Getting to Know CSSA’s 2022–2023 Executive Board

CSSA at UCSD
7 min readDec 7, 2022

With both new and returning members on Executive board this year, we wanted to give you an introduction to get to know them better. Keep reading to learn about their favorites in all things CogSci, upcoming CSSA events that they’re excited for, and more!

Q: What is your name and your position on the CSSA executive board?

Anjali Mathi: Co-President

Satomi Ito: Co-President

Yifan Lou: Secretary

Jacquelyn Garabedian: Treasurer

Laura Charria: Community Chair

Anastasiya Markova: Professional Relations Co-Chair

Amita Ram: Professional Relations Co-Chair

Kaushika Uppu: Content Writer

Anthony Vivas: Marketing Co-Chair

Kelly Nham: Marketing Co-Chair

Andrina Zhang: Content Producer

Samantha Sayson: Design Co-Chair

Cindy Peng: Design Co-Chair

Jessica Fung: Design Co-Chair

Lucy Lennemann: Web Developer

Michael Welsome: Web Developer

Vicky Chou: Web Developer

Luke Sztajnkrycer: Presidential Advisor

Drake Coy: Presidential Advisor

Q: What is your year and major(s) (and minors)?

Anjali: 3rd year majoring in Cognitive Science with a specialization in design and interaction

Satomi: 4th year, majoring in cogsci machine learning and computer science minor

Yifan: 2nd year, Cognitive Science (MLNC)

Jacquelyn: 3rd year, double major in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology

Laura: 3rd year, majoring in Cognitive Science

Anastasiya: 2nd year, Cognitive Science w/ spec. Machine Learning and Minor in Data Science

Amita: 2nd year, Cognitive Science- Neuro spec

Kaushika: 3rd year, majoring in Cognitive Science with a specialization in neuroscience

Anthony: 4th year, Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Design and Interaction, Minoring in Psychology and Design

Kelly: 4th year, Cognitive Science spec in Design and Interaction, minor in Psychology and Design

Andrina: 3rd year, majoring in Cognitive Science (MLNC) & ICAM Music; minoring in CSE & Visual Arts

Samantha: 2nd year, CogSci Design and Interaction major

Cindy: 3rd year, Major: Cognitive Science in Design and Interaction, Business Psychology; Minor: Supply Chain

Jessica: 2nd year, majoring in Cognitive Science with design and interaction specialization

Lucy: 3rd year, Cognitive Science Major with ML specialization, music & computer science minors

Michael: 3rd year, majoring in Cognitive Science spec. Design & Interaction and minoring in Computer Science

Vicky: 4th year, Cognitive Science major, CSE minor

Luke: 4th year; B.S. Cog Sci — ML , B.S. Joint Math/Econ

Q: What is your favorite thing about Cognitive Science?

Anjali: There’s a lot that’s fun about cognitive science, but I actually really like that whenever someone asks what I’m majoring in, I get to explain the domain and what I’m studying — because a lot of the time, people don’t really understand what cognitive science is! I also love that there is so much nuance and complexity in our discipline; the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science really lends itself to so many potential career paths, and everyone I’ve met in the major has a specific, different idea of what they want to do after UCSD. It’s really energizing to be surrounded by such an intellectually diverse community.

Yifan: I love how interdisciplinary cogsci is; it combines philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence and so much more and you can always find something that’s uniquely interesting to you.

Anastasiya: I love how interdisciplinary it is, you can really mold the major to whatever interests you.

Amita: I love how it combines both a more abstract psychology with detailed anatomy/biology to create a field that is the best of both worlds!

Kaushika: I love that it’s such an interdisciplinary major and allows you to find and focus on what you’re specifically interested in.

Kelly: I like how it looks at things from different perspectives. It is about understanding the human mind and using that to solve problems.

Cindy: It is such a rich and interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on inputs from linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, and computer science/artificial intelligence by examining the nature and functionality of cognition.

Michael: My favorite thing about cognitive science is that it allows you to build and understand systems from the mind’s perspective. When you use the mind as your reference point, you can create user-oriented design and accurate artificial intelligence.

Luke: How interdisciplinary it is!

Q: What is your favorite COGS class that you’ve taken so far and why?

