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 2022 ALUMNAE 


Nora Duggan (she/her) is a PhD student in Linguistics at Stockholm University, Sweden. Her research focuses on the various factors that influence deaf adult migrants’ opportunities to learn new languages. In her free time, she likes swimming, visiting family and friends in Ireland and going for walks with her dog.

Nora Duggan

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Elettra (she/her) is a PhD candidate between the School of Education and Medicine at the University of Leeds (UK). She has a background in Neuroscience and she is part of the Childhood Deafness and Communication Research Marie-Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network – Comm4CHILDShe is currently studying the acquisition of multiple spoken languages in deaf children with Cochlear Implants. Her project focuses on the context for language acquisition, the child’s exposure to language and the possible concerns stemming from the currently used methods for language assessment. In her free time, she practices every sport she can possibly manage to, with a strong focus on indoors and outdoors climbing, hiking, paired with the occasional horse riding session.

Elettra Casellato


Nathalie (she/her) is a PhD candidate between the School of Education and Medicine at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. She comes from a background in Linguistics and is currently part of the Childhood Deafness and Communication Research Marie-Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network, Comm4CHILD. In her research, she focuses on multimodal communicative resources used in early parent-child interactions in the presence of sensory and communicative asymmetries, especially in moments of joint attention. Curious by nature she is always looking for the next adventure, enjoys the outdoors, open water swimming, snowboarding and playing football.

Nathalie Czeke


Nathalie Frey (she/her) is a PhD student in Special Education and Therapy in Language and Communication Disorders at the University of Würzburg, Germany. In her research, she investigates the influence of iconic gestures derived from German Sign Language as a bimodal language development strategy on the acquisition of novel words in hearing children during group settings in the everyday life of inclusive kindergartens. Besides work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, exercising, or traveling.

Nathalie Frey

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Moa Gärdenfors (she/her) is a PhD student in Linguistics at Stockholm University, Sweden. The focus of her dissertation is the writing of deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children, from a multilingual view. The writing of this DHH group is examined in depth thanks to a keylogging tool, that does not only provide information about the children’s written product but also their writing behavior such as writing speed, pauses, revisions, and much more. When Moa is not studying, she loves to read non-academic books and walk in the forest looking for mushrooms.

Moa Gärdenfors


Kate Groves (she/her) is an American who has been living in Europe for over 15 years. She is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on the interplay between language attitudes, home language environments and academic achievement of D/deaf and Hard of Hearing adolescents in integrated school settings. She lives in Delft, the Netherlands, with her partner and two young children. In her spare time she’s learning about energy-efficient homes and gardening, reading non-academic books, and spending time with friends.

Kate Groves

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Miriam Hauptman (she/her) is a PhD student in Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on the neural basis of language in Deaf individuals with delayed exposure to language. Her hobbies include playing drum set and baking/eating desserts.

Miriam Hauptmann


Nia Lazarus (she/her) is a PhD candidate at the University of Cologne in Germany, investigating colexification in British Sign Language and German Sign Language. Her background and other work include social justice advocacy, especially in the areas of accessibility for deaf people, bilingual-bimodal deaf education, and anti-racism, as well as their intersections. Quality bilingual deaf education is another source of motivation for Nia, based on her experiences navigating various school settings throughout childhood and teaching elementary school for three years until 2020. Aside from diving into new languages, she loves honing her imaginative skills in art, design, and technology. 

Nia Lazarus

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Sarah Kimbley (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Neuroscience at Gallaudet University. She studies the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying language-based arithmetic processing. Sarah’s current project is on arithmetic processing in the brains of native and non-native deaf adults using behavioral and fMRI methods. In her free time, she loves indoor rock climbing, traveling, and cooking new recipes with her husband.

Sarah Kimbley

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Kaj Kraus (he/him) is a PhD student in Linguistics at Gallaudet University. Kaj's dissertation is on the development of ASL comprehension skills and English print literacy in deaf and hard of hearing people whose parents did not know sign prior to their birth. He lives in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, where he spends his time mountain biking, skiing, and hiking.

Kaj Kraus

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Daniel Maier (he/him) is a Ph.D. student in Linguistics, at Gallaudet University. His current thesis explores the role of ASL language play on ASL phonological processing in hearing parents/caregivers of deaf children.  He is also a lecturer at Princeton University and in his spare time, he likes to discuss Pokemon match ups with his young son. 

Daniel Maier


Ari Price (she/they) is a PhD student in Sign Language, Interpreting and Communication at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences working on the Signed Language “Depiction as an Engine for Promoting Inclusion, Communication, and Translation” (DEPICT) project. Their current research is focused on meaning-making through cross-signing, formally referred to as ad hoc international sign, in multilingual multimodal deaf refugee interactions in Norway. Alongside her academic work, she does translations from International Sign to English, and freelance translations from French to English and ASL to LSF. In their free time, they enjoy playing games and attending festivals.

Ari Price

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Tory Sampson (she/they) is a PhD candidate in Linguistics at University of California, San Diego. Her thesis involves a corpus study which tracked a grammaticalization process termed the copula cycle across three epochs of American Sign Language (ASL). To date, she has also conducted several psycholinguistic experiments investigating copular predication in ASL. Hiking, mountain biking, and swimming are among her favorite activities. 

Tory Sampson

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Emily Saunders (she/her) is a PhD student in the Joint-Doctoral Program in Language and Communicative Disorders at San Diego State University/UC San Diego. She studies the unique cognitive processes of adult deaf readers with behavioral and neurophysiological methods, including eye-tracking and ERPs. Her current projects address morphological processing in a variety of reading contexts. Outside of work, she loves hiking, true crime podcasts, and hanging out with her cat.

Emily Saunders

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Brennan Terhune-Cotter (he/him) is a third-year PhD student in a joint doctoral program between San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego. His dissertation research focuses on how neural activation for American Sign Language comprehension changes based on the level of language input (lexical, sentential, and narrative) as well as individual variation in language experience and skill. When not in front of a computer screen, he enjoys hiking, playing dodgeball, rock climbing, playing board games, and watching bad reality television.

Brennan Terhune-Cotter

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A lifelong learner with a major zeal for life, Kristina Willicheva (they/them) is a New York native originally from Eastern Europe. Kristina is now working on their doctorate in Deaf Education at the University of Tennessee and their research interests focus on language acquisition influences, assessments, and the impact of Deaf Ed policies. They enjoy the mountainous Appalachian lifestyle in Knoxville, Tennessee by spending time with their spouse, pet dog and pet pig, reading nonfiction, running and hiking on trails, trying new recipes, and exploring the beauty of the world.

Kristina Willicheva

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