Archives—April 2019

New Inductees into the National Honor Society in Psychology

The Department of the Cognitive and Learning Sciences inducted five new members into Psi Chi, the international Honor Society in Psychology: Hannah Kariniemi, Lavanya Rajesh Kumar, Rose Hildebrandt, Shurti Amre, and Via Ouellette Ballas. The Induction ceremony took place at the Harold Meese Center on Tuesday, April 16. The Michigan Tech Chapter of Psi Chi is led by Abby Kuehne (President) and Caden Sumner (Treasurer) and advised by Dr. Kelly Steelman. For more information on Psi Chi, visit: https://www.psichi.org/default.aspx


CLS Congratulates Thomas Offer Westort

We are happy to announce that Tom successfully defended his Master’s Thesis titled “Attitudes About Acceptable Risk in the Context of the Biodiversity Crisis” on April 12th. Crafting and enforcing conservation policy requires making normative judgements about what levels of risk are acceptable. These judgements include crucial decisions that impact which species qualify as “endangered.” If a government’s policies are going to represent the values of the public they govern, then public attitudes should be understood. Unfortunately, essentially nothing is known about public attitudes as they pertain to acceptable risk and the biodiversity crisis.

Read more about Tom’s research below.

My research aims to address this gap using data from an internet-based survey (n=1050). I focused on the Endangered Species Act of 1973 which defines an endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” Because a species’ risk of extinction increases with decreasing geographic range, the phrase “significant portion of its range” requires a judgement about what level of risk is acceptable. I then examined how the public’s attitudes regarding risk differs both from the guidance provided by conservationists and the practices of government agencies. I also explored the extent to which variation in attitudes could be explained by relevant knowledge, social identity, level of education, personality, moral foundations, and numeracy. I then used structural equation modeling to model the relationships between predictors.


In the News

Michigan Tech Senior Mathematics and Psychology major, Rylee Price, joined the Huskies women’s volleyball club team in the spring of 2016. Price states “The main objective of our club is to provide a fun yet competitive environment where people can just come and play volleyball, because it’s a really fun sport that people can play for a really long time”.  High school athletes looking to continue playing volleyball without playing at the varsity level can join and be a part of a club like Michigan Tech’s, since there is a more flexible schedule for students on the team. Players have time to complete their homework and practice when needed. Price mentions “We practice about three to four times a week, but our only mandatory practices are right before we travel, just to get a higher level of play going.”

The team recently competed in the WVC Tournament, where they went undefeated in the pool play. Price has learned a lot from adjusting from player to player and has become a good leader by helping her teammates improve their overall game. Price is in her final month with the team and she wants to let those considering the club know that you do not need to be the best athlete- you only need to love the game.

Read the full story here.


Honoring Darnishia Slade as this Week’s Teaching Showcase Member

Darnishia Slade, manager of Global Engagement Programs and ACSHF graduate student, has been selected by Lorelle Meadows, the Dean of Pavlis Honors college (PHC), to be this week’s showcase member!

Slade is a great role model for students. She brings encouragement and an engaging learning experiences to students in the classroom. Slade has been a part of the Honors college for sometime. she teaches the first Honors Seminar and the Capstone courses for students in the Global Leadership Pathway for students pursuing their Leadership minor. She continuously explores ways to improve the classroom experience and her excellence sense of student experience likely comes from her previous work in the academic and student affairs departments of the University. Meadows states “Darnishia Slade brings creativity and compassion into her teaching. She has influenced students both inside and outside the classroom, and uses these experiences and insights to affect change in our programs.”

Slade will be recognized at the end-of-term luncheon and is eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer.


CLS Congratulates PhD Candidate Lavanya Rajesh Kumar

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences would like to congratulate PhD student Lavanya Rajesh Kumar for her acceptance into Yale University’s Innovation to Impact Program!
Lavanya was selected for the prestigious program that is focused on entrepreneurship training in substance abuse research. Innovation to Impact at Yale was developed as a national program to provide education, mentorship, and seed funding to innovators. The program is open to scholars interested in both exploring what it takes to bring a product to market and applying creative solutions to combat substance abuse through the use of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, biomedical devices, app development, behavioral interventions, and public policy. The goal of the program is to help participants translate innovations from the lab to the real world.
Lavanya is currently attending the week long training program to work on her idea to develop an addiction prevention based product.
Click here to learn more about the Innovation to Impact program.

CLS Student Honored at 2019 Graduate Research Colloquium

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences Student Catherine (Kay) Tislar was honored at the 11th annual Graduate Research Colloquium put on by the Graduate Student Government. Kay was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award for excellence in supporting graduate education.

The Graduate Research Colloquium offers graduate students from all departments an opportunity to present their research as well as to receive recognition for their accomplishments. 85 students representing 17 different academic schools participated in this year’s event.

Congratulations to Kay and the rest of the 2019 graduate student award recipients for their outstanding accomplishments.

 

A full list of those honored at the research colloquium can be found here.