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.

Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee is a Clinical Research Assistant within the SoAL Lab. She primarily leads the Sex and Gender in Autism (SAGA) Study, which investigates sex differences and gender development in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder, with a focus in females and gender diverse populations that have been traditionally understudied in research. She also assists in Floreo, an intervention study meant to improve police safety skills with Autistic individuals. Her research interests include social communication development in neurotypical and neurodivergent groups and bridging the gaps between community stakeholders and their access, inclusion, and collaboration in research and healthcare.

Amanda received her B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience with a double major in Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2021. Prior to joining the SoAL Lab, Amanda was the Lab Manager for Dr. Anna Fisher’s Cognitive and Social Development Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, where she helped lead two studies: the Conversations Project: Let’s Talk About Racism, a strengths-based learning experience with youth that explores historic roots and present-day manifestations of systemic racism, and the Diverse Books Project, an intervention study examining how diverse children’s books can be used to foster positive racial socialization in children. Amanda plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in order to strengthen her research interests and continue working alongside community members. 

Meg Lyons

Meg works at the SoAL lab as a clinical research assistant. She assists a variety of studies under Dr. Julia Parish-Morris including the Digitizing Human Vocal Interaction study, the Sex and Gender in Autism Study (SAGA), and many of the collaboration studies the lab supports. Meg also trains student interns on transcription for various projects and grants within SoAL as well as maintains communication with the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) at the University of Pennsylvania.

Meg graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University in May 2023, receiving a B.A. in Honors Psychological and Brain Sciences as well as a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. As an undergrad, Meg worked with Dr. Michelle Stock in the Health Cognitions and Behavior Lab aiding research that utilized social psychological theories to understand risky health cognitions and behaviors with a focus on racial and gender discrimination. Meg intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology to further her interests in child development and behavioral healthcare.   

Sarah Schillinger

Sarah works at the SoAL Lab as a clinical research assistant. She supports several of Dr. Parish-Morris's studies, including the Sex and Gender in Autism (SAGA) study which explores differences in the development of children with autism based on gender and based on congruence versus incongruence with assigned sex at birth. She also supports and manages student interns for several language projects, which aim to predict autism diagnoses through analyzing early infant vocalizations and social interactions between young children and caregivers.

Sarah earned a B.A in Psychology from Grinnell College in 2023 with concentrations in Neuroscience and Linguistics. As an undergraduate student, she worked with Dr. Ann Ellis exploring how preschoolers scan faces of same and other races, and worked with Dr. Paula Yust studying friendship in preschool-aged children. Additionally, she worked at the Grinnell College Preschool as an assistant teacher for four years. She hopes to continue working with children and conducting research with a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Current Collaborators:

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

CAR Language Team & Summer Students with Mark Liberman (Founder & Director of LDC) & Other LDC Members, July 2023

Julia Parish-Morris (PI) & Chris Cieri (Executive Director of LDC), July 2022

Current Undergraduate Students:

Adelia Wallace

Allie Frydrych

Anooshey Ikhlas

Elina Owusu

Emily Potts

Grace Hicks

Heba Elmountassir

Ivy Wen

Jamie Yuen

Joyce Davis

Joyce Davis

Julian Talley

Keeana Dicette

Keshvi Chheda

Khushi Kumar

Khyrah Blue

Kristine Enemuo

Monica Madya

Naomi Yu

Nolan Lortz

Samantha Valdes

Sarah Weinstein

Victoria Seo

CAR Language Team & 2023 Summer Students with Julia Parish-Morris (PI)

Lab Alumni:

Jaclin Boorse 

Meredith Cola

Azia Knox

Maggie Rose Pelella

Victoria Petrulla

Samantha Plate

Sonny Russell

Amber Song

Kim Tena