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Language is a Treasure Trove! That is What the Project is About

Alumini

Project Coordinator

Alice was the project coordinator for the TOHOL project. Since 2017, she coordinated a variety of research projects developed by Drs. Farnia and Cohen, such as the Handle with Care and the Guiding Stars. Additionally, Alice worked with Dr. Farnia to complete an educational evaluation report for the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Her work included the coordination of many components of the TOHOL project activities. Alice is a registered occupational therapist who has over 30 years of clinical, research, teaching and management experience in various mental health programs, including CAMH and the University of Toronto. Alice also completed her Master of Education, specializing in counselling from OISE in 1992. More recently, she has obtained her certification as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist with the Beck Institute and works part-time at the Cleveland Clinic in Toronto.

Research Team

Angel is a Master of Education student in the Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE. She received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2021. She has been teaching Chinese ESL students since 2020 and loves being with the kids! As part of her research practicum course, Angel became a member of the TOHOL team in September 2021 and assisted in test development. Her interests include second language acquisition and figurative language instruction for ESL learners. She would also love to explore the field of pragmatic deficits in children with ADHD.

Sepideh graduated from York University with an Honour Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2020. As a graduate student in Developmental Psychology and Education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, she became involved in the TOHOL lab. Since 2015, Sepideh has worked as a mentor, tutor and instructor teaching French language skills and math to children with different levels of ability. Sepideh is interested in language development and the emergence of figurative language processing specifically metaphor, in preverbal children.

Shreya has completed her Honors Bachelor of Sciences at the University of Toronto and is working towards pursuing a career in occupational therapy. She has been a part of the TOHOL team since 2018, working as a research assistant on various projects including the Test of Higher Order Language (TOHOL), Guiding Stars program for at-risk youth in Ontario schools, as well as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) project investigating teaching and learning practices in elementary schools of West Asia. Currently, she is supporting a systematic review on HOL development and the creation of a standardized measure that reflects an individual’s higher order language ability to establish a marker for diagnosing language impairments in children and adolescents. She enjoys collaborating with the TOHOL team and feels this experience has played a major role in strengthening the personal and professional skills needed to pursue her career goals.

Tanzeela is in the first year of her Master of Education program. She is studying Developmental Psychology and Education at Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She has worked in a developmental clinic and developmental psychology research lab from 2017 to 2021. She has recently joined the TOHOL project as a work-study student. Tanzeela is interested in second language development in immigrant children and how it can be enhanced through the education system.

Paula was a member of the TOHOL team from 2015 to 2019. As a senior research assistant, she coordinated the initial development of the HOL test booklets. She also coordinated the data collection at the Ontario Science Centre and the Peel District School Board. Paula oversaw much of the data entry with the TOHOL and other mental health promotion projects such as Handle with Care in Dr Farnia’s Lab. Paula graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s in Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science in 2021 with awards for her research and clinical skills. Currently, Paula is working at VHA Home Healthcare in Toronto as an Occupational Therapist helping older adults to live safely in their own home.

Shalette is in the first year of her Master of Information program and is studying User Experience Design at the University of Toronto. Before joining the TOHOL project as a work-study student, she worked in several fields – interface development, graphic design and marketing. Shalette is passionate about creating equitable and user-friendly solutions to help improve digital experiences.

Umna was with the TOHOL project from May 2017 to August 2019. Umna was a member of initial team developing the TOHOL items. She also administered the TOHOL to children and adolescents in both school settings and in public venues such as the Ontario Science Centre. Umna took an active role in training other Research Assistants in the administration of TOHOL. Umna graduated with her Bachelor of Science at McMaster University, where she completed her Honours Thesis in the Child Emotion Laboratory. Umna has also published her work in two academic journals. She has also completed her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology at University of Toronto in 2019. Currently, Umna is working as a Senior Speech-Language Pathologist at Lahore Children's Centre in Pakistan.

In 2020, Yuval graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at York University. She joined the TOHOL team as part of her research practicum when completing her MEd degree in Developmental Psychology and Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Following the completion of the course, Yuval remained a part of the lab for an additional year and is enjoying every moment of her work in the Lab. Upon graduation, Yuval has been working with the Israeli Scouts as an Education and Curriculum Director.

