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Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Faculty Headshots - onsite @ Fall faculty assembly. Peabody College Vanderbilt University Photo: Anne Rayner;VU

Dr. Amy Booth— Principal Investigator

Curriculum Vitae: Amy Booth CV

Dr. Booth is not accepting new graduate students at this time.





Margaret Shavlik, PhD — Post-Doctoral Project Coordinator

Curriculum Vitae: ShavlikCV_11-9-21


Margaret graduated from Northwestern University in 2016, where she double majored in Psychology and Cognitive Science. In August 2017, she transferred with Dr. Booth to Vanderbilt (from the University of Texas at Austin) to continue her graduate studies through Peabody’s Developmental Science program, where she received her M.S. in Psychology in May 2019 and her PhD in May 2023. Margaret’s research interests comprise the effects of socioeconomic status on young children’s language learning and literacy skills, as well as on their overall school readiness. When not in the lab or the classroom, Margaret enjoys darkroom photography and being goofy with her dog, Dot.


Jihye “Erica” Bae, M.Ed. — Graduate Research Assistant, Lab Manager

Jihye BaeContact:

Jihye is a first year doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at Peabody. She received her M.Ed. in Child Studies from Vanderbilt, and her B.A. in International Relations from New York University. Before discovering her passion for child development, she worked in the corporate world for a while. Her research interests are understanding young children’s motivation to learn, as well as the formal and informal environment for optimal learning, particularly in the context of science.  Outside of academia, she enjoys visiting trendy coffee shops, exploring outdoor activities with her family, and hanging around with her two dogs.


Anjuli Sharpley — Graduate Research Assistant



Anjuli is a second-year master’s student in the Human Development Counseling program at Peabody on the clinical mental health counseling track. She received her BA in Psychology and English from the University of Miami in 2022. Her research interests include how individuals’ social context impacts their language development. Outside of Peabody, Anjuli enjoys baking, hiking, and trying out local restaurants.


Christine Shatrowsky — Undergraduate Research Assistant


Christine is a senior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in Neuroscience and Cognitive Studies. She has worked as an RA in the Little Learners Lab since her freshman year and has loved her time in research. Christine is completing a senior honors thesis looking at how parent affirmation during the preschool years may predict gender-based differences in scientific literacy and interests in elementary school. Outside of the lab, Christine is heavily involved in Vanderbilt Active Minds and enjoys yoga, crocheting, and spending time with her friends. After graduating, she hopes to attend medical school and specialize in neurology or psychiatry.

Mae Gangi — Undergraduate Research Assistant


Mae is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. She joined the Little Learners Lab because she has always been fascinated by kids, their behavior and interests, and what shapes their development. The lab combines many of her interests in STEM and in child development!


 Jelissa Sasraku — Undergraduate Research Assistant


Jelissa is a sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences and Child Development. She is interested in going to medical school for general pediatrics, yet Little Learners Lab has helped open her attention to more specific avenues of working with children. She has research interest on how children develop, especially psychologically. Outside of the lab, Jelissa enjoys being involved in Vanderbilt’s cultural organizations, dancing, taking care of her niece, and taking lots of naps!



Taylor Ditsworth — Undergraduate Research Assistant

Taylor is a freshman majoring in Psychology and Child Development. She joined the Little Learners lab because of her love for kids and interest in early childhood intervention. Outside of the lab, you can find Taylor working as an after-school teacher at a local elementary school, exploring Nashville, or spending time with friends and family.





FALL 2023


LLL Holiday Party (December 2019)


LLL End of Semester Party (April 2019)


LLL End of Semester Party (Dec. 2018)

P1150049LLL Holiday Party (Dec. 2017)