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Candidate Biographies

Posted by hfwomensgroup on

The HFE Women’s Group is seeking volunteers for various board positions ( Bios for candidates can be found below:


Committee chair

This role requires attendance at regular meetings, coordinating with subcommittee chairs, and ensuring a functional infrastructure for the group and its overall operations. This position requires working with HFE national, as this is a primary source of support for the group financially and socially. This person works with the group to complete and submit reports to HF national, estimate budgetary needs, assist in creating HFES conference events, and identifying needs both within the group as well as external to the group, balancing resources (including time). This person also leads meetings among the subcommittee chairs.


Ranjana Mehta

I am Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University and the director of the NeuroErgonomics Laboratory. My research on understanding mind-motor-machine interactions to understand, quantify, and augment human performance when interacting with emerging technologies (unmanned, collaborative, and wearable systems) in safety-critical environments has been funded by the NIH, NSF, NIOSH, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and several industries and awarded by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers, and the American Public Health Association. I am the current Chair of the Occupational Ergonomics Technical Group in HFES and have served as the Program Chair for the Aging Technical Group. I also pretend to have refined the art of negotiating work-life priorities as I wade through raising two very loud human children! To that end, I would like to request your support of my candidacy for the HFE WOMAN Chair position. Equity advocacy and engagement and strong women mentorship by my dear friends have supported, consoled, and motivated me throughout my personal and professional endeavors and I would like to contribute to the movement by serving you by continuing to strengthen the mission of the HFE WOMAN’s group through professional development activities, mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as enabling equitable research through our sciences!

Heather C. Lum

Dr. Heather Lum is an associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She earned her Ph.D. in applied experimental and human factors psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2011. Her primary research interests focus on perceptions of technology, specifically the ways in which technology is impacting the way we interact with each other as humans. Other areas of interest include the use of psycho-physiological measures such as eye tracking and vocal analyses to better determine and study the critical applied cognitive and experimental topics of interest such as spatial cognition, human-human and human-robot team interactions. She has also turned her attention to the use of games for training and educational purposes. In addition to her research pursuits, Dr. Lum is a faculty advisor for the local chapter of Psi Chi, is Chair for the HFES Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making Technical Group, and secretary-treasurer for APA Division 21 Experimental Psychology. She is excited about the opportunity to advance the ideals of the HFES Women’s Group and continue with the great work that has been started here.


Web content chair

This person manages internet and media, including social media outreach, blog development, web content management, and media storage and development. Additionally, this person manages the online ticket sales for the annual women’s luncheon.


Vickie Nguyen

Vickie Nguyen is a UX Researcher and Biomedical Informatician who would love the chance to help create and manage information with the HFE Women’s Group Web Content team. She has been an avid member of HFES since 2006 and has served as an HFES Student Volunteer Chair, UX Day Challenge Organizer, HCTG Webmaster, HCTG Reviewer, HFE Women’s Group Volunteer Coordinator, and Student Mobile App Competition Reviewer. Vickie is also an active member in HF related subgroups for the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). As the Web Content Chair, she hopes to help increase the visibility of the HFE Women’s Group efforts and achievements.

Nadia Doutcheva 

Nadia Doutcheva is a 4th year PhD student at UW-Madison. Nadia loves the internet and has already founded a successful online presence for her lab. WernerLabUW has become ubiquitous on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now LinkedIn with human factors and related content. Nadia would love the opportunity to do the same for HFE Woman for empowering and engaging women and allies in the human factors field and beyond.


2018 Award Recipients

Posted by alexis neigel on

The HF WOMAN group had the opportunity to award two fantastic mentors at the 2018 Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting. Dr. Wendy Rogers received the Mentor of the Year Award and Dr. Joy Rivera received the Woman of the Year Award. We asked each of these incredible women what makes a mentor.

Interview with Dr. Wendy Rogers

Question: The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes individuals who have a history of actively championing women HF/E professionals. What does winning this award mean to you?
Answer: This is the best award you can get! I feel honored.
Question: How would you describe your mentorship style? What makes a successful mentor?
Answer: I believe that an individual-based approach to mentorship is very important and you have to figure out what motivates each of your students. It is important to prepare students for the goals that they set – whether this be industry or academia. Mentors help you successfully reach these goals. It is the feeling when you know your students are successful.
Question: What are some pieces of advice that you would like to provide to early career professionals interested in HF/E?
Answer:  Figure out what excites you the most and follow that and use your mentors for guidance. Reach out and seek get out there – be involved, especially with your mentors.

