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Elena Zinchenko


Education: 2002 - present
Doctoral candidate
Human Development and Psychology
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

1998 - 2000 Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Magna Cum Laude
University of Georgia, Athens, GA

1997 - 1998 Rotary International Exchange Student
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Savannah, GA

Past Experience:
2004 - present: Research Assistant
Analyze the latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology and design recommendations for educational improvements for Dr. Derek Bok's new book on reforming undergraduate education in the USA

2003 - present Steering Committee member
Harvard Conference on Usable Knowledge in Mind, Brain and Education Setting conference agenda, invitation of leading researchers and practitioners, editing a book of presenters' papers

2003 - present Teaching Fellow, Harvard Masters Courses
Cognitive Development, Education and the Brain, Neurobiology of Learning Disabilities, Developmental Psychology

Sheridan, K., Zinchenko, E., & Gardner, H. (in preparation). Neuroethics and Education. Chapter, Bioethics Series. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Zinchenko, E., Steinbock, D., Miller, J., & Thomas, R. (2003). When dissent is good: The interplay between reputation and social networks in an artificial society. Anthology of student papers, Complex Systems Summer School. Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM

Community Activities:
Advisor, Board of Advisors for the Hand in Hand Project: first Transition Center for Russian orphanage graduates; 2001 to 2003.
Spokesperson, Georgia Rotary Student Program; frequent key-note speaker at Rotary clubs and professional and academic venues throughout the Southeast (more than 80 speeches delivered; spearheaded significant international community service projects); 1997 to 2002.
Founding member, first Rotaract Club in Rotary District 5010 (includes all of Siberia; Alaska; and the Yukon Territories), a youth community service organization; 1992 to 1995.

Research Interests

Ultimately, I am interested in learning how referential properties of language reorganize human thinking and conscious self-reference, and whether we can capture these cognitive changes on the neurobiological level. My current projects include the interplay between semantic content and grammatical categories in models of lexical access, and factors influencing the organization of semantic memory. I am also involved in the new international initiative on Mind, Brain and Education, dedicated to integrating brain research and education in an ethical and effective manner.


My reading preferences always include early and mid 20th century Russian poetry and prose (although I am trying more American work); my dancing preferences are for Flamenco; eating--for sushi; world-traveling--for Europe and Latin America (haven't been to Asia yet); sporting - for American football and kite-surfing.


Magadan, Russia (Northern Siberia)