

 

Amanda Foster

Undergraduate Student

Amanda is a junior undergraduate student majoring in Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Maryland, with the intention of studying cognitive science in graduate school. Prior to returning to university, Amanda worked as an radiologic technologist, helping children and adults get quality medical imaging and acting as a clinical instructor for current students. In her free time, Amanda studies foreign languages and cuddles with her two cats. She is excited to get involved with the Learning to Talk Lab to see research in action.

Nicole Diaz-Mackey

Undergraduate Student

Nicole is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland. She aims to become a pediatric SLP and enjoys working with children. She joined the Learning to Talk Lab as a research assistant to gain experience in research and apply her studies to the real world. Outside of the lab, she is part of the Scholars program and the PULSAR program.

Astrid Widjaja

Undergraduate Student

Astrid is a undergraduate senior studying microbiology and psychology at the University of Maryland. Astrid has had various opportunities to work with kids and is interested in learning how children develop as she pursues a career as a physician. She is excited to be part of Learning to Talk as a research assistant and is excited to refine her skills in research. In the past, Astrid was part of the FIRE program where she participated as a peer mentor and research student. Outside the lab, Astrid can be found volunteering as an EMT for her local fire department and spending time with her friends, family, and dog.

Kimberlie Phung Tran

Undergraduate Student

Kimberlie is a senior undergraduate Psychology major and Neuroscience minor at the University of Maryland. She aspires to become an Occupational Therapist and work with children which is why she is thrilled to be a part of the Learning to Talk Lab to learn more about working in a research environment.  Outside of the lab, Kimberlie is involved in a variety of organizations including VSA, aKDPhi, LoM, and Psi Chi Honors Society.

 

Vicky Dubin

Undergraduate Student

Vicky is a junior undergraduate student studying Biology Ecology and Evolution with minors in Linguistics and Sustainability Studies. She completed her College Park Scholars citation last year and is currently in the PULSAR program. She is excited to start her journey into language science research. On campus, Vicky is involved in UMD’s chapter of the American Ecological Engineering Society and co-hosts a radio show at WMUC.

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

Ritwika Das

B.S. Computer Science & Mathematics, UMD

Erykah Joseph

B.A., Government and Politics, UMD

Millicent Kihiuria

B.S. Public Health Science, UMD

Max Scribner

B.S. in Computer Science

Carolyn Mazzei

.

 

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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