Lab Members

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Dr. Susan Gelman
Heinz Werner Distinguished University Professor
Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
University of Michigan

Curriculum Vitae

Bio


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Jasmine DeJesus
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Curriculum Vitae

Jasmine received her B.A. in Psychology from Harvard and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago. Her research investigates the way language transmits rich information about social groups and important conceptual knowledge, as well as children’s developing reasoning about food.

Jasmine’s first of many career aspirations was to become an artist like her older brother. Her favorite books were the Oz series by L. Frank Baum, great reads at any age.

Kristan Marchak
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Curriculum Vitae

Kristan received a BA in Psychology and French Language and Literature and an MSc in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Alberta. She recently completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines how children and adults reason about individuals over time and following change.

When Kristan was younger, she wanted to be a doctor during the day and a ballerina at night. She also loved The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. 

Shaylene received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario, and her MASc./Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Waterloo. She is interested in the formation of children’s theories, and their expression through explanation. Shaylene is currently investigating adults’ and children’s theories about learning.

When Shaylene was younger, she wanted to be a veterinarian, and she loved a book about the environment called Barbapapa’s Ark by Annette Tison even though it made her sad.

 

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Margaret Echelbarger
Graduate Student, Website

Margaret received her B.A. in Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences from Wellesley College, M.A. in Child Language from the University of Kansas, and M.S. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology. She investigates the origins of judgment and decision-making, including how children value variety and scarcity, and come to make decisions around money spending and saving.

When Margaret was young, she wanted to be an engineer. Her favorite book was Little Women. 

 

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Rachel Fine
Graduate Student, Curriculum Vitae

Rachel received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Elmhurst College. She served as the English Language Learner Special Education Specialist for the School City of East Chicago, IN and later became the lab manager for Dr. Sian Beilock at the University of Chicago.  She investigates how children and adults perceive non-discrete identities (for ex.being multiracial, gender non-conforming or a dual national) and how this relates to their beliefs about race, gender and nationality.

When Rachel was young, she wanted to be an ambassador. Her favorite books were the Nancy Drew series.

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Danielle Labotka
Graduate Student

Danielle received her B.A. in Comparative Human Development and Anthropology from the University of Chicago. She is now a graduate student in developmental psychology. Her research interest lie in children’s language development and its relation to social cognition.

When Danielle was young, she wanted to be a justice of the Supreme Court, and one of her favorite books was Stellaluna.

Ariana Orvell
Graduate Student

Ariana received her BA in Urban Studies and Psychology from Columbia University. She then taught Kindergarten and First Grade through TFA while receiving her MAT from the Relay Graduate School of Education. She is interested in how subtle shifts in language impact construal, meaning-making, and self-control. In another line of work, she studies how stereotypes influence individuals’ identities and motivation.

When she was younger, Ariana wanted to be an international food critic. As a child, she enjoyed (and still enjoys) The Runaway Bunny and Harry Potter.  

Sarah Snay
Lab Staff

Sarah received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Michigan. Her research interests vary, but for now she is focusing on children’s cognitive and linguistic development. She plans to eventually earn a Ph.D and become a professor/researcher.

As a child, Sarah wanted to be a writer. Her favorite book was The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfizer.


Anna Bergson
Research Assistant
Anna is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Psychology and Computer Science. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school and eventually conducting her own research in the psychology field. In her spare time, she enjoys running social-justice based activities for children in the Ann Arbor area.As a child, Anna wanted to write poems just like her favorite ones in the book Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

 

Allison Brown
Research Assistant

Allison is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology, Applied Statistics, and Music. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school in order to become a school psychologist.

As a child, Allison wanted to be a teacher when she grew up, and her favorite books included the Little Miss series by Roger Hargreaves.

 

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Leah Butler

Research Assistant

Leah is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Business Administration. Upon graduation, she plans to attend medical school. She loves working with children and volunteering at the hospital.

