Scientist is first Filipina winner of William James prize in United States

A Filipina graduate student at Yale University won this year’s William James Prize by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology in the United States.

Joan Ongchoco received the prize at the 47th annual meeting of the SPP for her work “Figments of imagination: Scaffolded attention creates non-sensory object and event representations.”

There have been 25 recipients since it was first given in 1997, with Ongchoco as the first Filipino awardee.

It is named after William James, who came to be known as the father of American psychology and is credited for establishing Harvard University’s psychology department.

Prize winners are selected by a committee whose members are appointed by SPP’s president.

Before pursuing graduate studies, Ongchoco was part of the inaugural class of Yale-NUS College in Singapore in 2017. She finished summa cum laude, and received the Outstanding Capstone for Philosophy, Politics and Economics award.

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