University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut


Meet our Lab Members

Dr. bortfeld

Dr. Bortfeld

Current Graduate Students

Nicole 2
Nicole Depowski

Katie Shaw

Katie Shaw

Katie Shaw

Katie is a third-year developmental psychology PhD candidate, Fellow in the IGERT program, and research associate of Haskins Laboratories. Her research interests include audiovisual speech perception, experimental methodologies (both behavioral and neurophysiological), and attentional processes. In her free time, she enjoys attempting to cook and binge-watching television shows.


Parker Tichko

Parker Tichko

Parker Tichko

Parker Tichko is a first-year developmental psychology PhD candidate and IGERT fellow. Prior to joining the Husky Pup Language Lab, he was the lab manager at UNLV’s Auditory Cognition and Development Lab. His research interests include parallels between language and music, the across-domain benefits of music training throughout development, and the developmental processes that govern language and music learning.




Current Graduate RAs

Melissa Pook                              IMG_2755

Melissa is a last semester Master’s student in the Speech Language Pathology program. She has been a research assistant for the Cochlear Implant project in the Husky Pup Language Lab since 2011. She enjoys warm weather, palm trees and anything but snow. Melissa hopes to work in a hospital setting with the pediatric population upon graduation.


Current Undergraduate RAs

JessicaGaafarJessica Gaafar

Jessica is a psych undergraduate research assistant at the University of Connecticut. She is currently working in the lab of Dr. Heather Bortfeld on the Baby Bilingual project. Her research interests include cognitive processes, language acquisition and development, and infant to adolescent development.






LeighanneOrmstonLeighanne Ormston
Leigha is currently a double major in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology. Her research interests are broad – she does not enjoy any single subject more than another (except math, which she does not like). Instead, she enjoys learning for the sake of learning; she would just as much enjoy examining neuronal imaging in infants as she would reading about English Monarchies in the sixteenth century. She thoroughly enjoys working with people and animals, specifically infants and puppies, and wishes to join the medical field after university. Her hobbies include long walks to the fridge and spending time with her Netflix account.


Casey TurovacIMG_8840

Casey is a senior studying Speech Language and Hearing Sciences. She also plans to minor in psychology. She enjoys working in the Husky Pup lab researching infant studies through Novel Word. In the future Casey would love to be a Speech Pathologist in either the hospital or school setting.





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Olivia Kane 

Olivia is a third year Psychology major and Biology minor. Her interests include brain lateralization and the development of language in infants. She hopes to attend a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program after graduating from UCONN and to eventually work with children.