Student Profile

Michael Boyce

Michael W. Boyce has a research background and interest in issues with ergonomics and design for assistive technologies as they relate to persons with disabilities. Michael graduated with his master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction with a focus in assistive technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008. Michael’s focus in assistive technology has continued in his doctoral studies in the development of mobile technology for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in combat-returnees, as well as assessment of adaptive driving controls for individuals with spinal cord injuries. This project was funded in part by the Central Florida Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans Association of America.

At the start of his doctoral program, Michael was transitioned to the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security where he has been specifically tasked to focus on assistive technology and human performance needs of persons with disabilities. Past involvement includes research into improving Section 508 user-interface standards for persons with disabilities, and most recently emergency evacuation and preparedness using assistive technology. A wheelchair user himself, Michael uses his own experiences as well as a technical expertise to find solutions to complex problems in the area of assistive technology

James Oglesby

James Oglesby earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He chose to stay for his graduate degree due to the reputation of the Human Factors Psychology program, the faculty, and the research opportunities. He looked forward to continuing the exciting projects which he became involved with as an undergraduate research assistant at the Institute for Simulation and Training.

Oglesby enjoys the intensive research focus of the program, such as composing empirical journal articles, presenting research at conferences, and writing research ideas for potential funding through grants. Most of his research has been on projects affiliated with NASA, with a focus on preparing spaceflight crewmembers for long duration missions like the future mission to Mars. “Crewmembers are exposed to many stressors during these missions,” he explains. “Possible threats of conflict and uncoordinated work can really affect the mission outcome and their safety. The Department of Human Systems Integration Research (DHSIR) researched developments in measuring human-centered factors related to spaceflight performance, and focused on implementing and creating interventions to help spaceflight personnel in addressing stress and teamwork during critical missions.”

Oglesby is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) student chapter at UCF, as well as a member of HFES nationally. He will graduate in Spring 2015 and plans to work in an industry setting that involves developing, utilizing, and evaluating technology mediums – such as simulations and computer games – for training purposes.

Joanna Lewis

Joanna Lewis, a doctoral student in the Applied Experimental and Human Factors program, came to UCF after graduating magna cum laude from Colorado State University. After hearing that UCF was one of the top three schools in her field, she decided to apply. Working under Mark Neider, PhD, Lewis conducts her research in attention and distraction. Because of human factors research, we know that human beings are incapable of texting and driving or talking and driving while maintaining attention on the roadway. Lewis’s research further explores issues of distraction, and how attention can be recaptured while an individual is distracted. She has found that there is a lot of support for the research she and her colleagues undertake, and that here at UCF, she is able to pursue the topics that she finds interesting. 

As part of her program, Lewis assists teaching and is a lab instructor for Research Methods and Statistics and Psychology of Aging. She also mentors undergraduate students in their honors theses. Of her advisor, Dr. Neider, she says, “He helped me to develop as a researcher, but more than that, he’s just been emotionally supportive and helped me develop my confidence.” Lewis hopes to encourage undergraduate students in the same way she has been supported as a student and as a researcher. “That’s how I came to be where I am today, because people took an interest in me and helped me develop my own projects as an undergrad, and I want to pass that along.”

Lewis is a member of the UCF Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Student Chapter and is a recipient of the Dean’s Fellowship as well as the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. She plans to graduate by May 2017 and hopes to pursue a tenure track position at a research institution. “Research is my passion in life. I really enjoy what I do and I feel really lucky that I get to do what I love and feel fulfilled.” Lewis notes that technology is becoming an integral part of everyday life and hopes that her research will influence positive changes in our daily lives.

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