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Center for Children and Families

Infant Learning Project

The University of Texas at Dallas

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Current Students

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Dr. Melanie Spence
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Graduate Students

Mariah Fowler, BS

Mariah FowlerMariah graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is continuing her education at The University of Texas at Dallas in the Psychological Sciences PhD program with a focus on Developmental Psychology. Her research interests include infant cognition and perception, infant development, and infant-caregiver interaction. After completing her doctoral degree, Mariah plans to pursue a career in academia.

Priscilla Jacob, BS

Priscilla JacobPriscilla graduated Cum Laude with Behavioral & Brain Sciences honors from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Child Learning and Development. As an undergraduate, she completed an honors thesis, titled “Infants’ Eye-Tracking of Static and Dynamic Facial Expressions’, mentored by Dr. Melanie Spence. Priscilla is continuing her education at UTD in the Psychological Sciences master’s program. Her research interests include infant cognition and developmental psychopathology. After graduating in May of 2017, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

Hannah Pourchot, MS, CCC-SLP

Hannah PourchotHannah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Texas at Dallas. She currently is enrolled as a doctoral student in the Communication Disorders program, interested in the speech and language development of pediatric cochlear implant recipients. She has worked clinically as a Speech Language Pathologist with children of varying disorders.

Undergraduate Students


Allie Neenan

Ritika MallavarapuAlexandra Neenan is a Junior majoring in Psychology at UTD. She began working with the Infant Learning Project during the Spring 2017 semester and is passionate about working with infants and children. Her academic interests include early childhood education and early intervention methods for children with autism. After graduating in Spring 2018, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Behavioral Psychology studying behavioral interventions for children with autism.



Ritika Mallavarapu

Ritika MallavarapuRitika is a sophomore at The University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in Biology. She has a particular interest in memory and early brain development and hopes to acquire a minor in psychology as well. She loves working with children and has an interest in the medical field. Therefore, after graduation, she hopes to pursue a career as a Pediatrician and care for children across the globe.



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Why Babies Like our Lab!

Developmental Milestones
and Websites




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Last Updated:  02/07/17