Team Members

Post-Doctoral and Doctoral Researchers | Research Staff | Volunteer Research Assistants

Project Managers

Project Manager

Cassie WuestCassie Wuest received her bachelor’s in applied psychology at New York University. Cassie has been a member of the L-FELD team since January 2015 and currently serves as the project manager. She is currently a master’s student in the  Education and Social Policy masters program at NYU Steinhardt. Previously, she worked as a research assistant for the Yale RELATE project where she conducted video observations in New York City special education classrooms. She completed an honor’s thesis examining gender and age differences in preschool children’s use of internal state words across narrative contexts. Cassie’s research interests include gender socialization and socio-emotional development in school contexts.

Project Coordinator – MEAL Project

Viviana KawasViviana Kawas received her bachelor’s in literature and creative writing from New York University Abu Dhabi. She is the Project Coordinator for the MEAL project. She previously worked with L-FELD as an undergraduate research assistant, where she participated in data collection, transcription, and coding in the team’s oral storytelling projects.
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Post-Doctoral and Doctoral Researchers

Kelly Escobar

Kelly Escobar is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program in Applied Psychology. She received her master’s in Experimental Psychology and bachelor’s in psychology and in Italian Language and Literature from Villanova University, graduating cum laude. Broadly, Kelly is interested in the emergent bilingualism of young children. Specifically, her research places a strong emphasis on the individual variability of bilingual language development, and consider the factors that influence this development in a Latino population. She is hoping to document the change in bilingualism from infancy through early preschool. Kelly is also involved in ongoing research on multiple projects at New York University and Villanova University. Kelly is a fluent Spanish and Italian speaker.

 

Dr. Nydia PrishkerNydia Prishker, PhD is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She received her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Studies from the University of North Texas. Her research work focuses on quality and equity issues in the early care and education of children from diverse cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds. Nydia is also interested in policy and practice research of state and national education standards and their impact on digital learning and technology adoption in early childhood education. Her dissertation focused on the use and implementation of technology applications in elementary school classrooms in a predominantly Hispanic region of Texas.

Publications:

Barrio, B., Hsiao, Y., Prishker, N., & Terry, C.A. (2018). The impact of culture on parental perceptions of autism spectrum disorders: Striving for culturally competent practices. Multicultural Learning and Teaching. doi:10.1515/mlt-2016-0010.

Castro, D. C. & Prishker, N. (2018).  Early childhood care and education for bilingual children and the road to multilingualism. In Brown, C.P. & File, N. (Eds.), Handbook of Early Childhood Care and Education. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell Publishing. 

Research Staff

Nathalia SanchezNathalia Sanchez received her bachelor’s at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her concentration, Transformative Narratives, focused on the role of narratives in education and research. Nathalia has been a member of the L-FELD team since February 2016 and currently serves as a research assistant. Previously, she interned at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in the Office of Public, Private, Partnerships where she assisted in grant research.  

Lauren ScarolaLauren Scarola received her master’s degree in Human Development and Social Intervention at New York University, as well as her bachelor’s degree in applied psychology from New York University. Lauren currently works as a Research Analyst at MDRC but continues to be an invaluable support to the L-FELD team. Lauren’s research interests include language and social-emotional development in early childhood.

Laura SchneebaumLaura Schneebaum, LMHC, NCC received her master’s in counseling for mental health and wellness, as well as her bachelor’s in applied psychology and Art History, from New York University. In addition to her work on the team, Laura teaches Seminar classes for the Applied Psychology program. She also  works as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services. Through her research and counseling initiatives, Laura hopes to create and implement mental health awareness and anti- stigma interventions.

Chelsea Wilkerson

Chelsea Wilkerson received her bachelor’s in psychology and childhood education from Brooklyn College CUNY. S he is a second year master’s student in the School Psychology program at Brooklyn College CUNY. Chelsea has been a member of the L-FELD team since September 2017 and currently serves as research assistant. In addition, Chelsea has previously worked as a direct support professional where she worked with children with developmental disabilities and their families.
 

Volunteer Research Assistants

Eliza Alicea is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Summer of 2018. Her research interests include child development.

Laura Armfield-Perez

Laura Armfield-Perez graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include early language and neurocognitive development. She speaks English and understands Spanish.

 

Nina Bigio

Nina Bigio is a junior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Spring of 2019. Her research interests include child teacher interactions and socioemotional development, intelligence mindsets with children with disabilities, and positive psychology. She speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

 

Francesca Bottazzi

Francesca Bottazzi is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2017. Her research interests include bilingualism, self concept, and the sociocultural factors in the development of mental illness. She speaks English and Spanish.

