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. Psychology Department webpage.

  • Olivia Blanchfield

    Olivia Blanchfield graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Psychology. She became the lab manager of the Early Learning Project in the summer of 2017. Olivia’s work focuses on the Cognitive Flexibility study and projects with the Comprehensive Assessment of Family Media Exposure (CAFE) Consortium. Her interests include how media exposure affects development, the way in which pre-verbal infants transfer learning, as well as the mechanisms of resilience in childhood.

  • Sylvia Rusnak

    Sylvia Rusnak is a third year Psychology PhD student. She is interested in the elements of social interactions that are important for young children’s learning and memory processes, particularly with respect to media sources. Sylvia is studying the neural mechanisms that underlie this learning using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). She received her B.A. in Psychology and English, as well as a Minor in French, from Cornell University.

  • Joscelin Rocha-Hidalgo

    Joscelin graduated from Berea College, KY in May 2016 with a double major in Psychology and Child & Family Studies with a concentration in Child Development and a minor in French. Her research interests are bilingualism and language acquisition as well as how children learn from media and technology. Joscelin started her post-college journey at the Early Learning Project in the Summer of 2016 as the lab manager.

  • Jessica Roberts

    Jessica Roberts is a sophomore in the College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Women and Gender Studies. Jessica is a member of the Baby Elmo Just Beginning team and has an interest in psychological development during early childhood and adolescence.

  • Andrea Motta

    Andrea Motta is a sophomore in the College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Cognitive Science. She is particularly interested in early childhood development, educational psychology, and on the effect of bilingualism on cognition. Andrea joined the Early Learning Project in the fall of 2017 and is currently working on the Memory and Cognitive Flexibility study.

  • Mariana Sadurni

    Mariana Sadurni is a sophomore in the College majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology and STIA. She is pre-med student and hopes to go to medical school after graduating. Mariana is very interested in the effects of bilingualism on memory and cognition and is currently working on the Memory Flexibility project.

  • Olivia Mirek

    Olivia Mirek is a freshman in the College intending to major in psychology. She is currently working on the Baby Elmo Project and is interested in developmental psychology. She is grateful to be part of the Early Learning team early into her undergraduate career and is looking forward to learning more about psychology through research.

  • Dani Feller

    Dani Feller is a sophomore in the College majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Biology. Dani is excited to study how children learn from different screen media sources, as well as observe the transfer deficit and selective attention in children. She aspires to have a career in pediatric medicine.

  • Hadley Greenwood

    Hadley Greenwood is a junior in the College studying Biology of Global Health. She joined the Early Learning Project in Fall 2018 and has been involved in the Cognitive Flexibility project. She aspires to go to medical school and practice as a psychiatrist.