Today at Elon / #ElonGrad 2022 spotlight: Pierce Johnson, philosophy and psychology – Today at Elon

In this series, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences is shining the spotlight on distinguished members of the Class of 2022 from a wide array of disciplines.

Elon College Fellow Pierce Johnson was recognized for excellence in each of his majors, philosophy and psychology.

The Department of Philosophy twice recognized him with the bell hooks Award for Pedagogical Practices in Philosophy and also awarded him the John Sullivan Award for Philosophical Engagement. The Department of Psychology recognized him the Community Engagement Excellence in Psychology Award. He was also recognized as an Outstanding Student in Classical Studies, one of three minors he earned at Elon along with statistics and neuroscience.

He is a member of six honor societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Tau, Phi Eta Sigma, Psi Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mu Sigma Rho.

Johnson was a teaching and learning assistant in three philosophy courses with Associate Professor of Philosophy Ryan Johnson and Professor of Philosophy Ann Cahill.

Outside of the classroom, he was president of the Philosophy Club and a student member of Elon’s Traditions Council.

How and why did you choose your majors?

Going into college, I knew I wanted to major in psychology, but philosophy was always a “we’ll see if we have time for it” kind of thing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve wanted to understand human thoughts and behaviors, which is where psychology comes in. I chose to study philosophy because I wanted to understand the world and our place in it. I think both stem from a desire to live a better life by understanding the world better, and to help others do the same.

Tell us about your research.

For the last two and half years, I’ve been working with Dr. Amy Overman in the Cognitive Science of Memory and Aging Lab. My research examined age differences in memory related to forming first impressions, and later updating those impressions when the people we meet change. I chose the topic because I wanted a project that bridged my interests in the social sciences and humanities. I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program, and presented my research at the Cognitive Aging Conference in Georgia and at the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum Day this spring.

Who have …….


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