Student Researchers

AY 2024-25 Student Researchers

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Graduate Researchers

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Kayla Rose van Kooten

Kayla Rose van Kooten is a PhD student in the Department of German with Designated Emphasis in New Media and Dutch Studies. She previously earned her BA in International Studies (Migration Studies) and Middle Eastern Languages And Cultures (Arabic and Persian) at the University of Washington. Her academic work revolves around questions of multilingualism, translation, migration, digital culture and media. At the BLC, she co-founded the Language and AI working group with Dr. Kimberly Vinall and Dr. Emily Hellmich, and is a research assistant for the BLC's Department of Education funded research project developing instructional materials on critically utilizing machine translation technology in the language classroom. 

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Undergraduate Researchers


Zara is a transfer student majoring in anthropology. Raised in a multilingual and culturally diverse family, she has long nurtured a fascination with learning and studying world languages. Currently, she is pursuing interests in linguistic anthropology and the anthropology of science and technology. She’s honored to be working with a team at the Berkeley Language Center that is conducting a study on beliefs about ChatGPT among language learners at the university level.

Shuqi (Mickey) Chen

Hi everyone, my name is Shuqi Chen (Mickey). I am a junior majoring in media studies with a minor in data science. My research interests include digital and interactive media, comparative literature/ media, film studies, and data analysis. In my free time, I love studying different languages, visiting coffee shops, and going to concerts! 

Madelyn Sparks

Madelyn is an undergraduate studying Cognitive Science with a special focus in Philosophy. She is interested in AI ethics and theories of mind related to consciousness and dreaming. Madelyn is currently conducting research alongside Dr. Vinall, Dr. Hellmich, Zara Brandt, and Mickey Chen on the impacts of Generative AI on language and culture learning.