Category Archives: Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors


Dr. Stacy Keynote Presenter at Childhood Development Conference in Germany

Dr. Peter Stacy received and accepted an invitation to provide a keynote presentation at the 18th Annual International Conference on Attachment and Early Childhood Development.  The conference took place in Ulm, Germany between Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2019.  It attracted over 900 attendees from throughout Europe. In introducing Dr. Stacy, the conference administrator spoke of his 20+ year research effort as gaining national and international recognition due to its unique approach of using an intrafamily research design in identifying the role that early childhood attachment plays in differentiating a resilient sibling from his/her non-resilient sibling.

Dr. Stacy’s presentation included a review of his research findings followed by discussion of effective treatment strategies that seek to address early childhood attachment disorders.  The presentation closed with a brief question and answer session.


Dr. Kelly Steelman to participate in HFES fellowship program

Dr. Kelly Steelman (CLS) has been selected from a competitive pool of applicants to participate in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) Science Policy Fellowship program.

The HFES Science Policy Fellows (SPF) program provides a valuable opportunity for HFES members to learn how to successfully advocate for human factors and ergonomics on the national stage. SPF Participants will receive extensive training in public affairs, advocacy and outreach to be provided by Lewis-Burke Associates and the HFES Government Relations Committee during the HFES Annual Meeting. They will also participate in an annual spring Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C., including a Hill visit training session and a policy-related speaker prior to the visit day. They will be invited to attend monthly conference calls with Lewis-Burke and the HFES Government Relations Committee covering ongoing events and opportunities for HFES to engage in policy decisions.

Following an initial one-year term in the SPF program, each program graduate will commit to two years of service in an outreach capacity. They will create a customized plan that may include continued participation in the Capitol Hill day and interactions with policymakers in Washington, DC, working at the local/state level, serving on the GRC or a subcommittee, and other forms of outreach developed by each participant. HFES SPF participants and graduates will form the basis of a future brain trust with expertise in outreach creating a pipeline of politically engaged and knowledgeable members within HFES.

Copied from Tech Today page for June 17th 2019.


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.


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.

In the News

Darnishia Slade (Pavlis Honors College) was awarded the inaugural Bayard Rustin Award by the Michigan Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). The award was presented at the University’s 30th annual MLK Banquet on Jan. 21. The story was featured in the Lode student newspaper.  Darnishia is also a PhD candidate in the Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors program. Congratulations Dar!


Healthy Minds Survey

Health Minds Sticker with tagline

The Healthy Minds Survey (HMS) is a campus-wide, nationally recognized, online survey about student mental health and well being. Since its national launch in 2007, HMS has been fielded at over 180 colleges and universities, with over 200,000 survey respondents.  Getting this information from students across the country will help the Healthy Minds Network get a clearer picture of how students handle the stresses of college life and how well their mental and emotional health needs are being met. More importantly, Michigan Tech will gain valuable information that will help the university make informed decisions about the mental health services and outreach programs available to students.

Take approximately 25 minutes out of your day to give the university your feedback on mental health and wellness on campus.

Take the survey here.

The survey remains open from September 24th – October 22nd.

Healthy Minds Heads Sticker with tagline



ACSHF Student Receives Local Hero Award

boroski-personnelWhitney Boroski, MS student in the ACSHF program and Manager of Student Health and Wellness, was recently awarded the 2018 Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (MCRUD) Local Hero Award. MCRUD provides leadership on state and national issues, and assists individuals, grassroots groups, and organizations to reduce underage drinking locally.

Boroski has been resourceful in creating programs and utilizing campus and community resources to assist in reducing underage drinking at the university.