Rachel Flynn worked in the Childhood Cognition Lab from 2008 – 2013, studying interactive media’s influence on the development of executive functioning skills. During that time, she completed research on the impact of active video game (i.e. Wii Fit) play on children’s executive functioning in a five week summer in a poverty-impacted neighborhood for two consecutive summers. Rachel’s dissertation research examined the acute impact on executive functioning skills, such as attention and self-regulation, of exercise, active video games, and traditional video games. She holds a B.S. in Biopsychology and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan and a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She currently works as a postdoctoral fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work and as Senior Program Officer for Research and Evaluation at Ramapo for Children, an organization specializing in direct service programs for youth with special needs and training programs on positive behavior managing for adults.
Ahmed Ibrahim worked in the Childhood Cognition Lab from 2014 – 2016 focusing on digital applications and STEM. He is currently working as a lead researcher at the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) at the University of Chicago.
Ashley Ricker worked in the Childhood Cognition Lab from 2013 – 2016 studying the development of episodic memory, and changes in encoding processes in particular. Her dissertation work examined the influence of interactive media and video games on memory and metacognition. She is currently working as the GradQuant Coordinator of the Graduate Quantitative Methods Program at UC Riverside.
Michael Robb worked in the Childhood Cognition Lab from 2005 – 2010, studying the impact of media on children’s learning. During that time, he completed research on the impact of baby DVDs on young children’s language development, problem solving abilities, and early literacy outcomes. Michael’s dissertation examined the impact of an interactive storybook on parent-child dialogic reading and children’s story comprehension. He was the recipient of the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship, awarded to students for research on the relationship between children’s use of media and learning. He currently works as the Director of Research at Common Sense Media.
Nicholas Shaman worked in the Childhood Cognition Lab from 2009 – 2016, where his research focused on children’s cognitive development, religious concepts, and how those influence and are influenced by their religious experiences. His dissertation examined the influence of religious rituals on children’s learning of religious concepts. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Religious Studies from Boston University.
Erin Smith worked in the Childhood Cognition Lab from 2006-2011, where her research focused on the development of religious concepts, and how these kinds of concepts are differentiated from other concepts (scientific, fantastical, etc.). Her dissertation examined the cultural and cognitive influences on beliefs about the origin of species and evolutionary knowledge in Chinese and American adolescents. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at California Baptist University in Riverside, CA, where her research continues to examine the cognitive, cultural, and social influences on memory for, learning about, and differentiating science and religion with preschool-aged children and young adults. At California Baptist University she has also served as the Assessment Coordinator for the School of Behavioral Sciences and is currently serving as the Associate Accreditation Liaison Officer.
Erin I. Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
School of Behavioral Sciences