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

 

 


Federico Cella
Visiting Scholar
Federico is a Ph.D. candidate at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Milan), where he received a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.Sc. in Philosophical Sciences. His research interests range from Philosophy of Language to Social Cognition. He investigates the relation between language and intersubjectivity – in particular, whether and how the use of generics in communication can affect our perception of the social reality.When he was younger, he wanted to be a guitar player. His favorite book was The Lord of the Rings.
Rachel
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.
Danielle
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.
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 Nancekivell
Visiting Scholar, Website
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.
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.
Zach Schudson
Graduate Student
Zach received his BA in Neuroscience with a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies from Pomona College. He is currently in the joint PhD program in Psychology and Women’s Studies. His research focuses on essentialist beliefs about gender/sex and their links to prejudice against gender minorities. He is also broadly interested in essentialist and social constructionist beliefs about social categories.
When Zach was younger, he wanted to be a paleontologist. His favorite books were the Redwall series.
Laura Soter
Graduate Student
Laura received her BA in Philosophy and Cognitive Science from Carleton College in Minnesota. She is now working towards her PhD in Philosophy and Psychology. She is broadly interested in topics at the intersection of ethics, epistemology, and social cognition, including the cognitive and affective factors that influence our moral decision-making, the relationship between moral judgment and action, and how adults and children think about philosophical concepts like moral responsibility.
When she was younger, she wanted to be Mia Hamm, and she loved anything by Shel Silverstein.
Nicole Cuneo
Lab Manager
Nicole received her B.A. in Cognitive Science, on the Cognition and Language track 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 Clinical Psychologist.As a child, Nicole wanted to be a teacher. Her favorite book was Strega Nona.

Research Assistants

 

