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Department ofPsychology


Buddy Lorentz

Buddy Lorentz

Buddy Lorentz works at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, education, and technology

Since Buddy Lorentz ‘15 graduated from SCU with a Psychology degree, he has taught hundreds how to use their technology, scanned dozens of brains at a Stanford lab, and played “brain games” with over a thousand kids in the Bay Area for UCSF research.

After graduating, he worked at a rapidly growing Silicon Valley technology startup in Customer Success and Learning and Development, teaching customers one-on-one about their various consumer tech products, and creating internal training materials. Towards the end of his time working in tech, Buddy dove back into research, volunteering part-time at neuroscience research labs at both Stanford and UCSF. Buddy served as a Research Assistant at Stanford Psychiatry’s Etkin Lab, where he acquired fMRI and behavioral data for a study seeking to identify neural biomarkers to advance the diagnosis and targeted treatment of emotional disorders.

He is currently a full-time Research Associate in the Education Program at Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience research center at UCSF. Led by Dr. Melina Uncapher, his team recently wrapped up data collection for a two-year, large-scale longitudinal study conducted in Bay Area elementary and middle schools. Buddy walked student participants through iPad-based cognitive assessments in classrooms to research how multiple domains of cognitive control develop over middle childhood, and how they contribute to math and reading achievement. This September, Buddy presented part of his research at the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES) 2018 Conference. His poster, “Media Multitasking, Executive Function, and Academic Achievement in Middle Childhood” received an Outstanding Poster Award.

He writes:

“The experience I had in the SCU Psyc department as a student, a Peer Educator, and a Research Assistant helped prepare me with the skills, confidence, and network that got me to where I am now. Working with Drs. Simone and Bell in their Learning and Memory Lab gave me first-hand experience working with participants, coordinating a study, and presenting research at the SCU Lab Blitz. As a Peer Educator for Dr. Simone’s Human Neuroscience course, I deepened my knowledge and love of the brain. In Psychology of Learning with Dr. Bell and Cognitive Psychology with Dr. Kahan, I began to dream and strategize how we can translate the science of learning and memory into practice in the field of Education, and how to best support individual learners’ needs. I’m grateful to say that all these experiences at SCU shaped my passions and bolstered my skill set, and now I am doing each of these things in my role at UCSF.”


psycalumnistory, Alumni Story