Lab Members

Dr. Sudha Arunachalam
Principal Investigator/Lab Director

Sudha is an Associate Professor of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics and M.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Southern California.

In her research program, she examines how infants, toddlers, and preschoolers acquire their native language. She studies children who are developing typically, children with autism spectrum disorder, and children with language delay. She is particularly interested in the learning mechanisms underlying language acquisition and in how caregiver-child interactions support learning. 



Hannah Clancy, MSc 
Lab Manager/Research Coordinator

Hannah has a BSc in Psychology with a focus on Child Development from City, University of London and a MSc in Child Development from University College London. She previously worked as a Project Administrator and Research Assistant at the Birkbeck Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development. Her interests include the role gesture plays in children’s cognitive development, cultural differences in language development, the influence of parent-child interactions on early learning, and the effects of media quantity & quality on learning. 



Valeryia Avtushka
Research Assistant

Valeryia is a senior studying Psychology on the pre-med track. She is interested in cognitive disorders that affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving in children and adults. Her interests also include neurological disorders and how abnormalities of the brain can manifest themselves in the daily lives of individuals. She hopes to become a physician who incorporates research into her practice. 


Shaili Gandhi
Research Assistant

Shaili is a junior at NYU Gallatin following the pre-med track. She is studying psychology and dance, with a concentration focused on the rehabilitative capacity of movement. Her interests include using dance and movement to develop communication skills for children with learning and/or intellectual disabilities.


Monica Gayanelo
Research Assistant

Monica is currently a junior studying Communicative Sciences & Disorders and minoring in creative writing. She is interested in child language acquisition and the ways in which it is impacted by different social environments. She hopes to become a speech pathologist and work with the pediatric population in order to foster verbal growth.



Noshin Hassan
Research Assistant 

Noshin is a junior majoring in Psychology on the pre-medical track. She hopes to one day become a psychiatrist. Her interests include exploring social factors that can possibly hinder child development, language acquisition and cognitive development of children who grow up in a multilingual household. 



Millie Jiang
Research Assistant

Millie is a senior studying Language and Mind, with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies on the pre-med track. She hopes to one day to work with children and become a pediatrician. Her interests includes the social and psychological factors that influence child and adolescent development, especially the roles they play in language acquisition and learning.


Rishel Qi
Research Assistant

Rishel is a sophomore majoring in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. She hopes to one day work in a pediatric hospital as a speech pathologist helping children with their speech and language development. Her interests include language acquisition in multilingual children and the influence of social factors on developmental delays.



Starr Sandoval
Research Assistant

Starr is a senior majoring in Linguistics with specific interests in Syntax and First Language Acquisition. She hopes to research the interaction between language mechanics and child development to better the understanding of how children acquire grammatical properties and how these properties can most effectively be taught. 



Nahiyan Taufiq
Research Assistant

Nahiyan is a junior studying Global Public Health with a concentration in Anthropology and is also on the pre-medical track. She hopes to one day become a Pediatrician and work in health policy. Her interests include language development in multi-lingual children and learning development in children with learning disabilities and hopes to apply those interests in creating new policies in the future.