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2021 Neuroscience Seniors

John Wheaton
I chose Neuroscience as a major because there is so much the world does not know about the human brain and I was excited to build a deeper understanding while at Lake Forest college. I cultivated so many close relationships with my fellow neuroscience students through experiencing the best and worst of times together. I was so lucky to be part of such a tight knit community dedicated to learning and constantly working to be the best version of ourselves. Through dedication and resiliency, the neuroscience students of 2021 are prepared and ready to take on the world.
John Wheaton
Madeline Webb
Coming into college I had no idea what Neuroscience was. I was interested in Psychology and found that studying neuroscience could lead me to a deeper understanding of how a person is an individual on a molecular scale. Studying neuroscience at Lake Forest College has given me great opportunities like presenting at Brain Awareness Week as well as presenting on research from my internship at Rosalind Franklin’s Psychology department. These experiences have helped me decide that after graduation, I plan to pursue an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology.”
Madeline Webb
Zoe Walts
I initially chose neuroscience because of its interdisciplinary nature. I was so excited by biology and psychology and I wanted to be able to study both. It turned out to be an amazing choice, and my incredibly smart and kind professors have been with me every step of the way.  Now, as a senior, the initial draw to an interdisciplinary field has paid off. Studying neuroscience has equipped me with strong scientific and critical thinking skills, as well as practical research skills. I am excited to pursue a career in Public Health, and to contribute towards creating health equity.
Zoe Walts
Yesenia Uribe
I have always been interested in how, biologically and psychologically, our brain works. The brain is a complex maze, but one that, as the paths come together, takes your breath away with its complexity and beauty. I have had the privilege to network with inspiring professionals, in and outside the class, that have granted me with transferable skills for my future career. Neuroscience has taught me how to think critically and provided me with a richer appreciation for how a mesmerizing organ such as the brain works. I have learned both professionalism and the fundamentals of neuroscience, and I look forward to applying to medical school.
Yesenia Uribe
Estella Tcaturian
My passion for Neuroscience came to me way before college, when my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. After realizing that there were no treatments for that disease I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the field of Neuroscience and try to help others. When I came to Lake Forest College my passion for Neuroscience only grew. That happened after I did my own research under the mentorship of great LFC and RFUMS professors. After I took Pharmacology course taught by Professor McGaraughty I found out about my new passion Neuropharmacology that I want to study as part of my Doctoral degree.
Estella Tcaturian
Madison Strejc
I chose the neuroscience major because it allowed me to study the brain more in depth while also exposing me to a wide range of science courses in chemistry, biology, and psychology. The neuroscience program has provided me with so many opportunities; most notably, getting to present research at a conference in New Orleans and being able to peer mentor younger neuroscience students. I am planning on attending medical school after a gap year, and I feel that this program has prepared me by academically challenging me all 4 years.”
Madison Strejc
Sophia Stéphany
I decided to study neuroscience in combination with psychology because I am passionate about people, the brain, and figuring out how things work. I have enjoyed doing hands-on research both in the labs of my courses and with Dr Kelley’s memory lab. I am looking forward to pursuing my masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and hope to one day earn my PhD and become a professor.
Sophia Stéphany
Erica Saldana
I chose neuroscience as my major because I wanted to focus my studies on understanding the complex brain. The experience that stands out to me the most in neuroscience has to be during my K-6 outreach with third graders during my freshman year in my FIYS class. I adored being able to teach the kids about the motor functions of the brain. I wholeheartedly believe because of the neuroscience program at LFC, I am ready for whatever career path I decide to take. I am still trying to decide what I want to pursue after LFC, but I know I’ll be ready to conquer anything.
Erica Saldana
Kang Ryul-Min
I was looking for a new minor related to my major after realizing how broad the field of biology is. After loss of beloved grandparents by Parkinson’s disease and stroke, I finally made up my mind to choose neuroscience as my minor. Neuroscience courses showed me the fact that I still need to study more, even after undergraduate. But in the meantime, I found numerous branches in neuroscience I can focus on. Especially, I got a new perspective on the mechanism of pain. The experience in neuroscience definitely gave a option for my future career related to neural pain, dentistry specialized in neuropathology.
Kang Ryul-Min
Maira Romero
Being able to use neuroscience to explain psychological processes is one of the reasons I chose neuroscience as my minor. Neuroscience courses at LFC have elucidated the molecular basis for neurocognition as well as other neuroscience branches. Understanding the fundamentals of cognition is important to me as a mental-healthcare worker. I plan to further expand my knowledge of neuroscience and relate it to medicine one day. Neuroscience has reinforced my love for medicine, and I plan to apply to medical school in the near future.
Maira Romero
Grace Monshausen
I chose to be a Neuroscience major because I love Biology and Psychology, and wanted to study both.  Majoring in Neuroscience has made me realize how much I love public speaking. At the beginning of my freshman year I didn't enjoy giving presentations, and now it is my favorite part of projects. Studying Neuroscience has also taught me how to work well in groups, especially when it gets tough.  LFC's Neuroscience program has opened my eyes how many career options there are in the field beyond medicine and research. I plan on attending law school next year, focusing my studies in Neuroscience Law and Ethics.
Grace Monshausen
Bari Mohammed
The brain is a final frontier of science. Exploring outer space and the deep seas is a noble cause but exploring the mechanisms of the most complex machine in the universe is in a category of its own. I just wanted to be a small part of that expedition. How to be a leader and its requirements. I never thought of myself as one but somewhere along the way, I developed those skills and also learned that I enjoy working with people. I plan on training as an Emergency Medicine doctor. My experiences in the program have taught me how to be a good student/peer which I have to be for the rest of my career.”euroscience major because I love Biology and Psychology, and wanted to study both.  Majoring in Neuroscience has made me realize how much I love public speaking. At the beginning of my freshman year I didn't enjoy giving presentations, and now it is my favorite part of projects. Studying Neuroscience has also taught me how to work well in groups, especially when it gets tough.  LFC's Neuroscience program has opened my eyes how many career options there are in the field beyond medicine and research. I plan on attending law school next year, focusing my studies in Neuroscience Law and Ethics.
