Lab Alumni

Alejandro Acuna

Alejandro Acuna, Research Assistant

Summer 2013 - Spring 2014

Ariel Aguero

Ariel Aguero, Research Assistant

Spring 2016 - Summer 2017

Ariel graduated with a major in psychology and minor in statistics. His research interests were in language development and acquisition. He is now pursuing a PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Notre Dame under the supervision of Dr. Jill Lany's lab. He plans to investigate the developmental roots of statistical learning mechanisms, individual differences in language acquisition, and language deficits in those with intellectual disabilities. While at PLSD, he worked on the Words in Space project, and completed an honor's thesis seeking to understand the role of language in guiding infant attention to locations in space.

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Alyssa Alayeto

Alyssa Alayeto, Research Assistant

Summer 2015 - Summer 2016

Alyssa is an undergraduate student pursuing her second Bachelor's degree in Psychology, her first being in English Literature with a minor in Visual Arts. Her diverse interests meet at the point of an intrinsic desire to explore and understand people, as well as help them in any way possible. That said, her ultimate goal is to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology where she can fulfill her passion and guide people to better living and understanding of themselves.

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Tatiana Barriga

Tatiana Barriga, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Tatiana graduated FIU in 2015 with dual degrees in Psychology and Biology. She was recognized as a Worlds Ahead Scholar at the FIU graduation for her contributions to research, science, and society. Her research interests include infant and child development, and in the future she hopes to pursue a medical degree to become a Neonatologist. This is her fifth year doing research for Dr. Shannon Pruden, and she is currently involved in research looking at how bilingual English-Spanish adults interpret events and attach novel labels to these events.

Tiffany Beguiristain

Tiffany Beguiristain, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Spring 2014 - Fall 2014

Tiffany graduated from FIU with a bachelor of science in biological sciences and with a minor in chemistry. Tiffany worked as a post baccalaureate research assistant at the Project on Language and Spatial Development on our grant funded TEAM-UP for Kids study. As of Fall 2016, Tiffany is in her second year of medical school at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at FIU. She currently studies insurance status as a modifier between race and the stage of prostate cancer at diagnosis and is the Medical Senator for the Graduate and Professional Student Committee.

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Catherine Bradley

Catherine Bradley, Lab Manager

Fall 2010 - Summer 2013

Catherine Bradley served as PLSD's lab manager for over 2 years. In 2013, Catherine entered a master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Florida.

Amanda Costales

Amanda Costales, Graduate Student

Fall 2012 - Summer 2013

Amanda is assessment coordinator for Dr. Lorraine Bahrick's Infant Development Lab at Florida International University.

Valerie Cruz

Valerie Cruz, Research Assistant

Spring 2014 - Fall 2014

Valerie graduated from FIU with a major in Health Services Administration and a minor in communication studies. At the Project on Language and Spatial Development, Valerie worked on our grant-funded TEAM-UP for Kids study. As of Fall 2016, Valerie is pursuing her Juris Doctorate at the Villanova School of Law and plans on graduating in 2019.

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Bryan Diaz

Bryan Diaz, Honors College Student

Summer 2015-Summer 2016

Bryan is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Psychology. He is an Honors College student in the pre-medical track with plans of becoming a Pediatric Orthopedic surgeon but first hopes to get his master's in a Physician Assistant program. During his time in the PLSD lab, he worked on the Parent Talk project examining the influence of parent spatial skills and gender stereotypes on young children's spatial thinking.

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Sandra Ferret

Sandra Ferret, Research Assistant

Fall 2011 - Fall 2013

Sandra worked on several studies at the Project for Language and Spatial Development including Parent Talk and TEAM-UP for Kids. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in School Psychology at FIU and plans to graduate in August 2017.

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Karla Figueroa

Karla Figueroa, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Karla is currently obtaining her graduate certificate in the program for communication sciences and disorders at FIU. Karla has her B.S. degree in psychology and graduated with magna cum laude honors. Karla is interested in language development and how language is acquired.

