Loyola University Chicago

Children's Memory and Learning

Research Team

Dr. Catherine Haden

‌‌Graduate School: Emory University (1995)

Undergraduate: Wake Forest University (1989)

Current: Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago (since 1997)

Interests: Information about Dr. Haden's research and teaching interests is available here

When she isn't working, Dr. Haden can be found watching her daughter swim, or her son run, or walking her dog Sugar.

Dr. Pirko Tõugu 

Dr. Tõugu  is a postdoctoral fellow. 

Dr. Tõugu completed her PhD in 2012 under the supervision of Tiia Tulviste at the University of Tartu, Estonia.


Maria (Mia) Marcus

Mia is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology training track.

Mia is from Chicago, IL. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in May 2010 with a B.S. in Psychology.

Mia’s research focuses on the role of social interactions in promoting young children’s learning and remembering. Her master’s thesis examined how learning in a museum could be extended beyond its walls through social interactions with others. Currently, she is investigating how parent-child conversational interactions during hands-on activities impact children’s learning and transfer of science practices and STEM content in an informal educational setting.  


Undergraduate Research Assistants 

 Alexandra Horton


Hometown: Mokena, Illinois

Status: Junior with Senior Standing Undergraduate

Studying: Psychology

Research Interests: Developmental Psychology, School Psychology, The Impact Bullying Has On The Psychology of Children and Young Adults, and Degenerative Brain Diseases such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Goals: I hope to go to Grad School for School Psychology

Hobbies: Yoga, Baking, Writing, Meditating, Photography, Vintage Shopping, and Wandering the City!


Raahi Patel


Hometown: McHenry, IL

Status: Senior Undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago

Studying: Psychology

Research Interests: Psychological development and also the different psychological disorders

Goals: To attend medical school

Hobbies: Playing basketball, watching movies, meeting new people


Amanda Porter

 Amanda Porter

Hometown: Lincoln Park, Michigan

Status: Senior Undergraduate at Loyola University of Chicago

Studying: Psychology

Research Interests: Psychology of parenting, the impact of parenting styles, parent and child interactions over the lifespan of the child

Goals: To attend graduate school and eventually work in facilitating healthy parenting styles and relationships; I would love to incorporate traveling and helping children all over the globe

Hobbies: Spending time with my fiancé (we love to travel and have made our way through numerous countries), binge watching The Office on Netflix, hanging out with my dog and seeing my family back in Michigan when possible


Anshu Ravula

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Status: Junior Undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago

Studying: Psychology Major, Marketing Minor

Research Interests: Clinical Psychology, Mental Disorders in Adolescents, Industrial Organizational Psychology

Goals: To attend graduate school in Clinical Psychology 

Hobbies: dancing, trying new food, watching Bollywood movies, and hanging out with my friends and family


Ariha Shah


Hometown: Naperville, IL

Status: Junior Undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago

Studying: Psychology

Research Interests: Clinical psychology, specifically the development and mental health of adolescents

Goals: To attend graduate school in Clinical Psychology 

Hobbies: Traveling, reading, writing, Netflix, and spending time with family and friends



Former Students

Dissertation titles and the "happily ever after"!

Erin Wilkerson, Ph.D. (2011)

The role of prior knowledge and parent-child interactions in children's learning in museums.

Assistant Professor, Penn State York

Nora Brodson Benjamin, Ph.D. (2007)

Building understanding in Under Construction: Effects of event preparation on caregiver-child collaboration and children’s learning in a museum exhibit

Instructor, College of Lake County

Karen Kolmodin MacDonell, Ph.D. (2006)

Exploring links between children’s understanding of emotion, parent-child reminiscing about emotional events, and the kindergarten classroom affective environment.

Research Associate Professor, Pediatric Prevention Research Center, Wayne State University

Amy Hedrick, Ph.D. (2006)

Talk during and after events: How an elaborative style impacts event memory

Associate Professor, Lenoir-Rhyne College

Sam Fazio, Ph.D. (2005)

The persistence of self in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease 

Director of Medical and Scientific Relations, Alzheimer's Association

Part-Time Faculty, Northeastern Illinois University

David Rudek, Ph.D. (2004)

Reminiscing about past events: Influences on children’s deliberate memory and metacognitive skills

Associate Professor, Aurora University

Barbara Havlik O’Brien, Ph.D. (2002)

Maternal book reading style and children’s literacy development

Lecturer in Psychology, Washington University in Saint Louis