Teenie Matlock is Professor of Cognitive Science and Founding Faculty at UC Merced, where she was also the former Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and McClatchy Chair in Communications. Before joining UC Merced in 2004, Matlock completed her PhD at UC Santa Cruz and was a postdoc and research associate at Stanford University. She has taught courses at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, and has worked for technological companies, including IBM Research – Almaden.
A cognitive scientist and linguist , Matlock has published over 100 articles, primarily on human communication. Some of her research investigates how non-literal language is used and understood “in the wild”, including in discourse related to climate change, wildfire risk, politics, social distance, time, technology, and health. Other research examines how grammatical form affects reasoning and decision-making. Matlock has been awarded many grants, mostly from NSF, and has been an issued a patent for rapid symbolic input in small electronic devices. She has received awards for teaching, mentoring, leadership, scientific achievement, and community building.
Matlock has taught many courses on language and cognition, such as Introduction to Language and Linguistics, Introduction to Cognitive Science, and Metaphor and Thought. She has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students over the years. Professional duties include having served on the editorial boards of Metaphor & Symbol as well as Cognitive Science, and as Associate Editor for Cognitive Linguistics. She was also an elected member of the Cognitive Science Society governing board, and was a standing member of NIH’s Language and Communication Study Section.
Matlock actively engages in community outreach and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the UC system. She is the former Vice Chair of the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, and was raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.