I am currently a fifth year graduate student completing a Dual-Title PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Gerontology at the University of Kansas. I have an interdisciplinary foundation spanning the departments of Psychology, Linguistics, Speech-Language-Hearing, Biology, Philosophy, and Sociology. I conduct research in Dr. Michael Vitevitch's Spoken Language Laboratory and Dr. Jonathan Brumberg's Speech and Applied Neuroscience Laboratory. I previously conducted research with Dr. Lori James at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
My research interests lie in understanding how language processing changes with aging and cognitive decline or disease. In particular, I am interested in how those changes impact semantic and phonological information during word retrieval and production. To examine this, I use the tools from Network Science to model and understand processing within a network of the mental lexicon. With these tools, I aim to identify how language processes change with normal healthy aging, and how those changes are distinct from declines associated with impairment or disease. In part, my research was funded through a T32 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (NIDCD T32-DC00052: Training Researchers in Language Impairment).
In my future research, I would like to work with individuals with language impairments (e.g., individuals with aphasia) and to make my research findings more translational (e.g., developing better clinical interventions to improve health outcomes).