SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Maira Ezerins ‘20, Psychology

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Maira Ezerins ‘20, Psychology

Maira Ezerins was a graduate student from Middleboro, M.A.

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient

Project: “Applicant Reactions to the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Selection”

Thanks to a SAFE grant, Ezerins was able to travel to Washington, D.C. to present her research at the annual Technology, Mind and Society conference hosted by the American Psychology Association. There, she was able to meet scholars in her field, expand her professional network and learn from other researchers who are delving into new technologies, including artificial intelligence and robotics.

Ezerins received a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Business and a Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management. Her research involved AI-based job interviewing and may help organizations in determining how to best utilize such programs. As virtual interviewing has become the norm, Ezerins wanted to research how job applicants felt about these interviews and how their reactions would impact important organizational outcomes.

“We found that AI‐based interviewing was generally viewed as less procedurally and interactionally just than traditional human‐based interviewing. We hope that this research will have practical implications for academics and practitioners. For academics, we hope that it will be a catalyst for future study on online interview technologies.

The hope is also that practitioners will consider the costs of using such technologies (less favorable applicant reactions) in addition to the benefits (ease of use and scheduling for large numbers of applicants).

Ezerins research was also published in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment, a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering personnel and managerial psychology, in 2020. 

With additional funding, she attended six total conferences over the two years of her master's program where she connected with international scholars who she has maintained contact with through email.

“This funding helped me to network and connect with minds across the world, greatly expanding my viewpoint from Boone to D.C. and internationally. These scholars helped me to view my research with a different eye and brainstorm other research topics related to my field. These conferences were also integral to my success as a practitioner and scholar as they ultimately helped me decide to continue research and pursue a Ph.D.,” said Ezerins.


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology 
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in three master’s programs (experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management) and the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program. Learn more at

About the Walker College of Business
The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and 175 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Sophia Woodall
September 15, 2021


SAFE student recipient Maira Ezerins, a former graduate student in the Department of Psychology. Photo submitted.
Published: Sep 15, 2021 4:18pm