Lab Members



Are you an undergraduate or graduate student seeking research experience? Join the Lab!


Current Lab Members


Doctoral Students


Jacob Momsen

Jacob is a fourth-year student in the joint doctoral program in Language and Communicative Disorders at SDSU and UCSD. He’s interested in memory and language development, and is currently working on a project using neural data (EEG) to examine contextual processing and word learning in children and adults. During his free time, he enjoys activities such as basketball and producing music. 

Jacob Momsen

Ashlie Pankonin

Ashlie is a second-year doctoral student in the joint doctoral program in Language and Communicative Disorders at SDSU and UCSD. She is originally from Nebraska and earned her B.S. in Applied Psychology and Linguistics from New York University. She is interested in the relationship between language and cognition and is currently researching factors affecting implicit and explicit word recognition in typical-language adults, as well as the timing of implicit processes in aphasia, using a combination of EEG and behavioral methods. She aims for her research to have a real-world impact by contributing to the understanding of language learning and processing in typical and atypical populations and aiding in the identification and treatment of individuals with language and communicative disorders. During her free time, she enjoys competitively weightlifting, eating ice cream, and hanging out with her two cats.

Ashlie Pankonin

Cristy Sotomayor

Cristy is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communicative Disorders Program at San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego. Currently, she is examining the association between language experience and word learning in school-aged bilingual children. She is originally from Orange County in Southern California. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and watching movies.

cristy sotomayor

Master’s Students


Jessica Leas

Jessica is a second-year M.A. student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at SDSU. She received her B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology at Cal State Long Beach, where she researched family perspectives on AAC. Jessica aims to become a school-based SLP, working with preschool and elementary-age students. She is passionate about neurodiversity, complex communication, and pragmatics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, trying new foods, and going to the beach.

Jessica Leas

Ashley Leone

Ashley is a first-year M.A student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at SDSU. She also received her B.A. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at SDSU. Her future career goal is to become a Speech Language Pathologist working primarily with adolescents in the high school setting. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, camping and cooking.

Ashley Leone

Karyna Maclean

Karyna is a first-year M.A. student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at SDSU. She also received her B.A. in Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences at SDSU. She is currently involved in creating the foundation of the phonology portion of the Autism Study as well as helping out in the creation of a language screener identifying adolescents with DLD. Her passions in the field are molded in the expansive array of opportunities to grow as a clinician and the creativity involved with the work. She loves working with kids but is, also, extremely fascinated by cognitive-communication disorders and acquired neurological language disorders which heavily focuses on the adult population. Outside of school life, Karyna enjoys drawing, painting, hiking, and spending time at the beach with her friends.

Karyna MacLean

Olivia Magon

Olivia is a first-year M.A. student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at SDSU. She is working on a study to create a language screener that identifies adolescents who have a developmental language disorder. Her interests include how a person’s cognition and environment play a role in their ability to learn and use speech and language, especially among young children and people who have acquired a brain injury. Her dedication to this field is grounded in her belief that communication plays one of the most important and influential roles in the human experience, motivating her eagerness to help people with speech and language difficulties.

Olivia Magon

Ann Marie Mansholt

Ann Marie is completing her second year as an SLHS M.A. student at SDSU. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at UC Santa Barbara and second bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University. She has a lot of interests in the field, including language acquisition across various modalities, autism, cognitive communication and social communication. Her goal is to work as an SLP in a high school and/or a transitional program for young adults and become involved in Adapted Athletics. In her free time, she enjoys drinking coffee, going on walks, playing soccer, and searching for the best breakfast burrito in San Diego.

Ann Marie-Mansholt

Colleen Ricard

Colleen is currently completing her second year as a Speech-Language Pathology M.A. student at SDSU. She received her B.A. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences as a transfer student at SDSU, and has been involved in Dr. Abel’s Language Learning Lab since senior year of her undergraduate experience. Colleen’s long-term goal is to become a school-based SLP. She recognizes a need for advocacy, social justice, and equity; she looks forward to becoming a change-maker in the schools by disrupting systems in place that don’t encompass inclusivity for all students. During her free time, she enjoys taking her dog Nebulous on adventures, camping, hiking, drinking coffee, and connecting with friends.

