Meet the team!

Current Members

Joe Joe Toscano, Ph.D., Principal Investigator. Joe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Villanova and the Director of the WRAP Lab. He received his B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester in 2005 and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2011. From 2011-2014, he was a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on questions about language comprehension and speech perception.


Cheyenne Munson Toscano, Ph.D. Cheyenne is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Villanova. She also received her Ph.D. from Iowa, and she completed her undergraduate work at Oberlin College. Prior to joining the department at Villanova, Cheyenne was a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cheyenne’s research focuses on perceptual learning in speech and effects of language disorders, such as specific language impairment (SLI).
Grad Students
Jenah Jenah Black, Lab Manager. Jenah is our lab manager, and a first-year Psychology MS student at Villanova. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Iowa in 2019. Her research focuses on language processes using computational modeling, particularly how people process meaning. She also does work with reading and spelling, using neural networks to examine how the two processes interact.
Emily M. Emily Martinez. Emily is a second-year graduate student at Villanova. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Biology and Crime, Law & Deviance. Before coming to Villanova, Emily took a year off to work on Long Island as a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist at a non-profit for children's mental health, serving underprivileged communities and observing psychiatric disorder progression firsthand. Emily came to the WRAP Lab to work on a project studying auditory neuropathy in subjects with mild hearing loss, and is interested in the neural processes underlying impaired cognition and perception in clinical disorders.
Andrea. Andrea Ruggiero. Andrea is a second-year graduate student at Villanova. She graduated from James Madison University in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology. Although Andrea is interested in many of the projects going on in the lab, she is particularly curious about the role of visual cues on speech recognition.
Jake. Jake Leonard. Jake is a second-year graduate student at Villanova, and graduated from William & Mary with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in English. In the lab, Jake is primarily interested in language acquisition, phonetic variation, dyslexia, and the process of deriving meaning from auditory cues. Additionally, Jake studies the impact of early-life adversity on development.
Siyu. Siyu Lin. Siyu Lin is a first-year grad student at Villanova. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology. He is interested in multilingualism and language acquisition and how they interact with phonetic perception.


Tess Heinrichs. Tess is a senior Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience major. She is very interested in how the brain perceives sound and is learning more about this by working in the WRAP Lab and doing her own research. She is especially interested in how the brain perceives music; she has participated in many music activities throughout her life and wants to learn about its effects on us as human beings.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Crinnion. Anne Marie started working in the WRAP Lab during Summer 2016 after graduating from high school. She is currently a senior at Harvard University, planning to concentrate in Psychology on the Cognitive Science track. She's interested in computational modeling, especially when applied to speech categorization. When she's not thinking about Steiner trees, she loves cycling, running, and listening to country music.


Gwen Saccocia. Gwen is a senior from Massachusetts, majoring in Biology and Honors with a potential concentration in Cognitive Science. Gwen is working on a project that aims to develop tests for measuring "hidden hearing loss" by looking at differences in intensity discrimination thresholds. She is interested in using her project to help diagnose hearing loss, a large public health problem. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for Public Health and Nutrition.


Nabiha Shahid. Nabiha is a senior Biochemistry major with a minor in Psychology. Within the lab, Nabiha is very interested in how people perceive different sounds. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and become a psychiatrist. Outside the lab, Nabiha loves volunteering, hanging out with friends, and exploring new areas.

Ani Javardian. Ani is a senior from the Philadelphia area. She joined the lab in Spring 2018, and she is pursuing a B.A in Psychology and a Cognitive Science minor. She plans on going to graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology to work in either a school or hospital. Outside of the lab, she is involved in Club Basketball and NOVAdance.

Julie Capece. Julie is a senior at Rosemont College and is working towards her B.A. in biology and mathematics. She joined the lab in the fall of 2018. She is interested in either pursuing graduate studies in the field of neuroscience or becoming a neurologist physician's assistant Outside the lab, Julie loves hiking, coffee shops, and playing volleyball and tennis.

Ryan Henderson, Webmaster. Ryan is a senior pursuing a BS in Psychology, a BA in Theology, and a Minor in Theatre at Villanova. He is interested in contributing to research on auditory neuropathy and other problems within the hearing system. Outside of the lab, Ryan can be found having "deep talks" with his friends, running, binging Parks and Rec., or singing in as many different groups as he can.

