People

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Prof. Nicole McNeil is the director of the CLAD Lab at the University of Notre Dame. She is professor of psychology and holds an ACE College Chair. She received her B.S. from Carnegie Mellon and her Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin. She did a postdoc at Yale. Her research focuses on learning and development in the areas of mathematical cognition, symbolic understanding, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving. Prof. McNeil is a member of the CBB area group in the psychology department. She also directs the Education Schooling and Society minor on campus and is a Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, which houses the ND PIER program and the ND Center for STEM Education. She is also a LEO faculty affiliate and serves on the Restorative Justice in Education Committee for the SBCSC and on the leadership team of TutorND. In her spare time, she serves as an Associate Editor for Cognitive Science ;) For more information, check out her CV, email nmcneil@nd.edu, or follow her on Twitter.


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Joanna Azar is the lab manager of the CLAD Lab. She received her BS in education from Indiana University Bloomington and her MS in education from Indiana University South Bend. She taught math and language arts for 7 years in traditional classroom settings and then went on to teach critical reading for 10 years in an online classroom for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She is interested in learning about which types of instructional materials help children develop their math understanding most effectively, while also learning how to best organize the lab to create a welcoming and user-friendly lab!


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Connor O'Rear is a fifth-year graduate student in the lab. He came to Notre Dame from Wabash College, where he majored in psychology. Broadly, Connor is interested in the intersection between psychological research and education. He is particularly interested in ways that we use our understanding of mathematical cognition to design effective math instruction, with an emphasis on promoting math achievement in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 


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Patrick Kirkland is a second-year graduate student in the lab. He joined the CLAD Lab after teaching middle school math as an ACE teaching fellow in Savannah, GA and then working for the ACE team here on campus. Patrick is interested in how middle school students solve word problems and make sense of numbers in their math classrooms. He is particularly interested in how to measure and improve students' number sense.


Undergraduates


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Alli VanOverberghe is a senior studying Psychology with minors in Business Economics and Education, Schooling, and Society. Alli joined CLAD to learn more about cognitive development in children and to help the South Bend community. After graduation, she is considering several options, such as participating in the ACE Teaching Fellows program, attending graduate school for school psychology, or working in education policy. 


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Alice Felker is a senior majoring in Psychology and Applied and Computational Math and Statistics (ACMS) and minoring in Education, Schooling, and Society. She is interested in studying the developmental differences in mathematical cognition, specifically in relation to children with documented learning and developmental disabilities. After graduation, she hopes to participate in the ACE Teaching Fellows program and later work toward a PhD in Educational or Clinical psychology.


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Claire Rudden is a senior from the Washington D.C. area majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She is interested in studying how children of all ages develop their understanding of math concepts and how to motivate them to perform at their best. After graduation, she hopes to go into education and inspire her students to love math as much as she does! 

 


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Olivia Jazbutis is a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and History. She joined the CLAD lab due to her interests in working with students in the South Bend community and learning more about children’s cognitive development, especially in terms of how early development of mathematical thinking impacts future performance. After graduation, Olivia hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in pediatrics. 


Odalis Gonzalez is a junior majoring in psychology with double minors in Latino studies and Education, Schooling, and Society. Odalis is passionate about providing and advocating for proper education for students of all backgrounds, primarily focusing on underserved and underrepresented populations in public schooling. Although her area of focus is culturally sustaining pedagogy, she joined the CLAD Lab to understand how students begin to formulate math concepts so as to dispel the notion that an individual can't be a "math person". Odalis plans on staying in education after graduation.


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Micaela Maron is a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Science, Technology, and Values. She joined the CLAD lab because of her passion for studying child development, particularly the way in which cognitive processing affects academic performance. After graduation, Micaela hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a career in child psychology and child development. 


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Jisel Gomez is a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior with a supplemental major in Latino Studies. She joined the CLAD lab due to her interest in studying cognitive development in children and using research to improve education for all children, especially the underserved. After graduation Jisel hopes to participate in the ACE Teaching Fellows program and then attend medical school. 


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Muhammad Abubakar Mian is a Junior studying Philosophy and Arts & Letters Pre-Health. Abu has worked with youths in a wide variety of positions, including as a Camp Counselor at Camp Sweeney (a summer camp for children with type I diabetes) and as an intern at The Winch (a non-profit in London working with low SES youths from cradle to career). He decided to join the CLAD lab after taking a class on Cognitive and Social Development and becoming interested in how children develop cognitive skills that are important for learning science. After graduation, he hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in pediatrics or pediatric surgery. 


Bella Seip is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Education, Schooling, and Society. She is interested in studying child development in all fields, but specifically their cognitive skills that facilitate or hinder their learning in mathematics. After graduation she hopes to pursue a PhD in either clinical or developmental psychology. 


Shannon Celeste is a sophomore Psychology major with a minor in Education, Schooling, and Society. She joined the CLAD Lab to learn about the research process and work with children in the community. She is interested in the ways that children understand math concepts based on their age or stage of development. After graduation, Shannon hopes to join the ACE Teaching Fellows program or pursue a degree in counseling.


Amy Bahadursingh is sophomore Neuroscience and Behavior in the College of Science. Amy joined CLAD due to her passion for working with children and her interest in learning more about how early cognitive development plays a role in future academic performance. After graduation, Amy hopes to pursue a career in which she can make a positive difference in the lives of others.

