2020 Excellence in Cognitive Science Award

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Kiley McKee has received this year’s excellence award! Each spring, our faculty members choose a graduating cognitive science major with the strongest combination of academic excellence and outstanding accomplishments in research. Congratulations, Kiley!

Kiley majored in both cognitive science and psychology and was a stellar student, researcher, and leader during her time at Johns Hopkins. She remarks that two research projects played a significant role in her development.

She worked with Dr. Kristin Gagnier (Science of Learning Institute) to create and examine spatially-enhanced third grade STEM curricula.

She also spent a significant amount of time working with Dr. Barbara Landau in the Language and Cognition Lab on a ‘block’ project that studies the development of spatial thinking – a collaboration among the labs of Dr. Landau, Dr. Amy Shelton (School of Education), and Dr. Gregory Hager (Whiting School of Engineering). Dr. Landau said “she was instrumental in developing and applying our annotation (coding) system, which is used to interface with the machine learning component of the project, she has been a key lead in our eye-tracking studies with adults and kids, and she has done a great job organizing our large and complicated set of materials….”

Dr. Kristin Gagnier and Dr. Barbara Landau have both been amazing advisors to me and really helped me grow as a researcher and as a student.

Kiley McKee, Class of 2020

Kiley demonstrated great commitment to Omega Psi, the national undergraduate honor society for Cognitive Science. She joined the Johns Hopkins chapter in her first year and has held leadership roles in both the local chapter and the national organization. Now co-president, she has steered the chapter through a myriad of activities, obstacles, and events – most notably their annual conference – and built important community ties among her peers. In her own words…

“Being a part of Omega Psi and helping foster community among cognitive science majors has been very rewarding. Omega Psi was one of the first organizations I joined as a freshmen and I learned a lot about the department and cognitive science in general through it. I am very happy that I have gotten the chance to help provide the same kind of support and community to other students.”

Kiley McKee, Class of 2020

This fall, Kiley heads to Northwestern University on a fellowship to pursue a PhD in Cognitive Psychology working with Prof. David Uttal in the area of cognitive development and spacial cognition. We’ll miss you, Kiley, but we know you’re bound for great things.

[Previous recipients of this award…]