Justice [Mengqiu] Cheng contributed her expertise to the TOHOL team as a research practicum student from 2022 to 2023. She conducted a systematic review focused on the atypical language development of children and adults, especially on figurative speech. Justice also participated in the development of the HOL test. Her research interest is in the realm of cognitive mechanisms that underpin human-AI collaboration.

Sarem joined the TOHOL project as a work-study student from September 2022 to April 2023 while completing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Cognitive Science at UofT. She is now a volunteer research assistant at the Addis Continental Institute of Public Health in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She hopes to pursue a career in psychology.

Sachnoor was a work-study student with the TOHOL Lab in from 2022-2023. She performed transcriptions of TOHOL test administrations and assisted in scoring. Sachnoor is a fourth-year Forensic Psychology student at the University of Toronto Mississauga and will be pursuing law school upon graduation.

Irene joined the TOHOL Project as a research assistant over the summer of 2023, contributing mainly to transcription, scoring and item development. She previously worked at the Computation and Psycholinguistics (CAP) lab at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where she assisted in behavioural and neuroimaging studies on language production and comprehension. After completing her fourth year of her Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, Irene hopes to pursue a Master's programme in neuroscience in Europe.

Aiman was a senior research assistant with the TOHOL project from 2015-2017. Her work included TOHOL test item development and coordinating several other mental health promotion research studies in the Farnia Lab. For her work with Dr. Farnia, Aiman was awarded the University of Toronto Excellence Award. Aiman completed an Honours BA specializing in French language and linguistics at the University of Toronto and went on to complete a Master of Education in Education, Leadership, and Policy at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. Aiman is currently employed with RBC Dominion Securitiesas a Mobile Classroom Trainer with the National Training & Development Team and manages the RBC Master Classes addressing the professional and career development of employees across Wealth Management Canada.

Charlotte was a member of the TOHOL Team from September 2020 to November of 2021. Charlotte came to the Lab with a Bachelor of Art in Translation and Interpreting at Wuhan University of Science and Technology. Her work with the TOHOL project included data entry and transcription. She was also involved in the review of research studies reporting on their findings of the development of higher order language in neurotypically developing children and youth. She completed her Master's degree in the Developmental Psychology and Education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Charlotte is currently working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder as an Intensive Behaviour Therapist with Strides Toronto program.

Fabliha was a member of the TOHOL Team from September 2018 to February of 2019. Fabliha was involved in data entry as well as test administration at the Ontario Science Centre. Fabliha completed a master’s degree in Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in 2021. She is currently employed with Public Health Agency of Canada as a Policy Analyst, Family and Gender Based Violence Prevention Unit.

Lima became a member of TOHOL Lab in 2016 as a Research Opportunity Program student and was awarded the University of Toronto Excellence Award. Initially, she was also involved several other mental health promotion research studies such as Handle with Care and Guiding Stars and continued her work on the TOHOL project in 2019. Her work included data entry, test development and test administration at the Peel District School Board. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Lima pursued a master’s degree at McMaster University and a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University – Schulich School of Law.

Lucy worked at the The Sickkids Centre for Community Mental Health Research Department (formerly Hincks-Dellcrest Centre) from 2016-2018. From 2017-2018, she mainly focused on the TOHOL project because she was interested in the premise of the test and its connection to language development. Lucy helped with creating the test items, recruiting and testing at the Ontario Science Center and local high schools, and training others on administering TOHOL. Lucy graduated with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, with Specialist in Psychology and Minors in English and Linguistics. Currently, Lucy is in the Master’s program in Linguistics at Western University to further pursue her interests in linguistics and language acquisition.

Mouly was a senior research assistant/coordinator of the TOHOL project from 2015-2017. Mouly was involved in the early development of the content and design of the Higher Order test booklets. As an undergraduate work-study student/research assistant, Mouly also worked on other mental health promotions project such as Handle with Care and Learning through Play projects with Dr's Fataneh Farnia and Nancy Cohen. Neuroscience was the focus of both her undergraduate and graduate studies, and Mouly is now a PhD candidate at a neuroscience lab at the University of Toronto. Working on the TOHOL project provided her with unique perspectives on psychosocial factors involved in learning/cognition. She is currently studying how stress in early life can alter the brain and behaviour later in life.