My Major/ Minor/ Campus Organizations
Majors: Neuroscience and Psychology
Organizations: Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good; Student Technician for Technology Support, Psi Chi: International Psychology Honor Society; Nu Rho Psi: National Honor Society; Teaching Assistant for Cognitive Neuroscience (NEUR-332), and Methods and Techniques in Neuroscience (NEUR-200). Research assistant for Dr. Joel Bish. Honor’s research with Dr. Jennifer Stevenson.
What should matter to me?
Pursuing an advanced education in the sciences has always been important to me. Since high school, where I took anatomy and physiology and Advanced Placement Biology, I have always had a distinct interest in the nervous system, and its vast complexities. Coming to college at Ursinus, I had the foresight enough to know that I wanted to be a neuroscience major; however, after taking numerous neuroscience classes, and having the privilege to complete a summer-long internship doing research with a neurologist who specializes in traumatic brain injury, I realized that, what matters to me is filling the gaps in knowledge that exist in the field of neuroscience, particularly regarding brain injuries, and their effect on cognition as a whole. My commitment to this studying and spreading knowledge about traumatic brain injury started with my tenure at Ursinus, but will continue into graduate school, where I plan to study the effects of traumatic brain injury on working memory and attention. Being a Fellow for the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good has greatly influenced my outlook on what should matter to me, showing me how important it is for those who conduct scientific research to also ensure that this research is able to influence the world around us. Although I am sure that it is important for me to research traumatic brain injury; what matters to me will develop as I grow and learn even more about the field.
How should we live together?
In order for science to be most effective, it should be collaborative. Many issues that plague the world are universal across cultures; therefore, a collaborative approach to research and outreach is the most logical option, but not something that always comes to fruition. It is essential that, in order for the world to battle these issues, we should be collaborating together, especially on things such as research. This is something that I plan to do in my graduate level studies, as well as in my professional career.
In the summer proceeding my Junior year, I worked with a neurologist who, along with specializing in traumatic brain injury, always was a pain perception expert, and even developed a method to assess how much of an individual’s pain experience is actual sensory-physical pain, and how much is emotionally driven. We would use this method to individual pain treatment for chronic pain patients, and were able to then reduce the amount of opioids individuals were on with high efficiency in pain reduction. If an individual could not afford to pay for the program, but was an obvious candidate, it would be complimentary.
How can we understand the world?
I am striving to understand the world through both my neuroscience major, and non-science courses, particularly those that discuss the interaction between the world as a whole, and the scientific community. Taking classes such as, Science and the Common Good (POL-336), along with my neuroscience courses, it allows me to view the world through now just a scientific lens, but also an anthropological one, and attempt to understand how these two views coincide together. It is one thing to understand how things work scientifically in a vacuum, but a much different thing to understand how they work and effect a global population. Understanding the world is a lifelong endeavor, but being a Parlee Center Fellow has given me the tools to continue pursuing this feat.
I am a researcher in both Dr. Stevenson’s lab and Dr. Bish’s class. In Dr. Stevenson’s lab, we examine the difference between implicit and explicit learning evaluations. In Dr. Bish’s lab we study the long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury on individuals through EEG and neuropsychological methods: Both labs have given me an understanding of neuroscience that I would not have gotten in the classroom.
What will I do?
I plan to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. My research focus will be the effects of traumatic brain injury on working memory abilities and attention. I would like to do this through neurophysiologic methods, like EEG, along with neuropsychological batteries to behaviorally assess cognitive abilities.