Activities as a Student:
I was involved in quite a bit of research as an undergraduate student, serving both as a research assistant in the Ecological Neuroscience Laboratory (under Dr. Stephanie Preston) and a lab manager for the Lab for Computational Cognitive Science (under Dr. Rick Lewis).
Since graduating from U-M:
After graduating, I spent two years working as a lab manager for the Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at Brown University (under Dr. Oriel FeldmanHall). Here, I worked on questions pertaining to perceptions of emotions and the role of emotions in decision-making. After this, I became a quantitative user experience research contractor at Google, looking at how various sentiments relate to perceptions of security. I've also started a lifelong dream of learning how to surf!
Career and other highlights that you're most passionate about or proud of:
Some highlights of my work are still in the process of being materialized in the form of publications or product-changes, but I am proud of the work nonetheless. I'm passionate about asking about people first and methodology second, and I'm grateful that a majority of my work has been inline with that pattern, whether it be the role of emotion in pro-environmental behavior or how the presence of a group affects charitable donations.
How has your U-M Cognitive Science degree influenced your career path?
The Cognitive Science degree afforded me the opportunity to analyze what really underlies human behavior, and I hope to continue on a path that does just the same. Not only are the skills I learned throughout my coursework broadly transferable, but the mindset and approach of the institute has allowed me to excel and adapt quickly to new challenges and new industries. Looking beyond the topic itself, a core tenant of the degree is thinking interdisciplinarily, and I've found that interdisciplinary thinking drives new collaboration and innovation. Using this as a cornerstone of my work has given me confidence to pursue questions and topics that I might not be an expert in, but to which I can gladly contribute.