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Lab Alumni

Yulia Gorokhovsky

Lab Manager

Yulia graduated from Hunter College in June of 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During her senior year at Hunter College, Yulia worked at LARC on her honors thesis in psychology. Her research dealt with the acquisition of the determiner category in Hebrew speaking children. Currently, Yulia is working on several projects at LARC which deal with children’s language development and working memory. In the fall of 2015 Yulia will be entering the PsyD program in combined clinical child psychology and school psychology at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.

Caroline Baltay

Caroline Baltay Summer Intern

Caroline is currently an undergraduate at Barnard College, pursuing a B.A. in Linguistics with a minor in math. She is currently studying French and Hungarian. Her main interests are language acquisition and bilingual education, especially Spanish-English bilingual education for emergent bilinguals in the US.

Nick Ballou

Nick BallouSummer Intern 

Nick is a member of the Class of 2016 at Tulane University and is pursuing a B.S. in Linguistics and Environmental Studies with a minor in German. He’s particularly interested in machine translation and word puzzles, such that his undergraduate thesis next year will be written about the linguistic significance of the three major types of crossword puzzle architecture. Currently, Nick assists with a variety of projects at the Hunter LARC and is glad to be able to spend a summer in New York doing valuable linguistic research. 

Zora Gilbert

Zora GilbertSummer Intern 

Zora Gilbert is studying linguistics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently working on various projects at LARC involving child speech transcription, part of speech tagging and programming. Back in Pittsburgh, Zora is also developing an honors thesis about the use of AAVE in on­task educational environments and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in sociolinguistics after graduating from Carnegie Mellon in 2016.

Maria Gullo


Maria is currently an undergraduate at Hunter College, pursuing a B.A. in Psychology. She is currently working on research to examine the relationship between memory and language development. Her main interests are child development and cognitive psychology.

Chloe Sheffer




Chloe is in her final semester at Hunter College, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and Russian Language. She studied Russian in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she plans to return to teach English. In addition to Russian, she also studies German and Spanish. Her primary interests include psycholinguistics and second language acquisition.

Laurel Perkins

Research Assistant

Laurel Perkins earned her B.A. in Literary Studies from the University of Toronto, with minors in Italian Language and Near and Middle Eastern Civilization (Biblical Hebrew). She has been a research assistant at LARC since spring 2013. Her interests include children’s acquisition of syntax, as well as adult representation and processing of syntactic structures. In fall 2014, Laurel will be entering the Ph.D. program in Linguistics at the University of Maryland as a Flagship Fellow.

Erin Quirk

Research Assistant

Erin Quirk is a Ph.D. student in Linguistics at The CUNY Graduate Center. Her primary areas of interest are first and second language acquisition and computational linguistics. Currently, she is working on a project that investigates the grammars of children and the adults they speak with through computational analyses of language corpora. She is also interested in the relationship between learner grammars in first and second language acquisition and, more specifically, the potential for corpus analysis to shed light on this topic. She currently spends a lot of her time helping develop language instruction materials for English speakers who, like herself, aspire to someday speak passable Chinese (among other languages).

Lena Ackermann




Lena graduated from the University of Bonn, Germany, with a B.A. in French and German Studies in 2013 and is currently working towards an M.A. in linguistics at the University of Marburg, Germany. Her main research interests include bilingualism, sociolinguistics and comparative morphology.


Alexandra Nyman


Alexandra is an upcoming senior at Rutgers University, New Brunswick majoring in Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Visual Art. Her interests include phonology, cognitive systems, language acquisition, syntax, and morphology. She is also interested in exploring computational linguistics. After college, she plans to attend graduate school in linguistics and hopes to continue research.

Anissa Neal


Anissa is going to be a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this coming semester. She  majors in Linguistics with a minor in Spanish. Her interests include second language acquisition and morphology. In addition to Spanish, she is also learning Japanese.

Emma Manning


Emma is a rising senior at Scripps College, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Linguistics with minors in Classical Languages and Mathematics. Her primary interests include syntax, computational linguistics, and sociolinguistics.

Christopher Wegenaar

Research Assistant/Graduate Student

Christopher Wegenaar is working towards a PhD in Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center. He earned his undergraduate degree from the City University of New York in Linguistics and Japanese Studies via the CUNY Baccalaureate program. His primary areas of interest include syntax, its acquisition, and computational text analysis. He currently assists at the LARC lab with various projects, and also holds a position as Graduate Coordinator at the New Community College.

