Student Biographies

KatieKatherine Gordon is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. She completed her Ph.D. in Child Psychology at the University of Minnesota with a focus on language development and bilingualism. She is currently exploring factors that support encoding, long-term retention, and generalization of word forms and word meanings in preschool age children with and without language impairments. Some of the factors that she is investigating include: whether testing children’s memory of the words after encoding improves long term retention (i.e., retrieval based learning), and how the physical context (e.g., 
                                                  the room or the setting) can support both learning and generalization. Her
                                                  overall goal is to conduct research that will inform clinical interventions for
                                                  children with language impairments.

                                                  Favorite words: dynamic, reciprocal


Bogi Takács is a second-year PhD student and Presidential Graduate Research Fellow. Bogi is interested in various aspects of language acquisition in atypical development, especially in developmental language disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Bogi has master's degrees in Psychology and Theoretical Linguistics from ELTE University of Budapest, Hungary. Bogi is also permanently confused by pronouns.

 Favorite words: luminous, yield, plonk


Jessica Hall is a PhD student focusing on grammar acquisition in children with language impairment and with typical development.  She earned a Masters in Linguistics from the University of Iowa in 2013 and was previously a certified high school English teacher in the state of Florida.

Favorite words: eyeball, propinquity, bulbous


Melissa White is a first-year speech-language pathology Master's student from Phoenix, Arizona. She is learning a lot in her first year in Iowa City (like how to trek through snow!).  She enjoys class, clinic, and research in the Word Learning Lab.  

Favorite word: wonderful


Lisa Gordon is a senior undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  She works with other members of the lab to listen to, sort, and analyze data from a study that examines the process of word learning in young adults both with and without language impairments.  Lisa loves being part of a lab filled with such bright, driven, and friendly people!

Favorite word: effervescent 


Brigitte Waldier is a undergraduate senior working on her honor's thesis project with Dr. Katie Gordon and Dr. Karla McGregor. She has been volunteering in the lab since her sophmore year and is excited to continue the study of the Effect of Context on Word Learning and Memory. She loves  hearing the different responses young children come up with and working with such a welcoming and intelligent team. 

Favorite words: syzygy, serendipity


Brooke Marshall is a senior undergraduate student completing her honor's thesis project with Dr. Karla McGregor on the topic of games and GRE vocabulary learning. She's volunteered in the Word Learning Lab since her sophomore year and has enjoyed watching the various research projects grow from the planning stages to publications. Her favorite part of the lab is being surrounded with such friendly, supportive and intelligent people. In her free time she enjoys watching re-runs of Friends, eating bagels and obsessing over her dog, Jett.

                                                  Favorite word: spunky


Courtney Olmscheid is a junior undergraduate in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She works closely with Katie Gordon as well as other undergraduates to run participants and gather and analyze data from children with and without language impairments. She enjoys working with such a friendly and inviting group of people. Courtney loves interacting with the children as well as being able to experience many different aspects of research.

Favorite words: bonkers, shenanigans


Kelsey McQuown is a junior undergraduate in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is also minoring in Psychology and Global Health Studies. Kelsey works with Katie Gordon in her research looking at word learning with preschool aged children. She's excited to work and learn with this fun and passionate team this semester!

Favorite words: catawampus, bamboozle


Audrey Wood is a sophomore undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders, additionally pursuing minors in Psychology and American Sign Language. She works with Dr. Katie Gordon in the study looking at the word learning process and retention of preschool-age children both with and without language impairments. Audrey enjoys music and volunteering in her free time, and loves being surrounded by the intelligent, creative, and ambitious people in this lab and at the University of Iowa.

                                                 Favorite words: ubiquitous, supererogatory

ShannonShannon Stargardt is an undergraduate sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders and is assisting Katie Gordon with her research related to word learning in preschool aged children. Shannon is excited to work with such a knowledgeable team and to learn more about the field of communication sciences and disorders in preparation for grad school.

Favorite words: rambunctious, onomonopia