The Specialists Cohort (Texas)
Angélique Michelle Blackburn, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M International University, with specializations in cognitive neuroscience, survey design, and bilingualism.
She uses neurocognitive and survey methods to study the long-term effects of language habits on cognition.
Integral to this research has been large-scale data collection to create a series of validated surveys, including the Survey of Experience in Code Switching Environments (SECSE), a reliable and valid measure of bilingual language experiences.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Blackburn dedicated her 2020 Spring Break to volunteering her research skills as needed to help combat the pandemic.
Because of her expertise in survey design and survey science, Blackburn was recruited to join the COVIDiSTRESS Global Research Consortium, where she aided in the creation of a global survey regarding the impact of COVID-19.
This Consortium now includes over 100 members who have collected data from 173,426 respondents from 179 countries. She also began a longitudinal study on the impact of COVID-19 in Laredo, TX in March 2020, because this was one of the communities predicted to be most heavily impacted by the pandemic in the United States.
This foresight provides the rare opportunity to follow the impact of COVID-19 on one community from before the area discovered their first local COVID-19 case through the time when they began to lead the nation as the worst COVID-19 hotspot.
A few words from those who nominated Angélique Blackburn:
“Dr. Blackburn has been active in our local community. She was diligent about educating students and community members about social distancing, even before anyone in Texas knew what that meant. She began a longterm study of COVID-19 in March of 2020 because she predicted that Laredo would suffer long-term consequences of the pandemic. This is because Laredo is both an economic hub as an entry point into Mexico and because the Hispanic population is one which is most affected by COVID-19. She also helped to design the GLOBALDiSTRESS COVID-19 survey. This survey was taken by participants from all over the globe and the data is open to all researchers. Dr. Blackburn has worked largely behind the scenes on the project by helping to create the survey and collect data with a team of researchers from around the world. To summarize, Dr. Blackburn has made a large impact, both locally and globally, on our data and knowledge of how COVID-19 has affected the world.”
“Dr. Blackburn was one of the eight survey design psychologists who created the GLOBALDiSTRESS COVID-19 survey, a study that resulted in nearly 200,000 participants from 179 countries. This dataset is open-access, so many scientists have already published results of the dataset. She also started one of the first longitudinal studies on the impact of COVID-19 in Laredo, Texas. Laredo is an interesting case study, as it was the first city in the United States to mandate masks, is one of the cities that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, and has a large Hispanic population, one of the groups most affected by COVID-19. Laredo is an often overlooked community and suffers from some pretty extreme inequalities. Dr. Blackburn’s project focusing on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemics impact on this population is an amazing contribution to the state of Texas and to the Laredo community. “