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Alexandra Hicks is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and Pre-Health. Alex has a passion for working with children and hopes to pursue a future in pediatrics after completing medical school post graduation. She joined the CLAD lab to learn more about the spectrum in cognitive development seen throughout elementary aged children to enrich her psychology knowledge. She believes having a strong background in one’s working mental maturation levels will allow her to provide the most well rounded patient care and understanding in her future profession.


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Mitchell Kennedy is a sophomore studying Neuroscience and Behavior with a supplementary major in Russian. He joined the CLAD Lab to learn more about cognitive development in children, and to take part in research that has real world effects in terms of improving early childhood education. After graduation, Mitchell will commission as a 2nd Lt. in the US Army, and he also hopes to attend medical school someday.


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Ava Conklin is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and Pre-Health in the College of Arts and Letters with a minor in Sociology. She is interested in learning about how children’s environments can help or hinder their development, specifically in children with disabilities. Ava joined the CLAD lab to enhance her research skills and knowledge on children’s cognitive development in mathematics. After Notre Dame, Ava hopes to attend medical school to become a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician. 


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Madison Zajas is a freshman from Northwest Indiana majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. She joined the CLAD Lab due to her interest in the cognitive development of children, and how this can have long-term impacts beyond primary schooling. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in psychiatry.


Research Assistants 


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Alyssa Dosmann is a research assistant at the CLAD lab. She graduated from Purdue University with degrees in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, and Health. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she enjoyed working on many different research projects. Before the CLAD lab her experience was centered around being a health educator at HealthWorks! Kids' Museum and raising three energetic boys.


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Sara Norwood joined the CLAD Lab in September 2018. Prior to that, she taught STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) classes to Kindergarten-5th grade students at an elementary school in Fort Wayne. She earned her Bachelors degree in Education from Indiana University Bloomington, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.  

 


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Will Huffman is a research assistant at the CLAD lab. He received his BS in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame. He will be attending medical school in the fall and is interested in working in medical education.


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Julia is a research assistant at the CLAD lab. She received her BA in psychology from Saint Mary's College. Before coming to the lab, she was an ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapist, working with preschoolers with autism. 

 


AFTER THE CLAD LAB

Grace Devitt '19. Research Assistant @ University of Chicago.

Elizabeth Chen '19. Postgraduate service with Bon Secours volunteer Ministry in Baltimore.

Wiktoria Kozlowska '19. Mathematics Teacher (6th grade) in Chicago.

Christina Hayford '19. LU Choice Graduate Student @ Loyola University in Chicago.

"Lily" Maria Kenesey '19. Graduate Student in Education @ University of Michigan.

Kimberly Walter '19. Medical School @ Texas A&M.

Bridget Naylor-Komyatte '19. Postgraduate service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest.

Carolina Botero '19. Graduate Student in Education @ Columbia University.

Megan Miranda (research staff). Graduate Student in School Psychology @ Tufts University.

Regina Ekaputri '18. ACE Teaching Fellows.

Rachel Iverson '18. AmeriCorps VISTA member @ North Park University.

Zosia Zdanowicz '18. Medical School @ Loyola University in Chicago.

Jenna Galuska '18. Analyst with Huron Consulting Group.

Caroline Byrd Hornburg (grad student). Postdoc @ Purdue University.

Lauren Crawford (research staff). Graduate Student in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology @ Boston College.
Tom Hughes '17. Deloitte in NYC.
Natalie Vos '17. PACE Teaching Fellows. 
Alex Viegut '17. Graduate Student in Educational Psychology @ University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Elena Silla '17. ACE Teaching Fellows. 
Shannon Gaylord '17. Masters in Social Work @ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bri Devlin (research staff). Graduate Student in Learning Sciences @ University of Delaware.
Ellie Sato '16. Medical School @ University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Alex Bohnsack '16. ACE Teaching Fellows.
Taylor Kelly '16. ACE Teaching Fellows.
Cristina Carrazza (research staff). Graduate Student in Psychology @ University of Chicago.
Valerie Williams '15. Masters in nursing at NYU.
Emily Geiger-Medina '15. Mathematica Policy Research.
Alice Tollaksen '15. Au Pair for family in Paris, France.
Marisa Rieber '15. PACE in Hawaii.
Erin Celeste '15. ACE Teaching Fellows @ Notre Dame.
Grace Bunsa '15. Position in Human Resources.
Casey Hall '14. Graduate Student in Psychology @ University of Chicago.
Lori Petersen (grad student). Postdoc @ University of Chicago.
Dana Chesney (postdoc). Postdoc @ Ohio State.
Andrea Renfroe '13. Graduate Student in Speech Language Pathology @ University of Washington.
Rebecca Kibler '13. French Embassy's Teaching Assistant Program in France then TFA.
Paul DiGaetano '13. Medical School @ St. George's University.
Mary McKeever (research staff). Veterinary Medicine School @ Ohio State.
April Dunwiddie (research staff). Stay at home mom.
Stephanie Borjas '12. Graduate Student in School Psychology @ University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Percival Matthews (postdoc). Assistant Professor @ University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Anne Smrek '12. Graduate Student in School Psychology @ Ohio State.
Mary Wheeler '12. Research Assistant in Psychology @ UT-Dallas.
Lauren Wester '11. Fullbright Fellow.
Erica Pepitone '11. Graduate Student in Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin.
Emily Fyfe '10. Graduate Student in Psychology @ Vanderbilt University.
Jenny Heil '10. Graduate Student in Sociocultural Anthropology @ Washington University in St. Louis.
Noelle Crooks '09. Graduate Student in Psychology @ University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Matt Gibson '08. Teach For America in Miami.
Krysten Williams '08. Graduate Student in Psychology @ Rutgers University.