Cognitive/Cognitive Development

The cognitive/cognitive development program at Kent State University is comprised of an active and collaborative group of faculty and students whose research focuses on higher level cognitive processes such as learning and memory, cognitive development, reading and spelling, text comprehension, and metacognition. 

About The Cognitive/Cognitive Development Program

Overarching themes involve investigating cognition with respect to lifespan development, and to improving education. Accordingly, a key goal is the generation of basic knowledge about cognitive processes and the application of that knowledge to real world issues and situations, such as methods for improving student achievement and individual differences in student learning.

The cognitive/cognitive development program maintains active laboratories with state of the art equipment for research and graduate training. Our newly renovated facility includes ample office and laboratory space for graduate students. Laboratory facilities include a Dual Purkinje eyetracker for studying online processing during reading, multimedia work stations for presenting stimuli and collecting data, computer-controlled experimental stations for testing participants, and interview rooms for testing adults. Faculty and students conduct a sizeable amount of research with the Psychology Department's large pool of student participants. Many other studies are conducted with special populations such as children, older adults, and patients with cognitive disorders as a result of brain injury or trauma.

Most graduates are employed in colleges and universities across the country, where they are engaged in research and teaching. Other graduates have pursued more applied goals and are employed in research institutes, laboratories, and human service settings. The chief aim of the program is to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to attain their own goals as researchers and teachers in psychology.

More About The Program

Research Training

The cognitive/cognitive development program is designed to train students in conducting and communicating high-quality psychological research.  As a graduate student in the cognitive/cognitive development program, you will have an opportunity to collaborate closely with one or more faculty members in ongoing research projects, from conception to publication.  In the first year, students begin a research project under the supervision of one of the cognitive/cognitive development faculty. Often, this first year research project broadens into the topic of the masters' thesis.  As students progress through the graduate program, they are encouraged to pursue additional collaborative and independent research projects, culminating in a dissertation project that often reflects the students' unique interests and expertise.

In the first two years, graduate students also take a number of graduate courses and seminars that cover current research in cognitive psychology, cognitive development, cognitive neuropsychology, research methods, and statistical analyses.  Students in the cognitive/cognitive development program may elect to gain additional training by pursuing a quantitative minor, or taking classes in developmental psychology.

In addition, faculty and students in the cognitive/cognitive development program meet for the "cognitive brown-bag."  In the brownbag, students and faculty present research ideas and learn about current research trends, attend research presentations by guest speakers from other institutions, and discuss issues relevant to professional and career development.

All graduate students are eligible to receive financial support, usually in the form of a graduate assistantship, which is viewed as an integral part of the program. Both research and teaching skills are advanced by the graduate assistantships. Through a research assignment, students are involved directly in research with faculty. In later years, students develop teaching skills through instruction of undergraduate psychology classes.

Core Faculty

Dr. Jill Folk - Skilled reading and spelling, reading and spelling disability, and cognitive neuropsychology.

Dr. Phillip Hamrick - Language, learning, memory, consciousness, and computational modeling.

Dr. Dana Miller-Cotto - Mathematical cognition and factors that predict educational disparities for traditionally underserved students.

Dr. Clarissa Thompson - Mathematics education interventions, representational change, development of learning and memory.

Dr. Chris Was - Interested in measuring individual differences relevant to basic cognitive abilities and to motivation relevant to student achievement.

Dr. Maria Zaragoza - False memory and false belief; source monitoring, eyewitness suggestibility.

Faculty With Related Interests

Dr. John Gunstad (Assessment) uses neuropsychological tests to study factors that limit test validity and the effects of age and disease on cognition.

Dr. John Updegraff (Social-Health) studies cognitive and emotional processes involved in well-being and adjustment to stress; how to present health information in ways that effectively promotes health behavior change.

Emeriti Faculty

Dr. John Dunlosky - Cognitive aging, metacognition, and education. Linking theory to applications aimed at improving student learning and achievement.

Dr. William Merriman - Children's language, memory, and thought.

Dr. Katherine Rawson - Text comprehension, how reading processes become automatic, how to improve student learning, and metacognition.

Graduate Courses In Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Development
  • Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • Memory and Cognition
  • Reading Processes
  • Seminar: Cognition and Education
  • Seminar: Cognition of Learning and Memory
  • Seminar: Development of Mathematical Cognition
  • Seminar: Language Comprehension Processes
  • Seminar: Metacognition 
  • Seminar: Working Memory
Recent Cognitive/Cognitive Development Graduates

Ashley Abraham, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University 
Heather Bailey, Assistant professor, Kansas State University
Michael Baranski, Assistant Professor, California University of Pennsylvania
Blair Braun, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Platteville
Stephen Brusnighan, Psychometrician at Measurement Incorporated
Angela C. Canda, Associate Professor, John Carroll University
Nola Daley, Research Scientist, ACT 
Shauna deLong, Visiting Assistant Professor, Kenyon College
Amanda Dakermanji, Games Researcher, Netflix
Megan Deibel, Assistant Professor, Wingate University
Michael Eskenazi, Assistant Professor, Stetson University
Charles Fitzsimmons, Assistant Professor, University of Florida
Erin Graham, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Travis Hartin
Kyle Henning, Assistant Professor, Earlham College
Jaruda Ithisuphalap, Biostatistician, Institute for Medical Research at the Durham VA
Jessica Janes, Biostatistics Manager, Institute for Medical Research at the Durham VA
Angela Jones, Associate Professor, John Carroll University
Amanda Lipko, Associate Professor, The College at Brockport SUNY
Stacy Lipowski, Associate Professor, Highpoint University
Kayla Morehead, Senior Associate, Assessments, Rocketship Public Schools
Michael Mueller, Senior Data Analyst, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Mary Pyc, Research Scientist, Apple
Patrick Rich, Assistant Professor, Stonehill College
Eric Rindal, Assistant Professor, Georgia College & State University
Michelle Rivers, Postdoctoral student, Texas Christian University
Mike Serra,  Associate Professor, Texas Tech
Jeremy Slocum
Kalif Vaughn, Assistant Professor, Northern Kentucky University
Jenna Wall, Senior Administrator for Human Research Protection Program, National Jewish Health
Nicolas Wilkins, Associate Professor, Southeastern Missouri State University
Kathryn Wissman, Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University