Lab Members

Dr. Julia Parish-Morris

Principal Investigator

Julia Parish-Morris is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Scientist at the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As a developmental psychologist, Dr. Parish-Morris studies clinical language and social attention phenotypes across the lifespan in individuals with neurodevelopmental or psychiatric differences. Specifically, she uses computational approaches – including NLP and machine learning – to quantify social communication, with a focus on understudied subgroups like autistic girls. Dr. Parish-Morris graduated magna cum laude from Smith College, and earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology at Temple University, with postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has lectured about communication and social attention at conferences and workshops both nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of multiple prestigious fellowships and awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Autism Science Foundation, and the American Psychological Association.

Current Clinical Research Assistants

Maxine Covello

Maxine Covello is a Clinical Research Assistant at the SoAL lab. She supports a variety of studies under Dr. Julia Parish-Morris including the ARO-MURI project which synthesizes childhood learning with machine learning algorithms to develop robustness in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania's Engineering Department. She received her B.S. in Clinical Psychology and minor in Cognitive Science in 2020 from the University of California, San Diego. As an undergraduate she worked with Dr. Adena Brady-Schachner in the Mind and Development Lab researching cross-modal auditory development in childhood. After graduating, she worked in Applied Behavior Analysis as a Behavior Technician with children on the autism spectrum. This inspired her to pursue related research and is now working to support various projects on language and ASD. She additionally supports research projects related to early intervention and access to services in underrepresented communities under Dr. Judith Miller and Dr. Amanda Bennett.

Aili Hauptmann

Aili Hauptmann works at the SoAL lab as a clinical research assistant. She works on a variety of studies supporting Dr. Julia Parish-Morris including the Vocal Biomarkers of Autism study looking to identify unique vocal biomarkers to distinguish autistic children from typically developing children. She also works on a study using fMRI and language data from the IBIS Network to find specific vocalization characteristics that differentiate infants later diagnosed with ASD from other children.

She graduated magna cum laude from The University of California, San Diego in 2021, receiving two Bachelors of Science degrees: one in Neuroscience and the other in Psychology with a specialization in Human Health. As an undergrad she worked in various labs including the Language Production Lab (LPL) researching grammar and syntax, The Adolescent Use of Technology and Marijuana Lab (AUTM) researching the use of technology as a non-substance addiction compared to marijuana as a substance use addiction in adolescents, and The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Lab (ABCD) which is the largest NIH funded longitudinal research study looking at adolescent development over a 10 year time span.

Azia Knox

Azia Knox is a Clinical Research Assistant at the SoAL Lab. She primarily assists with the lab’s Digitizing Human Vocal Interaction study as well as the Vocal Biomarkers telehealth study, and also trains students interns on transcription and coding for a variety of projects and grants within the lab. Azia received her B.A. in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience and Chinese in 2017 from Texas A&M University. After graduating, she spent a year teaching English to elementary students in China before returning to the states to gain more experience in a clinical research setting. Her interests are in camouflaging in autistic and gender diverse populations, code switching, and language development. When not at the BLA Lab, Azia can be found at the climbing gym, reading a good book, or studying to be the next winning competitor on Jeopardy.

Maggie Rose Pellela

Maggie Rose Pelella is a clinical research assistant at the SoAL Lab. She primarily works on the Vocal Biomarkers of Autism Spectrum Disorder study, which aims to identify stable voice biomarkers that distinguish children and adolescents with ASD from typically developing controls. On the front end of the study, she is responsible for recruiting, screening, and working with families throughout the course of their participation. Prior to this work, she was a member of a psycholinguistics lab studying the bilingual brain at The Pennsylvania State University. These experiences spurred an interest in language/language development that ultimately led her to pursue a position at this lab.

Sonny Russell

Sonny Russell works on the SoAL Lab as a clinical research assistant. She works primarily on a randomized controlled trial intended to determine the efficacy of a virtual reality-based intervention aimed at improving police safety skills in autistic individuals. She also works on a study examining the trajectories of congruence/incongruence between assigned sex & gender in young autistic children. In addition, she supports a study using linguistic and fMRI data from the IBIS Network to find specific vocalization characteristics that differentiate infants later diagnosed with ASD from other children. Sonny graduated from Vassar College in 2020 with a B.A. in Neuroscience. Sonny plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology where she can engage further in research and clinical work grounded in affirmative care, autism advocacy, and intersectionality.

Current Collaborators:

Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) at University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

CAR Language Team & 2022 Transcription Team Summer Students with Mark Liberman (Founder & Director of LDC) & Chris Cieri (Executive Director of LDC)

Julia Parish-Morris (PI) & Chris Cieri (Executive Director of LDC)

Current Undergraduate Students:

Anooshey Ikhlas

Steicy De Paiva

Heba Elmountassir

Joyce Davis

Kashish Wadhwa

Kristine Enemuo

CAR Language Team & 2022 Summer Students with Julia Parish-Morris (PI)

Lab Alumni:

Jaclin Boorse

Meredith Cola

Victoria Petrulla

Samantha Plate

Amber Song

Kim Tena