LAB ALUMNI

Meet our former students


Grad Students
Abby Abby Benecke. Abby was a grad student in the lab from 2016-2018. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Music from Susquehanna University where she was involved in both cognitive and developmental research. Abby's research interests include language perception and compuational modeling. After completing the M.S. program, Abby moved to Ohio State Unversity, working on her Ph.D. in Mark Pitt's lab. Beyond her interests in psychological research, she enjoys playing the flute, hiking, and getting far too involved in Netflix shows.

Tifani Biro

Tifani Biro. Tif was a grad student at Villanova who completed thesis work in the lab. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2012 with a degree in Psychology and minors in Cognitive Science and Japanese. Before coming to Villanova, she taught English as a Second Language at the English Language Institute in Newark, Delaware, connecting her with students and educators from around the world. She also worked as a research assistant at Delaware for Mary Dozier, Adele Hayes, and Beth Morling. Tif's current research focus is on increasing external validity in psycholinguistic experiments through the use of video games and virtual reality systems. She is also interested in computational modeling and cognitive neuroscience, and she is completing her PhD in Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Kansas.

Beach

Beach Brooks. Beach is doing his thesis work in the lab. Beach hails from West Palm, Florida, and graduated from the University of Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. A guitar player for over ten years, he is extremely curious about music perception and is investigating how people develop knowledge and expectancies about common music conventions. Lend him your ear and he’ll sing you a song and he’ll try not to sing out of key.

Taylor Curley

Taylor Curley. Taylor is from North Carolina and received his B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2012. He graduated from Villanova with his M.S. in Psychology in 2015 and is now working on his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech. His primary research focus is memory and aging, and he is also interested in computational modeling and unsupervised statistical learning.

Ben

Ben Falandays, Ben was a grad student at Villanova and our second lab manager. He graduated from the University of Delaware with B.A.s in Psychology and Philosophy. Ben's thesis used the visual-world paradigm to investigate the intersection of speech perception and discourse processing, investigating how listeners maintain fine-grained acoustic information over extended periods of time. After completing his M.S. at Villanova, Ben continued on to the Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at UC Merced, working with Michael Spivey.

Emma Folk

Emma Folk. Emma was a grad student from 2014-2016 and was the first lab manager of the WRAP Lab. She is from Newtown, Pennsylvania, and she received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Delaware in 2013. Her primary research interests include questions about psycholinguistics and language comprehension, and her thesis evaluated parallel vs. serial models of spoken language processing using the ERP technique. She enjoys hiking, concerts, and managing the lab star chart. After completing her M.S., Emma continued on to graduate studies in Speech & Hearing Sciences at Indiana Univesrity, working with Tessa Bent.

Rebecca Garrison

Rebecca Garrison. Rebecca is from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and received her B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of Delaware in 2013. She is finishing her M.S. in Psychology at Villanova. Her research interests include visual attention and perception, particularly how the visual system is modulated by reward and how it resolves ambiguity. When she escapes the lab, she enjoys crocheting adorable amigurami, relaxing at Spruce Street Harbor Park, and hanging out with Mason.

Elke

Elke Nordeen. Elke joined the lab in Fall 2015 and was a student in the combined B.A./M.S. Psychology program, working on her thesis with Janette Herbers. She is particularly interested in development. Her research uses computational modeling to study changes in speech perception across the lifespan for sets of acoustic cues and audio-visual speech cues.

Zach

Zach Oxford-Romeike. Zach was a grad student at Villanova from 2016-2018. He graduated from Gonzaga University in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology where he performed research on gratitude, prejudice, and policy. Zach's M.S. thesis was co-supervised with Katina Sawyer and examines the effect of nationalism and race on early face perception. After completing the M.S. program at Villanova, Zach began working on his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at UCLA.

