Lab Events and News
Taylor Vargo will start a tenure-track faculty position at Simpson College, just south of Des Moines. This small, liberal college will allow Taylor to continue her passions of teaching and mentoring student-led research projects. As the sole Cognitive Faculty member, Taylor will also be heavily involved in the Neuroscience program designed for pre-med and other related majors to get more hands-on experience with Cognitive neuroscience research methods (i.e., EEG, eye-tracking).
Trevor Bell was hired on as a graduate research assistant for the Army Research Institute, where they study behavioral and social sciences impact on issues within the Army. Nice work, Trevor!
Taylor proposed her Dissertation and hopes to defend in the fall 2023 semester. This study will investigate different pedagogical techniques that could be implemented into the classroom to help increase student comprehension and memory for classroom content.
Undergraduate lab members, Trase, Ellie, Kayli, and Sarah, presented their research posters at the 38th Annual Undergraduate Research Convocation on the fourth floor of Bluemont Hall. Undergraduates lined up around the halls of the fourth floor, presented their posters, and answered questions from professors, graduate students, friends, and family. Trase and Ellie presented their poster titled "Reminiscence and the Evaluation of Socialization Trends (REST)", which focused on examining the ways in which reminiscing and socializing affect memory processing across all of the age ranges. Kayli and Sarah presented their poster titled "Should Older Adults Take Their Vitamins?: Impacts on Memory", which highlighted if taking vitamins could affect memory processes within older adults. Nice job everyone!
A large portion of the lab went to Chicago, Illinois to attend and present at the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) Conference! This conference consisted of many different presentations covering diverse concepts in Psychology. There were a total of eight undergraduates from the lab that presented in the undergraduate poster presentation section of the conference. These undergraduate students included: Ellie Warnes, Trase McQueen, Claire Weaver, Estefani Fernandez-Patlán, Kayli Potter, Kelly Krehbiel, Ryan Dix, and Sarah Sanders. There were two graduate students who presented a powerpoint to an audience, and another graduate student who attended a poster session. These graduate students included: Taylor Vargo, Trevor Bell, and Younes Elbishari.
Taylor was awarded the William L. Stamey Award for Graduate Teaching Assistants. She was one of two winners across the entire college of Arts and Sciences. The late William "Bill" Stamey was a mathematician who served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1970-1987. In recognition of his success in recruiting outstanding faculty to the university, and to continuously foster excellence in teaching and advising, the college established the William L. Stamey Awards.
Trevor competed in the Three Minute Thesis Competition, which is an academic competition that challenges graduate students to present a compelling oration on their thesis/dissertation topic and its significance to a non-expert audience in just three minutes using a single, static slide. He presented his work that looked to answer the question "Why do we fail to remember information, despite using strategies to help?" To answer his question, he measured the brain activity of participants as they attempted to remember information. He found that people remember more information when it has been connected to past experiences. For example, if you needed to remember the word pair "aunt - sofa" you might think of the orange couch your aunt used to have growing up. When there is an increase in brain activity related to connecting past experiences with new information, the participants were more likely to remember the word pairs. When there was decreased activity related to connecting the past, they were less likely to remember the word pair.
Taylor was awarded the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Small Grant Program ($1000). This grant will help fund Taylor's dissertation research. Congratulations Taylor!
Dr. Heather Bailey receives a 5-year $1.95 million National Institutes of Health grant for her research related to the role of prior knowledge and event segmentation in age- and Alzheimer's-related changes in event memory! See the full article in the K-State News here.
Kristen McGatlin, who was an undergraduate research assistant in the lab for three years (from 2015 to 2018) is now our lab manager! After graduating from K-State in Fall 2017, she got her Masters at the University of Michigan in Fall 2021. There she studied aging and memory, specifically emotion and its influence on memory in older adults. Welcome back to the lab, Kristen!
Taylor was nominated by the Psychological Sciences Department for the Presidential Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award. This award recognizes and rewards excellence in teaching performance in undergraduate courses. Congrats on the nomination Taylor!
Taylor was just awarded the Development Grant from K-State's Global Campus! The purpose of the grant is to help direct the use of incentives and financial support toward developing courses that closely align with the priorities and strategic goals of the university. Recipients of this award "promote innovation and excellence while also incorporating best practices and quality standards into teaching and learning and will recognize that the learner of today is a multi-faceted, lifelong learner looking for opportunities to fulfill knowledge gaps and immediately apply learning outcomes". Taylor will receive $9,000 to aid in her development of Psych 625, Human Factors.
Trevor was just awarded the Human Behavior & Evolution Society's Student Funding Grant! This grant is awarded to students who aim to bring guest speakers related to behavior and evolution to their university. Trevor was able to sponsor Dr. Laith Al-Shawaf, Associate Professor from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a talk titled "Evolutionary Psychology: Foundations and Misconceptions". He was also able to sponser Dr. Oliver Sng, Assistant Professor from the University of California at Irvine's talk titled "The Psychology of Ecology: How Environments Influence Culture and Stereotyping".
We have an outstanding graduate instructor in our lab! Trevor was just given this award which acknowledges and recognizes outstanding graduate teaching assistants and instructors for their contributions to the teaching mission of the University!
Taylor was named Psychological Science's outstanding graduate instructor! This award acknowledges and recognizes outstanding graduate teaching assistants and instructors for their contributions to the teaching mission of Kansas State.