The Team

Roberta M. Golinkoff

Dr. Roberta M. Golinkoff, Director

Dr. Golinkoff holds the H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and is also a member of the Departments of Psychology and Linguistics. She directs the Infant Language Project, whose goal it is to understand how children tackle the amazing feat of learning language. She has also started another line of research on the benefits of play. Although "play" has recently become a 4-letter word, the research suggests exactly the opposite: Children learn best through play and when their learning is embedded in a playful context. Read complete bio here.

Lab Coordinator

Natalie Brezack
Natalie graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Psychology. For her honors thesis, Natalie studied children’s preferences for infant-directed action. She is enthusiastic about exploring language acquisition research, particularly as it relates to event processing.

Study Coordinator

Maya Marzouk
Maya graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Psychology in 2013 and is thrilled to be working with the Infant Language Project! At the lab, she works primarily with spatial studies. She has had experiences in infant research, autism research and treatment, and early childhood education. Maya plans to pursue a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and loves baking and Disney films.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Dr. Brian Verdine
Dr. Verdine is a postdoctoral researcher interested in how children learn geometry and spatial skills (e.g., imagine the backside of an object or remembering where objects in a room are located). He is interested in the extent to which playful spatial experiences in preschool, like playing with blocks or building puzzles, may help children in future science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. He also has strong interests in the use of media and technology for supplementing children’s spatial experiences. Brian received his B.S. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University where he first explored his interest in spatial research with Dr. Lynn Liben. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University where he worked with Dr. Georgene Troseth exploring children’s and adult’s use of spatial information from television and video games.

Dr. Vinaya Rajan
Vinaya Rajan received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Biological Psychology from Virginia Tech. Her dissertation focused on brain-behavior associations of episodic memory and domain-general cognitive processes (i.e., attention, working memory and inhibition). As an IES post-doctoral fellow, she is examining how these cognitive skills relate to outcomes in specific education content areas, such as supporting early numeracy skills in preschoolers and the development of fraction skills in middle school students.

Graduate Students

Haruka Konishi
Haruka is a third year doctoral student. She has extensive research experience in cognitive and developmental psychology. She joined our lab in 2010 with an impressive record of research in Japan and publications in books and scientific journals. Right now, she is working on a number of different projects investigating bilingualism, second language acquisition, and infant development. Haruka’s future interests lie in teaching and research in child development.

Kristina Strother-Garcia
Kristina is a second-year doctoral student in Linguistics. Her research interests include morphology acquisition, the home learning environment, and the language achievement gap among children from families of different socioeconomic status.

Student Collaborators

We welcome exceptional undergraduate students to work as unpaid interns in our lab during the school year and the summer. We provide an intellectually stimulating environment that helps students learn about research from the ground up. In the summer, we have students from all over the world and the United States come to join us. We collaborate with our students and they often appear on our paper presentations at national and international meetings and even in print with us. If you are interested in working in our lab, please feel free to contact Dr. Golinkoff for a lab tour and interview.

Summer 2013

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Summer 2013

Starting at top left:
Starting at top left: Carolyn Mazzei, Pooja Kumar, Roberta Golinkoff, Brittany Gradel, Jessa Reed, Paula Yust, Kat Caola, Junko Kanero, Katie Ridge, Neha Mahajan, Haruka Konishi, and Shana Ramsook.

Spring 2013

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Spring 2013

Bottom row, L to R: Amira Parker, Jessica Rubenstein, Nick Gottuk, Jessa Reed, Roberta G, Megan Johanson, Gaby Farmer, Ross Caputi

Second row: Brook Gordon, Leora Segal, Emily Watson, Brian Verdine, Jenn Damonte, Cindy

Top row: Lynsey Keator, Max Freeman, Nate George, Haruka Konishi, Katie Ridge, Felix Gervits, Lauren Seymour

Summer 2011

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Spring 2011

Not in order:
Temple University: Dani Levine, Justine Hoch, Max Freeman, Kathline Gomes, Melissa Horger, Melissa Hansen

University of Delaware: Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Sujeet Ranganathan, Hilary Miller, Haruka Konishi, Nadine Itel, Jacquline Baron, Kathrine Pearson, Katherine Head, Maria Marquez, Carolyn Kosko, Xiaole Sun, Angeliki Athanasopoulou, Shuichi Nakata, Rachel Pulverman

Spring 2011

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Spring 2011

From Top Left: Caitlin Fess, Courtney Hofferbert, Sujeet Ranganathan, Katelyn Morytko, Kathleen Hackett, Shay Blake, Jillian Dunne, Rachel Pulverman, Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Carolyn Kosko, Kena Cantiveros, Karina Shaoul, Amanda Acca, Ann Martino, Megan Monahan, Allison Mandel

Summer 2010

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Summer 2010

From Top Left: Meiling Hao, Claire Halberstadt, Lauren Lamack, Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Sujeet Ranganathan, Cora Picone, Lauren Janeka, Laura Rocek, Kelsey Jefferson

People who couldn't be in the picture: Jocelyn Terranova, Emma Pelton, Emily Carpenter, Hannah Andersen, Christine Neifert, and Allison Rose

Spring 2010

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Spring 2010

Bottom Row from Left: Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Amara Stuehling, Aimee Stahl, Meaghan Connell, Charmaine Leyenaar

Middle Row: Kelsey Jefferson, Roberta Miller, Briana Beattie, Lauren Sparacino

Top Row: Emily Carpenter, Kelly Randle, Noelle Renner, Megan Kauffman

Spring 2009

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Spring 2009

Bottom Row from Left: Loren Cohen, Jessica Lewis, Emily Tynan, Taryn Levenstein, Carrie Deutsch, Lauren Janeka

Middle Row: Charmaine Leyenaar, Catherine Bradley, Weiyi Ma, Celia Gash, Heather Greene

Top Row: Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Jillian Ferrara, Beth Gage, Aimee Stahl, Caitlin McSweeney, Lulu Song, Melissa Sechler, Yi Song, Erica Hyder, Amanda Sargen

Summer 2008

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Summer 2008

Top Row from Left: Wilkey Wong, Natalie Brousseau, Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Lane Neidig, Lulu Song, Kate Bither, Zeke Strober

Bottom Row from Left: Julie Schenk, Andrea Bombino, Laura Rocek, Aimee Stahl, Regine Lai, Weiyi Ma, Danny Parnella

Summer 2007

Infant Language Project Student Collaborators, Summer 2007

First Row: Weiyi Ma: Doctoral Student in Education, Katherine Houle: Undergraduate at UD, Sunny Merchant: Undergraduate at UD, Laura Rocek: Undergraduate at Beloit College, Brittany Farr: Undergraduate at Harvard University, Wilkey Wong: Doctoral Student in Education

Second Row: Lulu Song: Doctoral Student in Education, Zeke Strober: Lab coordinator, Dr. Roberta Golinkoff: Director, Solveig Bosse: Doctoral Student in Linguistics