Colleen Ricard

Ashley Young

Ashley is completing her second year as an SLHS M.A. student at SDSU. She is originally from the Bay Area, where she received a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley before moving to SoCal to study Communication Sciences and Disorders as a post-bac at CSUF. She worked as an ABA therapist for four years while pursuing further education to become an SLP. Her goal is to become a school-based SLP, with a specific interest in working with adolescents in the areas of complex communication needs, behavior, metalinguistic skills, and pragmatics. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, making pasta, forcing her friends and family to play complicated board games, watering her houseplants, and painting.

Ashley Young

Undergraduate Students


Amber Henmi

Amber is a junior majoring in Speech Hearing and Language Sciences at SDSU with a minor in personal and social psychology. From her experience volunteering at United Cerebral Palsy and because she loves working with kids, Amber’s career goal is to become a Speech-Language Pathologist for children either in a private or hospital setting. Through her research with LLL, she has developed an interest in psycholinguistics and seeing how language acquisition is affected by socioeconomic status. She is currently studying how cloze probability levels affect learning a novel word through context. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, drawing, spending quality time with friends, and can often be seen eating ice cream or drinking boba. She also likes to get free barre classes from her friend Makenna.

amber henmi

Brittany Moreno

Brittany is a senior majoring in Speech Hearing and Language Sciences at SDSU. After receiving her bachelor’s degree she hopes to gain meaningful experiences that will better equip her for the field and then go onto grad school and become a SLP. She is eager to one day be able to serve many different populations as a SLP. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and watching the Real Housewives and Jersey Shore.

Brittany Moreno

Makenna Sine

Makenna is a third-year speech, language, and hearing sciences major. She plans on going to grad school and becoming a licensed SLP. Makenna is currently interested in the pediatric side of Speech-Language Pathology and also wants to learn more about SLP involvement in the NICU. After being involved in the LLL for the last couple years, she has a wide range of research interests and enjoys working on multiple projects. Currently, she is studying how adults communicate with minimally verbal and nonverbal toddlers. In her free time, she loves teaching ballet classes to kids, going to the beach, and getting froyo with Amber. She also like to work out and just became a certified pure barre instructor.

Makenna Sine

Kaleigh Vautour

Kaleigh is completing her second year as an SLHS undergrad student at SDSU. She is currently working to gain any experience she can to better understand the field. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she plans to continue on to grad school to get her master’s in Speech Language Pathology. She is especially interested in working as an SLP with children with DLD and/or Intellectual Disabilities, but is open to exploring other career paths. Outside of school, Kaleigh enjoys singing, dancing, painting, exploring coffee shops, and Christian ministry.

Kaleigh Vautour

Post-baccalaureate


Chelsea Young

Chelsea is currently completing her second bachelors in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University. She received her B.A. in Linguistics, with a minor in Education Studies at UC San Diego. Her future career goals are to become a Chinese/English bilingual SLP working with school-aged children. She discovered her passion of working with children early on and has held many roles as a tutor, gymnastics coach, dance teacher, and speech clinic volunteer. In her free time, she enjoys taking dance classes, snowboarding, or drinking tea.

Chelsea Young

Lab Alumni

  • Brittney Anderson
  • Natalie Andersen
  • Ariana Arakelian
  • James Berges
  • Jessica Bevilacqua
  • Bailey Byers
  • Brittany Edyburn
  • Marin Fisher
  • Jocelyn Garcia
  • Ashley Goussak
  • Jasmine Guantez
  • Megan Jeong
  • Miriam Kae
  • Chanel Konja
  • Maddy Long
  • Raquel Mataga
  • Allison McLaughlin
  • Kirsten Miller
  • Leah Mizrahi
  • Christina Pak
  • Elaine Peralta
  • Julia Price
  • Collen Ricard
  • Joseph Riedel
  • Jordan Schachter
  • Brittany Sharp
  • Sarah Smudz
  • Katy Stow
  • Susan Sadeghi
  • Lindsey Vollmert
  • Adam Zeller