Alyssa Kuiack, BA

M.Cl.Sc/PhD Candidate

Biography / Research Interests: Alyssa graduated from Huron University College at Western with an Honours Specialization in Psychology and a Minor in French. She has worked for 3 years in the Infant and Child Development lab at Huron focusing primarily on early language acquisition in infants and word learning in toddlers. She is entering the fourth year of the Combined MClSc/PhD program and looks forward to investigating vocabulary acquisition and the cognitive processes that influence this development. By researching and breaking down the processes by which we learn a language, she hopes to explore and develop better methods of vocabulary assessment for children struggling to learn language and of those learning more than one language simultaneously.

Rachel Benninger, BA, CDA, MASc

M.Cl.Sc/PhD Student

Biography / Research Interests: Rachel is a second year student in the combined MClSc/PhD program in speech-language pathology. Her current research is a design research project to codesign a curriculum-based spoken language assessment for use by specialist teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Rachel completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Waterloo, followed by a graduate certificate in the Communicative Disorders Assistant program at Georgian College. Rachel has also completed her MASc in Psychology (Developmental and Communication Science) at the University of Waterloo, where her research focused on syntactic priming in children’s naturalistic language use.

Niloufar Ansari Dezfuly

PhD Student

Biography / Research Interests: Niloufar is in her second year of the Ph.D. program. Her current research focus is on redesigning and modifying the Token Test as a systematic assessment tool that evaluates one's working memory and language skills. She completed her Master's degree at Western University studying Spanish linguistics with a focus on auditory sensory memory, bilingualism and musical experience.