Mandy J Maguire

Mandy J Maguire, PhD

Dr. Maguire’s research interests include studying children’s typical language development through behavioral and electrophysiological responses. Her primary goal is to study the neurological underpinnings of typical language development as a foundation for better understanding of language disorders and delays. To learn more about the current research in the lab, see our “Studies” page. For a list of Dr. Maguire’s publications, see “Publications.”

Dr. Maguire received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Penn State University where she focused on cognition and development. Following a year as a research assistant in Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, she began the Developmental Psychology PhD program at Temple University. There she worked with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek studying semantic development in children, focusing primarily on verb learning. In her dissertation she identified various cues that children use to learn new verbs, and then extended that work with English speaking children to those learning Japanese and Spanish. Dr. Maguire then returned to her work in cognitive neuroscience during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Louisville in the Developmental Neuroscience Lab where her primary work included collecting data for a longitudinal study of early EEG markers of later reading disabilities. Since starting at The University of Texas at Dallas her work has worked to combine behavioral and neurolinguistic techniques to better understand typical language development.

Doctoral Candidates

Tina Melamed

Tina Melamed is a doctoral student in the communication sciences and disorders program. She completed her BA in linguistics at The University of Texas at Austin in 2012 and her MS in speech language-pathology from Texas Christian University in 2016. She worked as a speech-language pathologist in the largest public school district in Texas before coming to UTD to work on her PhD. Her research interests include treatment of language impairment in school-aged children and understanding the underlying cognitive processes that contribute to language development and use in children with and without language impairments.

Sonali Poudel

Sonali Poudel is a doctoral student in the communication sciences and disorders program. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from Wesleyan College, Macon, GA in 2015. Following this, she worked as a lab manager in the Neuroscience of Language Lab at George Washington University for a year. Her research interests include understanding the cognitive and neural correlates of language development in children with varied language experience.

Lab Coordinator

Stephanie Castro

Stephanie Castro is the lab coordinator. She has graduated from UT Dallas with her bachelor’s in child learning and development and psychology. She plans on continuing her education by going to graduate school and hopes to develop a career in research.


Master’s Students

Klarissa Sheffield

Klarissa Sheffield is currently pursuing a master’s degree in speech language pathology at UT Dallas. Upon completion of her degree, she aspires to work in either a pediatric private practice or a school setting.


Undergraduate Students

Danyah Ahmed

Danyah Ahmed is a psychology major. She aspires to get her PhD in neuropsychology and work as a child life specialist in the future. She enjoys spending her free time in a research lab and learning more about her field of interest.

Prasanth Chalamalasetty

Prasanth Chalamalasetty is a junior majoring in neuroscience at The University of Texas at Dallas. Some of his hobbies include painting, playing tennis, and reading in his free time. After graduating, he plans to learn more about the mysteries of the brain through patient interaction, diagnoses, and research.

Flor Doradea

Flor Doradea is a neuroscience major with a minor in business administration. She aspires to contribute to the health field by bridging the gap between what is known and unknown through research and implement that knowledge to enhance health for all people as a physician. In her free time, she likes to read, do anything fitness-related, and try new things. She also goes by Flower, which is the English translation of her name.

Sofia Hidalgo

Sofia Hidalgo is pursuing a major in biochemistry. She is also under the UTeach Track, with a concentration in STEM Education. Currently, she is interested in education and how research and science can contribute to it. In the future, she hopes to focus on the emerging field of educational neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing tennis, journaling, and reading.

Jaime Huerta

Jaime Huerta is a junior computer engineering major with a minor in Spanish. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends and discovering new places to eat. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree to become a hardware engineer.

Salman Isa

Salman Isa is a junior neuroscience major with a minor in psychology. He is a premed student and hopes to go to medical school in 2022. He enjoys playing sports and spending quality time with friends and family.

Kathryn Noel

Kathryn Noel is currently a junior biology major at The University of Texas at Dallas. She hopes to get her MD to pursue her dreams of being a reconstructive surgeon. Some of her favorite things to do are playing with her dog Rhubarb and exploring new restaurants.

Daniela Saldana

Daniela Saldana is a senior double majoring in psychology and child learning and development. She plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology and hopes to work with children in a clinical setting. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new recipes, and exploring the city.

Katelin Tran

Katelin Tran is a junior biology major on the pre-health track. She hopes to continue her education with the goal of pursuing an MD.

Lauren Tran

Lauren Tran is a sophomore double majoring in child development and speech-language pathology. Whether it be educationally or psychologically, she hopes to go down a career path that can help improve the lives of children.


Lab Alumni

Yvonne Ralph, PhD is a post-doc at Florida International University with Dr. Shannon Pruden. Yvonne successfully defended her dissertation and graduated with her doctorate from UT Dallas in psychological sciences.

Julie Schneider, PhD is an assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders at Louisiana State University.

Anna Middleton, PhD leads the research efforts of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. She earned her PhD in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas in 2017.