Category: Graduate

Dr. Steelman Guest Blogs about Psychology at Michigan Tech

Dr. Kelly Steelman was invited to be a guest blogger for a website dedicated to promoting the advantages of attending smaller colleges. More specifically, she wrote about why Michigan Tech should be considered if a prospective student is interested in pursuing a psychology degree.

Dr. Steelman highlighted the opportunities and advantages of our CLS department, such as the low student to faculty ratio, the locally based internship program, and the enriching research experiences. Students are given the competitive edge of a large school but with the small school touch. Also, she emphasized Michigan Tech’s unique offering to study psychology and explore its connection to engineering or computer science.

Here is the link if you would like to read the blog post in its entirety.

ACSHF Forum: Monday, January 11

Over the last 100 years, the way we work has changed drastically, transitioning from the early ideas of scientific management by Frederick Taylor to concepts rooted in high organizational agility. Agile, a movement focused on improving the way we work, is one of the movements that has led the way to transforming the way we think about working with people.

During this session, Mark Cruth, a long-time Agile advocate and 2009 Michigan Tech Psychology graduate, will share his experience with Agile and how leveraging intrinsic motivation has positively influencing organizational culture change over the last 20 years. Please join us on Zoom for the presentation on Monday, January 11, at 2 pm. Zoom meeting link.

ACSHF Forum: Monday, February 8

Cyber crime has a significant impact on nations, corporations, and individuals. Violations of information security can reduce consumer confidence and valuation at the corporate level, and jeopardize social and financial well-being at the personal level.

In this talk, Robert West, an Elizabeth P. Allen Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience of DePauw University, will explore the findings of some of his recent research to demonstrate the utility of a decision neuroscience approach to providing insight into the neural correlates of ethical decision making in the context of information security. Please join the ACSHF Forum on Zoom Monday, February 8, at 2 pm. Zoom meeting link

ACSHF Forum with Dr. Ricardo Eiris

All are invited to attend a virtual conversation with Dr. Ricardo Eiris, whose research leverages virtual reality to enable STEM students to obtain active learning experiences in remote, dangerous, or too expensive to reach locations.

In this ACSHF Forum, Dr. Eiris will be discussing how virtual reality can be used to deliver virtual field trip experiences to STEM students. Site visits or field trips are a common tool utilized by STEM educators to engage students in active learning, assist traditional lessons, and attain stronger and deeper student learning experiences. However, there are major logistical challenged for educational institutions and teachers to perform these types of experiences. These barriers to implement site visits effectively reduce the number of students that have access to the benefits of such technique. By exploring the intersection of engineering, computer science, and cognitive and learning sciences, Dr. Eiris’ work in virtual site visits aim to overcome the existing barriers for STEM field trips and provide means to expand learning beyond what is possible in the classroom or the field.

Please join Dr. Eiris in exploring the democratization of STEM site visits to enable students to have unlimited access to otherwise impossible opportunities. Some of the specific multidisciplinary topics that will be covered in this forum discussion will be virtual reality, omnidirectional images, virtual humans, collaborative learning, and attentional allocation.

Farewell Dr. Stacy!

Dr. Stacy and students

The Association of Psychology Students hosted a farewell party for Dr. Peter Stacy on December 12. Known for his sweet tooth, students and staff made sure cake, cookies, and hot chocolate were on hand.  Dr. Stacy worked for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for 30 years prior to joining CLS in 2006. When comparing his 13 years with CLS to his previous career, Dr. Stacy believes his biggest impact has been with the students here at Michigan Tech.

