Headshots May 9 (Photo by Kelley Van Dilla) (127 of 128) (1)

Vikram Jaswal is Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Cognition and Development. He is a developmental psychologist whose work has addressed a range of topics in typical development, including in word learning, categorization, memory development, and social cognition. His current research focuses on communication and social interaction in autism. His work is inspired and informed by the lived experiences of autistic children and adults and their families. Learn more about the perspective and approach of the Jaswal Lab. Email Dr. Jaswal


Abha Basargekar is a fifth year graduate student, originally from Navi Mumbai, India. She received her BA in psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, an MA in elementary education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She has experience working in education nonprofits and is broadly interested in inclusive social contexts that support all development. Abha enjoys reading, writing, cooking, hiking and speaking in gibberish with her two cats.


Andrew Lampi earned his Bachelor’s degree from Assumption College in Worcester, MA, where he also earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology. He is interested in learning about the development of social relationships of children with autism, and the compounding impacts these relationships can have on their well-being. Andrew enjoys hiking, kayaking, and fishing, as well as rooting for his hometown teams: the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics.

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Zoe Sargent earned her B.S. in Developmental Psychology from Liberty University. She is excited to join the Jaswal Lab and continue research on language and communication development in autistic individuals as well as communication between parent and autistic child. Outside of school, Zoe loves to travel, and her goal is to visit all 50 states and all 7 continents. She also enjoys hiking, spending time with her dog, going to the beach, reading, and trying new foods.


Kayden Stockwell earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and human development at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He is interested in how Autistic people interact and communicate with each other and with neurotypical people. If Kayden had a day to himself, he would spend it hiking, horseback riding, listening to musical theatre tunes, or reading Star Wars books.


Kate Kaufman is a 4th year student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. Throughout her time in the lab, she has been especially interested in questions related to nonspeakers and communication. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology. At UVA she is involved in Madison House and the University Guide Service. In her free time she enjoys hiking and reading.


Anushey Ahmed is a 4th year Cognitive Science major with a Neuroscience concentration, along with a second major, English. She hopes to use both disciplines to pursue a path in public health. In their free time, Anushey enjoys gardening, reading, and spending time with loved ones..

Kaylin Belcher is a 3rd year Speech and Communications Disorders Major with the hope of becoming a practicing Speech-Language pathologist. She hopes to work in the public education sector once out of school. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and playing with her beagle named Koa.

Grace Ann Brown is a 4th year Cognitive Science major, concentrating in Computer Science and minoring in French. Grace Ann grew up between Arlington, Virginia and London, England. In the future, she hopes to pursue a degree in clinical psychology. In her free time, Grace Ann enjoys reading, listening to music, walking her dog, running, and doing Bob Ross paint nights with her roommates.

Chelsea Divers is a 3rd year double majoring in Psychology and Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law. Upon graduation, she plans on attending law school (hopefully at UVA!) to then pursue criminal or family law. She is passionate about protecting tiny humans, supporting and fighting for survivors of abuse, and creating a world where no one has to be afraid of showing up to the party as their full and authentic selves. In her free time, you can find her dancing it out, playing soccer, or laughing way too loudly with friends.

Chijindu Ene is a 3rd year Electrical Engineering student. Involved in NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and OYFA (Organization of Young Filipino Americans). During his freetime, he likes to read and play the piano. Mycelium is his current obsession..

Adona Fasil is a 4th year Psychology and Spanish major from Fairfax, Virginia who plans to attend medical school after graduation. She enjoys working with children and hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics. She is a member of the Virginia Women’s Chorus and Sigma Delta Pi.

Skye Ferris is a 3rd year cognitive science major with a minor in French on a pre-health track. Outside of the lab, Skye works as a scribe in the UVA emergency room, is a peer health educator, and is on the club volleyball team. In her free time she enjoys reading and baking.

Katie Huffman is a 3rd year majoring in English and Cognitive Science with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology. Although undecided about her future career, she hopes to continue working to better understand neurodivergent individuals and their experiences. In her free time, she volunteers as a student docent at the Fralin Museum of Art, enjoys reading and exploring Charlottesville.

Alexander Maksiaev (he/him) is a 3rd year studying Cognitive Science and Computer Science (although if he had to choose, Cognitive Science is absolutely his favorite major out of the two — he is especially interested in how language affects thought.) He is originally from Richmond, VA, but grew up in an immigrant family, so he has dual citizenship as well. His interests outside of school include writing fiction, drawing, and crocheting (he mostly makes stuffed animals!) In the future after he graduates from UVA, he would like to pursue a PhD in Cognitive Science and study affective computing (how computers process human emotion) or natural language processing (how computers use and interpret human language).

Tara Morin is a 2nd year planning to major in Cognitive Science. She aspires to work in a psychiatric facility in the future or practice clinical psychology relating to eating disorders. In her free time she enjoys anything music related, from singing in the Virginia Women’s Chorus to playing the piano.

