Students who are members of the DevSci Cluster are the next generation of developmental scientists. In order to advance their education, they have access to numerous resources to facilitate their research projects, including the opportunity to apply for seed funding. These students have a variety of interests related to developmental sciences spanning multiple disciplines. Students currently conducting innovated research are highlighted below.
Featured DevSci Cluster Students
Brittany Manning is a Ph.D. student in Communication Sciences and Disorders working with Dr. Elizabeth Norton. Her research focuses on understanding co-occurring social, behavioral, and cognitive challenges in children with language disorders. Brittany hopes to combine behavioral measures as well as brain measures, such as EEG, in order to investigate language skills.
Bri Hightower is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society department. Bri’s learning interests emphasize understanding how families with young children can strengthen communication through engaging in “science talk” together in informal learning environments. She hopes to develop an intervention that supports and encourages “science talk” engagement in families less likely to engage in science learning outside of school, so children are more likely to enter formal school on par with their affluent peers.
Naomi Polinsky is a third year PhD student in the Cognitive Area of Northwestern’s psychology graduate program. She studies children’s development in STEM fields, and how young children learn and problem solve during out-of-school experiences, such as when visiting the Chicago Children’s Museum or when playing with touchscreens at home. Naomi currently works with David Uttal in his lab, and as the 2019 Recipient of DevSci’s Student Fellowship, Naomi plans to combine learning sciences and cognitive development methodologies to study STEM development in informal spaces.
Ping Rochanavibhata is a Phd candidate in Communication Sciences & Disorders, with a research focus on bilingual language development. Her current research, for which she received DevSci seed funding for in 2019, examines communication styles of Thai-English bilingual mother-child dyads in the US and in Thailand. This study will help Ping better understand the consequences of bilingualism for language development, specifically in interpersonal communication and interactions during preschool years.
Jacquelyn Stephens is a PhD candidate in Human Development and Social Policy who researches individual differences in emotion and particularly the transmission of traits between parents to children through genetic and environmental processes. With Claudia Haase and Vijay Mittal, Jacquelyn has used a lifespan approach to research negative and positive interactions between adolescents and caregivers.
Kritika Nayar, a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology, studies visual perception and studying visual perception and neurocognition to understand the causes of social communicative deficits in autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities. Her work focuses on using multiple methods, including eye tracking and brain measures, with an additional component of studying parents to explore the genetics behind visual processing in autism.
For more information on the DevSci Graduate Student Cluster, please contact the Doctoral Student Representatives:
Kritika Nayar (KritikaNayar2014@u.northwestern.edu)
Naomi Polinsky (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ivanka Ristanovic (email@example.com)
Emily Landau (EmilyLandau2025@u.northwestern.edu)