“Dr. Peter Stacy has been one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the privilege to work with. His teaching is amazing; award winning in fact. Our students love him, and he cares very much about our students’ futures. As an adjunct faculty, he worked just as hard as a full-timer! For the past 13 years we have had the honor of working with Peter in his “second career” and will always consider him part of our family.”-Susan Amato-Henderson, Department Chair

Faculty and staff also took the opportunity during the party to recognize the 5 psychology students graduating at the end of the Fall semester.  Graduates were given gift bags with items to commemorate their time here at CLS. Once again, congratulations to the following students:

Elis Brehob
Adam Dodge
Hali Evans
Rose Hildebrandt
Caden Sumner

CLS Faculty and Students Attend Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference

Nine faculty and students at conference
Pictured left to right: Samantha Smith (Fac), Margo Woller-Carter (alum), Kelly Steelman (Fac), Alexandra Watral (MS Stud), Abigail Kuehne (UG Stud, Accelerated MS), Shruti Amre (Ph.D. Stud), Susie Amato-Henderson (Fac), Lavanya Rajesh Kumar (Ph.D. Stud). Missing from photo: Dr. Beth Veinott (Fac), Kaitlyn Roose (Ph.D. Student)

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences supported the travel of 9 faculty and students to attend this year’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference in Seattle October 28 – November 1, 2019.

We are beyond proud of this group of fine people, and ESPECIALLY love that we are not the “typical” faces of scientists in this field, or at Michigan Tech.

Six Tech undergraduate and graduate students attended and met folks from a variety of government and industry research labs, presented the ACSHF department poster, and all around enjoyed Seattle.

Dr. Elizabeth Veinott organized a panel on Training and Transfer: Exploring issues of embedded training in complex systems with industry and Coast Guard partners.  As systems become smarter, development cycles are accelerated, and operational requirements are more dynamic, new ET models, methods, and evaluation strategies are needed.  Dr. Veinott talked about her research developing embedded decision training for different operational teams.  Kaitlyn Roose, one of her PhD students, also attended HFES before heading off to have Esport discussions at BlizzCon.

Dr. Samantha Smith served as co-chair of a session on the use of physiological measures in cognitive engineering and decision making and also presented a research lecture on the relationship between cerebral hemodynamics and sustained attention. In addition to the keynote presentations, Dr. Smith particularly enjoyed attending discussion panels centered around systems and strategies for promoting human factors teaching and learning, and strategies for enhancing equality in the field of human factors and ergonomics.

Dr. Kelly Steelman served as the chair of a session on Perception and Safety on the Roads. As a 2019 HFES Science Policy Fellow, she also attended trainings with the HFES Government Relations Committee and Lewis-Burke Associates to learn more about government affairs and opportunities to impact the policy process. A highlight of the trip was attending a VIP tour of the Boeing Everett Factory to see the many aspects of human factors in aircraft manufacturing and workplace safety.

Kaitlyn Roose Discusses The Psychology of Esports in APA Podcast

Russell Shilling, PhD, guest host for Speaking of Psychology and chief scientific officer for the American Psychological Association, sat down at APA2019 to talk with Shawn Doherty, PhD, and Kaitlyn Roose, MS, to discuss the psychology of esports, the benefits of gaming on higher level cognition and the culture of video games.

If you would like to listen to the full podcast, click here.  The link also provides a full transcript and video of the interview.

Kaitlyn Roose named Director of Esports at Michigan Tech

 

Kaitlyn Roose has been named the Director of Esports at Michigan Tech, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced on Monday (Nov. 4). Roose is the current President and Co-Founder of the Esports Club at Michigan Tech, and a mentor for the Husky Game Development Enterprise. She is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Psychology.

“Kaitlyn brings vast experience in gaming—including scouting, analysis, research and competitive play—to her new role as the Director of Esports. Additionally, she was a softball student-athlete during her undergraduate collegiate career,” Sanregret said. “I would like to thank the search committee for recruiting such an excellent candidate. We are thrilled to welcome Kaitlyn to the Michigan Tech Athletics family, and I look forward to working with her as we grow our esports program.”

“I firmly believe that video games are changing our world,” Roose said. “I came to Michigan Tech to do game research, and I feel blessed to have been heavily supported in this endeavor. I love the interdisciplinary work my department is doing, I appreciate the collaborative and empowering environment it has provided. I intend on creating that culture within the Esports program, inspiring students to challenge themselves and each other while succeeding inside and outside of the classroom. Suzanne and Joel (Isaacson) have done an incredible job doing industry research, interfacing with other programs, and evaluating the potential impact of the program at MTU.”

