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 M.S. 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, and she is particularly interested in understanding 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 in 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 in his work with Dr. Janette Herbers.
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 speech perception.


Tess Heinrichs. Tess is a senior Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience major. She is very interested in how the brain perceives sound, particularly music. She is completing her senior thesis in the lab, which is investigating ways we can improve speech recognition for listeners with auditory neuropathy.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Crinnion. Anne Marie started working in the WRAP Lab during Summer 2016. She is currently a senior at Harvard University, concentrating 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. Gwen is working on a project for her senior thesis 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 major public health problem.


Nabiha Shahid. Nabiha is a senior Biochemistry major with a minor in Psychology. Nabiha's research investigates individual differences in language abilities and how they relate to differences in working memory and attention. 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, and she is interested in either pursuing graduate studies in neuroscience or becoming a 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 and Theology and a Minor in Theatre at Villanova. His research uses the auditory brainstem response (ABR) to investigate cue-integration during early stages of speech perception. Ryan is also interested in contributing to research on auditory neuropathy and other problems in 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. Her resarch focuses on speech recognition in noise, and she is investigating how word frequency and neighborhood density are involved in this process. 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. 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.

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 graduate studies, and would eventually like 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.

Victoria Primiano. Victoria is a Junior from Long Island, New York. She joined the lab in the fall of 2019, and she is currently pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education. She plans to attend graduate school, with the ultimate goal of working with children who have developmental delays and disabilities. Outside of the lab she volunteers with LEVEL, an organization which aims to bridge the gap between students with differing abilities and disabilities.

Charli White. Charli is a sophomore at Villanova University from Ocean View, Delaware. She joined the lab in the fall of 2019. She is currently working towards a B.S. in Comprehensive Science with plans to pursue a concentration in Cognitive Science and a Minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship. She plans to continue on to graduate school and pursue an Au.D. Outside of school, Charli enjoys playing the piano, singing, being artistic, and going outdoors.

Elise Miller. Elise is a freshman from Massachusetts pursuing a double major in Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience and French. Her research involves developing a computational model of natural language processing, with a particular emphasis on understanding how spoken word recognition unfolds over time. Outside the lab, Elise enjoys volunteering with Alpha Phi Omega and RUIBAL, hiking, spending time with friends, and traveling wherever she can.

Amogh Bharadwaj. Amogh is a freshman Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience major at Villanova. His research uses computational modeling techniques to study speech perception. After completing his undergraduate work at Villanova, he plans to go to medical school. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball, playing videogames, and hanging out with friends.

Ander Swartz. Ander Swartz is a freshman at Villanova University majoring in Computer Science and planning to concentrate in Cognitive Science. He is interested in natural language processing, and his research involves developing comutational models of speech perception and spoken word recognition. He is from Rhode Island and enjoys making music and hanging out with dogs (and other friends).
Ellis Ellis Toscano. Ellis is very interested in spoken word recognition. Recently, he's been busy thinking up lots of rhymes and cohorts and has been studying reading. A big fan of public transit, Ellis enjoys riding the train to and from campus. He received the most "stars" in the lab thanks to his cuteness.


Kent Toscano. Kent is the second youngest member of the lab. He has been following-up on some of Ellis' earlier work, and the two of them enjoy making up new games together. 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've been seeing a lot of language milestones from her recently. 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)
Thea Callen (2018-2019)
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)