Keuper Statue

Lifelong Scholar Society

Florida Tech’s Lifelong Scholar Society is a community of curious minds who are passionate about sharing knowledge. Throughout the year, the society hosts a series of lectures. Topics range from historical writers and contemporary art to the Florida habitat, space exploration, and more. Join us and become part of a world of exciting people!

April 2023 Lecture Recording

June 2023 Lecture Recording

Upcoming Lectures

Thursday, September 28th, 5:30 pm EDT
Florida Tech’s Center for Aeronautics and Innovation,
1050 W NASA Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901

Auto-MATE: When Technology Becomes a Teammate

Description of the talk: Automated and autonomous systems such as drones, autonomous cars, and artificially intelligent agents are becoming increasingly prevalent in society. As these technologies become increasingly intelligent and autonomous, how we interact with them will inevitably change. This presentation will discuss the distinction between such technology as a tool or a teammate and share research on how our trust in these systems develops, degrades, and rebounds as we work side-by-side with them.

Presenters and bios:

  • Dr. Meredith Carroll is a Professor of Aviation Human Factors, and Founder and Director of the Advancing Technology-interaction and Learning in Aviation Systems (ATLAS) Lab at Florida Institute of Technology’s College of Aeronautics. She has over 20 years of experience studying human/team performance and training in complex systems. Her research focuses on decision-making in complex systems, cognition and learning, human-machine teaming, performance assessment, and adaptive training. She has been funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to study different facets of these areas. She also worked at the Kennedy Space Center conducting user-centered design of International Space Station payloads, processing facilities, and ground support equipment. She teaches various human factors courses to give students practical, hands-on experience in applying theories of cognition and learning to optimize performance in many situations, from aviation to defense. She received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia, her M.S. in Aviation Science from the Florida Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Applied Experimental Psychology and Human Factors from the University of Central Florida. 

  • Dr. Amanda Thayer is an Associate Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the Florida Institute of Technology. She is also Secretary for the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup), Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and a Consortium Senior Research Fellow for the U.S. Army Research Institute. She serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Business and Psychology and Group & Organization Management. Dr. Thayer completed her doctorate at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2015. To date, she has secured over $7 million in external funding and has played an integral role in several interdisciplinary research efforts that have produced more than 80 publications and conference presentations, including outlets such as American Psychologist, Human Resource Management Review, and Organizational Psychology Review, among others. She has conducted lab- and field-based research for government agencies, the military, and industry. Her research is focused on facilitating teamwork and collaboration across a variety of contexts, including military units, NASA crews, volunteer non-profit teams, and virtual teams, among others. Dr. Thayer’s current research is focused on team selection, staffing, and composition; trust development, violation, and repair; team cohesion; team adaptation and resilience; and measurement and methodologies for studying interpersonal relationships and team- and system-level dynamics.

  • Dr. Jessica Wildman is a tenured Professor and Program Chair of the Industrial Organizational Psychology program and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Portfolio lead and Research Director of the Institute for Culture, Collaboration, and Management (ICCM) at the Florida Institute of Technology. She earned a B.S. in Psychology in 2007, an M.S. in I/O Psychology in 2010, and her Ph.D. in I/O Psychology in 2011 from the University of Central Florida. She has co-authored 22 book chapters, 15 journal articles, and presented over 80 national and international conference presentations on team processes and emergent states, team cognition, team performance measurement, global virtual teams, trust development and repair, and cultural competence. Dr. Wildman is the co-editor of the 2014 book “Leading Global Teams: Translating Multidisciplinary Science to Practice” and the 2016 book “Critical Issues in Cross-Cultural Management.” Dr. Wildman has been associated with over $2.5 million in funded research for clients, including the U.S. Office of Naval Research, Naval Air Warfare Training Systems Division, U.S. Army Research Institute, NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and large multinational companies. Exemplar projects include an operational assessment and scientific literature review on team self-maintenance for NASA, developing measures of multiteam system performance for the Navy, an early career grant from ARI to conduct basic research on the development, violation, and repair of trust across cultures, and cultural advising for a Fortune 500 company. Dr. Wildman received the 2021-2022 Charles E. Helmstetter Award for Faculty Excellence in Research. Current research interests include diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), culture, and teams in the workplace.

Thursday, October 26th, 4 pm EDT
Florida Tech’s Center for Aeronautics and Innovation,
1050 W NASA Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901

Surviving Stress by Emily Walsh Ribeiro

Description of the talk: Now more than ever, we must commit to our health and well-being. Stress is the number one factor in several major life-threatening health issues, yet we already have the tools to help reduce it. In this lecture, you will learn tried and true methods to reduce your anxiety and stress levels to avoid these health-compromising pitfalls. You'll be able to create your own Wellness Plan to live a happier, healthier life.

Bio: Emily Walsh Ribeiro is a published author and Yoga Health Coach for bZen Yoga, who has helped over 15,000 people live healthier, more meaningful lives. With over 25 years of experience in her field and dozens of health and wellness certifications, she shares her knowledge and practice with almost every demographic, from babies to seniors. Emily brings peaceful strength to all she teaches and trains with her light, funny, and inclusive style. As a natural healer, Emily has overcome several serious ailments and injuries. In each situation, she progressed along her recovery with various Yoga and Mindfulness modalities. Emily brings her expertise to guide her students on holistic health and wellness experiences. Her transformational programs navigate best practices in nutrition, fitness, mindfulness, goal setting, and healthy aging, offering her students a chance to chart a course toward living their best lives.


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