Congratulations to Andrea Cortave, Andrea Bernal, Yesenia Roman, and Alyssa Ream who did a fantastic job of presenting their posters at WPA 2022!
Check out their posters HERE.

The Little Athenians Lab is currently investigating the following research topics:


(Children's Language and Identity project) How do young children who are learning two or more languages at the same time assimilate these language skills and information about new cultures? How is their new language incorporated into their self-identity? Are there conflicts, for example, between a child's English-speaking self and their French-speaking self? An identity they express at school, and another they express at home, based on the languages spoken in those locations? With many new dual-language programs being offered in states like California and Texas, this line of research has important implications not only for conversations within the scholarly community, but for the ways that it may directly inform policy decisions about educational programs. For this study, we are currently recruiting 7- to 10-year old bilingual children from All Souls World Language Catholic School, a dual-immersion school system here in Los Angeles. We thank the directors, principals, and families at All Souls for their participation!

Alyssa Ream presented a poster at Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) 2021 conference in March,

based on the preliminary findings for this project. View this poster.

(Forms of Address Project; FOA) We are also exploring how different instructor's forms-of-address (e.g., Mrs., Miss, Professor, first-name) affects student's experience in the classroom, as well as the instructor's own reactions to how students engage with them, based on title differences. We have collected over 100 participants worth of data (both from students and from instructors) for this project. Two of our former research assistants presented findings at WPA in October, 2020 and a manuscript, based on the findings of this project, is currently under review. Congratulations to Alyssa Ream for co-authoring this (her first) manuscript! We hope to resubmit this manuscript, for review, Summer 2022.

Alyssa Ream presented some of the findings from this study at WPA 2022. View this poster.

(Instructor's Attire; IA) In a follow up study to the FOA study above, we are also studying how college instructor's attire (i.e, outfit/what they wear) may impact student's evaluations of the instructor and classroom climate. We have collected over 100 participants worth of data for this experimental survey. We hope to submit the manuscript for this research study, for review, in Summer or Fall 2022. 

Andrea Cortave and Andrea Bernal  presented some of the findings from this study at WPA 2022. View this poster.


(Instructor's Colloquial Language; ICL) In yet another follow up study to FOA project, above, we are also exploring how college instructor's language (e.g., use of humor and/or "slang") impacts student's evaluations, classroom climate, and retention of course material. We have over 500 points of data for this study, and hope to submit the manuscript for this research study, for review, in Summer or Fall 2022. 

Yesenia Roman presented some of the findings from this study at WPA 2022. View this poster.

For Fall 2022, The Little Athenians Lab will be pursuing the following research projects:


(Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children's Academic Performance) We began brainstorming this study in Spring 2022, and based on our research assistant's passion for this topic, we hope to begin data collection for this study in Fall 2022.

(One-Parent-One-Language; OPOL) In collaboration with Dr. Amy Booth (Vanderbilt University), we hope to analyze and interpret findings of data collected in Austin, TX some years ago, about the impact of parents who each speak a different language to their young children's (e.g., only one parent speaks Spanish and the other parent speaks only English to the child) language development skills.


(Your new project) I am also open to building new lines of research with students at MSMU. Even if you are interested in a topic outside of language (though still within the realms of cognitive or social psychology), and you are a student at MSMU, I encourage you to consider joining our lab!

I am usually looking for students who are willing to commit to at least 2 consecutive semesters in the lab, and because much of the work that we will be doing is self-lead, I am also looking for students who are reliable, engaged, and intrinsically motivated. We may be designing a new research study "from scratch," reading research articles, submitting IRB applications, recruiting human participants for data collection, analyzing data (using R and/or SPSS), and/or preparing poster or oral presentations for local, regional, or international conferences. :)

Also, if you'd like to help with our child studies, you may need to travel to local preschools and daycares (e.g., the Doheny Campus Child Development Center or schools in the Los Angeles area) for data collection, and must thus have a reliable means of transportation. 

If you have any questions about the duties of being a research assistant or about what it is like to conduct research in our lab, please don't hesitate to email me

If you are interested in applying to be a research assistant in the Little Athenians lab, please download and complete this application then email it to Dr. Rojo at



Little Athenians Lab Researchers Present at WPA 2022
Portland, OR

Lab Pic Spring 2022.png

Little Athenians Lab
Spring 2022
From top left: me (Dolly Rojo), Yesenia Roman, Cynthia Melchor
Bottom Row: Andrea Bernal, Jocelyn Valles, Andrea Cortave


Little Athenians Lab
Fall 2021 
Names included in image

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.40.02
Little Athenians Lab
Fall 2020 (during COVID-19 quarantine)
(from left, top row: Vivian Boyer, me, Andrea Bernal
bottom row: Yesenia, Roman, Yasmin Carmona, and Lesly Soto)
Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 12.52.11
Little Athenians Lab
Summer 2020 (during COVID-19 quarantine)
(from left, top row: Alyssa Ream, me, Francesca Gunther
bottom row: Yasmin Carmona, Andrea Bernal, Lesly Soto)
Little Athenians Lab
Spring 2020
(from left, top row: Francesca Gunther, Alyssa Ream, me
bottom row: Vivian Boyer, Kimberly Ganivet, and Carin Mangassarin)
Little Athenians Lab
Fall 2019
(from left: Vivian Boyer, Alyssa Ream, me, Kimberly Ganivet)