Alyssa Lawson

Psychological & Brain Sciences

Research Interests

My research is focused on understanding the cognitive aspects of learning as well as how different types of technology can help or harm learning. The main project I am working on now is trying to understand how certain individual differences may influence one's ability to learn new material and how this impacts learning from different types of technology (i.e., online learning, immersive virtual reality, multimedia lessons). I also aim to figure out how to enhance learning using different technologies to help all learners develop a deeper understanding of the material. 

Mentoring Experiences

One of my favorite aspects of being a graduate student is being able to mentor undergraduate students. I have had incredible mentors in my life who are the reason that I am where I am today, which has inspired me to be that person for others. I have been so lucky to have plenty of opportunities to mentor undergraduates in many different areas, including mentoring focused on research, GRE preparations, and preparing for graduate school. One of the most rewarding parts of being a mentor is seeing my mentees succeed in whatever avenue they are pursuing. One of the challenging parts of mentoring, especially mentoring multiple students at once, is trying to figure out how to help your mentees in the way that they need help. I struggled with this when I first started mentoring; I wanted to help my mentees in the ways that I thought they needed help, but I've developed a better understanding of working towards listening to what my mentees need and how they need it in order to help them the best I can.

Meaning of the Award

Winning this award is an incredible honor! As mentioned, I have had really amazing mentors throughout college and grad school, specifically Drs. Jessica Walker, Ji Son, and Richard Mayer, who have inspired me to become a passionate and caring mentor. All I want in my mentoring relationships is to be seen as someone who is willing to help no matter what the issue is, and I feel like this award demonstrates that my mentees do see me as this person. I also want to note that I would not be the mentor I am today without all my lovely mentees -- in my lab, my classes, and through different programs on campus. They are the ones who helped me develop and hone my skills as a mentor.