Jacqueline M. Kory-Westlund smiling at you

I am an independent scholar, writer, speaker, and artist.

I have a multidisciplinary background with expertise in cognitive science, computer science, education, psychology, ethics, and robotics. Watch my TEDx talk: Kids can't be taught, but they love to learn!

I have a PhD from MIT and a BA from Vassar College. I've worked for NASA, done voice acting for robots, designed graphics for software startups, and created playful language learning interventions for preschoolers.

My specialty is being able to talk and work across disciplines—I build bridges.

Get in touch.

I can provide a variety of services, including:

Technical Consulting

a young girl hugging a fluffy dragon robot behind a little play table

I have extensive experience performing interaction design and evaluating user experience across a range of technology—including websites, apps, games, and robots—using both quantitative and qualitative methods and data analysis. I'm most excited about interactive projects, technology for children, and people's relationships with their technology. My expertise includes:

  • Human-robot interaction
  • Interaction design
  • Relational and humanistic AI
  • Story, character, and dialogue
  • Wireframing and mockups
  • Project management
  • Feedback and evaluation methods
  • Questionnaire and survey design

In prior work, I've built relational AI systems for social robots, developed playful language learning games, designed months-long technology-based interventions for kids, created new assessments for understanding how children relate to robots, helped think tanks assess how they use technology for learning, and more.

Speaking

Jacqueline speaking at TEDxCdA

I am available to speak at conferences, business events, and other venues. I am happy to speak on topics including:

Research:

  • Human-robot interaction
  • Children and robots
  • Social robots and gender
  • Learning with technology
  • Learning and relationships
  • Creative learning

Graduate school:

  • What you need to know if you're considering a PhD
  • Making the most of your PhD
  • Project management in graduate school
  • Parenting in graduate school
  • How to prepare for a post-ac/alt-ac career

General:

  • Homeschooling as a child and as a parent
  • Life planning for creative individuals

Watch my TEDx talk: Kids can't be taught, but they love to learn!

Voice Acting

jacqueline in a red dress holding a red and blue striped robot and smiling

I am available for voice acting work, including audio book narration, character voices, and more.

I voiced the Tega and DragonBot robots for the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. I have recorded thousands of utterances totaling tens of hours of audio, including narration of more than a hundred children's picture books. For these robots, I shifted the pitch of my voice higher during post-processing to make it sound more child-like, in accordance with the character of the robots.

Listen to a sample! [coming soon]

Here are videos showcasing the robots and their voices:

Design

line drawing of birch trees on paper

I am well-versed in graphic design, interaction design, and marketing. I create work with a variety of media, including acrylics, watercolor, vector graphics, and textiles. I also perform freelance portrait photography.

My past work includes creating marketing materials and advertisements for the project management software company Awning Tracker—including their website, trade show booth, and printed materials—and building a variety of educational tablet apps for children. For example, I drew graphics for multiple storytelling and language learning games, created for use with a social robot.

Contact me about:

  • Photography
  • Graphics for apps and games
  • Science illustrations
  • Picture book illustrations
  • Custom graphics and logos
  • Graphic design

Writing & Editing

a pen laying on a lined notepad, ready for use

I enjoy writing—academic writing, essays and blog posts, and more. I specialize in helping clients hone their messages and share their stories in clear, concise language.

Contact me about:

  • Technical writing
  • Grant writing
  • Science communication
  • Professional writing support and editing for academic professionals
  • College, graduate school, fellowship, and scholarship application essays