Meet Our Team

Our team

Jimena Cosso Ph.D



Jimena Cosso is an Assistant Professor of Education in Educational Psychology at Penn State. Dr. Cosso was born and raised in Argentina. She came to the United States to pursue her master’s degree in comparative and international education at New York University. She continued her educational psychology and research methodology studies at Purdue University, where she obtained her Ph.D.


Dr. Cosso’s primary program of research explores the home and school learning contexts that affect how young children develop and learn, with a particular focus on dual language learners (DLLs) from immigrant Latine communities. Her overall goal is to support DLLs' learning trajectories by identifying and understanding students' diverse backgrounds and improving current measures that are not culturally sensitive but are commonly used to make instructional decisions. Specifically, Dr. Cosso addresses two primary areas of interest: 1) capitalize on Latine families' funds of knowledge to support the development of school readiness skills; 2) explore contextual factors that affect children's skills readiness. Her particular interest is in early math skills and the home numeracy environment of Latine families.

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Penn State Department Website

Almendra Mendizabal

Graduate Assistant

Almendra Mendizabal is a first-year Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at Penn State. 

She earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2021 and taught natural science in English to bilingual school children in her hometown of Santiago.

Almendra is interested in how the home environment affects the early mathematical and science process skills of preschool-aged dual language learning children in the context of immigrant Latine families.

Besides work, in her free time, you can always find Almendra in coffee shops - reading novels, poetry, and scientific literature from Sylvia Plath to Francisco Varela.

Paola del Campo

Graduate Assistant

Paola del Campo Andrade is a first-year Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at Penn State. 

She earned her B.S. in Physical Therapy at Universidad Metropolitana de la Educación in 2016 and a M.Sc. in Neurosciences Applied to Education at Universidad Mayor in 2023. For five years, she utilized her passions for biology and social change to teach science to young children in underserved urban communities. 

Paola specializes in the relationship between executive functions and science literacy during child development. She is interested in improving science educational learning in students from marginalized communities.

Annalise Chang

Undergraduate Assistant

Annalise Chang is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology and statistics.

Her research interests include early childhood development, learning processes, and quantitative methods. Alongside working with Dr. Cosso, Annalise studies emotion regulation in Dr. Pamela Cole's lab at Penn State. She plans to attend graduate school for measurement or statistics.

Past Members

Gala Campos Oaxaca

Graduate Assistant

Gala Campos Oaxaca is a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology. She was born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, and earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Biomedical Science at Dordt University in Sioux Center, IA. Before Penn State, Gala worked at a psychiatric residential treatment facility in Asheville, NC. 

Gala's main area of research focuses on studying the sociocultural and cognitive processes involved in discourse synthesis and academic writing at the higher education level. In particular, Gala is interested in exploring the power dynamics and resources available to support academic writing communities