Olivia Pereira

Olivia Pereira. Olivia was grad student at Villanova from 2014-2016. She received her B.S. in Psychology from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2014. Olivia did her thesis work with Chip Folk, studying visual attention. In the WRAP Lab, Olivia worked on an ERP experiment designed to evaluate which acoustic and phonological properties of speech sounds are indexed by the auditory N100 ERP component. After completing the M.S. program at Villanova, Olivia worked as reserach assistant at Nemours duPont Hospital for Children and the University of Delaware.

Jordan

Jordan Rast. Jordan was a graduate student in the M.S. program at Villanova from 2015-2017. His research in the WRAP Lab investigated the use of word-based tests for measuring hearing loss. When not engaging in coursework and research, Jordan enjoys writing original music and playing old time fiddle.

Dave Saltzman

Dave Saltzman. Dave completed his thesis work in the lab, and he was the first grad student from the WRAP Lab to propose his thesis. He is from Smithfield, RI and completed his B.A. in Psychology at Providence College in 2013. He began working on his M.S. at Villanova University in 2014, and has a broad interest in the neurobiological underpinnings of speech perception. His thesis project examined the influence of speaking rate, amplitude envelopes, and neural oscillations (theta waves) on speech perception. Outside of the lab, Dave enjoys reading too much Wikipedia and having glorious long hair. After completing the M.S. program at Villanova, Dave becamse the lab manager of the LAB Lab with Emily Myers at the University of Connecticut, and is starting the Ph.D. program at UConn in Fall 2018.

Brad Stilwell

Brad Stilwell. Brad, a born and raised Delawarean, graduated from the University of Delaware in 2012 with a B.S. in Psychology. He then made the hour long trek north to Villanova, where he received his M.S. in Psychology in 2015 working with Chip Folk. He is interested in Cognitive Psychology in general, with a particular focus on visual attention. His master's thesis investigated the effect of semantics on value-driven attentional capture. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology with Shaun Vecera at the University of Iowa. Go Hawks!

Lexie Tabachnick

Lexie Tabachnick. Lexie was a grad student at Villanova who completed an independent research project in the lab. Lexie received her A.B. in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2012. She then worked as a one-to-one aide for children with mental and behavioral diagnoses before joining the WRAP Lab as a Master's student at Villanova. Her research in the lab focuses on questions about hearing testing and measurement of ABR responses. She is now completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on children and adolescents at the University of Delaware. Fun fact: In college, Lexie co-founded Project Harmony Israel, an English language summer camp for Arab and Jewish youth in Jerusalem—the camp still exists today and continues to build peace through shared experience.

Courtney

Courtney Thomas. Courtney was a grad student in the lab from 2016-2018, working with Janette Herbers for her M.S. thesis. She graduated from Emory University in 2014 with B.A. in Psychology. She then spent two years gaining clinical experience working with children with mental and behavioral diagnoses before she began the Master's program at Villanova in Fall 2016. Her research interests broadly focus on child psychopathology and developmental psychology. Working with our colleagues at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, Courtney's research aims to use ERP measures to create speech-based tests for hearing loss that can be used with infants and adults. She started working as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science at Nemours in July 2018.

Stephanie Vicari

Stephanie Vicari. Stephanie is from Demarest, NJ and received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Delaware in 2014. She completed her Master's at Villanova in 2016. Her thesis work was completed with Irene Kan and examined the illusory truth effect in young and aging adults. Her general interests include cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, and working with patient populations.

Sarah

Sarah Vrabic. Sarah was graduate student in the lab from 2015-2017 as part of the combined B.A./M.S. program in Psychology, working with Janette Herbers for her M.S. thesis. Sarah is primarily interested in developmental work, and she worked on projects using computational modeling to study changes in speech perception across the lifespan for sets of acoustic cues and audio-visual speech cues.
Undergraduates
Chris Burley Chris Burley. Chris was an undergraduate research assistant in the WRAP Lab from 2014 to 2016. A native of picturesque Dover, Ohio, Chris graduated from Villanova in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology. His is interested in research on neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer's.