Interview with Dr. Joy Rivera

Question: The Woman of the Year Award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the HF/E community through research, academia, and service. What does winning this award mean to you?
Answer: I feel truly honored and I am very thankful for my letter of recommendation writers. This helps me feel validation in terms of my mentorship skills and abilities. I hope to pass on my mentorship qualities and to increase awareness of human factors in the healthcare community.
Question: How would you describe your mentorship style? What makes a successful mentor?
Answer: Having strong mentors helps you become a better mentor and I am very lucky to have had some great mentors. Great mentors help you grow as an individual and you need to figure out what helps your mentees grow – they are unique. It’s also important to empower your students and give them appropriate credit. This helps create opportunities for them and facilitates networking.
Question: What are some pieces of advice that you would like to provide to early career professionals interested in HF/E?
Answer: Push yourself to get out there and network and engage. Keeping in touch with your contacts and professional network is huge. You should also work to promote yourself, but also stay humble. Most importantly, you should be there for your mentees and help them know that you are here to help them succeed.


Blog Post

Success in HF/E through Quality Mentorship

Posted by alexis neigel on

The first HFE WOMAN blog post features Dr. Haydee Cuevas whose passion for human factors and mentorship is unparalleled.

Dr. Cuevas earned her B.A. in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Haydee is currently an Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Haydee has chaired and served on numerous doctoral defenses and has mentored many undergraduate researchers.

Haydee’s passion for mentorship was influential in the development of many human factors-based networking opportunities, such as the Mentor-Mentee Luncheon, the Mentoring Game, the Student Roommate Matching Service, National Ergonomics Month, and the Mentorship Committee, which are all part of each Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES).

Throughout her career, Haydee has encouraged young professionals to pursue their own unique research interests and utilize that excitement as a catalyst for expanding their professional network. Collaborating with others on shared research ideas and projects is an effective way to increase the access to strong mentorship.

Based on our discussion on mentorship and leadership, Haydee and I propose that strong mentors demonstrate the following qualities:

  1. Strong mentors provide knowledgeable advice and information to mentees.

    Quality mentors should guide mentees with honest feedback and guidance that supports mentees’ goals as HFE scientists. Mentors have an open and continuous flow of dialogue with their mentees. Strong mentors are not absent from the lives of their mentees, but are also not demanding or overbearing.

  2. Strong mentors understand mentees’ goals and help facilitate their realization.

    Quality mentors openly and thoughtfully discuss the short-term and long-term goals of their mentees. Strong mentors should seek to support these goals to the best extent that they can. This can include linking mentees with other researchers or organizations in the field to expand the mentee’s professional network, spawn new ideas that ultimately push the discipline of HFE forward, and developing empowered mentees.

  3. Strong mentors have compassion for their mentees.

    Quality mentors have both a passion for mentoring, and it is naturally enjoyable for them. Strong mentors are committed to the development of their mentees as future scientists, leaders, and mentors.

While it is not necessarily a requisite that mentors demonstrate each of these qualities, we propose that at least one of these qualities should be reflected in a mentor. If a particular mentor lacks these qualities, the mentee may need to seek out additional mentors to supplement their needs for mentorship (a follow-up blog post on developing a “Board of Directors” is in the works- stay tuned!). Having multiple mentors can provide useful guidance for a young scientist in HFE from multiple perspectives. For example, a senior career professional (the mentor) may connect a graduate researcher (the mentee) to opportunities within the field (e.g., internship opportunities, research laboratory exchanges, open job positions, etc.). While another mid-level career mentor may connect the mentee to new research ideas, analytic techniques, and novel research projects.

Students and early-career professionals need quality mentors who aid in their personal and professional development. If quality sources of mentorship are unavailable, it may be in the mentee’s best interest to expand their network and seek out multiple mentors. This way, the mentee receives a holistic mentoring experience, which bolsters their personal and professional life, and ultimately promotes success in the field of HFE at large.

The HFE WOMAN group recognizes that it can be challenging to develop this “Board of Mentors,” which is why one major campaign within this organization is to promote and provide networking opportunities for its members. For example, this blog, the HFE WOMAN Facebook page, and HFES Mentor-Mentee Luncheon are opportunities to improve the mentorship experience for individuals and ultimately facilitate quality mentor-mentee connections.

This post was written by Dr. Alexis R. Neigel and Dr. Haydee M. Cuevas. Correspondence regarding this post can be directed to Dr. Alexis Neigel at