Shawn Ell

Obituary of Shawn William Ell

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Shawn William Ell died unexpectedly on February 1st 2023. Shawn was born in Ohio to John Frederick Ell and Carolyn Edith (Wilson) Ell on October 19. 1974. He graduated from West Jefferson High School and attended Miami University of Ohio before earning his PhD in Cognitive Psychology with an emphasis in Quantitative Methods at the University of California, Santa Barbara and completing his Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley.  Shawn joined the faculty of the Psychology Department at the University of Maine in 2007. His research investigated the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Shawn integrated several complementary methodological approaches, including traditional cognitive experiments with mathematical and neurocomputational modeling. His research received funding from multiple sources, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and his many professional publications continue to have an impact on the field. Throughout his career, Shawn was an active mentor for undergraduate and graduate students and was sought after for statistics, research, and life advice. He will be sorely missed by his collaborators, colleagues and students.


Shawn had an unexpectedly goofy sense of humor and was at his happiest when he was helping others. He loved the outdoors and found peace kayaking with friends on Maine’s many beautiful lakes. He enjoyed hiking, camping, attending concerts, and playing his guitar. As one friend put it, he was an all-around great guy. His many friends (both old and new) will greatly miss him.


Shawn was incredibly proud of his daughters Avery and Reilly of Old Town, Maine. He is survived by his sister Julie and her husband Keith Baldwin of West Jefferson, Ohio, the mother of his children Shannon McCoy Ell, his niece Elena Baldwin, and his nephews Alex Baldwin and Brandon McCoy. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Carolyn Ell of West Jefferson, Ohio.


Services will be private. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be to the Kobacker House, HERE or at 800 McConnell Drive, Columbus, OH 43214 in honor of his mother.  Arrangements by Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, Bangor and Brewer and messages and memories may be shared with his family on the tribute wall of



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Shawn Ell

In Loving Memory

Shawn Ell

1974 - 2023

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