Daniel Mann


Daniel Mann is pursuing a Ph.D. in Linguistics at The Graduate Center, focusing on L1 acquisition, phonetics and phonology, historical linguistics, and the comparison of the auditory and perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He is also a graduate teaching fellow at Brooklyn College. He earned an M.A. in applied linguistics from the Teachers College at Columbia University, and a B.A. in history and Spanish from the University of Central Arkansas.

Syelle Graves

Graves WACLab Manager/Research Assistant

Syelle Graves completed her en-route MA in the department of linguistics at the Graduate Center, where she is currently pursuing a PhD. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUNY New Paltz with a BA in French and linguistics. She worked as lab manager and research assistant at LARC from 2010 to 2013, while holding a Chancellor’s Graduate Teaching Fellowship in the Hunter College English department. Currently, Syelle works as a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at the New York City College of Technology, and as a linguistics indexer at the Modern Language Association (MLA).

Dominique Bouavichith


Dominique Bouavichith is a junior majoring in Linguistics and French at New York University. He is also conducting an honors thesis examining how the lenition of intervocalic stops is conditioned in American English. He is working on various projects at LARC throughout the summer. After graduation, he plans to pursue doctoral studies in French and/or linguistics.

Jeremy Yeaton


Jeremy Yeaton is a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University New Brunswick, where he is double-majoring in linguistics and French, with a Chinese minor.  He also speaks some Spanish and would like to learn Russian.  He is very interested in second language acquisition.  At Rutgers, he works with Dr. Viviane Deprez, primarily studying negative concord in standard French.  He has not yet decided what he would like to do after graduation, but it will definitely have something to do with language(s).

Stephanie Friedman


Stephanie Friedman studies linguistics at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. This summer she is an intern at LARC assisting on various projects. Her research interests include second language acquisition and translation.

Joshua Meyer

Joshua MeyerJosh is a Ph.D. Student in Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Arizona. His main interests are syntax and psycholinguitics with focus on bilingual first language acquisition. His research also relates to the structure of Slavic and Turkic languages.

Brett Ballenger


Brett Ballenger received a B.A. in English Literature, Language and Criticism at Hunter College, and is interested in pursuing graduate studies in linguistics.

Alina Samusevich


Alina Samusevich is currently studying psychology and Spanish at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College.  She is currently working as an intern at LARC on various projects.  She is also conducting an honors thesis examining the bilingual Stroop task in heritage Russian speakers.  She will graduate next year and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in speech pathology.

Margarita Zeitlin


Margarita graduated Summa Cum Laude from New York University with a B.A. in linguistics and German. She worked as an intern at LARC on a variety of projects and as a research assistant on an NSF-funded doctoral dissertation grant to Lucia Pozzan and Virginia Valian. She is currently a Lab Coordinator at Harvard University’s Laboratory for Developmental Studies.

Pooja Paul


Pooja Paul will graduate from the Claremont Colleges, CA, in 2011 with a degree in Linguistics and Cognitive Science, and a minor in Studio Art. Besides English, she speaks Malayalam, Japanese and Hindi. She is interested in computational models of language, and is currently working on case in Malayalam. She will be pursuing a Ph.D in linguistics at Harvard next year.

Nathan LaFave

Research Assistant

Nathan LaFave graduated from The University of Michigan in 2009 with a B.A. in Linguistics and Chinese Language and Culture as well as a minor in Music. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Linguistics at NYU. He worked as an intern at LARC and as a research assistant on an NSF-funded doctoral dissertation grant to Lucia Pozzan and Virginia Valian. Nathan is primarily interested in sociolinguistics, and more specifically in Computer Mediated Communication.

Dorota Ramlogan

Dorota Ramlogan is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Psychology with an English minor at Hunter College. She is also a member of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program and is working on her Honors thesis project with Professor Virginia Valian and Ph.D. Candidate Lucia Pozzan. Her research project investigates the production of English possessive pronouns in child language acquisition.

Vicky D’Anjou-Pomerleau

Master’s Student

Vicky D’Anjou-Pomerleau hails from Université de Montréal, Canada, where she obtained a Bachelor in Sociology and Psychology with a mention of excellence. Interested in the issues of gender and political behaviors, she chose to approach those social issues from a psychological standpoint. Vicky began a Master in Social Psychology at Hunter College in the fall of 2008. This year, she is working on her thesis with Professor Virginia Valian and is thrilled to be able to combine her two main interests in her research. Her thesis project investigates people’s perceptions of female and male political candidates’ work experience and personality attributes.

