UNCG Campus Weekly

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Vacc Distinguished Professor will be Dr. Michael Kane

Photo of Dr. Michael KaneProvost Dana L. Dunn and Dean John Z. Kiss (College of Arts & Sciences) are pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Kane will be appointed as the Dr. Nicholas A. Vacc and Dr. Nancy N. Vacc Professor beginning August 1, 2019.

Dr. Kane is an exceptional scholar and researcher, teacher, and mentor to students.

This professorship was established by a gift from Dr. Nancy Vacc in memory of her husband. Both Nancy and Nick Vacc were long-time members of the UNCG faculty in the School of Education.

In making this appointment Dean Kiss stated, “Dr. Kane is an outstanding faculty member who exemplifies the teacher-scholar model for our College of Arts & Sciences professors. We are very proud of his numerous accomplishments and his tremendous national/international impact in his field of cognitive psychology.”

Added Provost Dana Dunn, “Dr. Kane is a renowned scholar, and it is very fitting that we are able to honor him with this professorship.  The generous donation from Nancy Vacc that created this professorship will result in research funding to support the continuation of Dr. Kane’s impactful work.”

Dr. Kane has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at UNCG since 2000. He has over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles published, an edited book on his specialty area, and numerous book chapters.  His work is so foundational that most cognitive psychology textbooks provide in- depth coverage of his work. As just one of many examples, Reed’s (2007, 7th Ed.) “Cognition: Theory and Applications” text has two pages on the difference between short-term and working memory based on a paper co-authored by Dr. Kane.

Dr. Kane also has been a remarkable mentor, providing high-quality research supervision to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates from his lab have gone on to graduate programs and professional schools while former graduate students have ascended to successful teaching and research careers.

Over his career, Dr. Kane has been a PI or co-PI on over $2 million in funded grants, including from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH/NIH), and the United States Military. This work has advanced our fundamental understanding of learning and improved personnel selection, STEM training, and imagination.

Dr. Kane has also frequently been tapped for scientific leadership positions both within his subfield (cognitive psychology) and more broadly in psychology. For example, he was recently elected to a six- year term on the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society, which is the largest organization specifically dedicated to cognitive psychology. He has served as associate editor for two of the top journals in cognitive psychology, “Memory & Cognition and Cognitive Psychology,” as well as being a consulting editor on four additional journals.

As an indicator of the broad influence of his work beyond the confines of cognitive psychology, his editorial board service included “Psychological Bulletin” and the “Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,” both of which publish cross-cutting research of broad interest to the entire field of psychology. Other indicators of scientific excellence include being selected to deliver the G. Stanley Hall Lecture in 2015, and he has been the keynote speaker at two international conferences. He also is a frequent invitee to campuses across the country to give lectures on and talk about his research to faculty and graduate students.

We are pleased that Dr. Michael Kane will be the next Dr. Nicholas A. Vacc and Dr. Nancy N. Vacc Professor at UNCG.