Office Hour: Professor Sheila Blumstein

unnamedHi! I’m Alina Joharjian, a first-year at Brown from Cranston, Rhode Island. Although I am plenty acquainted with life in Providence since I am a local, I am super excited to delve into the world of academia at Brown and take you on that journey with me! In the Office Hour column, learn more about the brilliant professors of the Brown community.

Attracted by Brown’s “great reputation,” Blumstein came to the university straight after grad school in 1970. A member of the CLPS department, she teaches Introduction to Cognitive Science during the fall and Language and the Brain during the spring.

Blumstein also helps students outside of the classroom, acting as an advisor for Cognitive Neuroscience concentrators. Students work with her in her research as well. She noted that it is easy for students to get involved with research if they reached out to faculty members and demonstrated an interest. Professor Blumstein highly encourages students to get involved if they are interested.

Later, Blumstein acclaimed the students at Brown, saying they “think outside the box.” Blumstein praised the entire community at Brown, referring to it as her favorite part of the university. According to her, the same sense of community that is present among student is also present from students to faculty as well as from faculty to faculty. For instance, she told me that the CLPS department is able to work tightly with the Neuroscience department. There isn’t segregation amongst academic departments, which allows for a collaborative working dynamic.

Thanks to Professor Blumstein, I was finally given an explanation about the differences between the various brain-related concentrations at Brown. Time for a Q&A:

  • Interested in the brain in a biological sense (synapses, neurons, etc)? Then Neuroscience is for you!
  • Interested in the mind and how we speak and understand? Check out Cognitive Science!
  • Are you interested in something in between those two? Cognitive Neuroscience is your answer!

With the great collaboration and dynamic from faculty and students, it comes to no surprise that the aforementioned departments are so popular at Brown. Professor Blumstein is a prime example of that.

Any questions or comments? I’d love to respond to you! Reach me at


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