OUR LAB’S HISTORY

About the ELP

Dr. Rachel Barr established this program and works with graduate students, undergraduate students, and a staff of full-time research assistants in conducting the studies. Participation in studies is completely voluntary, and we rely solely on parent-child volunteers.

This program presents a great opportunity for you and your baby to contribute to the research of the capabilities of infants as a whole. If you are interested in learning more about the program or volunteering for a study we urge you to contact us and participate in this great learning experience. We look forward to meeting you and your baby!

Our Team

Rachel Barr, PH.D
Director
Dr. Barr was trained as a developmental and clinical psychologist in New Zealand. Since 2001 she has been director of the Georgetown Early Learning Project. The ELP shows that babies, toddlers and young children pick up information from a variety of sources, from television, from books, from computers, from touchscreens, from siblings, and across contexts. There are still many open questions about how babies and young children learn and remember.
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Psychology Department Page
Kimberly Chanchavac
Kimberly graduated from Georgetown University in May of 2021. She earned her B.A degree studying Psychology and Public Health, with an interest in early childhood development. She is currently the lab manager and works primarily with infant bilingualism and cognition projects. She has also worked with understanding how video chat has impacted parent-child well-being and family relationships during COVID-19.
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Joscelin Rocha-Hidalgo
Joscelin is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology with a concentration on Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience at Georgetown University. She works on projects focused on Bilingualism and Cognition. Her target populations are infants and toddlers. Her training includes techniques such as fMRI (adults), fNIRS, and Eye-Tracking. Joscelin started her post-college journey at the Early Learning Project in the Summer of 2016 as the lab manager.
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Doug Piper
Doug is a Psychology Ph.D. student with a concentration in Human Development and Public Policy. He works on projects exploring children’s relationships with screen media. This work builds on his experiences at the Temple Infant and Child Lab, where he also supported the Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network and its Play Everywhere Philly project. Doug is a graduate of the University of Michigan with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and music. While at U-M, he studied language learning through digital media with Dr. Twila Tardif.
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Ellen Roche
Ellen Roche works in early childhood advocacy and philanthropy at Trust for Learning. She is interested in infant and toddler emotional regulation, racial equity, and language. She holds an M.Ed. from Harvard University and bachelor’s degrees in English and Music from the University of Maryland.
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Stephanie Haddad
Stephanie Haddad is a senior at Georgetown University majoring in psychology and linguistics. She is currently working on the Video Chat and Eye Tracking studies. She is interested in bilingualism and second language acquisition especially among infants and young children. She aspires to get a Ph.D. in psycholinguistics or applied linguistics.
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Kate Freda
Kate Freda is a junior in the College majoring in Psychology and Biology of Global Health. She is currently working on the Cognitive Flexibility study. Kate is on the pre-med track and planning to attend medical school after graduation.
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Caroline Telesz
Caroline Telesz is a current senior at Georgetown University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian. Previously, she has worked on the Cognitive Flexibility Project which she found super interesting because of her love of languages and cognition. Now she has transitioned to work on CAFE which explores another one of her interests: media use and parental well being. After graduating, she aspires to get her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology so she can continue her research in developmental psychology and support new mothers and babies.
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Ava Foster
Ava Foster is a junior in the College pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Japanese. She is currently working on the CAFE study. After her work with the ELP, she plans to get her Ph.D in Psychology to continue her interest in the field of developmental psychology.
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Lily Tahmassebi
Lily Tahmassebi is a junior in the College majoring in Neurobiology and minoring in Psychology. She is currently working on the Cognitive Flexibility Project, which she finds very interesting because of her love for early childhood development and neurobiology. After her undergraduate degree, she hopes to get her Ph.D. and continue researching cognitive development.
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Christine Kim
Christine is a senior in the College majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration and Music. She has previously worked on the Video Chat study, and is currently working on the PLAY project. After graduation, she seeks to work in the children’s media industry and apply the knowledge she has acquired from research as well as from her psychology classes.
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Winni Zheng
Winni is a junior in the College pursuing a major in Economics and minor in Psychology on the premed track. She is currently involved with the Video Chat Study in addition to the Media and the Mind study. She is excited and grateful to be a part of the ELP team and to have the opportunity to further her interest in pediatric cognitive development.
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Gianna Ungaro
Gianna Ungaro is a junior in the College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology on the pre-med track. She is currently working on the Video Chat and Cognitive Flexibility Studies, which allow her to further explore her interests in childhood development. Gianna hopes to attend medical school after graduation.
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Olivia Carney
Olivia is a junior at Georgetown University majoring in psychology. She is currently working on the PLAY project. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she hopes to work in early childhood education where she will continue to focus on the importance of play in children’s learning.
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Briana Valle
Briana Valle is a junior at Georgetown University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Cognitive Science and Disability Studies. They are currently working on the Cross Modal project, one of the Cognitive Flexibility Studies. After their undergraduate degree, they aspire to attend a graduate clinical psychology program to become a child psychologist.
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Brianna Miller
Brianna is a sophomore in the School of Nursing and Health studies majoring in Human Science. She has past experience working on the Video Chat study, but now spends most of her time on the PLAY and LEAT projects. After graduating, Brianna hopes to go to medical school and possibly pursue pediatrics.
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Ananya Amirthalingam
Ananya Amirthalingam is a junior in the College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Health and Chinese. She is currently working on the Cognitive Flexibility Project. After graduating she hopes to work with the US government or at relief organizations to help mitigate and address adverse childhood experiences that can stunt child cognitive and physical development.
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Kaela Dockray
Kaela Dockray is a sophomore in the College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education, Inquiry, and Justice and Public Health. She is currently working on the CAFE Consortium study, where she has gained a more nuanced understanding of the effects of media exposure on parental well-being. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career that incorporates her interests in child development and societal well-being as a whole in order to promote equity and positive developmental trajectories.
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Info for Prospective Graduate Students

Info for Undergraduate Students

Interested in Infant Development Research?

The Georgetown Early Learning Project is looking for motivated graduate and undergraduate students to participate in our research. Our lab is very interested in taking on enthusiastic and intelligent students who want to join us in the investigation of infant learning and the development of infant memory. Specifically, we seek students who are hard working, outgoing, and excited to interact with babies and their families. Any prior experience in research or in working with children and parents is a plus.

Our lab is a busy one. As a new team member, you will be trained on how to recruit new infants, collect data by visiting infants in their homes, code and interpret the data. You will also have the opportunity to present our project’s findings at professional conferences.

Our Alumni

To use the map, click on each point to view where each ELP alum is. To view the category breakdowns, click the square with the arrow in the upper left corner. To search ELP alumni, click the square in the upper right corner to open the larger map, then click the magnifying glass in the upper left corner to search.

Advance the Research

Interested in participating in one of our studies?