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2019 Governing Board Chair Announced

Laura Carlson

The Psychonomic Society is pleased to announce the Governing Board has elected the Chair of the Governing Board for 2019.


Laura Carlson, Professor of Psychology, who serves as Vice President, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame, will become Chair-Elect in 2018 and Chair in 2019.

“I am honored to serve in this role for the Psychonomic Society, an organization that I cherish and that has had a tremendous impact on my career, spanning from the first time at a Psychonomics meeting as a first year graduate student, to my first oral presentation, and on through today. I am committed to building on the strong legacy of previous Governing Board Chairs to ensure that our society remains strong, inclusive, and relevant.”

Aaron Benjamin, current Chair of the Governing Board said, “I am thrilled that the governance of the society will continue to be in good hands. Professor Carlson exhibits an exceptional commitment to service and will be an effective, conscientious leader and steward of the Society’s resources.


In September, Penny M. Pexman, University of Calgary, and Duane G. Watson, Vanderbilt University, were elected by the Society’s membership and will join the Governing Board in January for a six-year term.


On January 1, John Dunlosky, Kent State University, will become Chair and Aaron Benjamin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will become Past Chair. Continuing Governing Board members are: Edward Awh, University of Chicago; Teresa Bajo, University of Granada; Marc Brysbaert, Ghent University; Fernanda Ferreira, University of California, Davis; James Pomerantz, Rice University; Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, University of Michigan; and Valerie Reyna, Cornell University. We offer a special thank you to retiring Governing Board members Robert Logie, University of Edinburgh; Janet Metcalfe, Columbia University; and Cathleen Moore, University of Iowa.


Laura Carlson, Professor of Psychology, serves as Vice President, Associate Provost, and Dean of the Graduate School at the University Notre Dame. As head administrator of the Graduate School since 2013, Carlson oversees all aspects of Graduate School administration, as well as the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars. She works closely with the associate deans for graduate education from the University’s colleges of Arts and Letters, Engineering, Science, and Global Affairs, as well as with the deans of Architecture, the Law School, and the Mendoza College of Business and the University’s Vice President for Research.

Carlson’s tenure on the Graduate School’s leadership team began in 2009, when she was named Associate Dean for Professional Development. During her time in this position, she formed a campus-wide professional development team that offers services and programs within the areas of research, teaching, career and ethics, including training in grant and fellowship writing, career discernment, teaching preparedness, and the responsible conduct of research.

In addition to serving as dean of the Graduate School, Carlson’s major responsibilities in the provost office include running ND Lead, a faculty leadership development program, acting as the secretary of the Academic Council and the Provost Advisory Committee, and collaborating with the University Committee on Women Faculty and Students to improve the climate for female faculty.


Within the Department of Psychology, which she joined in 1994, she has served as Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Chair. Her primary research interest is spatial cognition—how we mentally represent the places and objects around us—and she has won grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in support of this work. She directs the Department of Psychology’s Spatial Language & Spatial Cognition Lab.

Carlson received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, her master’s from Michigan State University, and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as an associate editor for Cognitive Psychology, Memory & Cognition and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. In 2005, she co-edited the Oxford University Press volume Functional Features in Language and Space.


As a teacher, Carlson has been recognized on multiple occasions at Notre Dame: twice with a Kaneb Teaching Award and a Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.




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