In Their Words: Emma Cunningham

emma-cunningham-walsh.jpegName: Emma G. Cunningham

College: Merrill College

Department: Psychology/Cognitive Science Department

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? The 2019 Walsh Family Scholarship.

What year do you expect to graduate? 
I expect to graduate after Winter Quarter 2021.

Where do you call home? Auburn, California.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? I chose UCSC because of the culture of including undergraduates in research as research assistants and because of the beautiful natural landscape in Santa Cruz.

What is your field of focus? I hope to focus my future research on the intersection of technology and social practices in order to expand our global knowledge of the impacts, both positive and negative, technology has on human beings and on society.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? I plan to attend graduate school and produce research within the field of cognitive science with a focus on integrating human social phenomena into technological research, development, and work spaces.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? My most memorable moments, as a student thus far, have come from group discussions pertaining to the development of new questions in the research I am involved with in the Re-embodied Cognition lab. There, we have discussed how social constructs and customs must be taken into account when developing new technologies and how group dynamics influence attitudes toward technology. These conversations have allowed me to expand my interests in pursuit of my own research questions.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? 
The most impactful aspect of life at UCSC for me has been my involvement with faculty research projects. I would advise all incoming students to seek out ways to be involved in research in their field of interest. Being a part of a research team allows you to build connections with faculty and fellow students and develop your own interests.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life/research? I am incredibly grateful for this award. The financial support I have received from the Walsh Family Scholarship will allow me to dedicate my time and efforts to developing as a student and as a researcher by alleviating the financial burden of tuition and housing costs while I earn my undergraduate degree.


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