Lab Members

Faculty Members

Hilary Barth, Ph.D. is a psychological scientist working within the broad area of human cognition and development. Main areas of interest are mathematical cognition; thinking and learning about number, space, time, and probability; social cognition; and decision making. She is director of the Yellow Lab. [Faculty Page; Publications]

Anna Shusterman, Ph.D. studies the relationships between language and conceptual development, primarily representations of space and number. Her lab uses behavioral methods to explore cognitive development and language acquisition in young children. She is also interested in the effects of atypical linguistic experience on conceptual representation. She is director of the Blue Lab. [Faculty Page; Publications]

Research Scientist

Talia Berkowitz, Ph.D. (she/her) is a Senior Research Scientist in the Blue Lab. She completed a BA in Psychology at Barnard College, after which she worked as the Blue Lab Coordinator from 2010-2012. She then completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Chicago, working in the Cognitive Development Lab with Susan Levine. Her research focuses on how children’s early math input relates to future math learning and achievement. She is particularly interested in how parents’ and teachers’ attitudes and beliefs relate to variations in their math engagement with their children, and her current work focuses on developing and evaluating interventions to promote adult-child interactions around math.

Lab Coordinators

Erin Kim is the full-time Yellow Lab Coordinator. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2022 with a B.S. in Cognitive Studies and Child Development. She is interested in how adult communication and varying early environments such as culture and SES can affect how children develop an understanding the social world. As an undergraduate, she primarily researched how preschool-aged children and their families interacted with digital media and eBooks. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for developmental social cognition. 

Pritha Sengupta (she/her) is a full-time Blue Lab Coordinator. She graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2022 with an M.A in Developmental Psychology. During her Master’s, her research focused on fadeout effects of childhood interventions. She is interested in how early life environmental risk-factors related to poverty affect cognitive development. Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking, reading poetry, and doing crosswords.

Skye Gasataya (she/her) is a full-time Blue Lab Coordinator. She graduated from Trinity College in 2021 with a B.S. in Psychology and Philosophy. She is interested in emotional and cognitive development in bilingual households. During her undergrad, Skye conducted field work on the positive effects music had on elderly residents with dementia as well as understanding COVID-19 behaviors within a cultural context. Outside of the lab, Skye loves to write, travel with her family, and play with her dog Ru.

Graduate Students

Julia Galligani (she/her) is a Psychology BA/MA student in the Blue Lab. She completed her BA from Wesleyan with a Psychology and Film Studies double major and a minor in Education Studies. She was born and raised in the South of France. In addition to working in Blue Lab, Julia works in the Student Academic Resource Office and the Psychology Department. Julia loves working with children and has spent time nannying for families as well as working in an international elementary school. In her free time, she enjoys photography, watching movies and reading.

Research Assistants

Blue Lab

Danielle Garten ‘24 (she/her) is a Psychology, Education Studies, and Environmental Studies triple major from Baltimore, Maryland. She is president of the Wesleyan Jewish Community, a member of the club badminton team, and a tour guide for the Office of Admissions. She is interested in pursuing a career in environmental education after graduation. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading mystery novels, and playing trivia.

Dove Bonjean-Alpart ‘24 is a French Studies and Psychology double major from New York City. Outside of the lab, Dove writes articles for the Argus, enjoys painting, and plays the drums. He is interested in developmental work with children.

Ellie Flynn ‘24 (she/her) is a Psychology and Dance double major from Northfield, Massachusetts. After graduation she plans to pursue her Master’s in Forensic Psychology, and has enjoyed learning about child development and cognition from a different perspective. Ellie is passionate about advocacy, criminal justice, and human behavior. In her free time she enjoys good food, listening to music, and spending time with her three dogs.

Mady Davis-Troller ‘24 (she/her) is a Neuroscience & Behaviors and Psychology double major, with a minor in Chemistry. She has a passion for neurolinguistics and learning & memory. Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, she has been a TA for a myriad of classes, a peer tutor, the captain of the club volleyball team, a member of the club soccer team, a singer in Onomatopoeia, and a photographer and layout designer for the photo club. You can find Mady at trivia night, running, exploring new hiking trails or curled up on the couch with a good book.

Nina Jakobson ’24 is a Psychology and Theater double major. They are involved in directing and performing in student-run dance and theater groups, and volunteering for the Wesleyan Doula Project. Nina uses their free time to practice meditation and mindful movement, and spend time in nature. They feel passionately about integrating their artistic and mindfulness practices into psychology and are interested in exploring what their interests can learn from one another.

Saige Rovero ‘24 (she/her) is a Psychology and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures double major and Education Studies minor from West Hartford, Connecticut. Saige loves reading, playing board games, trivia, traveling, and listening to music. Outside of the lab, Saige plays for the Wesleyan Women’s Soccer Team. She is interested in researching cognitive development and its connection to social and emotional factors, and is interested in pursuing a career in education and developmental/educational research.

