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Achievement Unlocked

July 09, 2019

American Psychological Association (APA) LogoAssociate Professor of Psychology Zane Zheng was recently chosen as a recipient of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Early Career Achievement Award.

Zheng will receive the award and a corresponding plaque in Chicago this August at the APA's annual convention. A total of 22 early career professionals are in this year's cohort of winners, including members from all areas of psychology (education, practice, public interest, and science).

"We are so very proud of Dr. Zheng's selection for this award," said Lori Rosenthal, dean of the College's School of Humanities, Education, Justice & Social Sciences.

"Dr. Zheng is a great and beloved teacher. His excitement and passion for pursuing new knowledge is infectious, and he regularly involves students in his research lab and helps them publish their work in professional journals."

The APA award recognizes achievements and leadership in the field of psychology. For Zheng, this affirms the value of his work with Lasell students.

"Over the past few years, I have dedicated my time to student training through teaching, research opportunities and formal lab work at Lasell," he said.

"I am incredibly honored to be recognized by this premier professional society. This kind of acknowledgement will expand my networking, training opportunities, and ability to engage Lasell students in their scholarly pursuits through Connected Learning."

In recent years, Zheng has received additional awards from the Society for Personality and Social  Psychology, Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and the APA.

Accolades aside, Zheng will spend the summer working with Lasell undergraduate students on a new academic writing framework based on cognitive science theories. Their goal is to study the way that readers process written information and then formulate evidence-based suggestions for writers to follow.

"Conventional writing guidelines focus on the part of writers, without paying enough attention to how potential readers would receive the presented information. This is like focusing on cooking the best steak without knowing that your guests are vegetarians. We hope to use the tools of brain science to address this issue." says Zheng.

A lot happens in a reader's brain, he says, and that is what his research will focus on: real-time tracking of comprehension and responses to stimuli as reading takes place. This type of work will not only benefit students, but will also strengthen Lasell's innovative academic environment.