Jackie Coelho

Jackie Coelho. Jackie was an undergraduate research assistant in the WRAP Lab from 2015-2016. She is from Ossining, New York and graduted from Villanova in 2016 with a B.S. in psychology. Jackie is particularly interested in developmental psychology and language acquisition.

Liz

Liz Day. Liz was a research assistant in the WRAP Lab from 2016-2018, and she was a Psychology B.S. major with an Economics minor at Villanova.

Brandon Henken

Brandon Henken. Brandon graduated from Haverford College in 2016 with a double major in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. His interests are in Communication Sciences and Disorders, specifically in disorders of written and spoken language processing, retrieval, and comprehension. He worked as a research assistant in the WRAP Lab during Summer 2015, helping with experiments aimed at developing improved hearing tests, as well as an ERP study examining effects of intensity, frequency, and attention on the N100 and ABR.

Nicole

Nicole Johnson. Nicole joined the lab in Spring 2015 semester and graduated in 2017. She was a Psychology B.S. major with a Spanish minor. She also completed an internship with our colleagues at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children during her senior year. After graduating, Nicole continued on to grad school at Purdue to study Speech-Language Pathology.

John Michael

John Michael Kay. John Michael was a Psychology major at Villanova and graduated in 2016. His interests are in neuroscience, and he was an undergraduate research assistant in the lab from 2015-2016.

Grace Kerrigan

Grace Kerrigan. Grace was one of our very first undergraduate research assistants. She was a Psychology and Spanish double-major at Villanova and graduated magna cum laude in 2015. After graduating, Grace continued to grad school for her Master's degree in Speech Pathology at Marquette University.

Claire

Claire McCann. Claire was a Psychology major at Villanova. She joined the WRAP Lab in Fall of 2016 and graduated in 2017.

Christina

Christina Nashed. Christina was a Biology major at Villanova. She joined the lab in the Spring 2016 semester and graduated in 2017.

Marissa

Marissa Osowski. Marissa is a CBN major at Villanova. She worked in the lab during 2017.

Marissa

Marissa Pharel. Marissa was a Psychology B.S. and Spanish double-major and Cognitive Science minor. She joined the lab in Spring 2016 and graduated in 2017.

Janice

Janice Puder. Janice was a Psychology B.S. major with an Education minor. She joined the lab in Spring 2016 and graduated in 2018.

Tyler Re

Tyler Re. Tyler was also one of our first undergraduate researchers. He was a Psychology major at Villanova and graduated magna cum laude in 2015.

Rakshana

Rakshana Selvarajan. Rakshana was a Psychology B.S. major and Theatre minor at Villanova, and she was a research assistant in the lab from Fall 2015 to Spring 2018. She conducted an independent research study looking at individual differences in top-down effects in language processing by running simulations with the TRACE model of speech perception. Next year, Rakshana plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician.

Emily

Emily Tenuta. Emily was a Political Science major at Villanova, and she was part of the inaugural class in Joe’s MSE course. She was on special assignment in the lab, working on an independent research project to study how dialect and talker characteristics affect both speech production and perception.

Sarah

Sarah Welch. Sarah was a CBN major at Villanova. She joined the lab in Spring 2016 and graduated in 2017. She is interested in bilingualism and using cognitive neuroscience techniques to study higher-level language processing.

Carlin

Carlin Welter. Carlin was an undergraduate research assistant from Pittsburgh, PA. She joined the lab in Fall 2016 and graduated in 2017. Carlin was a Psychology major and Spanish minor at Villanova. She is particularly interested in bilingualism and child development.

Marissa

Martina Vega. Martina was an undergraduate research assistant from Oregon majoring in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and Spanish. She joined the lab through the Villanova Match Research Program for First Year Students in 2015 and ran an experiment aimed at developing a speech-based hearing test (which is part of a larger effort to improve treatments with hearing aids) through the Fall of 2017.