Erica Knowles

Research Assistant/Lab Manager

Erica Knowles is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University. She is interested in how music and language interact in the brain and how this can be used to better understand basic perception of these two systems as well as disorders involving deficits in music and language processing. Erica completed a B.S. in Music History at Hofstra University in 2006 and a M.S. in Experimental Psychology at Seton Hall University in 2009.

Alicia Holland


Alicia Holland is a freshman at SUNY Binghamton. As an intern at the lab and a member of the student research program at Bronx High School of Science, she helped with ongoing experiments and studied how monolingual and non-monolingual English speakers produce sentences. She focused on the effect of hearing sentences involving one form of the locative alternation — for example, The girl loaded apples into the wagon versus The girl loaded the wagon with apples — on the later production of similar sentences. She is considering pursuing a major in psychology or linguistics.

Jacky de la Torre


 Jacky de la Torre was an intern at LARC in the summer of 2009. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and French in 2010 from Dartmouth College, where she researched the phonetics and syntax of Maori, SiSwati, Hmong, Swahili, Georgian, and New England dialects of English. She lived in France as an English teaching assistant and traveled throughout Europe after graduating. She has been recruiting speakers of Arabic, Mandarin, Farsi, and other critical languages to work for the U.S. government and advancing the study of critical languages among American high school and college students at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC for several years.

Jessica Goodwin


Jessica completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2008 at Bard College where she focused on Psychology, Gender Studies, and Foreign Languages. Her primary interests are in clinical and cognitive psychology as well as teaching and learning new languages.

Katherine Surrence

Research Assistant

Katherine Surrence is currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s studying the relationships between cognition and emotion in the Child Emotion Research Lab using behaviorial and psychophysiology methods. In addition to her work at LARC, while at Hunter College she worked in Regina Miranda’s Experimental Psychopathology Lab, and at Tracy Dennis’s Emotion Regulation Lab. Hunter is a great institution for aspiring psychologists! She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2001 with a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology.

Laura Hennefield

Research Assistant/Lab Manager

Laura Hennefield is currently a graduate student in Psychology at Washington University in St Louis. She is studying the development of preferences in infants and young children in Lori Markson’s Cognition and Development Lab. Laura received her MA in Psychology from Hunter College in 2008, where she completed her thesis on lexical and conceptual representations of kinds in Sandeep Prasada’s Language and Conceptual Development lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Purchase College (SUNY) in 2005.

Mark Harris


Mark J. Harris was an intern during the fall of 2006 while a sophomore at Dartmouth College. With a budding interest in language acquisition, he joined LARC to learn more about language development in children and to assist in the ongiong research studies of Dr. Natalie Batmanian and Dr. Giulia Bencini. He also attended the 2006 Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD) with members of the lab. Owing to his time spent at LARC, he went on to create his own interdisciplinary major to learn more about language and the brain (“Biology modified with Linguistics”). He received his B.A. in June 2009 from Dartmouth College and is currently working as a Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, where he is researching communication deficits in autism. He is in the process of applying to medical schools and wishes to eventually practice medicine alongside conducting research in public health.

Brett Marroquín

Research Assistant

Brett Marroquín is currently a graduate student in clinical psychology at Yale University, where he is studying social-cognitive and affective processes that may be implicated in suicide, self-injury, and other maladaptive escape behaviors. He received his B.A. in English and Creative Writing from New York University in 2002, and his M.A. in Psychology from Hunter College in 2008.

Deniz Cebenoyan

Research Assistant

Deniz Cebenoyan got her BS from Carnegie Mellon University with majors in Psychology and Spanish. Upon graduating in 2005, she began working as an RA at both LARC and the GEP and remained there until June 2006. During this period, she spent many an afternoon eagerly poring over the true depth of an auxiliary verb with Dr. Batmanian (though Natalie may have an alternate account of Deniz’s alacrity). Since then, she’s been working as a Lab Manager at Columbia for Dr. Walter Mischel, studying longitudinal correlates of self-control and consistency in social behavior. She also works as an RA for Dr. Ed Smith, researching schizophrenics and working memory at the NYS Psychiatric Institute. She is currently spending some free time bulking up her computer/human perception skills, and hopes to work in the field of human computer interaction in the future. Other hobbies/dreams in life include playing the piano, writing songs to no one, and still upsetting her parents when she refuses to perform for the dinner guests.