Param Bajwa
Undergraduate Student
Param is a sophomore who will graduate in April 2021 with a Nursing Degree. She has always envisioned herself working with children and plans on being a pediatric nurse once she graduates. Some time in the future, she hopes to return to school to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and loves to bake sweet treats.
Madelyn Brunvand
Undergraduate Student
Madelyn Brunvand Bio
Logan Burley
Undergraduate Student
Logan is a junior at the University of Michigan double majoring in psychology and women’s studies. He plans on going on to graduate school for either social or clinical psych following graduation. He’s primarily interested in gender and gender nonconformity.
Keegan Giffels
Graduate Student
Keegan is intending to graduate in May 2019, with a degree in Psychology. After graduating, she plans on taking a gap year to work in research and eventually wants to earn a Ph.D in social psychology. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and exploring new restaurants and shops in Ann Arbor. As a child, Keegan wanted to be a professional equestrian. Her favorite book series was Junie B. Jones.
Andrew Hataway
Undergraduate Student
Andrew is a Senior in Cognitive Science. He is hoping for a slot in grad school for the upcoming year.
Tianyu Jiang
Undergraduate Student
Tianyu is intending to graduate in April 2021, with a major in Cognitive Science (Computation track) and a minor in Linguistics. After graduating, she plans to go to graduate school (although for now, she does not have much idea of what exact field to focus on for graduate school). In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, meditating, hiking, and exploring different veggie recipes.As a child, Tianyu wanted to be an astronaut or an artist. Her favorite book was Calvin and Hobbes.
Hilary Lowitz
Undergraduate Student
Hilary is a junior planning to graduate in 2020 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience and Biology, Health & Society. After she graduates, she hopes to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. In her free time, she likes to do yoga and sings in an a cappella group on campus. As a child, Hilary wanted to be an actress. Her favorite book was Eloise at the Plaza!
Caroline Manning
Undergraduate Student
Caroline is intending to graduate in May 2020 from Albion College, with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies. After graduating, she hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D in some domain of psychology and become a college professor. In her free time, she enjoys leading Bible Studies on campus, watching Parks and Recreation, and playing euchre. As a child, Caroline wanted to be a lawyer. Her favorite book was The Selfish Giant.
Alyssa Nedell
Undergraduate Student
Aly is intending to graduate in April 2019 with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Art and Design. After graduating, she plans to eventually attend dental school and become an orthodontist. In her free time, she enjoys painting and exploring Ann Arbor with friends.As a child, Aly wanted to be a vet and her favorite channel was Animal Planet.
Aviva Nemeth
Undergraduate Student
Aviva is planning to graduate in April 2021 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. She hopes to eventually be a preschool or elementary school teacher. In her free time, she enjoys teaching Hebrew and taking long walks.
As a child, Aviva wanted to be an actress. Her favorite book was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
Eesha Paranis
Undergraduate Student
Eesha is a junior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and intending to minor in Creative Writing. She is still trying to figure her life out but she works at the Conceptual Development Lab because her research interests are focused on cognitive psychology and she loves kids! In her free time she likes to bake, read, and stay active.As a child, her dream job constantly interchanged between chef, air hostess, and teacher. She loved to read Junie B. Jones and Judy Moody and still treasures her collection to this day.
Hannah Pride-Smith
Undergraduate Student
Hannah is a sophomore here at U of M planning on getting my Undergraduate degree in Psychology but then pursuing a career in social work. I am in a Christian sorority here on campus and I currently work at conference and event services! I have been an RA for Dr. Gelman since June of 2018 and am excited for the numerous opportunities I’ve had and that are to come.
Kevin Pullukat
Undergraduate Student
Kevin is majoring in BCN with a minor in Anthropology. He intends to graduate in April of 2020. Kevin plans to attend medical school after graduation and hopes to one day work as a Pediatric Neurologist. In his free time he enjoys playing sports such as spikeball and basketball as well as reading. He is very passionate about working with children with disabilities.
Hayley Simon
Undergraduate Student
Hayley is currently a junior pursuing a degree in psychology. After graduating, she hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D and become a clinical psychologist. In her free time she loves to read, run, and volunteer with children.As a child Hayley loved to read the Mallory series. Growing up she wanted to be a writer.
Journey Stockton
Undergraduate Student
Journey is intending to graduate in April 2021, with a degree in Biology and Spanish. After graduating, she plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in pediatric medicine. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and volunteering with Michigan Givers. As a child, Journey wanted to be a veterinarian. Her favorite book was Junie B. Jones.
Colleen Tacubao
Undergraduate Student
Colleen is expected to graduate in May 2020, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and the Ross Business Minor. After graduation, she aspires to work in business or computer programming and eventually go to medical school to become a physician. In her free time, she enjoys eating ice cream and watching Game of Thrones.As a child, Colleen wanted to be a detective. Her favorite books are written by John Steinbeck.
Maxine Taskin
Undergraduate Student
Maxine is intending to graduate in April 2021, with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. After graduating, she plans to either go to PA school, or go to a graduate program to earn a degree in Developmental Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading dramatic novels and de-stressing by going to hot yoga classes. As a child, Maxine wanted to be a dancer. Her favorite book was The BFG.
Emma Ward
Graduate Student
Emma received her B.A. in Psychology and International Studies, with a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC) from the University of Michigan. She is now pursuing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan, focused on interpersonal practice and mental health. She plans to become a mental health practitioner with refugee and immigrant children after obtaining her degree.
As a child, Emma wanted to be a musical theater actress. Her favorite book was My Mommy’s Tote.
Haley Wise
Undergraduate Student
Haley is intending to graduate in April 2021, with a degree in Psychology. After graduating, she plans to eventually earn a Ph.D and become a Clinical Child Psychologist. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with children with special needs and traveling. As a child, Haley always wanted to be a pediatrician. Her favorite book was A Bad Case of Stripes.
Wolvy
Undergraduate Student
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.

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Apoorva Asthana
Undergraduate Student
Apoorva is a junior majoring in cognitive science with a concentration in computer science. After graduating, she plans to work for a non-profit for a year and then attend medical school. In free time, Apoorva enjoys dancing and working with her student organization, Project RISHI, to promote the sustainable growth and development of Indian villages.
Madelyn Brunvand
Undergraduate Student
Madelyn is intending to graduate in April 2022 with a degree in Psychology. She is interested in Developmental and Social Psychology and would like to pursue research in these areas in graduate school and her career. In her free time she enjoys being active in her faith community and making music with her friends. As a child, Madelyn wanted to be a teacher. Her favorite book was The Kissing Hand.
Kathryn Chang
Undergraduate Student
Katie is a freshman intending to graduate in April 2022 with a major in psychology or anthropology. She plans to attend medical school and hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D. In her free time, she is part of the University of Michigan Men’s Rowing team and enjoys being a part of the Tae Kwon Do club.
Madelyn Franco
Undergraduate Student
Madelyn is currently an undergraduate junior, pursuing a B.A. in Cognitive Science, the Decision and Cognition track. She is planning on working within the realms of human decision-making within the world of business, such as consumer behavior and economics. For fun, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her friends.
Sally Kafelghazal
Undergraduate Student
Sally is intending to graduate in April 2019, with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Arab American and Muslim Studies. After graduation, she plans on attending a Ph.D program to become a Clinical Psychologist. She hopes to use her background and education to help assimilating minority groups. Additionally, providing refugees with aid has always been a passion of hers.