Angela Gutchess is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Brandeis University, with appointments in Neuroscience and the Volen Center for Complex Systems. She attended Boston University for her BA/BS degrees and the University of Michigan for her Ph.D. Her research investigates the influence of age and culture on memory and social cognition using behavioral, neuroimaging (fMRI, ERP), and patient (amnestic mild cognitive impairment) methods, and has been supported by NIA, NSF, AFAR, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Fulbright Program. Dr. Gutchess was elected to the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society and the Memory Disorders Research Society and currently serves as Associate Editor at Cognition and the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. She recently published a book, The Cognitive and Social Neuroscience of Aging, through the Cambridge University Press.
Angela Gutchess craved living in a city after moving around a fair amount as a child and graduating high school in rural Dryden, NY. Though she applied rather haphazardly to (rather expensive) colleges, she was fortunate to receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend Boston University which got her to a city and a larger school. She’d always dreamed of being a teacher (her mom still thinks of her as one), and began as an English Education major. Her double-major in Psychology was for “fun”, as what could one possibly do with a degree in Psychology? She turned her back on student teaching after enjoying her Cognition course and beginning research in Mark Reinitz’s lab, embracing the use of data (as opposed to the argument alone that constituted her English papers). She learned about how PhD programs were structured and applied, again, rather haphazardly to programs with memory expertise and well-suited to her “two-body problem”. After she wound up at Michigan, she continued with PhD advisor Denise Park for a year at Illinois, she found her way back to Boston in a postdoc with Dan Schacter; as she developed as an independent researcher, her passion for research blossomed (thanks in part to the other trainees in the lab!). She initially solved the two-body problem by landing a job in the Boston area at Brandeis; when the two-body problem was solved permanently, she pursued a Fulbright to embark on an “eat pray love” type journey to find herself. Her time in Istanbul was exhilarating. She managed to not screw up work too badly during this phase, got tenure, and is probably working too much while secretly trying to solve the problem of work-life balance.