Albany Gonzalez

Albany Gonzalez, Honors College Student

Albany is an undergraduate Honors College student pursuing dual degrees in English and Psychology. She is currently working on the Parent Talk project and has an interest in gender stereotypes as well as spatial language. In participating in this study, she hopes to gain knowledge and experience within the fields of developmental psychology and research.

Sandy Gonzalez

Sandy Gonzalez, Paid Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Spring 2012 - Summer 2013

Sandy worked on several projects at the Project on Language and Spatial Development lab, including TEAM-UP for Kids and leading a project looking at bilingualism in undergraduate students and children. Sandy is now a doctoral student in the Developmental Science program at Florida International University working with Dr. Eliza Nelson.

Yousy Jimenez

Yousy Jimenez, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Yousy received a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Florida. As of Fall 2016, Yousy is enrolled in and obtaining a dual master's degree in clinical mental health and school counseling at Florida International University. She also works at the switchboard of Miami as a crisis counselor.

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Barbara Junco

Barbara Junco, Research Assistant

Spring 2011 - Summer 2012

Barbara Junco graduated FIU in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is currently attending Birkbeck University of London for the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience where she works with Dr. Fred Dick.

Michael Lopez

Michael Lopez, Research Assistant

Michael is a senior completing his bachelors degree in Psychology and Anthropology. He has been working in the Project on Language and Spatial Development since May of 2013. Michael hopes pursue a doctorate degree in Developmental Psychology with a focus on linguistic sex and cultural variations among children.

Sergio Marquez

Sergio Marquez, McNair Scholar

Summer 2015 - Summer 2017

Sergio graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, with a minor in English. Sergio is now attending Michigan State University where he is completing his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. Within the realm of Organizational Psychology, he is most interested in studying the subfields of self-regulation (motivation) and leadership, since he is most curious to observe how those facets manifest within the context of the workplace. While at the PLSD lab, Sergio was involved with our Physics study but also became interested in spatial ability and language. He is also interested in investigating the roles that language and communication play in both self and group motivation. Sergio would like to also consult for companies on the side, and achieve a balance of academia and applied work.

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Nicole Matos

Nicole Matos, Research Assistant

Nicole is in her fourth year as an undergraduate student. She is a biology major and hopes to become a physician.

Valery Mateo

Valery Mateo, Paid Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Summer 2012 - Summer 2014

Valery worked on TEAM-UP for Kids as a research assistant and later as post baccalaureate research staff. Valery is now a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program at Georgia State University working with Dr. Şeyda Özçalışkan.

Alina Mitchell

Alina Mitchell, Research Assistant

Alina is a senior in the process of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Her goal is to pursue a dual MD-PhD degree. She wants to be a neurologist and to study epigenetics. She is currently involved in the Neural Mechanisms Physics project.

Nicole Moron

Nicole Moron, Research Assistant

Nicole is currently a senior in psychology with an interest in clinical/counseling. Nicole's goal is to go to graduate school for mental health counseling and then become a professional mental health counselor who specializes in patients with eating disorders and anxiety.

Algenys Name

Algenys Name, Work Study Student

Dr. Alina Nazareth

Dr. Alina Nazareth, Doctoral Student

Dr. Alina Nazareth is an alumni of our Developmental Science Ph.D. program and trained under Dr. Shannon Pruden. She studies factors affecting adult mental rotation performance. In particular, she is interested in exploring the role of cognitive strategy, gender beliefs and stereotypes, spatial activity experience, and spatial anxiety in explaining individual differences in mental rotation performance. Her research aims to address the gender-gap in the STEM fields. Dr. Nazareth is currently a post-doctoral scholar at the NSF-funded Spatial Intelligence Learning Center (SILC) at Temple University where she works with Dr. Nora Newcombe.

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Alina's CV

Linett Negron

Linett Negron, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Summer 2014 - Fall 2014

Linett worked as a research assistant on TEAM-UP for Kids. She wishes to one day become a Pediatric Doctor. Linett graduated from FIU with a Bachelor in Biology and hopes to continue doing research at FIU.

