Research Team


CandiceMills_2016_adult_online Dr. Candice Mills, Director

Candice Mills is an associate professor in Psychological Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Mills earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude in cognitive neuroscience, from the University of Florida, and a PhD in developmental psychology from Yale University.

Dr. Mills’ research examines how children learn from others. Her research incorporates methods and theories from developmental, cognitive, social, and educational psychology, with participant populations spanning from early childhood through adolescence and adulthood. Her previous research has been published in professional psychology journals as well as discussed in national resources such as the New York Times, Scientific American Mind, and National Public Radio.


Candice Pattisapu
Doctoral Student
Joined in Summer 2018. Candice graduated with Philosophy, Government, English, and Humanities Honors majors from the University of Texas at Austin, and she holds a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Before coming to the Think Lab, she taught high school math and worked as a research assistant in Dr. Mandy Maguire’s Developmental Neurolinguistics Lab. She is interested in cognitive development, especially the impact of technology on language and concept acquisition.


Kaitlin_2015_adult_online Kaitlin Sands, BS
Doctoral Student
Joined in Fall 2015. Kaitlin graduated Magna Cum Laude from Elon University with a major in Psychology as well as minors in Neuroscience and Early Childhood Education. At Elon, Kaitlin assisted in research investigating young children’s learning of math and science and how parents contribute to that process. Her current research interests include how children ask questions in order to learn new information as well as individual and cultural differences in children’s inquiry abilities.


Laila Alkassar
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Fall 2017. Laila is studying Neuroscience at UT Dallas, and she hopes to pursue a career in medicine, particularly in pediatric neurology or psychiatry. Her love for working with children flourished from her interactions with kids while babysitting, volunteering, and tutoring, as she naturally gravitates towards children in all kinds of settings. During her time with the Think Lab, Laila hopes to gain insight into how children learn and choose to analyze information.


Shreya Balamurali
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Spring 2019. Shreya is majoring in neuroscience with a minor in psychology and plans to enter a career in either pediatric psychiatry or clinical psychology. She is extremely passionate about behavioral science and loves working with children, especially those with special needs. During her time with the Think Lab, she hopes to better her understanding of learning and cognitive development in children as it bridges the fields of education and psychology. In her spare time, Shreya loves writing short stories, taking long walks with her dog, and trying new flavors of bubble tea.


Katharine Harris
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Summer 2018. Katharine is double majoring in Psychology and Child Learning and Development and hopes to pursue a career in developmental psychology. Her love and interest in children began when she started working as a summer camp counselor, and she has continued to work both summer camps and after school camps ever since. As a Research Assistant in the Think Lab, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how children learn science and math through their experiences with teachers, parents, and peers.


Cristina Martin
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Summer 2018. Cristina is majoring in Child Learning and Development with a Teaching Certification in Early Childhood through Sixth Grade at UT Dallas and plans to pursue a career in education. She has always had a passion for being around children and it continues to grow as she spends much of her free time during the school year volunteering in an elementary school and working as a teacher assistant for summer school. During her time with Think Lab, Cristina hopes to gain insight into how children process different types of explanations and how it overlaps with education.


Natalie Mendoza
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Spring 2019.


Anthony Monroe
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Summer 2018. Anthony is a psychology major at UTD. His interests include scientific skepticism, epistemology, and science learning. Anthony plans to earn a PhD and pursue a career in academia, to do research and teach in the interest of helping end the replication crisis in psychology. He is also interested in being involved with science communication. Anthony’s experiences in the Think Lab will help him develop the skills to become a scrupulous researcher.


Victoria Mugambi
Master’s Degree Student
Joined in Fall 2017. Victoria graduated with a Psychology major and Biology minor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree in Psychological Sciences here at UT Dallas. She joined the Think Lab team because of her interest in cognitive development, particularly in understanding how children learn. Victoria has previously worked with young kids as a volunteer counselor at a special needs summer camp in Arkansas, and enjoys spending time interacting with children.


GraceNguyen_adult_online Grace Nguyen
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Summer 2016. Grace loves to interact with children because their unique thoughts and observations often surprise her with wonders. She is particularly interested in how to provide children with an environment that would serve as a strong foundation for their emotional and intellectual developments. Grace hopes to attain valuable insights from the lab as she goes on to pursue a career in clinical psychology.


Tejaswini Seelam
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Summer 2017. Tejaswini is majoring in Neuroscience at UT Dallas, and she hopes to pursue a career in medicine, more specifically in pediatrics. Her interest in interacting with children stems from tutoring middle school children and volunteering at pediatric hospitals. During her time as a Research Assistant, she hopes to gain insight into the cognitive and emotional development of children. She is interested in learning about the thought process and development of children and is excited to acquire knowledge through the research at the Think Lab.


Faiza Zaman
Undergraduate Student
Joined in Summer 2018. Faiza is majoring in Psychology, and she has a variety of interests regarding the field of psychology. Once she graduates, she plans to go to either medical or graduate school and open her own psychology business. Her love for working with children began by volunteering at the library, being a teaching intern for an elementary school, and working as a camp counselor for children. As a Research Assistant for the Think Lab, Faiza hopes to acquire knowledge on the developmental and cognitive psychology of children as well as on the necessary skills needed to grow and succeed in life.