Adrienne Woods
Adrienne received her B.A in Psychology and Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011. She is currently a doctoral student in The University of Michigan's Combined Program in Education & Psychology. Adrienne researches issues related to students with special needs & those at risk for K-12 special education placement, including perceptions of the inclusive education model & policy consequences. Adrienne's favorite Disney movie is The Lion King.
Alexa Ellis
Alexa is a doctoral student in the Combined Program of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. She received her B.A and M.S at the University of Michigan. She is interested in understanding different factors that impact mathematical achievement & the cognitive process behind math development. Alexa's favorite Disney movie is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves because it's the one that started them all.
Amira Ibrahim
Amira received her B.A in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. She is currently a doctoral student in the Combined Program for Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on the cognitive processes of mathematics learning. As a child she wanted to be a veterinarian and her favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast.
Ben Katz
Ben is a Ph.D student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at The University of Michigan. He studies the extent to which working memory and executive function can be improved through training throughout the lifespan, and whether these improvements may impact real-life outcomes such as academic achievement or instrumental activities of daily living. He received is B.A in film studies and Psychology from Columbia University. He previously has worked as a game designer for Nintendo.
Lillie Moffett
Lillie graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 with a B.A in Cognitive Science and a B.A in Psychology. She has conducted research on toddler's false belief understanding and preschooler's future thinking skills. Her latest interest is on the relationship between executive functions and academic achievement in early education. As a child she wanted to be a neuroscientist & insisted on dissecting a sheep brain at her 9th birthday! Her favorite Disney movie is Lady and Tramp.
Nick Waters
Nick is a graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program at The University of Michigan. He earned his B.A in Psychology from the University in 2014. He aims to inform primary and secondary education policy in efforts to mitigate the effects of poverty on academic achievement. As a child, Nick wanted to be a professional baseball player and his favorite Disney movie is The Emperor's New Groove.
Rebecca Marks
Rebecca received her B.A from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a doctoral student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology. She is interested in bilingualism, language and literacy development, and academic outcomes among language-minority youth.As a child, Rebecca wanted to be an actress and/or Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Sammy Ahmed
Sammy is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology Program at The University of Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Science from New York University's Applied Psychology program. He is interested in how genetics and early classroom environment influence neurological, cognitive and academic outcomes. As a child, he wanted to become either a film director or astronomer, and his favorite Disney movie is 101 Dalmatians.
Sarah Stilwell
Sarah received her B.A from Kalamazoo College in Psychology in 2009 and her Master's of Education from the University of Michigan in 2014. She is currently a doctoral student in The University of Michigan's Developmental Psychology program. She is interested in studying teacher education programs and developing research-based methods to improve teacher preparation and pedagogical linguistics. Her favorite Disney movie is Robin Hood.
Ying Wang
Ying received her P.h.D degree in developmental psychology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014 and joined the Pathways Lab as a Postdoc in the beginning of 2016. She is interested in cognitive literacy development in early childhood and comparing the developmental patterns across cultures. Her current research focuses on the developmental trajectory of executive function & its relationship to academic achievement. Her favorite Disney movie is the Lion King.
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Research Team

Principal Investigators 

Dr. Morrison
Dr. Fred Morrison received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1971. His research focuses on understanding the nature of children's cognitive, literacy & social development over the early school period. His work ranges from basic research studies & large scale longitudinal descriptive studies of children's developmental trajectories to developing & implementing major interventions aimed at improving children's learning during early school years. His favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid.
Dr. Davis-Kean
Dr. Pamela Davis-Kean received her Ph.D from Vanderbilt University in 1997. She studies children developing in different socio-economic contexts, parenting, and math achievement. She is also a developmental methodologist interested in improving the quality of psychological data. As a child, she wanted to be the first female astronaut in space. She still wants to fly to the moon. Her favorite Disney movie is the original Parent Trap.
Dr. Gehring
Dr. Grammer
Dr. Jennie Grammer received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the Pathways Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2010. She is currently a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Graduate school of Education Studies. She studies cognitive development in childhood and the impact of early school experiences on this growth. When she was little, Jennie wanted to be an artist or work in an art museum.
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Graduate Students

Undergraduate Students

Donovan Gappy
Donovan is an undergraduate pre-med student at The University of Michigan. He plans on graduating in 2018 with a major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a minor in Business. He shows great interest in the learning process in humans. He eventually hopes to help others through a career in the Medical field. His favorite Disney movie is Hercules.
Jared Goldberg
Jared is an undergraduate at the University of Michigan with a concentration in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. He hopes to pursue a Ph.D in Neuropsychology or Development Psychology. His favorite movie is Fantasia.
Julia Barron
Megan Higgins
Megan is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. She will be graduating in the Spring of 2018 with a Bachelors degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a minor in Gender and Health. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school to work as a pediatric occupational therapist, specifically with children with disabilities.
As a child, her favorite Disney movie was Cinderella.
Morgan Johnson
Morgan is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. She will be graduating in Spring of 2018 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school in order to become a developmental psychologist and diagnose special needs children. When she was young, Morgan wanted to be a lawyer. Her favorite Disney movie is Frozen.
Sarah Remer
Sarah is an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. She will graduate in the spring of 2018 with a B.S in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. After graduation she hopes to attend medical school and pursue her passion of working with children through a career in pediatrics. Her favorite Disney movie is The Lion King.
Sydney Angel
Sydney is a sophomore double majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience with a minor in Crime and Justice. She is interested in how a child’s environment can affect their cognitive development and how genetic factors may affect their development as well. Her future plans are to go to Law school for Criminal Justice or Graduate school for Forensic Psychology. Her favorite Disney movie is The Swan Princess.
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Barb Dennis
Barb is the Project Manager at the Pathways to Literacy Lab. She earned her B.A in Psychology and Spanish from The University of Michigan in 2015. She aims to pursue a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Growing up, Barb wanted to be a writer and a mail woman, and her favorite Disney movie is The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Kathryn Sienkowski
Kathryn received her B.A in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience from The University of Michigan in 2016. She has specific interests in neuropsychology and children's behavior regulation and motivation. She hopes to pursue her passion for helping people and attend graduate school in the future. Her favorite Disney movie is Hercules.
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Research Staff

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Dr. Grammer

Dr. Jennie Grammer received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the Pathways Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2010. She is currently a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Graduate school of Education Studies. She studies cognitive development in childhood and the impact of early school experiences on this growth. When she was little, Jennie wanted to be an artist or work in an art museum.