Alumni Updates

Students looking up at sky

In the Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, we’re incredibly proud of the lives our alumni go on to lead. Cognitive science is a wide-ranging field, so their paths take them many places. 

Where Are They Now? 

Want to know where a cognitive science degree can take you? Check out these stories from our graduates. Each alum also offered some words of wisdom to current students. We hope they will inspire you.

Cognitive science degrees take people down many paths. Our graduates have compelling stories. We’d love to hear yours; please email to share what you’ve been up to lately.

Clare MacRitchie, BA Cognitive Science, English, and Psychology, 2022

Clare MacRitchie shown in graduation gown

Clare spent her first summer post-grad interning for the FBI. There she worked closely with the new agent classes, helping to design training scenarios meant to simulate real life cases. She says that witnessing agent training first hand (everything from conducting surveillance to hands-on combat) reaffirmed her own desire to eventually become an agent. Clare hopes to one day work in the Behavioral Analysis Unit, but for now she is beginning schooling for a master’s degree at American University in Justice, Law, & Criminology.

Words of Wisdom

"Be unapologetic in your pursuit of what inspires you. Don’t major in something just because it feels like the right thing to do, or because your friends or parents are telling you to! Studying what you are passionate about (even if you aren’t quite sure what that is yet!) will always lead to a more fulfilling experience."

Sarah Starr, BA Cognitive Science & Medical Anthropology, 2020

Sarah Starr holding "Civilian Service Achievement Medal" certificate beside Paul Shannon

Sarah entered a federal employment career program with the Army. Her program manager recruited her because his daughter has a cogsci degree too! She writes that “…he values the diversity of thought that this academic background brings to the military.” She’s now an Army Fellow, and recent recipient of the Civilian Service Achievement Medal (shown here with Paul Shannon, Chief of Fort Campbell’s Range Branch). She said the program challenges her, and provides professional development, job security, and peace of mind about her future.

Words of Wisdom

"Always strive toward your plans and goals, but don’t let them stop you from exploring new opportunities that come your way; your skills and education can be applied in more ways than you know. Trust that things will continue to work out as long as you make the most of your current situation, but also stand up and advocate for yourself when your needs aren’t being met. Be present in the moment, be grateful, and be kind to yourself. You’ve got this."

Rachel Robertson, BA Cognitive Science and Mathematics, 2020

Rachel Robertson

Rachel spent her post-grad year working as an English language teaching assistant right outside of Paris. Although museums and restaurants were closed (pandemic…) she writes that it was still an amazing experience. She spent the following year working on coding and data analytic skills, and was hired by a Chicago company (Stax) as a Data Science Associate. She says she’s excited to start a new job and be living in a new city.

Words of Wisdom

"It’s really ok if you don’t know what you want to do. You are allowed to just take things one step at a time and pick your next step in life by what feels best to you at the time. You just need to pick what sounds best to you and work hard at it, and everything will turn out ok."

Kogulan Nadesakumaran, BA Cognitive Science and Biology, 2011

Kogulan Nadesakumaran

After medical school at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Kog completed his residency in General Surgery at Albany Medical Center. He’s currently in the last few months of his Vascular Surgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, down the road from where it all started. He writes, “The research and leadership opportunities during college helped pave the way for my medical career. CWRU was my launching pad and I am forever grateful for all the opportunities it has given me.”

Words of Wisdom

"Integrate into campus life by joining clubs, greek life or societies. My closest friends are those I met in campus organizations. Take classes in anything that sounds interesting or find some research that interests you and run with it. Some of my most memorable and favorite classes were outside my degree requirements. Use college as a time to meet new people and explore new ideas."