Loreinys Perez

Loreinys Perez, Research Assistant

Loreinys graduated from FIU in 2014 with a degree in Psychology. Loreinys worked on our grant funded TEAM-UP for Kids project where she helped us examine the role of teacher language on preschool children's developing spatial and language abilities. As of Fall 2016, Loreinys is in her second year in the Counseling Education Master's Degree Program; her specialty is Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Loreinys is a member of Chi Sigma Iota (Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society). She also works for the Housing and Residential Life Department at FIU.

Lorena Perez

Lorena Perez, Research Assistant

Lorena is a senior majoring in psychology and has been working on the Project for Language and Spatial Development for over a year. She is interested in developmental and clinical/counseling psychology, specifically the child population.

Vanessa Perez

Vanessa Perez, Research Assistant

Vanessa is graduated from FIU with a Psychology degree and she is earning a certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. As of Fall 2016, Vanessa is a graduate student at Barry University in the School Psychology program obtaining her master's degree. For the last 2 years, Vanessa has been working at a Miami-Dade County Public Schools as a paraprofessional in an E/BD (Emotional/Behavioral Disorder) classroom.

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Ella Pulido

Ella Pulido, Honors College Student

Ella Pulido has bachelors in Psychology with a focus in literacy and language development. While at PLSD Ella was working on our TEAM-UP project. She was former president of the National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) chapter at FIU during the 2015-2016 school year, and we were awarded "Gold Chapter Award" by the NSSLHA. Ella is now enrolled in FIU's M.S. Speech-Language Pathology program. She was awarded a graduate scholarship by FIU's Young Alumni Council and also Sertoma. She is now a graduate student clinician at Specialized Speech Center. From these clinical experiences,she has found a passion for working with individuals with ASD and cochlear implants. She plans to graduate in August 2017 and will then begin her journey to become a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist.

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Eduardo Ramirez

Eduardo Ramirez, Research Assistant

Spring 2014 - Fall 2014

Eduardo worked on two projects at the Project on Language and Spatial Development: Spatial Word Comprehension and Words in Space. Eduardo is interested in pursuing a law degree and as an undergraduate is majoring in Philosophy with a minor in Communication Ethics.

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Marcela Ramos

Marcela Ramos, Honors College Student

Fall 2013-Summer 2015

Marcela graduated with a double degree in psychology and international relations. While in the PLSD lab she studied gender differences and stereotypes possibly influencing cognitive processes such as mental rotation. Marcela is starting a Ph.D. program in Child Clinical Psychology at FIU in Fall 2017 where she will work with Dr. Bill Pelham studying children with ADHD.

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Robert Regalado

Robert Regalado, Research Assistant

Robert is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in English. He is very interested in linguistics, which led him to apply to the accelerated program in linguistics, right here, at FIU; he hopes to begin this program this year. His goal is to obtain his Ph.D. in Linguistics to become a professor. His current interests include experimental and theoretical syntax as well as the interface between syntax and semantics.

Daniela Salazar

Daniela Salazar, Research Assistant

Summer 2013 - Fall 2014

Daniela graduated from FIU with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. She was an integral member of our lab working both on TEAM-UP for Kids and the Sex Differences Study. Daniela will be starting the University of Miami's School of Law in Fall 2015.

Brittany Sealy

Brittany Sealy, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Fall 2014

Brittany graduated from FIU with a Bachelor's in Psychology. She is interested in autism and language development and plans on pursuing a Master's in Speech-Language Pathology.

Shwetha Srikanth

Shwetha Srikanth, Graduate Student

Fall 2011 - Summer 2014

Shwetha completed her Master's degree in Developmental Science at FIU in Summer 2014. Shwetha is now working towards a degree in Counseling Psychology at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and son.

Ifrah Waheed

Ifrah Waheed, Honors College Student

*Summer 2015

Ifrah is double majoring in Chemistry and Psychology with a minor in Biology. She is currently on the pre-medical track in hopes of attending Medical School and becoming a Pediatric Surgeon. While working in the PLSD lab, Ifrah assisted with the studies of adult mental rotation.

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Andrea Zurita

Andrea Zurita, Research Assistant

Fall 2016

Andrea is a psychology major with a minor in biology. She is planning on getting her Psy.D. and specialize in childhood development. While at the PLSD lab, she worked on the parent talk project, in which she examined the role of parent spatial talk on young children's spatial abilities.

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