Infant Language Center Alumni

Yakov Kronrod, Ph.D.
Dr. Kronrod (ok, Yakov) received his B.S. in Mathematics from WPI in 2002 and PhD in Linguistics from the University of Maryland in 2014. In between he worked as a community organizer, high-tech developer, and public school teacher. As a post-doc, he explored language learning and processing with both infants and adult second language learners, with a focus on phonetic categories. Yakov is a certified massage therapist, ordained marriage officiant, and self-proclaimed singer-songwriter. He lives with Click, his amazing cat. He now works at Amazon.
Frans Adriaans, Ph.D.
Frans was born and raised in the Netherlands, where he received his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 2011 from Utrecht University. At Penn, he used computer models to study how 'motherese' (speech addressed to infants) helps babies to learn the sounds and words of their native language. He is now an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at New York University.
Elika Bergelson, Ph.D. student
Elika is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Language Sciences, at the University of Rochester Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, where she's working with Dr. Richard Aslin. There, she is beginning a longitudinal study that incorporates at-home video recordings with in-lab experiments, geared specifically at gaining a better understanding of how visual and linguistic experience interact in early word-learning.
Carolyn Quam, Ph.D.
Carolyn conducted her Ph.D. research in the Infant Language Center, graduating in 2010. Her dissertation research addressed how and when children figure out how their native language uses pitch and intonation. She investigated questions like, how does parents' speech indicate whether children are hearing a tone language like Mandarin Chinese or an intonation language like English? When do children figure out whether they're learning a tone language or not? When do they learn the other functions of pitch in language, like pitch cues to the emotions happy and sad? Carolyn is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Research in Language at the University of California, San Diego. With Prof. Sarah Creel (also an Infant Language Center alum!), she is investigating how adult bilingual speakers of English and Mandarin interpret pitch information when learning words in each of their languages.
Gary Lupyan, Ph.D.
Gary obtained his PhD in from Carnegie Mellon under the advisorship of Jay McClelland and subsequently spent a year at Cornell working with Michael Spivey. His interests focus on the effects of language on categorization, memory, and perception.
Suzanne van der Feest, Ph.D.
Suzanne is a postdoctoral researcher from the Netherlands. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Nijmegen, where she worked in the Nijmegen Baby Research Center. Her research is focused on the acquisition of phonology. At the Infant Language Center, she investigates the acquisition of vowels by English-learning children, who are later compared with children learning Dutch.
Sarah Creel, Ph.D.
Sarah received her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She studies how children (and adults) understand spoken words, which unfold over time (in the word "cat", you hear the c before the a before the t). Many pieces of evidence indicate that information early in a word (ca_) is more important than information later in a word (_at). However, children are known to confuse words that differ initially (e.g. "bin" and "din"). Sarah is interested in finding out how these intial-information processing tendencies develop as a child both matures and also acquires more information about her native language. Sarah is now an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California in San Diego.
Chandan Narayan, Ph.D.
Chandan received his Ph.D. in linguistics in 2006 from the University of Michigan, where he wrote a dissertation on infants' perception of consonants. A phonetician by training, Chandan has also done studies of infant speech perception at Janet Werker's Infant Studies Centre in Vancouver, Canada. At Penn, Chandan worked on how infants learn to perceive acoustically similar speech sounds in their native language, such as the "n"-"ng" distinction in the languages of the Phillipines. Chandan is now an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto.
Adrienne Scutellaro, Ph.D. student
Adrienne is a third year graduate student in the Psychology Dept at Penn.  She received an EdM in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Ed and spent two years as the Research Coordinator of an infant language lab in the Linguistics Dept. at UCLA.  Her current research focuses on examining the phonetic detail that infants pay attention to in early words and how representations of sounds and words might differ in infants learning a second language.
Emily Steiner
Emily joined the Penn Infant Language Center as the lab manager from June 2012. From Chicago, she graduated from Haverford College with a B.S. in Psychology in 2012. She is interested in child development and plans to attend graduate school to study children's clinical psychology. When not in the lab, she enjoys yoga and cooking.
Katie Motyka
Katie joined the Infant Language as lab manager in May 2009. She graduated magna cum laude from Penn with a B.A. in Psychology and Fine Art.  Katie is a West Philly native who has been working and volunteering with kids since she was a teenager.  In her free time she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and photography.
Giorgia Di Lauro
Giorgia began volunteering at the Penn Infant Language Center in March 2014. She comes from Italy, where she works as a children's speech-language pathologist at ASS1 of Trieste. She graduated from the University of Rome in 2007 and got a MSc in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Trieste in 2011. She is here to learn more about child development research and have a great experience of American culture and lifestyle.
Jane Park
Jane was the lab manager of the Infant Language Center from 2006 to 2009. She received her B.A. from Penn with departmental honors in Cognitive Science. Jane wrote her senior thesis on the semantic representations of spoken word recognition in adults under the supervision of Dr. Delphine Dahan. She is currently attending Dartmouth for medical school.

Meet our Undergraduate alumni!