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Virginia Valian, Ph.D.


Distinguished Professor of Psychology Hunter College, CUNY

Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Linguistics, CUNY Graduate Center

Virginia Valian is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). She is a cognitive scientist whose research focuses on language acquisition in two-year-olds, second language acquisition, and sex differences in cognition.


Paul Feitzinger

 Research Assistant

Paul Feitzinger is LARC’s resident software developer and general technologist, and has a strong passion for open source software. He is currently re-implementing some of the LARC’s experiments as web applications and programmatically gluing pieces of the lab together in Good Ways (he hopes). Paul is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Hunter College.

Stephanie DiFabrizio


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PhD Student/Research Assistant

Stephanie DiFabrizio is currently pursuing a  Ph.D in Psychology at the CUNY Graduate  Center. She graduated with a B.A. in  Psychology from Rutgers University (with a Minor in Biology), and an  M.A. in Psychology from Montclair State University. She has been a research assistant  at LARC since Fall 2013, while holding a  Graduate Center Fellowship. Stephanie is  interested in various aspects of development  in infants and toddlers, including cognitive  development and language acquisition.

Zhuo (Cindy) Chen

Cindy2PhD Student/Research Assistant

Zhuo (Cindy) Chen is a Ph.D student in Linguistics at the Graduate Center of CUNY. Her main interests are syntax and first language acquisition. Currently, she is working on the “Null Subject Project” that evaluates different hypotheses in explaining English monolingual children’s production of null subject utterances using computational analyses of language corpora on CHILDES.


Dorota Botwina

Master’s Student/Research Assistant

Dorota Botwina is pursuing a Master’s degree in general psychology at the Graduate Center. She is also currently working on a second Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French at Hunter College. Her research interests include second language acquisition and bilingualism. Her current research investigates ego depletion and its effect on cognitive flexibility among monolinguals and bilinguals.

Rui Huang

RuiMaster’s Student/Research Assistant

Rui Huang is an M.A. student in Linguistics at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned her undergraduate degree from Beijing International Studies University in Korean Studies, with a minor in Jurisprudence. Her research interests are language acquisition and computational linguistics. She is presently writing her master’s thesis, and teaching Chinese at Queens College as an adjunct lecturer.

Sofia Sheri

SofiaSummer Intern

Sofia is a third year student at Smith College, where she is pursuing a double major in Linguistics and German.

Leslie Fink

LeslieSummer Intern

Leslie graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a major in linguistics and minors in French and English. She is joining the lab for the summer before working as a teaching assistant in France for the school year.