PEN Program

Our Ph.D. students

Meet our Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience students!

Geo Kartheiser

Geo KartheiserGeo Kartheiser is a fourth-year student with Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto as his advisor. He is also a research assistant in Petitto's Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2), on the Keck and NSF INSPIRE projects (Petitto, PI).

Kartheiser received his undergraduate degree in advertising and public relations from Rochester Institute of Technology and since then has assisted research on visual attention, brain plasticity, and signed-language assessment tools. He was involved with several studies spearheaded by Dr. Peter Hauser of Deaf Studies Laboratory. Before his graduate studies, Kartheiser served as the visiting research coordinator for Dr. Matthew Dye's Cross-Modal Plasticity Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In his role at Dr. Dye's laboratory, he assisted with a project that utilized a new, non-invasive neuroimaging technique known as Event-Related Optical Signal (EROS) in order to learn more about the effects of deafness on visual functions.

Kartheiser's work investigates the nature of neural plasticity by the learning of new language after the sensitive period for language acquisition. Specifically, how learning a signed language well past the sensitive period impacts the neural networks that support language, learning, and higher cognition. He is also interested in how scientists can improve their relationship with the public. Kartheiser currently holds the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. He also co-authored the peer-reviewed publication "Fingerspelling as a Novel Gateway into Reading Fluency in Deaf Bilinguals" (Adam Stone, lead author) in October 2015 in PLOS One, an open-access multidisciplinary research journal. While at BL2, Kartheiser has also been certified through advanced training to operate neuroimaging equipment, functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy.

When not wearing his lab coat, Geo enjoys cycling, running, and eating exotic food.

Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto     Secondary Advisor: Dr. Deborah Chen-Pichler

Adam Stone

Adam Stone

Adam Stone is a fourth-year student with Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto as his advisor. He is also a BL2 research assistant on the Keck and NSF INSPIRE projects  (Petitto, PI).

Stone earned a Master of Arts in ASL/English Bilingual Education from the University of California, San Diego, and has taught kindergarten and first grade. Additionally, he is the author of Pointy Three, a children's ASL iBook.

Stone is interested in neuroscience perspectives on language acquisition and reading in deaf children and educational technology applications promoting sign language acquisition and literacy in deaf children. He is pursuing scientific hypotheses about how the brain's establishment of visual sign phonological representations can have an advantageous impact on young deaf visual learners' acquisition of English and reading success.

Recently, Adam was awarded the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from NICHD. He also received a two-year fellowship in the prestigious Society for Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP) in July 2015 and was lead author on the peer-reviewed paper "Fingerspelling as a Novel Gateway into Reading Fluency in Deaf Bilinguals," published in October 2015. While at BL2, Stone has also been certified through advanced training to operate neuroimaging equipment, functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy.

Primary Adivsor: Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto     Secondary Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Neese Bailes/ Dr. Maribel Garate

Diana Andriola

Diana AndriolaDiana Andriola is a third-year student under the advisement of Dr. Clifton Langdon.

Prior to Andriola's doctoral work at Gallaudet, she earned her B.A. in Deaf Studies from California State University-Northridge, where she began to explore her research interests in second-language acquisition and literacy development in deaf children. Andriola has been a research assistant in BL2 since fall 2013. During her assistantship, Andriola received certification in functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS).

Andriola's doctoral research investigates the relationship between sign language proficiency and reading development in deaf children and adults, specifically focusing on how phonological awareness for signed and spoken languages contributes to skilled reading. Diana is also passionate about science outreach and involving high school students — including minority, deaf, and female students — in the sciences.

Primary Advisor: Dr. Clifton Langdon     Secondary Advisor: Dr. Gaurav Mathur


Bradley E. White

Bradley WhiteIn 2015, Bradley E. White joined the Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) program at Gallaudet University in Washington, District of Columbia, where he is a research assistant in Dr. Clifton Langdon's Language and Educational Neuroscience Laboratory and Professor Laura-Ann Petitto's Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging.

Bradley received his bachelor of science, summa cum laude, in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in psychology in 2014 from The Honors College at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in the Texas Gulf Coast. He has past academic and clinical training in the areas of speech-language pathology, audiology, and pharmacology, holding national certification with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and state registration with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

Bradley's primary research interests explore the neural substrates of language using variations in language perception, such as those with augmented hearing sensation via hearing technologies (e.g., hearing aids, cochlear implants, auditory brainstem implants) as a unique lens. Specifically, he is interested in using these different signals to reveal how top-down linguistic processes are modulated by bottom-up variations, which holds much promise to better understand cognitive load and linguistic processes in hearing loss. These scientific discoveries also have high potential for translational implications for clinicians, policy makers, educators, and engineers.

Primary Advisor: Dr. Clifton Langdon     Secondary Advisor: Dr. Julie Mitchiner

Lauren Berger

Lauren BergerLauren Berger is a member of the 2016 cohort. She earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in psychology from the Rochester Institute of Technology. While studying at RIT, Lauren worked as an intern at the Deaf Wellness Center in the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry, an ASL translation consultant for the National Center for Deaf Health Research, and a research assistant for the Deaf X Lab headed by Dr. Matthew Dye.

Berger will be working in Professor Petitto's Brain and Language Laboratory (BL2) and in the Language and Educational Neuroscience (LENS) laboratory with Dr. Clifton Langdon.



Emily Kubicek

Emily Kubicek is a member of the 2016 cohort. She earned an undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences from San José State University (SJSU). While living in Northern California, Kubicek became involved with the California School for the Deaf-Fremont and was a teaching assistant for SJSU's ASL classes.

Kubicek began her graduate studies in Gallaudet's Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences department while working in the Brain and Language Lab (BL2) learning about functional infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging. She is looking forward to learning about EEG as a graduate research assistant in Dr. Lorna Quandt's Action and Brain Lab, with the goal of integrating this technology into her PEN studies.

Primary Advisor: Dr. Lorna Quandt