CHILD STUDY CENTER LAB MEMBERS

Vanessa LoBue, PhD

Lab Director, Associate Professor of Psychology

Graduate Program Director

 

Dr. LoBue is originally from central New Jersey. She received her BS from Carnegie Mellon University, and her MA and PhD from the University of Virginia. After a doing post-doc at New York University, she joined the Rutgers University faculty in 2011. In her research, Dr. LoBue is interested in emotional development, and the effect of emotion and experience on perception and learning. She has a blog on Psychology Today where she writes about developmental science research for parents. Download CV

 

Office Phone: 973-353-3950

Email: vlobue@psychology.rutgers.edu

Office: Smith Hall, Room 341

Jessica Burris, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Jessica received her BS and her PhD from the University of California, Davis. She is interested in cognitive and neural development in both typically and atypically developing populations. Her work has focused on identifying attentional patterns towards affect in very young children, with specific interest on those children who show a persistent attentional bias towards threatening information in the environment. She is interested in further investigating the impact that these attentional patterns have on other areas of cognitive development and in exploring the neural underpinnings of these patters. Download CV.

                        

Office Phone: 973-353-1904

Email:   jlburris@ucdavis.edu

Office: Smith Hall, Room B-21

Alec Karousatos

Research Assistant


Alec is from Robbinsville, NJ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2019. As a research assistant at USC, he worked in a lab investigating opioid addiction in LA’s homeless population. He is interested in pursuing a career as a Physician in the future.                                                                                         

Office Phone: 973-353-1827

Email:   akarousa@usc.edu

Office: Smith Hall, Room 4-110

Emily Kim

Graduate Student

 

Emily is from Huntington, NY. She received her BS in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016. Emily is interested in cognitive development and its effect on how children learn. She is currently studying how knowledge about illness transmission is related to children's behavior when faced with the threat of getting sick.

                                                                                         

Office Phone: 973-353-1904

Email:   emilykimx3@gmail.com

Office: Smith Hall, Room B21

Lauren Leotti, PhD

Post-doctoral Fellow

Lauren began her psychology research career in a developmental cognitive neuroscience lab at Georgetown University, working with Chandan Vaidya. In 2009, under the mentorship of Tor Wager, Lauren received her Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University, and then completed a  post-doc with Mauricio Delgado at Rutgers University. After having two children of her own, she has renewed personal interest in developmental psychology. Her research interests relate broadly  to understanding learning, self regulation, and decision making, using behaviorial, psychophysiological and neuroimaging tools.                                                                                          

Office Phone: 973-353-1904

Email:   lauren.aimee.kaplan@gmail.com

Office: Smith Hall, Room B21

Elise Mahaffey

Lab Manager

Elise is originally from Napa, California. She received her B.S. in Child Development with a minor in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2019. At Cal Poly, she worked in a lab investigating parent-child joint engagement in science activities as well as children’s capacity to learn and enjoy astronomy topics in museum settings. She has spent many years working with children in both formal and informal contexts, most recently as a preschool teacher at the Cal Poly Preschool Learning Lab. Ultimately, Elise hopes to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Developmental Psychology.    

                    

Office Phone: 973-353-3938

Email:   em952@psychology.rutgers.edu

Office: Smith Hall, Room 321

Denise Oleas

Project Manager

Denise graduated from Northwestern University in 2017 with a B.A. in Cognitive Sciences and Psychology. She is currently managing our longitudinal investigation of the developmental relationship between perceptual biases for threat and negative affect. She is interested in working with the patient population in a clinical setting. Eventually she wants to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a concentration in neuropsychology.

                    

Office Phone: 973-353-1904

Email:   oleasdenise@gmail.com

Office: Smith Hall, Room B-21

Nicole Pochinki

Project Manager

Nicole is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and joined the Child Study Center after receiving her BS in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Physics from Northeastern University. She has conducted studies in developmental psychology as well as in education policy. Her main interests lie in the translation of cognitive psychology research to science education. 

    

                    

Office Phone: 973-353-3938

Email:   pochinki.n@husky.neu.edu

Office: Smith Hall, Room 321

Lori Reider

Graduate Student

Lori is originally from the Hudson Valley region of New York. She received her BA in Psychology and Criminology from Hofstra University in 2016. She is joining the Child Study Center after completing a post-baccalaureate position at the University of Maryland Child Development Lab led by Dr. Nathan Fox, where she worked on a longitudinal study exploring the impact of child temperament on developmental trajectories of social behavior and psychopathology. In her graduate work, she is interested in understanding how young children develop avoidant behaviors, and how attention and emotion impact learning.
              

Office Phone: 973-353-1904

Email:   lorireider95@gmail.com

Office: Smith Hall, Room B-21

Kali Revilla

Research Assistant

Kali is originally from Mexico City and resides in Leonia, NJ. She joined the Child Study center after receiving a B.A. in Psychology from Montclair State University. She has a passion for understanding the development of children, and has previously conducted research on the development of spatial language. In the following years she hopes to attend a graduate program and pursue a career in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. 
              

