Current Team Members

Karin Lifter, PhD
Karin Lifter, PhDPrincipal Investigator
Education
Post Doctoral Specialization in Developmental Disabilities, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
PhD, Developmental Psychology, Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MA, Developmental Psychology, Columbia University, Teachers College
BA, Biology, Temple University
Research
Dr. Lifter is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston. She developed the Developmental Play Assessment (DPA) Instrument. Dr. Lifter directs the Interdisciplinary Certificate Program in Early Intervention, and she serves on state and national committees regarding early intervention. Her research centers on descriptive and intervention studies on the play, language, and social development of young children with and without disabilities.

Emanuel Mason, EdD
Emanuel Mason, EdDCo-Principal Investigator
Education
EdD, School Psychology, Temple University
MEd, Educational Psychology, Temple University
BS, Psychology, City College of New York
Research
Dr. Mason is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston. He has published and presented numerous research papers on reasoning, assessment, and school psychology-related issues. His current research focuses on teaching science and technology, assessment, and developmental cognition.

Takuya Minami, PhD
Takuya Minami, PhDCo-Principal Investigator
Education
PhD, Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
MA, Counseling, Michigan State University
BE, Mechanical Engineering, Waseda University
Research
Dr. Minami is an Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Minami’s primary research interests are in psychosocial wellness, from a prevention and treatment systems perspective. Three areas are of interest: (1) effectiveness of psychotherapy in natural clinical settings, (2) sources of variability in therapists’ psychotherapy competence, and (3) applying the implications of the above into a psychosocial wellness system.

Amanda Cannarella, PhD
Amanda Cannarella, PhDProject Director
Education
BA, Psychology, McGill University
PhD, Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology, Boston College
Research
Amanda Cannarella is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Counseling and Applied Psychology at Northeastern University.

Summer Klug, M.S.
Summer Klug, M.S.Graduate Research Assistant
Education
MS, School Psychology, Northeastern University
BS, Biology & Society, Cornell University
Research
Summer Klug is a doctorate student in School Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston. Summer’s research interests include how attention skills, as seen in early childhood play development for children with and without developmental disabilities, correspond to later development in other areas, such as social and cognitive domains. She is also interested in the impact of nutrition and exercise on attention in young children and interventions that could improve attention.

Kate Vertucci, M.S.
Kate Vertucci, M.S.Graduate Research Assistant
Education
MS, School Psychology, Northeastern University
BA, Psychology, University of Miami
Research
Kate Vertucci is a doctoral student in School Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research interests include social, emotional, and play development in young children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. She is also interested in the early identification of autism, including how early play deficits may inform later autism diagnosis.

Past Team Members

Ryan Kelly
Ryan KellyCo-op Student
Research
Ryan Kelly is a third year undergraduate at Northeastern University in Boston. He is majoring in Health Sciences and is very interested in the field of psychology.

Betsy Hemphill, MS
Betsy Hemphill, MSGraduate Research Assistant
Education
MS, School Psychology, Northeastern University
BA, Psychology, Washington University
Research
Betsy Hemphill is a doctorate student in School Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, and fulfilling the coursework for the early intervention certificate. Betsy is interested in early childhood development, especially the social and cognitive development of children with and without disabilities. She is also interested in the social-emotional development of at-risk children and children from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Jacquelyn Briesch, MS
Jacquelyn Briesch, MSGraduate Research Assistant
Education
MS, School Psychology, Northeastern University
BA, Psychology, Cornell University
Research
Jacquelyn Briesch is a doctorate student in the School Psychology Program at Northeastern University in Boston, and fulfilling coursework for the early intervention certificate. Jacque’s areas of interests include the mechanisms behind cognitive, language, and play development, and how these domains interact in children with and without disabilities. She is also interested in examining how family dynamics impact early childhood development, as well as the transition into school.