The Human Subjects Research Office is pleased to announce that Ginni Strehle, member of the Infant Learning Project lab, has been selected as the recipient of the Spring 2022 IRB HIVE Award!  

Ms. Strehle is currently an undergraduate student who will be graduating with her B.S. in Psychology this semester, is a fast-track student in the Applied Cognition and Neuroscience program, and has the goal of continuing her education to obtain her PhD in either Cognitive Neuroscience or Cognitive Science. Because of her interest in the brain and human behavior, Ginni was drawn to UTD and the numerous opportunities to engage in research. Ms. Strehle serves as the co-lab manager for Dr. Spence’s Infant Learning Project lab, which investigates how babies process speech and facial expressions and how they remember their experiences. She also serves as a Research Assistant in Dr. O’Toole’s Face Perception Research Lab, which studies human perception and memory for faces, bodies, and people.

When asked what excites her the most academically, Ms. Strehle stated “What excites me about my studies is how I can learn more about how we process the world, but more importantly what we fail to process adequately. The brain obviously has its limitations. Exploring the brain’s limitations gives us insight about what we may be missing in the world around us. I get to learn about how the brain is structured and its functions in my classes, but I get to apply the design of the brain to real-world applications in both the labs I work in.”

When in-person research was impacted by the pandemic, innovated solutions were needed to safely and effectively conduct research procedures. Dr. Spence credits Ginni for being instrumental during this process. “Ms. Ginni Strehle’s efforts and support of our lab have been essential to transitioning the work of the lab to online testing of infant participants. Ginni’s persistence in learning new information and skills, all while paying special attention to ethical issues presented with online testing protocols, has been incredibly valuable in moving our research forward during an incredibly difficult time.”

Ms. Strehle is described as someone who is conscientious, motivated, and models professionalism. She credits her mentors for encouraging her and providing guidance in research, academics, and life in general. “I have not only learned proper research techniques and how to be a good researcher, but also how to appreciate the world and people around me.”

When asked to describe one of the most important things she has learned about human subjects research, Ms. Strehle shared the following: “Human subjects are the foundation of science. Without willing participants, we would know nothing about the brain and behavior. It is important to not view your participants as an arbitrary data point but rather a real life implementation of the phenomenon you are researching.”

The Human Subjects Research Office is proud to include Ms. Strehle as a member of the IRB HIVE!