As a child, she wanted to be a veterinarian and her favorite books were the Junie B. Jones and Amelia Bedelia series. 

Melissa Hall
Research Assistant

Melissa is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology. She is very interested in pursuing a careeer working with children and helping those in need. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to possibly become a clinical psychologist for kids. 

As a child, Melissa wanted to be a pediatrician and a professional dancer. Her favorite book was Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.
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Evan Hammon
Research Assistant

Evan is a freshman at the University of Michigan studying in the fields of Biology, Environmental Science, and Psychology. He is very passionate about the natural world, learning about the way people think, and working around children. In the future he hopes to travel and find work where he can involve all three things. In his spare time he enjoys being outside and trying new foods in Ann Arbor.

As a child, Evan wanted to be an elementary school teacher. His favorite book was The Hatchet by Gary Paulson.

 

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Zaina Khoury
Research Assistant

Zaina is a sophomore at the University of Michigan and is studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience as well as Spanish. She is interested in attending medical school and pursuing a career as a psychiatrist. In her spare time, she loves playing and making music and spending time with animals.

As a child, Zaina wanted to be a prosecuting attorney, an ambition inspired by a childhood tradition of watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with her mother. 

Arim Lee
Research Assistant

Arim is a freshman at the University of Michigan studying psychology. She is interested in working with children and cognitive processes of the mind. In the future she would want to pursue further psychological research in the field of child development. In her spare time she likes to watch “Friends” or try out new restaurants.
As a child, Arim wanted to be a doctor and her favorite book series was the Cam Jansen Mystery Series by David Adler.

Christina Lee
Research Assistant

Christina is a Junior at University of Michigan studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and get a Ph. D. Her dream job is becoming a Pediatric Neuropsychologist. She always loved working with kids and even now, in her spare time, she volunteers at Dixon elementary and works with kids one-on-one.

As a child, she wanted to be an elementary school teacher and an astronaut. She also loved writing poems and playing sports.

Amy Li
Research Assistant

Amy is a junior from the University of New South Wales, Australia, currently on exchange at the University of Michigan. She is majoring in Psychology, and is interested in how the way the world interacts with children can influence their thinking. After graduation, she wishes to contribute more to what we currently know about children’s development.
When Amy was a child, she wanted to be Grandpa/a dancer/someone who made people feel better. Her favourite books were probably the Chain of Charms series and Goodnight Mister Tom.

Payge Lindow
Research Assistant

Payge is a freshman at the University of Michigan. She wants to study Public Health and become a dietician, and is interested in child nutrition and how families eat. In her spare time, she likes to cook and volunteer at the elementary school.

As a child, Payge wanted to become a write and loved to read “Over and Over” by Charlotte Zolotow and Garth Williams.

Sarah Mageed
Research Assistant

Sarah is a Junior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a Religions minor. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a pathologist. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching crime dramas and baking.
As a child, Sarah wanted to be a vet, and her favorite book was Sadie and the Snowman by Allen Morgan.
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Liesl Stemas
Research Assistant

Liesl is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies: Gender, Race, and Nation. After graduation, she plans to earn her Master’s in Social Work and work as a therapist with adolescents. In her spare time, she loves doing yoga and watching “The Office.”

As a child, Liesl wanted to be an actress and her favorite television show was “Scooby-Doo.”

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Emma Ward
Research Assistant

Emma is a senior studying Psychology and International Studies. She is very passionate about helping people and studying different cultures. In the future, she wishes to travel the world and go to graduate school to further her studies on psychology and cultures.

As a child, she wanted to be a prima ballerina or an actress in musical theater on Broadway. Growing up, she enjoyed reading the Magic Tree House series.

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Wolvy the Mascot
Research Assistant

Wolvy is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology. He is especially interested in learning how children think about the world around them. He hopes to attend graduate school in Psychology in the future.

When Wolvy was a child, he wanted to be a lab mascot. His favorite book was Navigating the Social World by Dr. Susan Gelman.