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Research team

 

Henry Wellman, Ph.D. | Professor of Psychology

Henry Wellman is a child psychologist specializing in children's developing abilities to think and reason. Much of his current research focuses on the child's developing understanding of people. As adults, we understand persons in terms of their inner psychological states and processes -- we see actors external behaviors as a product of their internal beliefs, desires, emotions, and intentions. When and how do children acquire this basic understanding of self and others? His research is developmental and cultural -- he researches the differing conceptions of people acquired by children growing up in different cultural communities, as well as the basic social conceptions in infants and young preschoolers that allow children to learn about their social worlds in the first place.

Profile | CHGD | hmw@umich.edu

 

Kimberly Brink | Graduate Student

Kimberly Brink graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Before joining the Infant Cognition Project, Kimberly worked in the Reasoning and Infant Cognition group in Barcelona observing infants' understanding of probability. Her favorite part about working with children is observing how they understand and develop strong social relationships. She plans to pursue a PhD in child development. In her free time, she likes to sing and participate in musical theater.

 

Hope Peskin-Shepherd | Lab Coordinator

Hope Peskin-Shepherd graduated from the University of Michigan in May of 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in both Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Spanish. Previously, Hope was a Research Assistant at the Infant Cognition project and has also worked at Camp Michigania, a Michigan alumni family camp, and volunteered in a preschool in Israel. Her favorite part of working with children is being surprised by their creativity. In her free time, she enjoys singing, reading, and spending time with friends.

 

Annie Dreisbach | Research Assistant

Annie Dreisbach is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Psychology. She hopes to attend law school after she graduates. Her past experiences working on independent research at the University of Michigan Autism and Communications Disorders Center has helped Annie develop an interest in child development. She has also worked with children as a camp counselor at Camp Mak-A-Dream. Annie enjoys cheerleading for U of M football and basketball games and spending time with her family.

 

Sara Guttentag | Research Assistant

Sara Guttentag is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Psychology and English. She hopes to attend graduate school for psychology and pursue a career working with children. Her previous experiences include working as a counselor at a sleep-away camp, tutoring elementary school children, and volunteering at a preschool. Sara loves to spend her free time working out, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Caitlin Shneider | Research Assistant

Caitlin Shneider is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She hopes to pursue graduate work in Clinical Psychology. She loves working with young children and is fascinated by the role of the family in child development. Caitlin's previous experiences include working as a research assistant in Experimental Psychology and Neuroscience laboratories as well as working as an intern in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Follow-Up Clinic. She enjoys volunteering at local pre-school and elementary schools. Caitlin loves spinning, traveling, cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

Lauren Yousif | Research Assistant

Lauren Yousif is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She hopes to attend medical school when she graduates. She is a member of the University of Michigan Club Volleyball Team. In the past, Lauren worked with children as a daycare supervisor, volunteer volleyball coach, and as a babysitter. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys playing volleyball, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

 



Lab Alumni

Makenzie Flynn | Research Assistant

Makenzie Flynn graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 majoring in Psychology and Spanish and is now pursuing a masters in social work. In the past, Makenzie worked with children as a volunteer at CARE House of Oakland County, as a camp counselor, and as a full-time nanny. Her favorite part about working with children is watching them explore, interact with, and learn from their environment. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

Rebecca Seguin-Skrabucha | Research Assistant

Rebecca Seguin-Skrabucha is graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 majoring in Psychology and is now attending law school. Rebecca has worked with children in a varied of contexts and has been a teacher, tutor, and camp counselor. Before becoming a research assistant in the Infant Cognition Project, Rebecca aided in experiments performed within the Gender and Respect in Organizations lab, specifically examining workplace incivility. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys serving as a coordinator of Camp Kesem, watching old movies, shopping, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Amanda Brandone | Graduate Student

Amanda is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lehigh University. Her research examines the development of knowledge during infancy and early childhood, and the ways in which infants and young children move beyond what is perceptually available to reason about the underlying, less obvious aspects of people and objects. In her work at the Infant Cognition Project, she addressed this theme by examining infants' reasoning about the internal properties of people, including their intentions, knowledge, and beliefs.

Lehigh University Cognitive Development Lab

 

Kristen Goncalves | Research Assistant

Kristen Goncalves earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan majoring in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science. She now attends UofM medical school and eventually plans to specialize in pediatric medicine. Before joining the Infant Cognition Project, Kristen volunteered at C.S. Mott's Children's Hospital, coached soccer at the university, and volunteered with Bridging Communities through Soccer. In her free time, Kristen enjoys playing sports and reading.

 

Lorene Dreisbach | Research Assistant

Lorene Dreisbach graduated from the University of Michigan majoring in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science. She now attends medical school at Michigan State and plans to pursue a career working with children. Before joining the Infant Cognition Project, Lorene worked at the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC). During the summer, Lorene enjoys playing tennis and volunteering at Camp Mak-A-Dream in Gold Creek, MT.

 

Alyssa Krentzel | Research Assistant

Alyssa Krentzel graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology. Her favorite part of working at the Infant Cognition Project is the opportunity to play with the children and learn from them. Before working at the Infant Cognition Project, Alyssa was an assistant teacher at the University of Michigan Children's Center and hopes to pursue a childhood oriented career. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys dancing, reading, and spending time outdoors.

 

Alexis Yezbick | Research Assistant

Alexis Yezbick is a senior at U of M majoring in both Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science and Sociology. Alexis plans to pursue a career working with children. Besides working at the Infant Cognition Project, Alexis has volunteered at a local elementary school and worked as a mentor at a children's science and engineering camp last summer. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time in the Arb, and shopping with friends.

 

Chelsea Hetherington | Lab Coordinator

Chelsea graduated from U of M in May of 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Her favorite part of working at the Infant Cognition Project is interacting with the children, and also learning more about the research process. Chelsea is now pursuing a PhD in Child and School Psychology at The University of Minnesota.

 

Nikki Horn | Research Assistant

Nikki graduated from U of M in 2011 with a degree in Psychology. Before working at the Infant Cognition Project, Nikki worked in the infant/toddler room at the University's Children Center and at the Kadima Center for Mental Illness in Southfield, Michigan. In her free time, Nikki enjoys reading, cooking and watching the TV show "Friends." Nikki is now pursuing a specialist degree in School Psychology at Michigan State University.

 

Jessie Emerick | Lab Coordinator
jessie

Jessie graduated from U of M with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology in 2009. Jessie’s favorite part about working at the Infant Cognition Project is getting to work with new families and children each day. She particularly enjoys studying preschool aged children's understanding of people and their lives. Jessie hopes to pursue a career in child and family advocacy.



Lisa Hermanson | Research Assistant
lisa

Lisa graduated from U of M in May of 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Sciences. Her favorite part of working with children is playing games with them. Lisa also enjoys the process of developing new studies, and seeing what the studies conclude about infant behavior and theory of mind. She is currently pursuing a career in genetic counseling.



Andrea Velardo | Research Assistant
andrea

Andrea graduated from U of M in 2010 with degrees in both Psychology and Dental Hygiene. What she loves most about working with infants is the wide range of behaviors and personalities they exhibit throughout different stages of their development. In her career as a dental hygienist, Andrea hopes to use her psychology degree to help connect with patients on a more personal level and better understand their fears about coming to the dentist.



Alissa Sliverstein | Research Assistant
alissa

Alissa graduated from U of M in 2011 with a degree in Brain, Behavior and Cognition science. She plans on pursuing a career in medicine. As well as working at the Infant Cognition Project, Alissa volunteers at the University’s hospital and is a camp counselor during the summers. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading and playing lacrosse.