Dr. Carla Abad, Doctoral Student
Carla received her doctoral degree in Spring 2018 from the developmental science program. Carla studies how language input and gender stereotypes influence sex differences in young children's spatial abilities. In 2014, she was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support her research and education. In her master's thesis, Carla studied the growth of spatial ability in pre-kindergarten children utilizing a longitudinal design. She found that boys grow significantly more than girls in their mental rotation ability over the course of the pre-k year. In her dissertation research, Carla is developing a spatial activities questionnaire that can be given to parents to learn about what spatial activities kids are playing with and how the frequency of this play may explain the sex differences seen in spatial ability in children.
Elsa Bravo, Doctoral Student
Elsa began working with the Project on Language and Spatial Development in September of 2013 as an undergraduate research assistant. She was awarded the undergraduate Minority Biomedical Research Support Program Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS RISE) fellowship in April of 2014 for her research and dedication to pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. Her current research interests include spatial language processing, bilingualism, and spatial anxiety. Elsa is involved in multiple projects in the lab including our grant funded Physics project as well as projects looking at children's spatial language development. Elsa started in the Fall 2016 as a graduate student in the Developmental Science Ph.D. program.
Nelcida Garcia, Doctoral Student
Nelcida is a first year doctoral student in the developmental science program. She has a B.S. in psychology and a M.A. in educational psychology. As part of her senior capstone project, she explored potential differences in executive function in bilinguals and monolinguals. Nelcida’s current research interests include bilingualism, language development, executive function and working memory.
Dr. Rosalie Odean, Doctoral Student
Rosalie completed her doctoral degree in the developmental science program in Spring 2018. For her master's thesis, Rosalie studied the comprehension of spatial terms by bilingual English-Spanish speaking toddlers utilizing eye-tracking. Rosalie is interested in documenting and explaining individual differences in language processing efficiency for spatial words. For her dissertation work, Rosalie is studying when and how children develop dimensional adjectives (e.g., words like big, little, tall, short). She is interested in examining the order of acquisition of these words in English- and Spanish-speaking children and whether knowledge of these words relates to children's developing spatial abilities.