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CAR Student Alumni Stories: Samantha Plate, BA

Published on January 26, 2023 · Last updated 1 year 4 months ago


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Samantha Plate, BA

Samantha Plate, BA

While an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College, Samantha Plate, BA joined the CAR team as a student, working on the Language Team to help start a project coding infant vocalizations from video tapes that had been collected as part of the Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS).

"I worked closely with Dr. Julia Parish-Morris to develop my senior thesis and later a published paper, Infant vocalizing and phenotypic outcomes in autism: Evidence from the first 2 years," Plate said. "It was because of this experience that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in research."

After graduating with a Bachelor's in Psychology in 2017, Plate continued with the CAR team as a Clinical Research Assistant for two years, working on a number of different studies focused on motor and language development. Plate helped to lead the Language Team and supervise students working on projects focused on coding infant social communication, and worked with the Motor Lab Team in a study on social communication and motor behavior in children with and without autism. She also worked with the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK) research study team and helped recruit participants for the multi-site genetic study.

"My time at CAR allowed me to talk with different professionals in developmental and clinical fields which helped me to narrow in on my interests as I started applying to graduate school. The research and professional development experience I got CAR was invaluable and was a crucial stepping stone in my career trajectory."

Plate is currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical and Developmental Psychology at the University of Pittsburg, working with Jana Iverson, PhD, and the Infant Communication Lab. She is interested in early motor and language development in infants with elevated likelihood for autism spectrum disorder, particularly in the cascading effects of motor development on language development and its relationship with later social communication skills.

Participated in Student Role at CAR


Current role

Graduate Student, University of Pittsburgh