UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
Oberlin College, B.A. Biology and Neuroscience 2015
7-time USTFCCCA Academic All American; Oberlin Department of Neuroscience Prize (2015)
UNDERGRADUATE OR POST-BAC RESEARCH:
As an undergraduate I had the opportunity to work in laboratories both within and outside my school. At Oberlin I worked in my advisor Dr. Jan Thornton’s laboratory studying the mechanisms by which estrogen alleviates the cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia. I also spent some time at the University of Vermont in Dr. William Falls’ lab where I ran experiments relating to the anxiolytic effects of exercise. This piqued my interest in stress research, so the following summer I worked in Dr. James Herman’s lab at the University of Cincinnati, generating a novel rodent model of loss. Following graduation, I spent a year working in Dr. Rita Fuchs’ lab at Washington State University studying the role of memory reconsolidation in addiction and relapse.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN RESEARCH?
I have always been fascinated by all things related to the mind, behavior, emotions and thought processes, but frustrated that no one could explain them to me. At some point in high school I had the bizarre epiphany that all these things and more are orchestrated by physical processes that could be studied and understood. Ever since then I’ve known that I want to spend my life learning as much as I can and generating new knowledge about the complex processes that determine how organisms perceive and relate to their internal and external environment.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MN?
UMN was the program that I knew the least about going into grad school interviews. When I came to campus, I was completely blown away by the quality of the available research resources and the incredibly supportive community here. I could tell that the students and faculty were passionately and happily engaged in their research and felt that this was the environment that would best facilitate my growth as a scientist and human.
STUDENT MENTOR AND THE BEST ADVICE THEY GAVE.
I feel like every older student I talk to is a mentor to me. I think that feeling of support goes way beyond what any single piece of advice could contribute to my success and well-being.