Jesse Zimmermann. Jesse is a senior Psychology major with a minor in Global Health. She is very interested in the perception of sound and is excited about the opportunity to continue learning about this topic by working in the WRAP lab. Outside of the lab, Jesse is very involved with Villanova Student Musical Theatre and the all-female A Cappella group, the Haveners.

Kayla Adornetto. Kayla is a senior from Medford, NJ. She joined the lab in the spring of 2019 and is currently pursuing her B.S in Psychology, with minors in Italian and Cognitive Science. After Villanova she plans to go to graduate school for Speech-Language-Pathology. She is most interested in later acquisition language disorders and auditory perception, and hopes to work in a hospital one day helping people whose cognitive disorders impair their speech and language perception. Outside the lab she is a member of LEVEL, loves to stay active and hang with friends, and tries to travel as often as possible.

Thea Callen. Thea is junior from Sudbury, Massachuetts. She recently transferred to Villanova in the fall of 2018 from UCLA and is thrilled to be here. Currently an undeclared science major, she joined the lab in the fall of 2018, and is interested in artificial intelligence, especially with its applications to the brain and language development. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school and eventually pursue a career in biotechnology or artificial intelligence.

Annie DiRenzo. Annie DiRenzo: Annie is a sophomore working towards a B.S. in Psychology and joined the lab in the spring of 2019. She plans on pursuing a doctorate to work in a hospital or private practice. Outside of the lab, she is a member of Chi Omega and Student Advancement Ambassadors at Villanova.
Ellis Ellis Toscano. Ellis is very interested in spoken word recognition, and recently, he's been busy thinking up lots of rhymes and cohorts. His hobbies include drawing and reading (or, being read to). A big fan of public transit, Ellis enjoys riding the train to and from campus. Previously, he had the most “stars” in the lab thanks to his cuteness.


Kent Toscano. Kent is the second youngest member of the lab. After working out how infants acquire speech sounds, he's now moved on to more complex linguistic structures. He's been working hard on this for a while now and has excellent results! You can usually find him wherever you find Ellis (they're kind of a team).


Susan Toscano. The third researcher (subject?) in our long-term longitudinal study of cognitive development, Susan is the youngest member of the team. She just arrived two years ago, and she's already off to a great start! We're expecting some motor and language milestones in the next year. Stay tuned...


Post Docs
Laura Getz (2016-2019)
Grad students
Agnes Gao (2017-2019)
Abby Benecke (2016-2018)
Tifani Biro (2014-2016)
Beach Brooks (2014-2016)
Taylor Curley (2014-2015)
Ben Falandays (2015-2017)
Emma Folk (2014-2016)
Rebecca Garrison (2014-2016)
Elke Nordeen (2015-2017)
Zach Oxford-Romeike (2016-2018)
Olivia Pereira (2014-2016)
Jordan Rast (2015-2017)
Dave Saltzman (2014-2016)
Brad Stilwell (2014-2016)
Lexie Tabachnick (2014-2016)
Courtney Thomas (2016-2018)
Stephanie Vicari (2015-2017)
Sarah Vrabic (2015-2017)
Nicole Feeley (2017-2019)
Caroline Lee (2017-2019)
Katie French (2016-2019)
Olivia Hacker (2018-2019)
Jocelyn Rego (2018-2019)
Chris Burley (2014-2016)
Cara Colao (2017-2018)
Jackie Coelho (2015-2016)
Liz Day (2016-2018)
Brandon Henken (Summer 2015)
Nicole Johnson (2015-2017)
Mackenzie Jorgensen (2017)
John Michael Kay (2015-2016)
Grace Kerrigan (2014-2015)
Claire McCann (2016-2017)
Christina Nashed (2016-2017)
Marissa Osowski (2017)
Jesse Pazdera (2015-2016)
Marissa Pharel (2016-2017)
Janice Puder (2016-2018)
Tyler Re (2014-2015)
Rakshana Selvarajan (2015-2018)
Emily Tenuta (2016-2017)
Pankhuri Walia (2017-2018)
Sarah Welch (2016-2017)
Carlin Welter (2016-2017)
Martina Vega (2015-2017)