Lab Members

*Hover over our pictures to see us as children!*

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Lab Director


Jonathan Beier, Ph.D.    [CV]

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Here at UMD, I'm a member of the Child Studies Consortium, the Field Committee in Developmental Science, and the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. I also help to organize the Cognitive Science Colloquium. Prior to arriving at UMD, I received my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Harvard University and completed my postdoctoral work in the Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.



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Lab Manager


Shirley Duong  

I graduated from the University of New Haven in May 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Math. As an undergraduate, I was a research assistant in Dr. Yarrow Dunham's Social Cognitive Development Lab at Yale, where I worked primarily on a project examining how children use wealth cues to evaluate others. In addition, I completed an honors thesis examining the impact of school racial composition on children's social evaluations and preferences. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the lab or Dr. Jonathan Beier’s research interests.

"I go on." - Leonard Bernstein


Graduate Students


Brandon Terrizzi  

I entered the doctoral program in psychology at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2012. Prior to my arrival at Maryland, I received a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Arizona. I plan to investigate the ability to extract, process, and respond to socially relevant information, as it develops from infancy to adulthood. Chief among my research questions are how do infants and young children represent the construct of intentionality and identify intentional agents from the external world, how do they develop and represent social hierarchy and social categories, and to what extent are infants and young children aware of others’ social motivations and relationships. Overall, my aim is to better understand how these different representations and processes become integrated into a mature social competency.


Amanda Woodward  

I am a current graduate student in the psychology program at the University of Maryland. I received my B.S. in Biology/Psychology from Loyola University in 2014. Before entering the Lab for Early Social Cognition, I was a research assistant in the Yassa Learning and Memory Lab as well as a research assistant in Dr. Didonato’s Self and Social Relationships Lab.

“If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” - Roald Dahl



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Current Undergraduate RAs


Isaac Betaharon

Class: 2020
Majors: Biology, Pre-Med Track
Activities: Circle K International, UMD Hillel, American Medical Student Association
Favorite Animal: Snorlax




Tulsi Bhatt

Class: 2020
Majors: Psychology and Criminology
Activities: Justice and Legal Thought Scholars Program, Maryland LEAD Program (Facilitator), College Park Scholars Program
Favorite Animal: Cat



Desiree Catalan

Class: 2018
Majors: Physiology, Neurobiology, and Psychology
Activities: Community Service Chair for Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, University Honors Program, American Medical Women's Association
"Do what you can't."



Cole Dougherty

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology, Minor: Human Development
Activities: Theta Chi Fraternity, Maryland Neuroscience Society, Maryland Child & Family Development Lab, Maryland Images Tour Guide, Club Wrestling
"The null hypothesis is a statement about both a value and a distribution." - Brandon F. Terrizzi



Alec Fields

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology and Computer Science
Activities: Terrapin Beats, Primannum Honors Society, Community Roots





Fatou Gaye

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology, Minor: Neuroscience
Activities: University Honors, Multicultural Association of Psychology Students, Psi Chi National Honors Society, University Honors Peer Mentor
Favorite Animal: Female Lion, for their strut and mysterious faces



Irene Gomez

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology
Activities: Mighty Sound of Maryland Band (Clarinet, Squad Leader), Sister of Tau Beta Sigma
"Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda




Elana Israel

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology, Minor: Human Development
Activities: Zeta Tou Alpha Society, Office of Student Affairs
Favorite Animal: Golden Doodle




Anusha Kallakuri

Class: 2019
Major: Public Health Science
Activities: CIVICUS, University Student Judiciary





Sarah Knoll

Class: 2021
Major: Psychology
Activities: Maryland Wishes (Treasurer)
"I hate it when I'm weak. But being weak means I have the potential to become strong." - Yuzuru Hanyu




Julia Leung

Class: 2020
Majors: Psychology and Kinesiology
Activities: Design Cultures Creativity, Club Terp Wushu, PAE Honors Society, National Society of Leadership and Success
Favorite Animal: Sloth



Tara McCurry

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology, LGBT Studies Certificate (Minor in Neuroscience)
Activities: Mortar Board Honors Society, Lavender Leadership Honors Society, Tau Sigma Transfer Honors Society
"The desire to be taken seriously is precisely what compels people to follow the tried and true paths of knowledge production around which I would like to map a few detours." - Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure



Jacob A. Penrod

Class: 2019
Major: Psychology, Minor: LGBT Studies
Activities: Resident Assistant, Member of the Lavender Leadership Honor Society, Member of Queer Talks, Member of TedX @ UMD, Member of Sex Week
"Be the Change."