Bari Mohammed
Dana Midani
I chose to major in Neuroscience because I find it extremely fascinating and rewarding. Having the privilege of learning from and working with incredibly qualified and intelligent professors has broadened my knowledge as a student and strengthened me as a scientist. Through countless labs, projects, and interesting lectures, I have become a more collaborative, knowledgeable, and effective member of the STEM community. And, I have been honored to do so alongside peers who are equally as curious and passionate about their studies. After I graduate, I plan to continue my studies in medical school and become a physician.
Dana Midani
Matthew McMahon
As a prospective student, I chose to major in neuroscience as it allowed me to focus on microbiology, which intrigues me with its view into the foundational mechanisms of life. The brain, to its credit, offers a fascinating framework to study any science within.  Professionally, I feel as though I have grown the most, and been prepared the most for my future, through my experiences working in labs during the school year and over the summer. There is no better way to learn science than by physically doing it, and that is exactly what my lab work let me do.
Matthew McMahon
Naima Hernandez-Sanchez
I chose to study Neuroscience because I wanted to learn about myself. Our brain is a commonality that we all share, and yet, it’s also the one thing that makes us all unique. I wanted to understand the science behind our behaviors. The most interesting experience being a Neuroscience student was conducting independent research for an entire year, and competing in a STEM poster competition. This taught me to be an analytical thinker and a proficient scientific communicator. Ultimately, neuroscience has given me the foundational knowledge about the brain. My future plan is to apply to various Neuroscience PhD programs.
Naima Hernandez-Sanchez
Leslie Gonzalez
As a first-generation student, attending college was a major milestone, one I was unsure how to navigate. I knew I would face many obstacles; the surprising part was the neuroscience community having the resources, peers, professors, and other faculty I could lean on. From having a bad day or in a celebratory mood, I learned for the first time I did not have to go through this experience alone. I always knew I was interested in the brain, my love for neuroscience has encouraged me to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience , allowing me to conduct research that can impact lives.”
Leslie Gonzalez
Blakely Drake
I chose Neuroscience as my major because I love research that combines biology with behavior. The group projects I was required to complete in Medical Mysteries of the Mind paved my path in Neuroscience. I enjoyed those projects so much that I ended up becoming a peer mentor for the class later on. Getting the opportunity to show others how to read, present, and critique research allowed me to understand what I want to do with my life. Since I love leading others to success, I plan on teaching in some form after getting a postgraduate degree.
Blakely Drake
Grace Dodis
I decided to study neuroscience because the brain and behavior have always been fascinating to me. This was solidified my freshman year when I got to hold a human brain for the first time in Dr. DebBurman’s “Deadly Shapes, Hostage Brains” class. I remember thinking that I was holding someone’s thoughts, emotions, and memories; I was holding someone’s whole life! This past school year, I took both neuroscience core classes, and I really enjoyed behavioral neuroscience. It was taking this class that made me realize I would like to go to graduate school to get my Ph.D. in neuropsychology. The neuroscience program has provided me with numerous opportunities, from research to writing primary articles, and I know I will be prepared for the next step. I can’t wait to see what my future holds in this field.
Grace Dodis
Bradley Devins
I have always been fascinated by neuroscience since high school, so when I had the opportunity, I chose it as my major at Lake Forest. It wasn’t until I took the course of “Molecules, Genes, and Cells” that I realized that I want to work as a researcher on neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The neuroscience program has taught me important skills such as immunostaining and managing scanning equipment that will help me when I eventually work in the field of research. I feel prepared for anything and am so excited for my future prospects.
Bradley Devins
Alexandra Dejneka
I chose to major in neuroscience because I think the human body, especially the brain, is extraordinarily fascinating. I enjoy the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience and how the field is constantly evolving. The program experiences that stand out are the extra opportunities to explore neuroscience through trips to national conferences to clubs and seminars. I plan to become a physician and the neuroscience program has provided me with a strong foundational knowledge about human behavior and the underlying molecular pathways behind it as well as opportunities to interact with current and future members of the scientific community.
Alexandra Dejneka
Nolan Carothers
I chose neuroscience as one of my majors because I’ve always been interested in both the structures and functions of the brain. By studying and understanding how our brains work, we can better understand how we interact with and perceive our world. The hands on lab experience in the neuroscience program has prepared me well as I am entering into the professional field. I plan to continue to use and build my knowledge of neuroscience in a physicians assistant program following graduation.
Nolan Carothers
Carris Borland
The purpose of me pursuing a minor in neuroscience is to help strengthen my knowledge as a science major. Understanding the relationship between behavior and the brain has always been fascinating for me. Peer teaching in Bio 221 and doing research on Parkinson’s Disease pathology really started my interest to know more about the brain. My favorite neuroscience class was neuron to brain, where I learned how the brain develops, its role in controlling body functions, and how we can adapt to new circumstances. Learning neuroscience will greatly help me to prepare for my future career as a physician.
Carris Borland
Tianna Beilke
I decided to pursue a neuroscience major because before coming to the College, I suffered a concussion and wanted to learn more. Since then, I have had so many experiences to learn from professionals in the field and engage in meaningful classroom experiences that have shaped me into someone who thinks critically and always looks to learn more. Lake Forest College’s neuroscience program has helped me prepare for a future career in healthcare administration by equipping me with knowledge I will carry with me for a lifetime.”
Tianna Beilke