Nicholas Gaspelin, Ph.D. has been named the recipient of the 2021 Pleasant Valley Community School District’s Wall of Honor Award. The Wall of Honor Program was established in 1999 to recognize distinguished alumni from Pleasant Valley High School.
Dr. Gaspelin graduated from PVHS in 2004 and has spent his life dedicated to the research of attention and distraction in humans - such as those observed in people with learning disabilities, neurological disorders, or psychiatric conditions. As a cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Gaspelin has focused his research on understanding attentional mechanisms using multiple converging approaches including behavior experiments, infrared eye-tracking, and event-related potentials (ERPs).
During his time at Pleasant Valley, Gaspelin participated in tennis, Yearbook Club, Medical Explorers, and Battle of the Bands. After graduating, he studied psychology at the University of Iowa, eventually earning his Masters with distinction and Doctorate with distinction at the University of New Mexico. He studied at the University of California-Davis for a postdoctoral fellowship.
Although he is a relatively young researcher, he has had a prolific career in psychology, authoring 32 scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and he has given talks about his work around the world, including the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and the United States.
Recently, Dr. Gaspelin received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. This competitive award is given to outstanding young scientists who are leaders in their field of study. The budget of the award is nearly three-quarters of a million dollars, and he will use those funds to develop methods to understand neural correlates of attention that occur before eye movements are generated during visual search.
Dr. Gaspelin is currently an assistant professor at State University of New York (SUNY), where he mentors doctoral and undergraduate students on how to conduct experiments using infrared eye-tracking and EEG, as well as teaching several courses.
The Pleasant Valley Community School District will honor Dr. Nicholas Gaspelin with a luncheon, district tour, and class presentation. He will be the guest speaker at the November 11, 2021 National Honor Society Induction.