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Language Development Lab

Lab Members

shimpiDr. Priya Shimpi Driscoll is an Assistant Professor of Education at Mills College. As a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, she received a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in 2006 from the University of Chicago. In 2009, Dr. Priya Shimpi Driscoll completed a two-year National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she conducted research on the role of cultural and environmental experiences in children’s attention and learning patterns. Dr. Priya Shimpi Driscoll has been at Mills since 2009. Contact Dr. Priya Shimpi Driscoll at

Nichole BaumgartNichole A. Baumgart is a first year graduate student in the Early Childhood Education program. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Development in the spring of 2005. As part of her research internship, Nichole worked under the supervision of Dr. Julie Poehlmann in the Infant Parent Interaction Lab at the University of Wisconsin Waisman Center. Additionally, she taught preschool for five years in Madison before returning to Mills College to further her education.

Kimberly Dutton is a sophomore and child development major who joined the Mills College Language Development Lab in fall, 2009. After obtaining her bachelor's degree, she hopes to continue on and earn her masters in education policy. She gained her love for children through growing up with, and helping to take care of, her two younger siblings.

Shannon FisherkellerShannon Fisherkeller is an MA student in Early Childhood Education at Mills. She has been at the Mills College Language Development Lab since its inception. Her academic interests include how teachers can support children's language development, and play across the lifespan. She is also a student teacher in the Mills College Children's School preschool. She grew up in Walnut Creek.

FowlerBryan Fowler graduated from UC Davis in the summer of 2009 with a BS in psychology with an emphasis in biology. He worked with Professor Debra Long’s Cognitive Linguistics Laboratory at UC Davis for two and a half years. He is interested in language acquisition and the neurological aspects of both written and verbal language.

Dorothy LawrenceDorothy Lawrence is a senior and will be graduating this spring with a BA in psychology with an emphasis in research. She is also a student member of the Bay Area Association for Black Psychologists. Her research interests include social class disparities, intergroup discrimination, self-esteem, and social identity. Upon graduation she aspires to attend graduate school in pursuit of a Masters of Social Work degree.

Shannon O'BrienShannon O’Brien is a recent graduate of Mills College. She has received a BA in Psychology with emphases in Research and Child Development. Her academic interests include the cognitive development of children, with particular focus on language development and media influences. In addition she is interested in the neural processing of dual representations/mechanisms behind the theory of mind. She hopes to attend graduate school in the near future to pursue her academic interests.

Rosalie OdeanRosalie Odean is a senior child development major at Mills. She joined the Mills College Language Development Lab in spring, 2010. Her research interests focus on language development in preschool classrooms. She is a student teacher in the Mills College Children's School, and president of the Child Development Research Club at Mills.

siegelVanessa Siegel has worked with Dr. Shimpi in the Akhtar Cognitive Development Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Vanessa grew up in the Orinda area.



Devon ThrumstonDevon Thrumston is an undergraduate student at Mills College, majoring in music with a concentration in cello performance, and minoring in child development. She has worked with the Language Development Lab and the Child Development Research Club since Fall 2010, and is interested in language acquisition in early childhood.

wongSarah A. Wong graduated from Mills College with a BA in psychology, research and a minor in Asian Studies. Sarah has had extensive laboratory experience at Mills College working with Dr. Christie Chung in the Mills College Cognition Lab.




Jillian K. French has worked with Dr. Shimpi on numerous projects in the Akhtar Cognitive Development Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jillian’s research examines children’s learning of words and actions by overhearing others’ conversations.


Rachel Jackler is an undergraduate student majoring in childhood development at Mills College. After she graduates, she is planning on earning a multiple subjects teaching credential so that she can start working as an elementary school teacher. She is currently interested in researching how television influences language development in young children.

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Related Projects

Center for Play Research

Language Development Lab

Mills College Children's School (Lab school)

Mills College Teacher Scholars

Contact Information

P: 510.430.3190
F: 510.430.3379

Last Updated: 9/7/17