Senior Jingxuan "Jing" Liu Receives 2021-2022 Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Jing poses for a picture on campus.

We are excited to announce the 2021-2022 Bruner Awardee, Jingxuan Liu! She is a double-major in Psychology and Statistics and is confident that knowledge of statistics will complement her passion for research in psychology.

Jing learned about the Award through her mentors Dr. Elika Bergelson and Dr. Bridgette Hard. She was encouraged to apply because of her exemplary demonstration of her passion for psychology, which started in the classroom.

 “Although I didn’t come to Duke as a psych major, I took Psych 101 during my freshman year and it increased my interest. My PI, Dr. Hard, taught the course in a way that was so intriguing. While I took the course, I encountered an interesting phenomenon that led to my first research project—When  I was surrounded by friends in classroom, I felt like I belonged more in the class and engaged more with the material. These events led me to meet with her and discuss the possibilities of the major and research.”

The research interests of Jing are broad but include how our environment impacts our daily lives and its effects on how we think. Her current research focuses on adults’ perception of mispronunciation. She has had the pleasure to study the socio-emotional predictors of student success in large classrooms and the effects of curved grading on student perception (along with Dr. Hard). Jing also studied languages and music, specifically the association between linguistic pitch perception and musical pitch perception, during her summer internship with Dr. Samuel Mehr at The Music Lab at Harvard University. The study has progressed into an independent study under the mentorship of Dr. Mehr and Dr Bergelson.

While Jing was able to contribute her talents in research labs and as a flautist in the Chinese Music Ensemble and Duke Wind Symphony prior to the pandemic, returning home to Beijing in March 2020 made research and campus community more challenging. “I really, really thank my mentors for being so supportive; especially during the period in which we were remote. They were very accommodating of the time difference; and I could not have done all of these projects without their help!”

When Jing is not putting her best foot forward with her academics, she can be found volunteering with her service fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega) or showing off her chess-playing skills.