Roose has over seven years of competitive gaming experience and has achieved respective ranks in the top 10 percent of the player base in Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends. She has scouted opponents for two playoff contender teams, analyzing both individual and team levels. She also has experience writing about, streaming and shoutcasting Esports while also serving as the primary spokesperson and visionary for the Esports Club. Under her term as President, the club has doubled in active members and number of games.

“I’ve always wanted to work in a position that allows me to be a leader, serve in a mentorship capacity and continue doing meaningful research,” added Roose. “I am honored to have been chosen, and I thank the committee for having confidence in me and allowing me to finish my degree in the process. What people say is true: You never leave Michigan Tech, and being a Husky is always a part of you. I’m excited to begin my career with the support of my Michigan Tech family and spearhead this program as a demonstration of how Michigan Tech is truly paving the way for a better future.”

Roose completed her Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors in December 2018 from Michigan Tech. She conducts her research as a part of the Games, Learning, and Decisions Lab in the Cognitive and Learning Sciences Department. She has conducted multiple studies investigating decision making, problem solving and attention in games and has disseminated the results at several international conferences (CHI Play, Naturalistic Decision Making, APA). Roose has been on an Esports panel and interviewed by the Chief Scientific Officer of the APA about psychology in Esports (LINK).

Roose played two seasons of varsity softball and two seasons of club rugby at Gannon University while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned NCAA DII Individual and Team Academic Achievement Honors, as well as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete Honors, and was named a PSAC Scholar-Athlete while playing third base. She earned Gannon’s Presidential Scholarship, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was one of 10 finalists for Gannon’s Medal of Honor.

Michigan Tech became the first public school in the state to announce a varsity Esports team in August 2019. Competition will begin with the 2020-21 academic year. Current Michigan Tech students or prospective students interested in being a part of Esports at Michigan Tech should click here.

 

ACSHF Students Present Research at Society for Neuroscience Convention

Dr. Kevin Trewartha, Director of the Aging, Cognition, and Action Lab, accompanied by two of his current PhD candidates, Bridget Durocher and Isaac Flint, attended the Society for Neuroscience convention to present their research. This year represented the 50th annual convention, and it was held in Chicago, IL. This convention is one of the largest international conventions for the study of neuroscience with speakers and exhibitors from all around the world. Opportunities to meet Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 Eric Kandel for his work on signal transduction in the nervous system, global industry leaders in neuroscience technology, and leaders on the forefront of brain research were all part of this year’s experience.

Bridget Durocher presented preliminary findings of her research investigating whether acquisition, and short- and long-term retention measures of motor learning can distinguish between amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzehimer’s disease (AD), and healthy aging. The ultimate goal of this work is to potentially supplement existing neuropsychological measures for diagnosing AD. The need for additional or new techniques to diagnose AD in its earliest stages is essential in extending the quality of life for our future generations. The current standard testing procedures often miss the early onset phase of the disease process, leading many years of missed opportunities to manage the disease effectively. In the current project we are investigating whether the early stages of motor learning are affected by MCI and early AD, and whether those patients exhibit additional impairments in short-term (i.e., within session) and long-term (after a 24-hour delay) retention of a newly acquired motor skill. Initial results are encouraging, and support our hypothesis, but it should be stressed that these data are very preliminary.

Isaac Flint presented findings from work investigating whether younger and older adults differ in the ability to make optimal corrective actions for collision avoidance during reaching movements. This work showed that when making motor corrections in response to visual feedback perturbations, both older and younger adults are equally able to make optimal decisions when correcting their movements to avoid collisions with obstacles. However, older adults make less efficient movements indicated by longer movement times, exhibit increased rates of collision, and delayed electrophysiological responses to the visual feedback perturbations. The efficiency with which older adults made corrective actions was also correlated with cognitive measures of executive control, and processing speed. 

In addition to attending the conference Bridget and Isaac took some time to explore the city, learning to navigate Chicago’s public transportation, and visiting various spots including the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library, Little Italy, Millennium Park, downtown shops, and the lakefront. Having a diverse population to network with along with the unique cultural opportunities Chicago has to offer made this convention an excellent opportunity to explore both cognitive neuroscience and human factors.