The Team

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Rhiannon Luyster

Director, LI+TLE Lab

B.A. Wesleyan University, M.Ed. Boston College, Ph.D. University of Michigan

Dr. Luyster is a developmental psychologist who studies communication in young children, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is interested in understanding the emergence of early language and social communication in ASD using standardized behavioral measures as well as exploratory methods like infra-red eye tracking.

Her research, which has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and the Organization for Autism Research, focuses on diagnostic assessment, language and nonverbal communication in toddlers with ASD, and patterns of early development.

Dr. Luyster has published her work in several peer-reviewed journals, including Developmental Psychology, Journal of Child Language, Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

 

 

LI+TLE Lab Team

Madeline Saunders

Madeline is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Bath in the UK. She is a member of the Bath Association of Psychology Students and is due to graduate in the summer of 2019. Over the past few years, she has gained experience working with children with several language disorders such as selective mutism and autism and is currently working as Research Coordinator for the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. Within the LI+TLE lab, she is leading data collection for an eye-tracking study as well as assisting with participant recruitment.

 

Bella Leiwant

Bella studied at Miami Dade College for two years before transferring to Emerson College. She is currently a junior, majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and minoring in Psychology. Her areas of interest include autism spectrum disorder, child language development and social communication. She has experience working with children with autism and various language disorders. As a Research Assistant in the LI+TLE Lab, she helps with data collection, entry and processing for an eye-tracking study.

 

Amanda Netburnanetburn-headshot

Amanda graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology-neuroscience-philosophy (PNP). After graduating, she spent two years working in Susan Levine’s Cognitive Development Lab at the University of Chicago, studying the development of spatial skills in young children. Amanda is currently a first year graduate student in Emerson’s Communication Sciences & Disorders program, pursuing her master’s degree. In the LI+TLE Lab, Amanda helps with literature reviews, as well as data collection and processing. She will be completing a master’s thesis focusing on question-asking in children with autism.

 

Mika Maeda

Mika graduated from Wellesley College in 2014. While there, she majored in Neuroscience and minored in Psychology. After graduating, Mika worked in the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the National Institutes of Mental Health. She is currently a first year Master’s student at Emerson College and is pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In the LI+TLE Lab, she is helping administer assessments of cognitive development as part of eye-tracking studies carried out at the lab.

 

Jen Georgesonjen

Jen graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana in May 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders.  While at Saint Mary’s College she conducted research with a team of undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame in the Laboratory For Understanding Neurodevelopment (F.U.N. Lab).  She is a first year Master’s student at Emerson College, and is pursuing a degree in Speech Language Pathology.  She is helping with inter-rater reliability for a thesis of an Emerson alum.

 

 

LI+TLE Lab Alumni

Julia Bird

Julia Bird graduated from Boston University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She decided to pursue a degree in Speech-Language Pathology after working in health care for four years. She is currently a second year student at Emerson College.

Rea Ramos
Rea Ramos graduated from University of California, Irvine in 2006. While there she majored in Studio Art and minored in Education and Digital Arts. She is currently a second year student at Emerson College and is pursuing her Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Elyse Dion

Elyse received her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2013 from the University of New Hampshire, where she minored in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Studies. She was a graduate research assistant for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders recruiting children and adults, with and without communication disorders, to join the Family Registry for Research at Emerson. She received her Masters from Emerson College in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2015.

Emma Hill

Emma received a bachelors degree in Psychology from Saint Olaf College in 2011. She is currently a research assistant in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at Emerson College, where she is also pursuing a masters degree in Communication Disorders. Emma previously worked in the Speech and Cognition Laboratory at St. Olaf College. Her areas of interest include child language development and pediatric hearing loss.

Zoë Pichler

Zoë graduated with a Bachelors degree in Integrative Neuroscience from Binghamton University in 2011. While at Binghamton, she completed course and clinical work at the Institute for Child Development, working with children with autism spectrum disorders. She is a second-year Masters student in Emerson College’s Communication Disorders program, studying to become a Speech Language Pathologist. Zoë completed her Masters thesis investigating the relationship between social intelligence and drawing ability in young children in May 2015.

Christina Morgan

Christina is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology Cognition and Neuroscience (BCN) and Writing. As a research assistant for the LI+TLE Lab, Christina developed media for the lab.

Nicole Coughlin

Nicole graduated from Villanova University in 2014. While at Villanova, Nicole majored in Human Services with minors in both psychology and sociology. She participated in a group called LeVel, which focused on raising awareness to change attitudes on ability and bridge the gap between the able-bodied and differently abled community. She worked with students of different abilities and disabilities to help them achieve their academic potential. She is currently a second year student at Emerson College, and she is working towards her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is working in the LI+TLE Lab, helping to support a study that focuses on the overhearing abilities of individuals with Autism.

Rebecka Henry

Rebecka graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. While there, she majored in English Literature and minored in Linguistics and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a first year graduate student at Emerson College, pursuing her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is currently working on an eye-tracking study in the LI+TLE Lab.

Devon Milkie

Devon graduated from Ohio State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. She is a second year Master’s student at Emerson College and is studying to become a Speech Language Pathologist. She is working on her Master’s thesis, which focuses on parental mind-mindedness and how this varies based on conversation partners and child contributions to the interaction.

Kayla MacKay

Kayla graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015. While there, she majored in Communication Disorders and minored in Psychology. She worked for two research labs, S2S Lab and the World Lab. She completed an honors undergraduate thesis, investigating word recognition strategies in children with Specific Language Impairment. She is currently a first year Master’s student at Emerson College, and is pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is helping with outreach for the research registry and marketing materials for LI+TLE Lab.

Marisa Curtis

Marisa graduated from James Madison University in May of 2014. While there, she majored in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Exceptional Education, and she participated in the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). She is currently a first year Master’s student at Emerson College, and she is pursuing her degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is working on ADOS-2 training and parts of an overhearing study in the LI+TLE Lab.

Nicholas Souter

Nicholas is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Bath in the UK. He was the secretary for the Bath Association of Psychology Students, and he is projected to graduate in 2017. He is working as a Research Coordinator for the Communication Sciences and Disorders department, and he is helping to support the LI+TLE Lab by recruiting individuals for the research registry. Additionally, he is developing an eye tracking study that will be run through the LI+TLE Lab.

Alicia Reifler

Alicia graduated from Georgia College and State University in May 2013  with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While at Georgia College and State University, she was a part of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. She is a first year Master’s student at Emerson College, and is pursuing a degree in Speech Language Pathology. She is helping to support ADOS-2 training and an overhearing study in the LI+TLE Lab.

Molly Atkinson

Molly is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Bath in the UK. She is an active member of the Bath Association of Psychology Students and has assisted in research concerned with social communication in the ASD population at University College London. She is currently working as Research Coordinator for the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College.  She is working on participant recruitment, ADOS-2 training, our overhearing study and eye-tracking research in the LI+TLE Lab.