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Congratulations to Ella Creet and Alexa von Hagen

Ella and Alexa are the first two IDEALAB students to submit their doctoral theses in Australia.

The International Doctorate in Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB) PhD is an exchange program that is funded by the European Commission's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. As part of this program, Macquarie University partners with four European universities (University of Potsdam, Germany; University of Groningen, The Netherlands; University of Trento, Italy; Newcastle University, UK) to provide an outstanding intellectual environment and opportunity for PhD students who each study at two or more of the partners.

At Macquarie University, IDEALAB is directed by Professor Lyndsey Nickels, with supervisors drawn from the CCD Language Program and more widely across the University. The first cohort of Erasmus-Mundus funded students enrolled in October 2012.

While there have been approximately 25 completions in the IDEALAB program so far, Alexa and Ella are the first two European funded students to do it in person at Macquarie University.

Ella's thesis was on what factors influence improvements in word retrieval in unimpaired speakers and people with language disorders following stroke (aphasia). Her thesis was entitled, ‘Priming for success: Exploring the Role of Repetition Priming in Improvements in Word Retrieval for Unimpaired Speakers and People with Aphasia’.

Alexa's thesis looked at reading and spelling in bilingual children. Her thesis was entitled, ‘Individual differences in foreign language attainment of children with poor literacy skills’. Alexa also studied at Potsdam and Trento Universities, and Ella at Newcastle (UK) and Trento.

IDEALAB students after thesis submission
Pictured: Dr Serje Robidoux, Ella Creet, Prof Lyndsey Nickels, Dr Saskia Kohnen and Alexa von Hagen. Overseas supervisors (cut outs): Prof David Howard (Newcastle, UK), Dr Julie Morris (Newcastle, UK), Dr Nicole Stadie (Potsdam University)

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