Graduate Team

Graduate Students

Nhi Thai

Nhi PictureNhi is currently a fourth year graduate student pursuing her PhD in Developmental Psychology under the mentorship of Drs. Koraly Perez-Edgar and Pamela Cole. She received her bachelors in Child Psychology and Biology from the University of Minnesota, where she conducted research with Dr. Philip Zelazo on the development and neural bases of executive function throughout the lifespan. Her Master’s work looked at the neural underpinnings of attention bias to threat and attention training. For her doctoral work, she would like to investigate the neurocognitive processes involved in emotion regulation and explore effective emotion regulation strategies toward adaptive behavior, particularly in the context of psychopathology.

Shana Ramsook
Shana Babyshana grown up

Shana is from Trinidad & Tobago and received her B.A. in Psychology from Pomona College in 2012. After graduation, she worked for two years at Temple University with Drs. Nora Newcombe and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, investigating children’s language development and spatial skills. Shana came to Penn State because of her interest in researching influences of language development on children’s emotional regulation from a developmental psychopathology perspective. Currently, Shana is working on her Master’s thesis, examining the interplay of preschoolers’ language use, emotion, and self-regulation during frustrating tasks. Shana is a TIES Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists (TIES) Fellow and is particularly interested in the educational implications of this research.

Lauren Vazquez

Lauren is from New Hampshire and received her B.A. in Psychology from Pomona CollegeAdult LaurenBaby Laurenin 2014. She worked for two years at the Yale Child Study Center in the Developmental Electrophysiology Lab and the Program for Anxiety Disorders where she helped collect and analyze neurophysiological data with children and their families. At Penn State, Lauren is interested in researching parent-child relationships and the neurophysiology underlying the development of children’s emotion regulation from a developmental psychopathology perspective. She is excited to join the PEEP project to learn more about neuroimaging methods and how children process emotions in their environments.

Samantha English

Sam is from Porimagetsmouth, RI and received her B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University in 2014. After graduation, she spent two years working as the lab coordinator for the NYU Infant Cognition and Communication Lab where she was involved in the collection of data for a longitudinal study image (1)examining early speech and face preferences in infants at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. She came to Penn State because of her interest in parent-child relationships and the role parents play in how children learn to regulate emotion. She is excited to join the lab and learn more about co-regulation as a dynamic process and the implications for children’s later socioemotional development.


Tawni Stoop  

Tawni is a first year, originally from New Jersey but received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Before coming to Penn State, she worked as a Research Assistant at the National Center for PTSD in the VA Boston Healthcare system. While there, she helped manage and collect data from clinical interviews with veterans regarding their life experiences and mental health. She came to Penn State because even though she had previously been working with adults, she has always been interested in how children develop their emotional awareness based on what is going on around them. She is excited to join the PEEP project to work with the EAR information to learn more about children’s emotional environments in the home and how that influences their own understanding of emotion.