Volunteers




Asli Hersi

Asli is a fourth year Neuroscience student at the University of Toronto, with a minor in Biology and Physiology. She has a passion for academia and hopes to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience, specifically regarding neurological development & disorders. After becoming a scientist, Asli hopes to return back home to Somalia and help the redevelopment of the country's education and healthcare system, while (hopefully!) contributing to the world of science. In her free time, Asli enjoys spending time outdoors and hanging out with family and friends.

Becky Gross

Becky has graduated from the University of Toronto in 2019 with a BSc studying psychology, neuroscience, and German. She is interested in clinical research, specifically the intersection of substance use and developmental disorders. In the future, she is hoping to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology.

Bowrnamy Senthilrajah

Bowrnamy is currently in the fourth year of her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto with a major in Health & Disease and a double minor in Psychology and French. Growing up, she always had a deep fascination for the different languages and cultures of the world, trying to learn as many as she can, including English, Tamil, French, Spanish, Pashto and Portuguese. Her passion for learning also translates to the sciences, especially the biological and psychological mechanisms of child development. She hopes to use her love for children and background in cognitive development to improve current school curriculums in ways that accommodate children of all abilities. In her spare time, Bowrnamy loves to take and edit photos, create music, play sports and spend time with her family.

Christine Muscat

Christine completed her Honours BSc. at the University of Toronto with a Specialist in Psychology and a Major in Neuroscience. Her honours thesis investigated the longitudinal cognitive, behavioural and academic outcomes in children born very preterm. She is currently a year 2 graduate student completing her MHSc. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. In the fall, she will be starting an Msc. in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Toronto with the hopes to pursue a PhD and work as a clinician-scientist. In the BAM lab, she is working on a project investigating sound-shape correspondents in monolingual and bilingual 12-month-old infants. Additionally, she is working on an online study investigating voice familiarity and spoken language processing in monolingual and bilingual adults. Her research interests include atypical speech and language development of children with developmental disorders and acquired brain injuries.

Emily Wood

Emily completed her undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Languages. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish and speaks conversational German. Emily then attended the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University, where she earned her clinical Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She now works as a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Durham District School Board. Emily has a keen interest in literacy, specifically early literacy development in bilingual and multilingual children. She volunteers at the BAM lab in the Online Literacy Study, and acts as a clinical educator to SLP graduate students from the University of Toronto completing placements at the lab. Emily holds adjunct lecture status at Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and plans to pursue research in the future.

Janey Tso

Janey is a first year Master’s Speech-Language Pathology student at the University of Alberta. She volunteered with the Online Literacy Study for BAM over the summer. Some of her research interests include language development, and speech & language in culturally diverse populations. In her free time, she enjoys learning new skills, trying new restaurants, photography, and swimming!

Jareeat Purnava

Jareeat is a 3rd-year undergraduate student at U of T Scarborough specializing in Neuroscience with a minor in Biology. She has a passion for research and has been involved with studies examining decision-making, mood disorders, and visual attention. She also loves languages and is interested in the cognitive neuroscience behind language processing. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing creative stories, and cooking!

Jodee Santos

Jodee is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, completing a Major in Linguistics. Her interest in the field was inspired by a friend, who fascinated her with the explanation of the difference between aspirated and unaspirated voiceless stops. Since then, she has worked alongside Dr. Monika Molnar, Dr. Marcel Geizen and Kai Leung on the Tweety Project. Outside of the lab, Jodee enjoys reading, singing and hanging out with her cat, Tima.

Maya Aharon

Maya is currently in her final year of the Speech-Language Pathology MHSc. program at the University of Toronto. She completed her B.A. at McGill University in Honours Psychology with a minor in Linguistics. Her thesis focused on how bilingualism plays a role in our ability to learn syntactic patterns in language acquisition. Currently, she is interested in how bilingualism/multilingualism may impact the presentation of communication disorders and how we can improve our current practices for culturally and linguistically diverse individuals. Maya is currently developing a survey with the BAM Lab investigating the cultural and linguistic profile, practices and barriers of Canadian Speech-Language Pathologists working with culturally and linguistically diverse children. Outside of school, Maya enjoys taking her dog on long walks, cooking new foods and hosting game nights.

Mia Vardouniotis

Mia recently completed her undergraduate education at York University, with an Honours Specialist degree in Cognitive Science. She will be commencing a Master’s of Health Science in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Toronto in Fall 2021. Mia is extremely interested in the study of language acquisition and development in children. She completed her undergraduate thesis on bilingualism and its effect on executive functioning. She is also interested in how bilingualism affects children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the prevalence of various signs and symptoms. On her spare time, Mia enjoys long walks and shopping! Mia is extremely excited to become a future Speech Language Pathologist, and is looking forward to continuing to work with the BAM! Development Lab.

Sharmigaa Ragunathan

Sharmigaa Ragunathan is a Ph.D. student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) program at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), UofT. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in Psychology and Linguistics, at UTSC. Recently, she completed her Master’s in SCCP at OISE. In terms of research, her master’s thesis focused on the role of development, phoneme position and first language typology on second language spelling accuracy in elementary school English Language Learners coming from different home language backgrounds. After Ph.D., Sharmigaa aspires to become a Child Psychologist to help children and adolescents with learning, socioemotional and behavioural difficulties reach their full potential. Outside of the academia world, Sharmigaa enjoys photography, writing poetry, trying new foods, and drinking Mocha Iced Capp.

Somayah Al-Ees

Somayah graduated from the University of Jordan, with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She also holds an Honours bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. She currently works as a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice. Somayah has an interest in studying and providing normative data for typical cognitive and language development in multilinguals. Obtaining such data set is much needed in the clinical and research community to develop speech and language assessment and intervention tools for multilinguals. She volunteers at the BAM lab in different projects, and hopes to pursue research-based degree in SLP.

Xiaohan Hou

Xiaohan is a third-year student at UTSC. She has a strong passion for public health, disease prevention and health promotion. During her free time, she loves dancing and outdoor sports!

Yash Sharma

Yash is going into the third year of his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto St. George and is pursuing a Neuroscience Specialist along with a double minor in Immunology and Bioethics. As someone who grew up in a multilingual household, the relationship between language acquisition and neural cognition has always fascinated him. In terms of research, Yash is particularly interested in the use for neural stem cells in treating neurodegenerative diseases and the affect of bilingualism on neural pathways. After completion of his undergraduate degree, Yash hopes to pursue a career in regenerative neurobiology and further understand the cellular mechanisms of injury and repair in the nervous system. Outside of academic and lab work, you can normally find Yash listening to music, skiing or enjoying walks with his dog!