Team Members

unnamed Naomi Aguiar, Ph.D.
Dr. Aguiar received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.  Her research focuses on children’s concepts of virtual characters and social robots, and how these concepts change over the course of development and through experience with these technologies.  She is also interested in children’s experiences of fully immersive virtual environments, and their concepts of the characters that inhabit these spaces. 
headshot-2 Marisa Putnam, M.P.P.
Marisa is a National Science Foundation Research Fellow and fourth year doctoral student in the Children’s Digital Media Center and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Her current research examines how children’s parasocial relationships with digital media characters influence children’s health and STEM learning outcomes. Her dissertation work focuses on how children’s parasocial relationships are associated with gender and stereotypes in the context of learning early STEM concepts.


Molly Bidermann
Undergraduate Research Assistant Molly is a rising junior at Georgetown University with an intended major in Psychology. Outside of the CDMC, Molly works at Georgetown’s on campus daycare, Hoya Kids, as well as Georgetown’s Office of Residential Living. Molly hopes to pursue a career that can incorporate her interests in psychology with her passion for working with children.


Christina Duval
Undergraduate Research Assistant Christina is a rising junior at Georgetown University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Justice and Peace Studies and Arabic. Outside of the CDMC, Christina is involved in theater and is vice president of No Lost Generation, a refugee rights club.  She hopes to go to graduate school for clinical psychology and work with trauma survivors.

Emily Zuckerman

Undergraduate Research Assistant Emily is a rising senior at Georgetown University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Justice and Peace Studies and Spanish. Outside of the CDMC, Emily serves as Vice President Organization for Georgetown’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma and is a member of Project Lighthouse GU. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school and work in a career that integrates her major in Psychology and minor in Justice and Peace Studies!

Kristina Lignell

Undergraduate Research Assistant Kristina is a rising junior at Georgetown University majoring in Computer Science and German. Outside of the CDMC, Kristina is involved in club swimming and GU Women Coders and is president of the German club. 

Elizabeth Fantini

Undergraduate Research Assistant Elizabeth graduated May 2018 from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. She has earned a commission as a 2d Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  At the end of the summer she will be headed to Texas for her first training assignment as an Intelligence Officer.