Carianne Powers

Class: 2018
Major: Chemistry
Activities: Gamma Phi Beta, Learning Assistant for BSCI160
"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad." - Papa




Lindsay Stenzel

Class: 2019
Majors: Psychology and Criminology
Activities: Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Resident Board Member for University Student Judiciary, Psi Chi, CIVICUS Living and Learning Program
Favorite Animal: Sloth



Jonas Ventimiglia

Class: Winter 2018
Major: Psychology
Activities: UMD Club Volleyball
Favorite Animal: Walrus




Adina Weinreb

Class: 2020
Major: Psychology
Activities: College Park Scholars, Challah for Hunger (Board Member)
"The path to your success is not as fixed and inflexible as you think." - Misty Copeland




Daniela Weinsweig

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology
Activities: Kappa Alpha Theta
"You got this" - Mom




Suzanne Woller

Class: 2018
Major: Psychology
Activities: Psi Chi, Phi Sigma Sigma
"If people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane." - John Green, Looking for Alaska






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Colaborators at UMD

Jude Cassidy, Professor, Department of Psychology

Elizabeth Redcay, Professor, Department of Psychology

Lucas Butler, Professor, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

Melanie Killen, Professor, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

Alexa Romberg, Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

Peter Carruthers, Professor, Department of Philosophy

Bonnie Brett, Graduate Student, Department of Psychology

Jacqueline Gross, Graduate Student, Department of Psychology

Michael Rizzo, Graduate Student, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

Evan Westra, Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy


Collaborators beyond UMD

Kristen Dunfield, Concordia University

Kristin Shutts, University of Wisconsin

Valerie Kuhlmeier, Queen's University

Malinda Carpenter, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Harriet Over, University of York

Michael Tomasello, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology



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Lab Alumni


Former Graduate Students
Mehrnoosh Ahmadi
Former UMD RAs

Class of 2015

Evelyn Xu

Class of 2016

Morgan Cohen

Class of 2014

Abby Kaye Phillips

Class of 2014

Julie Klaber

Class of 2015

Casey Trimpin

Class of 2015

Tyler Kellerman

Class of 2014

Kelly MacDougal

Class of 2015

Mike McGovern

Class of 2014

LaRae Morris

Class of 2016

Susan Roberts

Class of 2015

Jody Herron

Class of 2013

Louis Marti

Class of 2015

Dan Eckler

Class of 2017

Ladeja Robinson

Class of 2016

Mayumi Rezwan

Class of 2015

Olivia Meadowcroft

Class of 2015

Kim Greenberg

Class of 2015

Sara Schankerman

Class of 2015

Chris Cole

Class of 2016

Clare Bailey

Class of 2016

Hannah Griffith

Class of 2015

Caitlyn Miehle

Class of 2015

Jenna Sheldon

Class of 2019

Priya Shukla

Class of 2015

Hallie Burkhard

Class of 2016

Rebecca Ellsworth

Class of 2017

Selina Williams

Class of 2017

Alyssa Irgang

Class of 2017

Jessica Yingling

Class of 2016

Kaitlin McDermott

Class of 2015

Cori Gold

Class of 2016

Sam Lipsky

Class of 2017

Jorelle Casumbal

Class of 2017

Rebecca Pereira

Class of 2017

Ellen Levine

Class of 2017

Iris Zou

Class of 2017

Rachel Blain

Class of 2017

Nicole Rodriguez

Class of 2017

Elisabeth Trunnell

Class of 2017

Sabine Huber

Class of 2015

Shivani Raina

Class of 2015

Hannah Vanbuiten

Class of 2019

Danayt Alem

Class of 2019

Kate Hedges

Class of 2018

Jose Lima-Rosas

Class of 2017

Nora Pelaez

Class of 2017

Maya Pasternak


Former Interns
Class of 2014
Shonise Flowers:
Howard University
Montgomery Blair
Kara Watkins-Chow:
Montgomery Blair HS
Class of 2016
Carmen Brown:
NC State

Former Lab Managers
Class of 2014
Dana Breakstone:
Private Industry
Emma
Emma Larson:
Lousiana State University,
Doctoral Program in School Psychology
Noor
Noor Qasmieh:
University of Maryland College Park,
Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

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