UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Molecular & Cellular Biology and Psychology, 2015
- Janet Tritsch Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis in Psychology,2015
UNDERGRADUATE OR POST-BAC RESEARCH: At the University of Illinois, I assisted in electroencephalogram analyses of age-related shifts in hemispheric dominance in syntactic processing under the guidance of Dr. Kara D. Federmeier. For the majority of my undergraduate years, I studied the effects of chronic exposure to psychoactive drugs in rodent models of addiction-like behavior under the guidance of Dr. Joshua M. Gulley. I helped develop a model of alcohol self-administration in rodents, as well as studied the long-term effects of amphetamine exposure on anxiety- and depression-like behaviors as a function of dysregulation in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN RESEARCH? I joined two different labs as an undergraduate that exposed me to the research process. I really enjoyed being able to investigate questions no one knew the answer to, and while I was working on my senior thesis I knew for certain that I wanted to pursue a research degree.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MN? The faculty here are conducting top-tier research, especially in the field of neurodegenerative disease. Additionally, the closeness of the graduate students and faculty in the program drew me in - everyone is very welcoming and always willing to help or listen.
STUDENT MENTOR AND THE BEST ADVICE THEY GAVE.
Melissa Asher tells me time and time again when I'm having a tough week that the first year is the most challenging, but everyone makes it through.