About Us

a woman (Dr. Isabelle Barierre)Isabelle Barrière, PhD, Director (Molloy College, Long Island, & YVY Research Institute, Brooklyn)

Dr. Barrière is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Molloy College. She completed her PhD in Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College at the University of London. She subsequently received training in Early Childhood Education (in Canterbury, UK), in Neuropsychology at Toulouse University and at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, and in Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. Her research has been supported by numerous grant-giving organizations, both European, such as the UK ESRC, and American, such as the New York State Department of Education (NYS DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Barrière is also the Director of Policy for Research and Education at the Yeled V’Yalda Early Childhood Center (YVY), one of the largest Head Start programs in New York City.

Jonathan Nissenbaum, PhD, Co-Direa man (Dr. Jonathan Nissenbaum)ctor (City University of New York, Brooklyn College)

Dr. Jon Nissenbaum is an assistant professor in the Department of English at CUNY Brooklyn College. He earned his PhD at MIT, under the supervision of Noam Chomsky and David Pesetsky. Before joining the faculty at Brooklyn College, he held positions at Harvard, McGill, and Syracuse universities. His research has been funded by the NIH/NIDCD as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et culture. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in linguistic theory at both introductory and advanced levels.

Margareth Lafontant, PhD, Program a woman (Dr. Margareth Lafontant)Evaluator (City University of New York, Medgar Evers College)

Dr. Lafontant is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at CUNY Medgar Evers College, where she teaches courses in Child Development and Early Childhood/Special Education. She holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Yeshiva University, and a dual Master’s degree in Bilingual Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Dr. Lafontant has enjoyed a multifaceted career which has encompassed teaching, student assessment, early intervention, staff development, and program evaluation. Her research activities have been primarily focused on program evaluation, and she is also very interested in the socio-emotional aspects of learning.

Syelle Graves, PhD, Former Program Coordinator (Cia woman (Syelle Graves)ty University of New York, Graduate Center)

Dr. Syelle Graves holds a PhD in linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUNY New Paltz with a BA in French. Previously, she served as a Writing across the Curriculum fellow at both City Tech and Bronx Community College; she taught at the university level both as faculty and as a Graduate Teaching Fellow, at LaGuardia and Hunter College, respectively; she served as a linguistics index editor for the Modern Language Association; and she served as lab manager at the Language Acquisition Research Center at Hunter College. This past year (2018-2019), she taught full-time as a visiting lecturer of linguistics at CUNY Brooklyn College, and in June 2019, she earned a SUNY New Paltz “40 under Forty” Alumni award. On the side, she is a contributing author to the Grammar Girl webguide/podcast.