About me

Academic

I’m currently a fifth year Ph.D. student in linguistics at New York University, where I’m a member of the Neuroscience of Language Lab, Machine Learning for Language Lab, and the Child Language Lab. I’m primarily interested in questions about how people develop, store, and use abstract representations in sentence processing. I focus on both behavioral and neurolinguistic investigations in answering these questions, and I work with both child and adult participants. Most of this work investigates syntactic effects of agreement features as a way to understand how these features affect incremental meaning representations during parsing. However, I’ve also used priming paradigms as a way to study abstract phonological representations, and I’ve used felicity judgment tasks with child participants to study the development of abstract quantity-related inferences.

In addition to my work in psycho/neurolinguistics, I’ve been developing a research program in NLP + HCI, where I’ve been able to use insights from linguistics and psychology to develop challenging test datasets, test crowdsourcing methodologies, and develop new tasks motivated by human language processing principles.

I completed an M.A. in linguistics in May 2017 after working for a few years in the EEG lab at Michigan State University with my adviser, Dr. Alan Beretta. My research has focused on how people process nominal compounds in sentences as a way of understanding what cues can lead a parser to commit to a structure it has built, and what elicits the need for revisions of that structure.

Personal

I’m a strong believer in community engagement through volunteering. I spent three years in the Peace Corps serving in Benin, and I worked for two years with The Listening Ear Crisis Intervention Center as a volunteer crisis counselor on their hotline. Since moving to Brooklyn, I’ve worked with Community Help in Park Slope (CHiPS) for a couple of years, volunteering with their residence program and soup kitchen. Most recently, I’ve been volunteering with the Red Hook Boaters to offer free kayaking experiences to people in New York.

I also really enjoy just about anything that takes me outdoors. Several times per year, I go hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, etc. Fun fact: I was an amateur circus performer for four years.