Hometown: Portland, Oregon
High School: Westview High School
Major: Biology (neuroscience emphasis)
What is the UO doing well? The UO does a commendable job of providing extracurricular opportunities for students. For example, the Holden Center and GEO Study Abroad are both great resources with friendly and effective staff members. Furthermore, University of Oregon professors and academic advisors are exceptional. A special thank you to Associate Dean Mark Carey of the Honors College for his advice and guidance. He pushed me to recognize my agency and potential as a Stamps Scholar and also inspired me to join a research lab.
What are you most proud of accomplishing since you started at the UO? Last spring I studied in Oxfordshire, UK, as an associate member of Keble College at the University of Oxford. Studying abroad as a freshman is an atypical move, but one that I am glad I made. I took one-on-one tutorials in Biostatistics and High Italian Renaissance Art with University of Oxford tutors including a leading Leonardo da Vinci expert. One of my favorite memories from Oxford includes spending hours pouring over original drawings by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci.
What are some things you’ve been doing outside of the classroom since you’ve been at UO? I am a research assistant in the Learning Lab, which is a developmental psychology lab that seeks to better understand the human visual and conceptual system through analyzing video and audio data from head-mounted cameras worn by young children. The principal investigator and my cognitive development professor is Dr. Caitlin Fausey. With my free time I also mentor and tutor international students at the American English Institute. I not only help these students with their English speaking and writing skills, but also try to empower them as they immerse themselves into campus life and American culture. Most recently, I also joined the editorial board for the Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal (OURJ). The OURJ is a student-run and peer-reviewed journal that provides access to undergraduates’ research work in a variety of academic disciplines.
Describe a mentor or professor who has positively influenced your experience at UO. Professor Louise Bishop of the Honors College is one of the most inspirational people I know. I met her on my first day as a Duck. Her joy, wisdom, and enthusiasm are positively contagious. She is genuinely invested and interested in her students’ futures, and I value her—both as a mentor and a professor. Among other accomplishments, Professor Bishop created and leads the Clark Honors College Oxford program.
Describe a couple of your favorite classes you've taken at UO? I have taken two honors college literature classes from Professor Casey Shoop and highly recommend them both (HC 221H “Force and Law in Premodern Literature” and HC 222H “The Mystery You Are Investigating May Be Your Own”). Professor Shoop’s dynamic teaching style and willingness to engage with students’ ideas inside and outside of the classroom are incomparable. His feedback on essays is extensive, and I appreciate that he seeks to challenge his students. I wrote an interdisciplinary essay for my final in his HC 222H class where I related multiverse theory to the limitations of metaphors in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.
What are you hoping to do with your major, both while you work toward graduation and after? My main academic interests are in language acquisition and bilingualism and cognitive neuroscience. With my honors college thesis work, I hope to study the biological processes and neural pathways underlying language acquisition and processing in bilinguals with a multidisciplinary approach. I am also interested in learning more about language disorders and diseases that affect memory and learning. My future plans include teaching English abroad before pursuing a career in medicine.