How I got into science
When asked in kindergarten what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered a botanist. The entire class laughed at me, and I quickly abandoned my scientific plant aspirations. Fast-forward thirteen years, I actually chose to major in neuroscience as opposed to biology with a neurobiology concentration because of how much I hate plant biology. I never wanted to learn about photosynthesis ever again -- funny how things turn out.
Back tracking a bit, the first time I seriously considered pursuing science as a career was when I was twelve years old. Every summer, I would come up to Massachusetts to stay with my cousins and help out with their kids. Eight years ago, their youngest was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which changed to an Autism diagnosis six months later. Returning every summer since, I was immersed in all kinds of information regarding Autism spectrum disorders. I attended therapy sessions, biomedical consultations, and even hyperbaric oxygen treatments with my cousin. I was fourteen and about to enter high school the first time I proclaimed that I would become a doctor to work with children with Autism.
Bringing it up to present day, I am still interested in pursuing a medical degree post-undergrad, however my interests have been vastly expanded since coming to Boston University. Having opportunities to take compelling classes and participate in research has led my focus to deviated from Autism. Nonetheless, I hold a true passion for neuroscience and a love for research. One of my favorite things is meeting up with friends at the end of the day, excited to tell them an interesting new thing I learned in lecture or share stories about what happened in lab. I’m currently involved in an over two-year long disagreement with one of my best friends about which is the “better” organ – the heart or the brain? (The answer is brain obviously).
I was born and raised in a small beach town that’s technically considered New York City (think if Brooklyn and Cape Cod had a baby). With a ton of family all around Massachusetts, I always knew I wanted to come to school in Boston! When I’m not doing science, I really enjoy getting off campus and taking advantage of all this city has to offer. Seaport is my absolute favorite area in Boston with a ton of amazing cafes and nice restaurants (and my favorite SoulCycle studio). In addition to majoring in neuroscience, I am pursuing a minor in Deaf Studies. I love my American Sign Language and Deaf culture classes because they are a nice break from all the hard science.
Book: When Breath Becomes Air
Movie: Dazed and Confused
Show: Law & Order SVU, Grey’s Anatomy, and Dexter all come in at a tie
Music: The kind of alternative music that really is mainstream music trying to be edgy
Food: Any and all classic NY foods – bagels, pizza, etc.
Drink: Paloma or Moscow Mule
Activity: I am a die-hard SoulCycle fan and will try and convince everyone to come with me
Coffee, friend or foe: Coffee is my significant other
One thing I’m sorry I’m not sorry about
My supposed New York accent, attitude, and driving skills.
What I look for in a scientist
Two major qualities – 1) have your heart in the game and 2) be a team player. The best people to work with are passionate and driven. I find it much easier to learn from someone who truly enjoys what they are doing, from someone who is excited to go to work every day, not someone who is just going through the motions of their life. Additionally, I believe in the power of collaboration and working together to achieve common goals to produce better results (and a better work environment!).