Hannah Puckett ’23 Earns David G. Elmes Pathfinder Prize in Psychology The Elmes Pathfinder Prize recognizes a student who has shown extraordinary promise in psychological science through outstanding scholarship in basic or applied psychology.
Hannah Puckett ’23 has been awarded the 2022 David G. Elmes Pathfinder Prize in Psychology at Washington and Lee University. Puckett is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cognitive and behavioral science (CBSC) and a minor in classics.
The Elmes Pathfinder Prize recognizes a student who has shown extraordinary promise in cognitive and behavioral science or its application in professions through an outstanding basic or applied psychology scholarship.
“It was a shock to learn that I was selected for the Elmes Pathfinder Award,” Puckett said. “I was sitting in my cognition class taught by Professor Johnson when, suddenly, four other CBSC professors walked into the classroom. It was then Professor Johnson announced that they were presenting the Elmes Pathfinder Award. It is such an honor to receive this recognition from the professors who have helped shape my time at W&L and to have them present at that moment. It will undoubtedly be a moment that I cherish forever!”
Since her first year at W&L, Puckett has been participating in research with her mentor Wythe Whiting, professor of cognitive and behavioral science, and Karla Murdock, the director of the Mudd Center for Ethics and Jo M. and James M. Ballengee Professor of Cognitive Behavioral Science. She is currently serving as the lab manager for their research projects.
“She is a universally respected lab member who excels at framing, organizing and delegating lab work according to the specific strengths of her peers,” Murdock said. “During difficult times she has used lab activities and camaraderie to intentionally provide friendship and support to lab members who need it, carrying this out so elegantly that it doesn’t seem to them to be happening by design.”
Puckett is heavily invested in work that serves W&L and the larger community. She is an active member of Campus Kitchen and has served on their leadership team since her sophomore year. She was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa Society as a junior, and this year, she was appointed as the head peer counselor.
“Following graduation, I will be participating in the Capital Fellows Program in Washington D.C.,” said Puckett. “After that year-long program, I hope to pursue a master’s degree in social work or a doctorate degree in clinical psychology. My love for the field of psychology has grown exponentially throughout my time at W&L, and I am grateful to the CBSC department for nurturing this love.”
The Elmes Pathfinder Prize was established in 2007. It derives from the Elmes Fund, a permanently endowed fund that honors David G. Elmes, emeritus professor of psychology. The endowment was created by the many alumni, colleagues and friends who benefited from Elmes’ commitment to learning during his 40-year career as a scientist, teacher and mentor at W&L.
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