People

Jennifer Wagner, Ph.D.
Lab Director

Dr. Wagner joined the Psychology Department at CUNY College of Staten Island (CSI) in January 2013 and also has appointments in the Psychology Department at the CUNY Graduate Center in the Developmental Psychology training area and the Cognitive and Comparative Psychology training area. Before that, she received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and then completed a postdoc at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Wagner has been using advanced tools (eye-tracking, psychophysiological measures, optical imaging, EEG) to study early social and cognitive development in typically-developing infants as well as infants at risk for developmental difficulties, such as autism spectrum disorder. Her research examines how early behavioral and brain responses might help to predict later development.

Email:
Office: 4S-209; Phone: (718) 982-4092
CSI Faculty website
Sapir Soker Elimaliah
Graduate Student

Sapir joined the lab in Fall 2017 as a graduate student in the CUNY Graduate Center Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology. Sapir received her B.A. in Psychology from Ben Gurion University in the Negev in 2015, and during her studies she started to gain work experience with toddlers with autism as an interventionist. Before joining the Ph.D. program, Sapir worked with toddlers with autism first as a teacher and then as an ABA therapist in her own clinic in Israel. Sapir's research interests focus on understanding the autonomic nervous system responses that might underlie characteristic behaviors in autism spectrum disorder, including restricted and repetitive behaviors.

Email:
CUNY Graduate Center website
Aviva Lehrfield
Lab Coordinator

Aviva joined the lab in Summer 2016 and completed her Honor's thesis in Dr. Wagner's lab in 2018 while an undergraduate in the Macaulay Honor's program at CSI. Since completing her degree at CSI, Aviva has stayed on as lab coordinator and she will begin medical school in Fall 2019.

Natalia Fraczek
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Natalia joined the lab in Fall 2017 and is currently a senior at CSI majoring in Psychology. Natalia is working on a Psychology Honor’s thesis in the lab that is looking at social attention in preschoolers.

Joseph Gyasi
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Joseph joined the lab in Spring 2018 as an undergraduate at CSI majoring in Psychology. Joseph completed his undergraduate Honor's thesis in Spring 2019 and is interested in pursuing graduate work in Advanced Practice Nursing, specializing in Psychiatry.

Alexis Rajpersaud
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alexis joined the lab in Summer 2018 as an undergraduate at CSI majoring in Psychology. Alexis completed her undergraduate Honor's thesis in Spring 2019 and is interested in pursuing graduate work in Mental Health Counseling.

Sandy Mettry
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sandy joined the lab in Spring 2019 and is an undergraduate at CSI in the Verrazano Honor's program, majoring in Psychology and planning to pursue an Honor's thesis. Sandy is interested in pursuing a career in dentistry.

Cognitive Development Lab Alumni

Tuan Cassim
Research Assistant 2018–2019

Currently a research coordinator in Neuroanesthesia at Columbia University Medical Center with plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Jessica Ciurcina
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2017–2018

Pursuing a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy at Seton Hall University.

Sosima Navarrete
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2017–2018
Aruni Ahilan
High School Research Assistant 2016–2018

Pursuing an Undergraduate degree at Northeastern University.

Mustafa Hashimi
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2016–2018

Completed Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Wagner in 2018 entitled "Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System Responses in Relation to Emotional Intelligence in Typically Developing Adults".

Marina Matta
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2016–2017

Completed Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Wagner in 2017 entitled "Predicting Early Developmental Difficulties in Younger Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder"; currently pursuing a Physician Assistant Master's degree at City College.

Cailen Jennings
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015–2017

Completed Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Wagner in 2017 entitled "Cardiac Autonomic Activity as it Relates to Social Behavior and Emotion Processing"; currently pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at CSI.

Kimberli Pule
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015–2016
Adriana Lupo
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015–2016
Kafayat Bello
High School Research Assistant 2014–2016
Hana Moustapha
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2014–2015

Completed Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Wagner in 2015 entitled "Relations between Early Attention to Faces and Later Communication Abilities in Infants at High-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder"; graduate of Brooklyn College Master’s in Mental Health Counseling (MHC) program in 2017 and currently working as a MHC.

Laura Marque
Lab Coordinator 2014-2015

Graduate of SUNY Downstate Master’s in Occupational Therapy (OT) program in 2018 and currently working as an OT.

Sabrina Bragerton-Nasert
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2014–2016

Completed Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Wagner in 2016 entitled "Left Visual Field Biases in Relation to Social Behavior" and currently working as a radiation therapist in New York City.

Alima Toure
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2013–2016

Graduate of CSI Master's in Business Management in 2019.

Roseline Nkama
Undergraduate Research Assistant 2013–2015

Completed Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Wagner in 2015 entitled "Scanning of Familiar and Unfamiliar Faces in 9- and 12-month-old Infants at Low and High Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder". Currently she is co-owner of Chidi Fashions and assistant director of the J. R. M. Reigners After School Program.

Eve Tam
Lab Coordinator 2013-2014

Graduate of SUNY Downstate Master’s in Occupational Therapy (OT) program in 2016 and currently working as an OT.