HumRRO is proud to announce the recipient of this year’s Meredith P. Crawford Fellowship—Chu Chu, an Industrial-Organizational Psychology doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Set to graduate in May 2024, Chu’s dissertation combines her passion for person-job fit research with artificial intelligence (AI) to create a career counseling chatbot.
In recommending Chu for the fellowship, the selection committee noted that “her chatbot research represents an innovative use of modern technology to address old problems in the domains of vocational interests and vocational counseling.” The committee also noted that she has been actively publishing and has completed a variety of applied experiences during her graduate school career.
Chu developed an interest in the study of person-job fit during her graduate studies—in particular, how individual preferences and their alignment with job roles can influence one’s career outcomes. Her dissertation topic came into focus when she was introduced to a personality chatbot developed by UIUC alumna, Tianjun Sun, who now serves on her dissertation committee.
“This chatbot intrigued me as it offered a unique and innovative approach to assess diverse work preferences in a natural and efficient manner,” recalled Chu. “With this inspiration in mind, I embarked on a larger research plan to create a comprehensive career counseling chatbot that provides a holistic perspective on individuals’ career aspirations. My dissertation aims to develop the foundational framework that will enable accurate translation from text responses into scores across a wide range of work-relevant preferences.”
Meredith P. Crawford’s Legacy
Awarded annually since 1998, the prestigious Meredith P. Crawford Fellowship is named in honor of HumRRO’s founding director. The award grants a non-renewable $12,000 stipend to a doctoral candidate in I-O psychology or closely related discipline who demonstrates exceptional research skills, academic achievement, and professional productivity.
“It’s important to all of us at HumRRO to recognize and nurture the next generation of talented researchers who have the potential to make an impact on the field,” said Suzanne Tsacoumis, Ph.D., President and CEO of HumRRO. “Chu is clearly passionate about her research and has demonstrated strengths in applying a practitioner’s mindset to her work. We are excited to see all she accomplishes in the future.”
Chu said she is profoundly grateful to HumRRO for the recognition and the award, which will allow her to focus solely on her dissertation research. “Receiving this prestigious fellowship is a humbling experience, as I believe nearly every graduate student grapples with self-doubt during their research journey, and I am certainly no exception,” she said. “This fellowship has instilled in me a renewed sense of belief in my abilities and fuels my passion to continue producing high-quality research that can have a positive impact on society at large.”
Suzanne Tsacoumis presented Chu Chu with the Crawford Fellowship Award on behalf of HumRRO.
Among the people Chu would like to thank for their guidance and support is Bo Zhang, the 2019 Crawford Fellowship recipient, “for his constant support and encouragement,” she said. “I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my nurturing advisor, James Rounds, for believing in my potential even when I doubt myself. Lastly, I am thankful to Tianjun Sun, my dissertation inspiration, for her boundless creativity and sharp wit.”
The annual Crawford Fellowship is one of the many ways HumRRO gives back to society, science, and the profession. Applications for next year will open April 1, 2024.