Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

  • Rebecca Keenan posing in front of a landscape

Rebecca Keenan

Senior CSCG Fellow

My interest has always been in medicine, and medical service trips to Guatemala opened my eyes to the importance of healthcare for everyone, especially underserved populations. It is this passion that inspired me to become a Fellow of the CSCG.  Being a Fellow has challenged my beliefs and taught me to defend them with evidence in my CSCG courses. The CSCG has also given me the opportunity to complete an internship with the Institute on Science for Global Policy that demonstrated the importance of politics and communicating science in all fields, including health care. Now, I am aspiring to become a physician, specializing in infectious disease and working domestically and abroad in underserved communities in public and global health. 

Major/Minor/Campus Organizations

Major in Biology / Minor in French / Wind Ensemble and PASS Instructor

My Favorite CSCG Events

<– Click on the links to the left!

My Research

I work in Dr. Rebecca Kohn’s lab on studying different potential protective mechanisms against oxidative stress in the nervous system.  We use the research model organism C. elegans, but our research can also be applied to people; oxidative stress is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  I’m currently working on genetically crossing a hyperactive strain with a strain that has its neurons tagged with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) to be able to study the effects of increased neural activity on neuron survival in worms exposed to oxidative stress

My CSCG Courses

POL-399 (Science and the Common Good); POL-354 (Global Health);POL-242 (Comparative Politics); FREN-252 (Le Monde Francophone (The French- Speaking World)

My CSCG Civic Internship

This past summer I had the opportunity to work with the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP).  The goal of this organization is to foster better communication between scientists and policy makers and everyone in between.  My work over the summer was to help prepare for the ISGP Conference on Food Safety, Security, and Defense: Focus on Food and the Environment, which I attended this fall.  This internship may not seem like the most obvious fit for an aspiring physician, but it gave me insight into what goes into communicating with policy makers and how important that communication really is.  It will be a useful experience as I attempt to not only become a practicing physician, but also active in public and global health.

Life After Ursinus

I plan on attending medical school after Ursinus to pursue a career as a physician eventually specializing in infectious disease.  I am also planning to be involved in public and global health and to provide healthcare to underserved populations both in the United States and abroad.

Life After Ursinus

The CSCG has helped me explore my interest in public and global health.  Now I aspire to become a physician specializing in infectious disease, and I hope to provide quality healthcare to underserved populations.