The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences is pleased to announce its Outstanding Student Awards for academic year 2022-23. Starting off with the top research project team selected by our graduate student and faculty judges at the annual CLS Research Symposium held on Tuesday, April 18. Kyla Richardson, Sara Gelon, and Jane Sinclair made up the winning team for their project “Crowd Forming Observations at Michigan Tech”.
The team designed an observational study in order to look at the impacts of social conformity and curiosity. Their study was to determine the motivations behind crowd formation – Do crowds gather due to social conformity, or is curiosity the underlying motivator? For full abstract, along with all other projects presented at the symposium, see https://bit.ly/3MSblRJ
In addition, the following undergraduate student awards were presented by CLS chair Dr. Kelly Steelman:
Mercy Barikor: Undergraduate Research Award
This award is presented to a student who demonstrates excellence in research conducted in support of an undergraduate studies or project carried out under the guidance of a CLS faculty member or approved mentor. Mercy joined the research team of Dr. Lorelle Meadows in September 2022, working on an NSF grant-funded social psychology laboratory-based project focused on the influence of subtle bias on undergraduate students in STEM.
In her nomination, Dr. Meadows wrote: “What has most impressed me about Mercy is her keen interest in her work and the way that she consistently builds bridges between the things she is learning through the research and the things that she is learning in her courses. She often brings resources from her courses to our team meetings and shares them with the team, offering us new ways to think about the work and new ideas for future directions.”
Kallie Weecks: Outstanding Clinical Intern of the Year
This award recognizes a psychology or human factors undergraduate student who has made a positive impact on their community through experiential education opportunities. Kallie interned with the Copper Country Intermediate School District for fall 2022, completing 140 hours and assisted school psychologist Christine Etter twice a week. In her nomination, Etter stated: “Kallie was a tremendous asset to the students of Copper Country and has made a positive impact on our school system, the families in the Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw counties, and the staff at the ISD.”
Ani Schneiderhan: Outstanding First-Year Student
This award is presented to an outstanding first-year psychology and/or human factors student who has demonstrated academic excellence in their first year by academic achievement, exemplary character, leadership in class and activities, and potential for success in future endeavors. Dr. Steelman stated: “Not only has Ani achieved stellar classroom grades, but she’s already well known in the department by the way she contributes in the classroom discussions and activities. She has also been a good steward to the department by helping with our postcard writing campaign to leading scholars and accepted students for Fall 2023 and helped with the CSA Hang out / Texting Nights.”
Hunter Malinowski: 2023 CLS Department Scholar
This award represents the best of student scholarship in the department including participation in research and scholarly activities, high level of intellectual curiosity and creativity, and exceptional communication skills.
In her nomination, Dr. Beth Veinott stated “Hunter is one of the most motivated and intellectually curious students I have taught in the department. She has done excellent work and made the classroom a more engaging experience for other students.”
Dr. Steelman went on to say: Hunter has thrived in her courses, earning a 4.0 department GPA and making the Dean’s list in 2020, 2021, and 2022. She also earned department distinctions as Top or Outstanding Student in numerous psychology and human factors courses. Moreover, Hunter has taken full advantage of the Michigan Tech experience through her involvement in research, Pavlis Honors college, and student organizations.
Her research experience has involved three major projects. During the standard PSY 3000/3001 coursework, Hunter conducted a research project that combined her interests in psychology and computer science by testing and evaluating a scale about AI and machine learning understanding. Following that, she contributed to a number of research projects with Dr. Shane Mueller on human-AI interaction and explainable AI. Hunter co-authored a Human Factors and Ergonomics Society proceedings paper based on the results of this work, which contributed to a larger project funded by DARPA. She was then supported through the URIP program to explore how different XAI feature visualization approaches interacted with example-based explanations–two distinct and popular forms of algorithmic explanation of AI that have not been fully combined.
Since stepping foot on campus in Fall 2020, Hunter has sought out opportunities to innovate. During her first year she entered the Bob Mark Pitch Competition, taking 3rd place and receiving the MTEC Breakout Innovation Award. The next year, she was selected as one of Michigan Tech’s University Innovation Fellows and completed a design thinking program through the Stanford d.school.
Hunter is an engaged campus leader. She has served as the President of both Delta Zeta Sorority and Tiny Knitz, an organization that helps students learn knitting and crocheting skills partners with local non-profit organizations to provide apparel for newborns in the Keweenaw community. Hunter’s accomplishments extend beyond the CLS department and campus. She completed two internships with Ford Motor Company and received the award for Most Viable and Top Achiever in their 2022 Intern Innovation Challenges.
Graduate Student Recognition
To wrap up the awards celebration, Dr. Steelman also recognized Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (ACSHF) graduate students who earned fellowships and honors over the past year.
- Alexandra Watral: Doctoral Finishing Fellowship for Spring 2023 and CLS Outstanding Scholarship Award Recipient from the Graduate School
- Brittany Nelson: King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship, Spring 2022 to Summer 2023
- Anne Linja and Tauseef Mamun: Third Place in Computing [MTU] Showcase, Fall 2022
- Betsy Lehman: Scholarship award for Summer Institute for Social and Personality Psychology
- Shruti Amre: Doctoral Finishing Fellowship for Summer 2023
The CLS faculty and staff congratulates all our undergraduate and graduate students for their many accomplishments during the 2022-23 academic year!