Gabriella Napoli is a 4th year English and Psychology major who has worked at the Jaswal lab for the past two years. She is planning on pursuing graduate school for clinical social work.

Ian Nataro is an instructor at the Virginia Institute of Autism. He earned a B.A. in psychology, with a concentration in cognitive/behavioral neuroscience and minor in music, in 2020 from University of Michigan. He hopes to pursue a PhD in psychology and continue working with children and disabled individuals. In his free time, Ian enjoys running, painting, spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Iksha Rohatgi is a fourth year Cognitive Science major. She is going to be a medical assistant after graduation with the hopes of going to medical school. At UVA, she is involved in the Sikh Students Association, VISAS, and Phi Delta Epsilon, and works at 1515/Newcomb. In her free time, she likes to play the piano, do puzzles, and spend time with her friends.

Chelsea Rodi is a third-year psychology major planning to pursue a career in occupational therapy. In her time outside of classes she works as a patient companion at the UVA hospital and enjoys hiking, baking, and trying out new restaurants.

Talyn Steinmann is a first-year from Charlotte, NC planning to major in Kinesiology and/or Public Health. She has a passion for volunteering and working with underserved and marginalized populations in her community. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, and exploring new citiesng.

Emma Ziselman is a third year psychology major and biology minor. She is exploring multiple career interests, which include clinical psychology and the law. Outside of classes, she is an active member of the University Dance Club and Tri Sigma sorority.


Graduate Students

Marissa Drell, PhD 2018, currently at Deloitte Consulting
Shaina Rowell, PhD 2017, Instructor of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University

Robyn Kondrad, PhD 2013, Assistant Professor, James Madison University
Carrie Palmquist, PhD 2013, Associate Professor, Amherst College

Distinguished Majors Program Students

Heather Burns, Mary Isaac Cargill, Brynn Chavira, Caitlin Cole, Claire Galdun, Nora Kramer, Jessica Lunsford, Elyse Morris, Leslie Neely, Maura O’Fallon, Allison Parcell, Hannah Repke, Sydney Sampson, Shannon Savell, Jenna Small, Lauren Tindall

Undergraduate RAs

Kara Abshire, Keelah Andrews, Jennifer Bailey, Izzy Begej, Adrianne Bell, Danning Bisaga, Julia Bondi, Brenna Broadus, Kate Brunick, Sydney Cadogan, Caitlin Carnell, Christin Chambers, Angelica Chang, Laura Chennette, Christina Cheung, Grace Chiarella, Elena Colliver, Michelle Cox, Ann Chung, Taylor Clark, Mira Cole, Morgan Crawford, Carrington Croft, Xara Davies, Katya Davydova, Andrea DeLeon, Lindsey Eller, Lucy Emery, Camille Favero, Sarah Fredrik, Julie Furst, Lillian Gaertner, Chase Gastrock, Lindsay Goldman, Katherine Gould, Cindy Gray, Sally Gustafson, Christina Hammond, Emma Hartman, Gillian Hatch, Lauren Hayden, Nadia Hernandez, Elizabeth Hobbs, Andrew How, Tiffany Hwang, Jordan Jackson, Anam Jafri, Charlotte Jump, Simran Kaur, Katherine Kettler, Erin Kirchoff, Johanna Kreafle, David Lessard, Sally Lewis, Doo Lim, Beth Luder, Madeline Luehr, Jennifer Luu, Lauren Malone, Lanita McCullerses, Emma McDonald, Brittany McLaughlin, Ashley Meinhardt, Nevin Meissner, Derek Meyers, Bessie Miller, Hira Mohyuddin, Emily Moore, Erline Morgan, Kim Morris, Tnsae Mulu, Ashwin Murali, Susanna Murrell, Denica Obis, Mayra Perez, Sarah Puckett, Lobna Raya, Jenny Redmond, Blair Robertson, Emily Rogers, Roy Ruhling, Libbie Ryan, Natalie Ryan, Hannah Schmidt, Alison Setia, Jasleen Singh, Samina Singh, Shubhangi Sinha, Ashley Sullender, Kelsey Sundby, Valerie Swisher, Rachel Sylla, Julie Torres, Linh Tran, Ngan Tran, Amanda Tu, Erin Vines, Thuy Vuong, Sara Wagner, Amanda Walker, Molly Wallace, Anna Walters, Cristina Wilcox, Ida Yonas


Nameera Akhtar, Department of Psychology, University of California–Santa Cruz
Janette Dinishak, Department of Philosophy, University of California–Santa Cruz
Morton Gernsbacher, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hudson Golino, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Chuck Kalish, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Matthew Lerner, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University
Christine Stephan, Harrisonburg, VA
Jennifer Stevenson, Department of Psychology, Ursinus College
Elizabeth Vosseller, Growing Kids Therapy Center