Human Factors/Applied Cognition Concentration

Kayla Herrera, 2023

Kayla Herrera

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I stumbled upon Human Factors when I applied for a Research Assistant position during undergrad. I worked closely under a Doctoral student and became interested in the field the more I engaged in research. As a result, I applied for the MA program.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

I wouldn't be able to achieve everything I have without the support of Carla Burns, Dr. Ricardo F. Vivancos-Pérez, Dr. Tyler Shaw, and Dr. Elizabeth Phillips.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

Go at your own rhythm and don't compare yourself to others! Graduate school is a learning process and it's okay to make mistakes and not know everything.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

After graduation, I plan to work full-time at MITRE Corporation as a Human Factors Engineer. I am passionate about practicing conscious user research and design thinking by looking outside the expected user group for a more inclusive and diverse range of people with a need for a service. I want to contribute to people in ways that will benefit them, whether that be creating a seamless experience or introducing advanced automation to ease. I hope to one day start my own company.