On Thursday, May 2, the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science joyfully commemorated the achievements of the 2024 graduating class. The ceremony was a festive gathering, with graduates surrounded by loved ones who came to celebrate with them. Ilana Mermelstein and Myles Williamson, both from the Decision Track, were the chosen speakers for the ceremony, offering their reflections to the graduating class.

Ilana Mermelstein

Our first student speaker was Ilana Mermelstein, a double major on the decision track and Economics with a minor in Moral and Political Philosophy. She was an Honors Summer Fellowship recipient and recently presented her thesis research at the Weinberg Poster Session during our Weinberg Research Symposium. For her thesis, she was a recipient of the Virginia Voss Award for excellence in academic writing.

Myles Williamson

Myles Williamson, our second student speaker, is a CogSci major with a minor in Linguistics who has been very involved in research and the CogSci Community. During last year's colloquium, Myles along with other members, formed a focus group to raise awareness about food insecurity and the importance of using “food as fuel” for cognition. Throughout this endeavor, Myles and his fellow group members devoted time with the local food bank, Food Gatherers, to volunteer and promote the fight against hunger.

Annually, the Weinberg Institute bestows awards upon students in recognition of their academic achievements and their valued contributions to the institute. The award winners for this year are as follows:

Robert J. Glushko Thesis Award for Outstanding Cognitive Science Research

Ilana Mermelsteen has recieved the 2024 Robert J. Glushko Thesis Award for her exceptional research in Cognitive Science. As a major on the Decision Track, her thesis, "Shopping with the Future in Mind: The Role of Delay Discounting in the Decision to Shop Fast Fashion in an Environmental Context," was guided by Dr. Stephanie Preston, a professor of Psychology.

Student Service Award

Jill Charbonneau recieved the Student Service Award for her exceptional contributions to our institute's undergraduate program. As the president of the CogSci Community, she transformed the group with a strong emphasis on community interaction and giving back. She led a t-shirt sale fundraiser to benefit the Michigan United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Jill also redefined the CogSci Community's Colloquium with a new focus on using community action to improve society. As a peer advisor, she has been instrumental in creating welcoming and inclusive initiatives.