Office Phone: 973-353-1904

Email:   kalirevilla@gmail.com

Office: Smith Hall, Room B-21

CHILD STUDY CENTER ALUMNI

Michell Sarquez

Project Manager

Michell is from Belleville, NJ. She graduated with a undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Rutgers University in 2018. She is interested in pursing a career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy in the future.


    

     

   

Email:   sarquezmichell@gmail.com

Lewis Baker, PhD

Data Scientist at Pymetrics

Lewis received his BS from Loyola University New Orleans and his PhD from Vanderbilt University. His post-doc with the CSC focused on the development of the Mobile Maker Center, a portable lab outfitted with cameras and algorithms that measure children’s emotional state during play. He is currently a data scientist at Pymetrics.

 

  

Email:   lewisjbaker@gmail.com

Katy-Ann Blacker, PhD

Research Analyst, Department of Institutional Effectiveness, Berkeley College

Instructor, Rutgers University-Newark & New Jersey Institute of Technology

Katy-Ann received her B.A. in Psychology in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the Child Study Center in Rutgers Newark in 2016. She is interested in how children and adults learn, represent, and reason about causal relationships and how those representations influence risk evaluation and decision-making. In graduate school, she investigated whether and how children's and adults' knowledge of illness transmission and pathogens influenced engagement in

preventative behaviors such as hand-washing and avoidance. In a separate line of work, she explored the kinds of information about health that people find most appealing and persuasive when making health-related decisions. Currently, she works as a research analyst in the Department of Institutional Effectiveness at Berkeley College and continues to teach undergraduate courses here at Rutgers-Newark as well as NJIT. 

                                                                                        

Email:   blacker.katyann@gmail.com

Megan Geerdts, PhD

Assistant Professor, William Patterson University

 

Dr. Megan Geerdts completed her B.A. with honors at The College of New Jersey in 2009, and her PhD in developmental Psychology at the Child Study Center in Rutgers Newark in 2014. She then went on to do a post-doc with Dr. Stuart Marcovitch at UNC, Greensboro. She is currently an assistant professor at William Patterson University in New Jersey.                                                                        

 

Email:   megangeerdts@gmail.com

Personal website: https://sites.google.com/a/uncg.edu/megan-geerdts/home

Teresa Harvey

Graduate Student, Boston University

 

Teresa graduated with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science with a minor in Philosophy from Rutgers University in 2011. She was the lab manager at the Child Study Center from 2012-2014. She is currently a PhD candidate at Boston University with Dr. Peter Blake.

 

 

 

 

Email: teresaeharvey@gmail.com

Lab Website: http://www.bu.edu/cdl/sdll/

Jennifer Irving

Program Assistant for the Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 

Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Rutgers University in 2013. Her research interests include approach and avoidance behaviors of young children during food selection. She is currently working as the Program Assistant for the Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice at Rutgers Newark.

           

 

Email:   ja_irving@yahoo.com

Website: http://rscj.newark.rutgers.edu/gnyvc/

Christina Joseph, PhD

Chapter Support Manager, National Society of Leadership and Success

 

Christina received her BA, MA, and PhD from Rutgers University-Newark. She is interested in the relationship between body dissatisfaction and visual attentional biases and pinpointing the stages in development when these two processes appear and shift. She is currently the Chapter Support Manager at the National Society of Leadership and success.

                           

Email:   christij@psychology.rutgers.edu

Website: https://www.nsls.org/

Kaleigh Matthews, PhD

Graduate Program Coordinator

Department of Earth and Environmental Services 

Columbia University


Kaleigh is from Albany, NY. She received her BS from Marist College in 2010, and her PhD in developmental Psychology at the Child Study Center in Rutgers Newark in 2016. Her dissertation was on the cognitive factors that guide aggressive behavior in preschool children. She is currently working as the graduate program coordinator in the Department of Earth and Environmental Services at Columbia University,

    

Email:   kaleighbmatthews@gmail.com

Zachary Walden

Graduate Student

Zach Walden graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology. His interests lie in children’s emotion regulation abilities, reactions to emotionally valenced stimuli, and how early life experiences may precipitate and predict later behavior. He was the lab manager at the Child Study Center for three years and he is now a graduate student at LaSalle.                   

 

 

Email:   zachary.walden1@gmail.com

Yang Yang, PhD

Research Scientist

National Institute of Education, Singapore

Yang is originally from Beijing, China.  She received her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Peking University in China, her Master of Education from Harvard University, and her PhD from Cornell University. She is interested in children’s cognitive and emotional development in different cultural contexts. Her research has focused on the developmental patterns (developmental trajectories and age differences), the antecedents (cultural contexts and parent-child interaction), and the consequences (emotion regulation, psychological adjustment, and learning) of children’s emotional development.    

                               

Email:  yang.yang@nie.edu.sg