 

Taylor Coakley Taylor Coakley is a junior in the Applied Psychology program and on the pre-med track at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Spring of 2019. Her research interests include development psychology.

 

 

Ellen (Xuanrong) ChenEllen (Xuanrong) Chen is a junior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include family interventions in children’s early development, language and mind relations, and multicultural classroom dynamics. She speaks English, Chinese, and some Spanish.

 

Nathalie FernandezNathalie Fernandez is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include CBT for pediatric patients with chronic illness. She speaks English and Spanish.

 

Annie GarciaAnnie Garcia is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include the impact of technology on child development and academic progress. She speaks English and Spanish.

 

Kaitlyn KuglerKaitlyn Kugler is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2017. Her research interests include educational psychology and cognitive development of young children.

 

Yo Hee KwonYo Hee Kwon is in the master’s program at the Center for Experimental Humanities in the Graduation School of Arts and Sciences at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include parent-child interactions and the acculturation gap among Asian American families. She speaks English and Korean.

 

Olivia (Sieun) LeeOlivia (Sieun) Lee is a sophomore in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Spring of 2019. Her research interests include the interaction between language development and emotional development and the influence of one’s emotional state in oral story formation and daily speech. She speaks English, Korean, and some Spanish.

 

Rachel LimRachel Lim is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Spring of 2017. Her research interests include early childhood education, bilingualism, cultural identity, and language development. She speaks English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Malay. She is doing an honors project entitled The Role of Teacher’s Instructional Support on Children’s School Readiness. 

 

Kerry LuoKerry Luo is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Spring of 2018. Her research interests include child and adolescent psychology and culturally competent care. She speaks English and Mandarin.

 

Catarina MontenegroCatarina Montenegro is a senior in the Applied Psychology program with a minor in Sociology  at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include working with children and parents. She speaks English and Portuguese fluently and speaks proficient Spanish and French.

 

Rachelle MooreRachelle Moore is a senior majoring in Applied Psychology and minoring in Mathematics at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Spring of 2018. Her research interests include the effects of speaking multiple languages on children’s brains and the effects of the criminal justice system on adolescent development.  

 

Payal PatelPayal Patel is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology and Global Public Health program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include the child interactions in the classroom and the biological effect of oral storytelling in children. She speaks English, Gujarati, Hindi, and Spanish.

 

Samantha RuggieroSamantha Ruggiero is a sophomore in the Liberal Studies program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Summer of 2018. Her research interests include impact of oral storytelling and book reading on children’s language development and the impact of family on children’s language and reading skills.

 

Joselis SalazarJoselis Salazar is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Summer of 2017. Her research interests include the language development of Latino children and the social development of toddlers. She speaks English and Spanish.

 

Adriana Sanchez

Adriana Sanchez is in the master’s program at City College in General Psychology. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include developmental psychology and emotional development. She speaks English and Spanish.  

 

Ariana SedighpourAriana Sedighpour is a senior double majoring in Applied Psychology and Spanish at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2016. Her research interests include dual language learners, child and adolescent development, and emotional development. She speaks English, Spanish, and Farsi. She is doing an honors project entitled Emotion Language Development in Early Childhood Classrooms.

 

Sukriti ThomasSukriti Thomas is a sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology, Global Public Health, and Economics at New York University. She has been a part of L-FELD since the Fall of 2017. Her research interests include education with minority children.
 

Classroom Volunteers

Kayleigh Quirk is a junior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She volunteers at a preschool in Manhattan.

Samin Khallaghi is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She volunteers at an elementary school in the Bronx. She speaks English and Farsi.

Sara Gierc is a sophomore double majoring in Neural Science and Creative Writing at New York University. She volunteers at an elementary school in the Bronx. She speaks English and some Spanish.

Peter Ju is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. He volunteers at a preschool in the Bronx.  He speaks English and Korean.

Gizem Kurtbolat is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She volunteers at an elementary school in Manhattan. She speaks English and Turkish.

Chris Hung is a sophomore in the Applied Psychology and Global Public Health program at New York University. He volunteers at a preschool in Manhattan. He speaks English, Chinese, and Mandarin.

Chinaenye Ozigbu is a senior in the Applied Psychology program at New York University. She volunteers at a preschool in Manhattan. She speaks English and some Spanish.