2011 Officers

Officers for 2011

The following people have been elected to serve as chapter officers for the 2011 calendar year. Congratulations! The chapter would like to thank all the officers who served this year for all their hard work and dedication.

President: Beth Phillips


Elizabeth (Beth) Phillips is a third year student in the Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology PhD program at UCF. She has worked in the Team Performance Lab at IST for the past four years and is currently being advised by Dr. Florian Jentsch. Her research interests include human factors and environmental technologies, musical training, usability and design, and performance with unmanned vehicles. She also plays saxophone in the UCF Concert Band and serves as president of the student chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Vice President: Kyle Heyne

Kyle Heyne is a 4th year grad student at the University of Central Florida and is enrolled in the Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology PhD program. His major interests include the intersection of teams and technology and how technology mediated communication affects teamwork.

Secretary: Javier Rivera

Javier is a master’s student in the Modeling and Simulation program at UCF, and also plans to pursue a Ph.D in the program. He is a graduate research assistant in the Team Performance Laboratory under Dr. Jentsch investigating how to improve x-ray baggage screeners’ performance at detecting threat items. His areas of interest include the use of simulation in training, perception, and cognition. His hobbies include playing basketball (Go Magic!), baseball, reading, and watching movies.

Treasurer: Tom Alicia

Thomas Alicia is a Research Psychologist at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) in Orlando, FL. While at NAWCTSD, he has been involved with a wide array of projects as diverse as instructor operator station interface design, performance measurement and after-action review, unmanned aerial systems, live-virtual-constructive training, medical simulation and training, physics-based weather modeling, and naturalistic decision making. He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2005, and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Applied and Experimental Human Factors Psychology at UCF. His main research interests are sensation and perception, information processing, human-computer interaction, and interface design.

Social Chair: Ben Sawyer

Ben Sawyer became interested in Psychology while traveling. His endless notes always seemed to come back to the similarities between people in the myriad cultures he experienced. After returning to the United States, he studied Psychology at Colorado State University. Between 2007 to 2010, he focused in Cognitive Psychology and graduated with a B.S. with honors. He is now a Ph.D. student in The University of Central Florida’s Applied Experimental and Human Factors Ph.D. program. Ben’s interests include simulation, virtual reality, presence, distraction, cognitive modeling and physiology. He is lab manager for the Transportation Research Laboratory and founder of the Virtual Interactive Research Laboratory (VIRL). His research projects have included work with texting while driving, spatial awareness in navigation, deja vu, research in virtual environments, and stroop effects within navigational interfaces

Historian: Amira Mohammed-Ameen

Amira Mohamed-Ameen is a Ph.D. student in the Applied Experimental and Human Factors psychology program at the University of Central Florida. She obtained her B.S. (2010) in the field of Psychology with a minor in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University. Under the direction of Dr. Peter Hancock, she is currently working on examining the relationship between brain metabolism and cognitive resources, specifically, when the mind wanders. She hopes to also link this research to the world of driving. If that were not enough, Amira also hopes to attain a Masters of Science in Industrial Engineering en route to her doctorate degree. Her primary research interests include human-robot teams, neuroergonomics, mind wandering, trust in automation, adaptive automation, theme parks, user interface design, human error, and distributed cognition. Outside of academia, Amira is a successful pianist, actress, painter, as well as an accomplished stand-up comedian. Beyond all else, she can make a mean mango mousse and do a killer impression of Dori from Finding Nemo.

Webmaster: Shan Lakhmani

Shan graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Psychology. He is currently a second year student in the Applied Experimental Human Factors program at UCF. He is thrilled to be working as a research assistant in the RETRO lab. His research interests include teaching, training, and behavioral modification using digital media.