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 BL2 Current Team

Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto 

Founder and Scientific Director of the Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2)

​Where is my heart from: Montreal, Canada, and Abruzzo, Italy

Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto is a Cognitive Neuroscientist and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientist. She conducts neuroimaging studies using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS / NIRx) and behavioral basic science studies to understand language acquisition, reading, bilingual language acquisition, and learning in all young children, particularly young deaf visual learners. She is the Science Director as well as the Co-Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2). Dr. Petitto is also the Founder and Scientific Director of her Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2). 

Interesting fact about me: I love red hats!

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Cryss Padilla

Scientist Manager

Where is my heart from: Riverside, California.

I graduated high school at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside. I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology in 2014 then completed the Masters in American Sign Language Education and partial of Deaf Education in 2017. During graduate studies, I was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Petitto’s Brain and Language Laboratory (BL2). I decided to bring dedication and knowledge back to the BL2 Center as the Scientist Manager in June 2018. I am devoted to the lab as it includes all of the fields of study such as Biology, Sign Language, and Deaf Education into one place which enhances my interests in visual and bilingual research.

Interesting fact about me: I like spoilers...

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Dr. Bradley White

Neuroimaging Scientist Manager

Where is my heart from: The Lone Star State

Dr. White received his Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience from Gallaudet University in 2019 and his BS (Hons) in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Psychology from The Honors College at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2014. He also has academic and clinical training in the areas of speech-language pathology, audiology, and pharmacology.

Broadly speaking, Dr. White's work focuses on the neurocognitive and neurobiological systems for effortful listening and advances our understanding of language perception and comprehension in children and adults, especially those who use hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Interesting fact about me: I have a knack for gastronomy.

Kallissa Bailey

Graduate Research Assistant studying Clinical Psychology

Where is my heart from: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I am a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Gallaudet U. I recently obtained my Master’s in Clinical Psychology, and now I am full steam ahead to complete my dissertation and internship requirements before graduation. I am training to become a mental health clinician competent in psychotherapy and assessment with youth and adults. I am also a fierce advocate for accessibility, disability rights, diversity, and inclusion. I plan to continue working with a diverse range of Deaf and hard of hearing youth, emerging adults, and families experiencing traumatic stress. Some day I hope to have a private practice of my own, incorporating experiential and expressive modalities to treat traumatic stress. Outside of academics, I enjoy art journaling, tending to my garden, kayaking/sailing on the water, and engaging in contemporary dancing modalities such as contact improv.

Interesting fact about me: I have an obsessive fondness for pollinators, not limited to bats, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the like.

Brigitta Luttrell

Undergraduate Research Assistant,

studying Psychology

Where is my heart from: Jefferson, Maryland

I am a fourth-year student at Gallaudet University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Family and Child Studies, I discovered my passion for helping people and that still sticks true to this day. I always have been fascinated with the human brain and how it impacts human’s behavior in every possible aspect! Other than my passion for psychology, I also love spending time with my two Malti-Poo dogs and going out on bike rides. Working with the BL2 team is a wonderful opportunity for me to kickstart my passion careerwise and I am so excited to work with this amazing team!

Interesting fact about me: I was born at home, not at the hospital. I also still live in the same house I was born in! 

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