Faces you may see in and around the lab

Babylab team 2019

Top row: Mariam Shafik, Sabrina Kachurka, Dr. Marieke van Heugten, Avery Malone
Bottom row: Josephine DiSisto, Tiffany Martos, Boyang Qin, Lauren Chu, Emily Barker
Missing: Marie Bacungan, Virginia Freeman, Yovanka Leroux, and Courtney Mahan

Marieke van Heugten (personal page)
Dr. van Heugten is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and the director of the Buffalo Babylab. She completed her B.A. and M.Sc. at Radboud University in the Netherlands before moving to Canada where she received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. She then held a postdoctoral position at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. In August 2015 she started her position at the University at Buffalo.
Boyang Qin (Ph.D. student)
Boyang holds a B.A. from South China Normal University and an M.Res. from the University of York, UK. Broadly speaking, she is interested in people's processing and comprehension of spoken language. To best address this question, she focuses on how language is acquired from early on. In particular, her current research ambitions involve finding out how infants and toddlers learn to cope with complex linguistic information embedded in the speech signal and how they develop into mature language users.
Avery Malone (Ph.D. student, personal page)
Avery earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, where he conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Sharon Bertsch. His current research in the Babylab examines spoken language processing in young children at both the level of sentence structure and of speech sounds. He also studies the ways in which children use spoken language in making social judgements.
Emily Barker (Ph.D. student)
Emily completed a B.S. in Cognitive Psychology at UC San Diego. Her goal is to bridge the gap between her passion for music and love of research. Generally speaking, her primary research interests include the relationship between music and language, singer recognition, and timbre perception. She enjoys good tea, bad puns, and dancing in the rain.
Courtney Mahan (Honors Thesis Student)
Courtney is a senior at UB majoring in Psychology with a minor in Counseling and Sociology. During her junior year, she was an Independent Research Student in the Buffalo Babylab. During her senior year, she will continue working in the lab and conduct an Honor's project. Courtney is a transfer student from Keuka College, where she completed an internship shadowing the psychologist of a middle school. Courtney is excited to continue her work with children and expand her experiences within the lab setting. For the future, she hopes to complete her Masters at UB in one of the psychology programs.
Virginia Freeman (Honors Thesis Student)
Virginia is a senior at the University of Buffalo majoring in Psychology, English, and Classics. She is currently participating in the Psychology Honors program, working with Dr. Van Heugten as her adviser. She is an intern at Transitional Services Inc., finding community housing for the homeless and mentally ill, and she is interested in cultural transmission and reification in the translation of ancient literature. She hopes to continue on to graduate school in the future.
Mariam Shafik (Independent Research Student)
Mariam is currently a junior at UB in the Psychology department. She is considering a minor in Criminology or Sociology. She recently completed an internship with Williamsville Public Schools, where she volunteered in second grade classrooms and worked one-on-one with students to improve their math and writing skills. This experience has made Mariam even more interested in working with children and pursuing a career in School Psychology.
Joshua Maroney (Independent Research Student)
Joshua is a junior at UB, majoring in Cognitive Science. He is a transfer student from RIT, where he was a Psychology major. Josh has interests in Psycholinguistics and Neuroscience in general, but hopes to gain a multidisciplinary view of the human experience. He has experience working with neurologically and physically atypical children and adults. He also writes, creates art, and makes music in his own time. Josh is looking to pursue graduate school to get a fine-grained understanding of the brain and hopes to one day redesign public education systems to make better use of young humans' valuable time.
Josephine DiSisto (Volunteer)
Josephine is currently a junior at UB majoring in Psychology and Cognitive Science. She is interested in how children acquire language and what their understanding of language can tell us about their understanding of the world around them. Last year, she volunteered at the after school program at 716 Squash, helping children with projects and homework.
Marie Bacungan (Volunteer)
Marie is currently a sophomore intended nursing student at UB. Her curiosity about research and passion for working with children sparked her interest for the lab. She recently shadowed a few physicians and nurse anesthetists over the summer which furthered her enthusiasm for anesthesiology and working in healthcare. She hopes to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist in the future.

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