Shakira Abdul-Rauf ‘24 (she/her) is a Psychology and African American Studies double major with a minor in Chemistry. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and her family is from Ghana. Outside of the classroom, you might find Shakira working as a Writing Mentor or in the Exley Science library. Shakira also supports the African Student Association (ASA) and Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS) student-run groups as treasurer.

Maya Faber ‘25 (she/her) is a Psychology and Education Studies double major with a minor in Jewish studies. Outside of the classroom, she is a member of the club tennis and ping pong team, loves to play the violin in school run musicals, and is also involved in the leadership board of the Wesleyan Jewish Community. Maya is passionate about understanding child development and using that knowledge and skill-set to help children in a hands-on way.

Veronica Hearne ‘25 (she/her) is a triple major in Psychology, Education Studies and English. She is from the United States, but grew up in Singapore and Portugal. Outside of the lab, Veronica enjoys reading, crocheting and knitting. She is interested in developmental and social psychology.

Hannah Joe ‘25 (she/her) is a Psychology and Education Studies double major from Los Angeles, California. Hannah is especially interested in educational equity and accessibility, especially how to bring research-informed, socially and emotionally conscious teaching practices into more classrooms. She is also interested in exploring the best ages and methods for developmentally appropriate educational interventions. She loves working in schools, running, hiking, cooking, and volunteering with animals.

Jane Lillard ‘25 (they/she) is a Psychology and Art Studio double major from Princeton, New Jersey. Outside of the lab, Jane enjoys playing in their bands, making art, cooking, playing video games, and hanging out with their dog. Jane is interested in developmental psychology, especially pertaining to neurodivergent kids, and ways to create more inclusive educational spaces.

Leigh Allen ‘26 (she/they) is a Psychology major and IDEAS minor from North Florida. They are in the Wesleyan Cardinal Players Pep Band and mentor high-achieving underrepresented students through the Sunrise Scholars Foundation. They’re primarily interested in pursuing child and adolescent clinical psychology. After Wesleyan, they want to pursue a PsyD degree so they can open their own practice and offer assessments for behavioral and learning disorders to children who don’t get properly diagnosed due to barriers between them and mental health resources. They like to play D&D and other games with friends, and create art in their free time.

Yellow Lab

Cameron Bourassa ’26 is a Neuroscience & Behavior and Psychology double major with a minor in chemistry and she is from Raynham, Massachusetts. She is interested in learning about how development affects social behaviors. Outside of the classroom, she works at KidCity, the Children’s Museum in Middletown, and she is a Peer Health Advisor at Wesleyan’s Office of Health Education. She is also a member of the Wesleyan Rugby Team.

Julia Dima ’25 is a double major in Psychology and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. She is from New York City where she first became interested in developmental psychology by working as a camp counselor. She also volunteers with children in Middletown through the Traverse Square program. Additionally, she participates in stand-up comedy and improv on campus.

Annabel “Annie” Fabian ’26 is a Neuroscience & Behavior and Psychology double major with a dance minor and is from Westchester, New York. She is interested in infant and early childhood cognitive development and has been working in preschools and daycares for over five years. At Wesleyan, Annie dances in three student dance groups, volunteers at the local preschool, NPS, and is the TA for multiple dance classes.

Molly Fung ’25 is a Neuroscience & Behavior and Psychology double major with a minor in Economics. She is from Costa Rica and is mostly interested in cognitive science and development. Outside of school she volunteers as a reading tutor for elementary school students through WesReads and is a Teaching Assistant for the Economics and Chemistry department.

Emily Hauser ’25 is a Mathematics major and Education Studies Minor, is on the pre-med track, and is most interested in infant and child development. She is from Evanston, IL, where she discovered her interest in young children volunteering in a preschool, being a camp counselor, and working at the children’s hospital in Chicago. At Wesleyan, Emily is in a dance ensemble, does a capella, and is a TA for a Linear Algebra class.

Elia Matrician ’26 is a Psychology and Art History double major with an interest in infant and child development. She is from Boston, where she has experience in tutoring, childcare, and music mentorship. She also works as a coordinator for the Foster Connection, which endeavors to support foster children through mentorship and tutoring. Outside of classes, Elia loves to read, spend as much time outside as possible, loves to crochet, and loves animals.

Ellie Pan ’25 is a Neuroscience & Behavior and Education Studies double major with interests in child developmental and science education. She is from New Jersey where she developed a love for working with children in her community as a swim coach, Girl Scout, and music tutor. At Wesleyan, Ellie is a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee and is a TA for Informal Science Education for Elementary School Students.

Suchita Sridhara ’26 is a prospective Psychology and Economics double major interested in cognitive psychology and child development. Growing up in New York, she found a passion for how children learn in her years as a tutor for young kids. Outside of the lab, Suchita is a leader of the Wesleyan Ethics Bowl Club and a member of Shakti. She also loves to sing and read!

Alumni