Anjali: I’m taking COGS 101B with Professor Barrera this quarter, and it’s currently my favorite just because Professor Barrera is an incredibly kind, funny guy who really cares about his students. I love taking his classes.

Satomi: COGS 118 series because it was, while being stressful, it was super interesting and insightful.

Yifan: My favorite so far is COGS 10, cognitive consequences of technology. It’s a very fun class and introduced me to critically examining our relationship with technologies in our lives from online dating and internet memes to the nft market.

Jacquelyn: My favorite class I’ve taken so far is Cogs 107C, Cognitive Neuroscience, because it did a great job of connecting neuroscience concepts to the lives of everyday people and the current mental health crisis.

Laura: I am grateful to have taken COGS 18, Intro to Python with Professor Shannon Ellis because I learned how coding is like learning a new language, it takes time to be fully proficient, but practicing with friends is always fun.

Anthony: COGS 102C because the entire class involves a case study that you can then add to your portfolio.

Andrina: COGS 108. I enjoy the time collaborating with my friends to work on a data science project. I love using those libraries to work with data too because of their color palette.

Samantha: COGS 1 with Prof Barrera. I enjoyed it because it was a great intro to what cognitive science is, I got to understand what cognitive science was and hear from many different experts in the field which both solidified and expanded my understanding of the subject.

Lucy: COGS 108 — Lots of interesting machine learning & data science topics and we got to apply them to a group project!

Q: What CSSA event are you looking forward to the most this year?

Satomi: Spring Conference!

Jacquelyn: I am most looking forward to our lab open house this winter because it’s great to see students find potential lab opportunities!

Anastasiya: CSSA Spring Conference, I’m excited to bring all types of different inspiring speakers to UCSD.

Amita: The CSSA events that I am looking forward to the most this year are all the social events we are going to have, because I love meeting other COGS majors and getting to know them!

Kaushika: The lab open house, I’m excited to see some of the cogsci labs on campus and learn about their research!

Cindy: The CSSA event that I am most looking forward to this year would be the workshop season where I not only get to host my own workshop but also attend other board members’ workshops to learn more about the other specializations of Cogsci on campus.

Michael: I am excited for the lab open-house. I love learning about all the labs that come and seeing if there is a position fit for me.

Q: Do you have any advice for the Cognitive Science/CSSA student community?

Anjali: Get involved, be curious, and don’t be afraid to apply for things — even if you feel like you don’t have the experience for them. And you can always reach out for guidance. The cognitive science community, including CSSA, is a wonderful support system.

Satomi: Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors for lab opportunities!

Yifan: Let’s have more socials and get to know each other better; we have such diverse people in this major and I think that that’s a super cool thing that we can take more advantage of!

Jacquelyn: Since Cognitive Science is such a broad field, my advice would be to get involved in a variety of spaces (labs, ML, etc), and use your courses as a way to experiment and find out what you like.

Laura: You have to take a class with Professor Mary Boyle at least once in your life! Surround yourself with people who are excited and motivated to be a part of the cognitive science community!

Anastasiya: Get involved in projects and orgs early on so you can get more hands on experience and make a ton of friends!

Amita: A piece of advice I have to the Cognitive Science student community is to be open-minded. The field has many different aspects to it, so I recommend taking any and every class that interests you. You might discover a new passion!

Kaushika: Take advantage of how interdisciplinary CogSci is! Don’t hesitate to take a class that’s not necessarily part of your specialization and don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors and other people in the community!

Anthony: Take advantage of networking and connect to other fellow CogSci students and professors.

Kelly: Don’t be afraid to try new things! Even if you do not think it is related to what you want to do, you always get something from every experience you have.

Samantha: Many people say this but don’t be afraid to join student organizations, even if you’re going to events alone! A lot of people are in the same boat as you, and joining clubs is a great way to learn new things and meet people that may share the same interests/classes with you. I was initially really nervous to go to club events alone but it has helped me with my networking skills and I’ve met a ton of people that share the same classes as me!

Cindy: My advice for the Cogsci/CSSA student community would be to attend events and reach out to people that are studying the same field, there is just so much information and resources on campus waiting for everyone to seek and explore as long as one is willing to!

Lucy: Explore different areas you’re interested in and try different opportunities to see what you like!

Michael: Start early on your career. Learn desirable skills and get yourself out there.

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