Meet Suparna Rajaram: Indian-American Honoured With 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship

Suparna Rajaram
The Guggenheim Foundation recently announced its fellowship for the year 2022, honouring the work of 180 individuals from across 51 fields. As many as six Indian-Americans have secured this honorary grant, including Suparna Rajaram, whose work in the field of psychology was acknowledged by the foundation.

The Guggenheim Foundation announced its fellows for the year 2022 on April 7 this year and Rajaram got this honour grant for her research on learning and memory and the social dimensions of memory. She is currently listed as a Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University in New York. Apart from her, the five other Indian-Americans who have been honoured are Jyoti Puri, Manisha Sinha, Shrikanth Narayana, Manjul Bhargava and Prashant K Jain.

Suggested Reading: Who Is Jyoti Puri? The Indian American Scholar Among Guggenheim Fellows 2022

Who Is Suparna Rajaram?

Suparna Rajaram was born in the Bellary district of Karnataka. She completed her Bachelors In Arts in 1984 from Mount Carmel College, She then went on to pursue an MA in Psychology from Banglore University in 1986, before moving to the United States. There she studied at Purdue University to complete her MS in Cognitive Psychology in 1988. She then attended Rice University where she completed her PhD in 1991 in Cognitive Psychology. She went on to become a post-doctoral researcher from 1991 to 1993 at the Temple University School Of Medicine.

Rajaram joined Stony Brooke University in 1993 and in 2003, she was made a Full Professor in the Faculty of Psychology. She also served as Stony Brooke University’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs during 2012-15. She was appointed as Psychonomic Society’s Chair of the Governing Board in 2008. Between 2017 and 2018, she was serving as the President of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2001, she founded Women In Cognitive Science organisation to promote the involvement of women in the field.

Rajaram is the recipient of many prominent awards including the Psychonomic Society Clifford T Morgan Distinguished Leadership Award and the National Institutes of Mental Health’s FIRST award. She is also a fellow of the Psychonomic Society, the Association for Psychological Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Eastern Psychological Association and now The Guggenheim Foundation and a member of Society of Experimental Psychologists.

On the work front, her group conducts research on human memory and learning. It focuses mainly on the social aspects of memory, especially on its transmission in groups and social networks, in order to understand how social influences shape memory and learning, how people develop shared memories, how accurate is the information that propagates among group members, and how collaborative learning and remembering influence memory in the adult lifespan, in context of their education.