Trainee Board

IMBES is also very pleased to have a Trainee Board. Rebecca Gotlieb and Courtney Pollack serve as the co-graduate student/post-doc representatives to the IMBES Board and co-presidents of the IMBES Trainee Board. In these roles they articulate a vision for the trainee board and manage it, liaise between the trainee board and the main IMBES board, serve as the voice for the graduate student and post-doc community, and promote the interests and engagement of graduate students and post-docs.


Rebecca Gotlieb

Rebecca Gotlieb is a doctoral candidate and NSF graduate research fellow in the Rossier School of Education and the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, advised by Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. She is interested in understanding social, emotional, and identity phenomena and their impact on development, learning, and performance in adolescents across cultural contexts.  Specifically, she aims to use neurophysiological and psychosocial tools to investigate how to leverage empathic perspective-taking for learning in adolescents. Previously, Rebecca worked as an associate analyst at Abt Associates conducting research about teacher professional development and teacher preparation programs with an emphasis on their impact in high needs schools. She received a Bachelor's degree with high honors in Psychology and Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College, where she also received the Cameron-Glickenhaus prize for her demonstrated commitment to an interdisciplinary research-based approach to improving learning and education.   At Dartmouth Rebecca worked in Dr. Michele Tine’s Poverty and Learning Lab. 


Courtney Pollack

Courtney Pollack is a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT, where she works with Dr. John Gabrieli and Dr. Joanna Christodoulou. Courtney’s research intersects numerical cognition, mathematics learning, and education. Using quantitative and neuroimaging methods, she researches typical and atypical development of symbolic number processing in adolescents and adults, and how that processing relates to mathematics learning. She also writes about relationships between research and practice in Educational Neuroscience and Mind, Brain, & Education. Courtney completed her doctorate at Harvard in Human Development and Education, and a masters at Harvard in Mind, Brain, and Education. Prior to graduate studies, she worked as a mathematics standards analyst at McREL, and taught mathematics at the middle school, high school, and undergraduate levels. She received a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.


Jessica Younger

Jessica Younger serves as the Vice-President of the IMBES trainee board. In this role, she works closely with board members to oversee the board's activity and ensure appropriate execution of the board's initiatives.

Jessica Younger is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Neuroscape Research center at the University of California, San Francisco, where she works with Dr. Melina Uncapher. She uses a variety of neuroimaging and behavioral research methods to understand the roots of individual differences in learning and academic achievement. As a member of the Education Program, she uses mobile technology to do large-scale in-school assessment and intervention to understand the core cognitive skills underlying learning and whether training these cognitive skills can result in improved academic outcomes. Jessica completed her doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders at University of Texas at Austin where she researched the neural correlates of sound-symbol learning under the direction of Dr. James Booth.


Geneviève Allaire-Duquette

Geneviève Allaire-Duquette serves as Secretary of the IMBES trainee board. In this role, she keeps and distributes board meeting minutes and manages records to document institutional knowledge for future iterations of the board. She also oversees the evaluation of student board activities and works with the social media chair to advertise events or initiatives.

Geneviève Allaire-Duquette is a postdoctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University's School of Education in Israel. She is an Azrieli fellow and a Quebec's Research Fund for Society and Culture fellow. She is interested in the mechanisms underlying the ability to overcome intuitive interference to formal/logical reasoning in science and mathematics. Genevieve hopes to identify brain patterns specific to various types of interventions, which could enable educators to make informed decisions about the nature and the intensity of the their use of interventions, tasks and examples in various educational settings.

Head of Research and Practice

Nadja Marie Mariager

Nadja Marie Mariager serves as the Head of Research and Practice for the IMBES trainee board. In this role, she oversees student peer-review initiatives, spearheads efforts to connect senior scholars and practitioners with junior scholars, and oversees initiatives that foster these connections. She also suggests ways in which the student board may engage in translational work to increase the reach of IMBES to a wider audience.

Nadja Marie Mariager is PhD student at Institute for Culture Sciences, Educational science program, at University of Southern Denmark under the supervision of Ass. Professor Ane Qvortrup and Ass. Professor Christian Gerlach. Her research focuses on developing a theoretical frame that provides guidance for inclusion of neuroscientific/cognitive knowledge concerning motivation for learning in high school instruction. She has furthermore earned a teacher’s certificate, and has been a fulltime high school teacher for six years.

Communications Chair

Liz Toomarian

Liz Toomarian serves as the Communications Chair for the IMBES trainee board. In this role, she works with the board to maintain an active Facebook and Twitter account for IMBES. She also facilitates partnerships with strategic partners by generating relevant content and cross-promotion, and contributes to updating content for the IMBES website.

Liz Toomarian is a PhD candidate in the Educational Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her current work investigates the spatial representations of fractions on the mental number line, using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Beyond her research, she is passionate about science outreach and public engagement. Liz has also taught the course “Mind, Brain and Education” twice at UW-Madison, encouraging undergraduates from across many majors to think about building the bridge between research and practice.

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