Lab Assistants

Naureen Hemani-Lopez  Zena Levan Carolyn Mylander  
Kristin Plath Laura Tharsen  Markie Theophile  

Naureen Hemani-Lopez

Senior Research Assistant/Project Coordinator

Naureen received her B.A. in Psychology from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and went on to receive her M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2009. Naureen currently works on projects that focus on the role of gesture in the acquisition of learning in school-aged children. She works on the Mental Rotation project, which focuses on early spatial learning in kindergarten children, as well as the Math project, which looks at the role of gesture while solving equivalency problems in 3rd and 4th grade students. Naureen is interested in the role that gesture plays in learning and the ways that this type of research can be used in classroom settings.

Contact Naureen for more information or assistance on:
IRB-related matters including--
Protocol amendments
Historical record of protocol events
Submission of adverse events
Human subject training and certification
Annual employee safety training


Zena Levan


Research Assistant                           

Zena attended the University of Rochestor for her B.A, in American Sign Language. She then went on to get her Master's in Deaf Education at Boston Universiry and graduated in 2017. Zena is currently working on the Math Gesture project with deaf and hearing students. She is interested in established methods of bilingual deaf education, as well as ways to improve on current practices.

Contact Zena for more information or assistance on:
ASL-related projects

Carolyn Mylander

Carolyn Mylander

Project Manager

*Carolyn has recently retired and will be working with the SGM Lab on a part-time basis*


Kristin Plath

Research Assistant                             

Kristin recieved her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri in May, 2014. In the SGM lab, she works on the Gesture Eye Tracking Project and manages the Infant Database. Kristin is interested in studying the role that gesture has in learning in order to help facilitate communication between teachers and children. Kristin loves dogs and currently has two puppies named Max and Cooper. 

Contact Kristin for more information or assistance on:
Infant Database

Testing Space Calendar

Lab Parking Pass

Laura Tharsen

Laura Tharsen


Project Manager/CGSL Project Administrator

Contact Laura for more information or assistance on:
Budget expenditures
Grant proposals and reports
The Sign and Gesture Archive (SAGA)
The Center for Gesture, Sign and Language (CGSL)


Markie Theophile

Lab Manager/Project Coordinator      

Markie received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut, where she also worked in the Language Creation Lab. She is currently working on the Guatemalan Homesign Project. She enjoys living in Chicago and working in the Goldin-Meadow Lab.

Contact Markie for more information or assistance on:
Lab meetings and scheduled events
Lab email list
Reimburesment claims
Purchase of lab supplies, equipment & software

General employee and student support

Beloved former Lab Mascot who has moved on to bluer pastures...