Hello! My name is Kristen Brown, and I am a junior at Northeastern University. I’m a behavioral neuroscience major and history minor originally from northern New Jersey. Though I have many interests, I have directed most of my attention to neuroscience. In particular, I have worked in a neurobiology lab as a research assistant full time for two six-month "co-ops," where I used advanced imaging techniques to record the activity of cortical neurons in mice as they performed a sensorimotor integration task. Our lab studies neural circuits, so the data I contributed will provide valuable information about individual cells that can then be used to understand the system as a whole. While in college, I have also had the opportunity to attend the Society for Neuroscience meeting in 2015 and 2016. This annual conference draws about 30,000 neuroscience researchers and students from around the world. I was very lucky to attend as an undergraduate.
You may have noticed that I'm also pursuing a history minor. I have always been interested in history, and learning about the Cold War in a high school IB history class inspired me to take related classes at Northeastern. I've taken courses about Soviet espionage during the Cold War, as well as Russian history and culture before 1914. To learn about another major player in 20th century history, I spent the spring 2016 semester at the Free University in Berlin taking classes about modern German history, totalitarianism, Berlin history and literature, and the German language. This experience combined my academic interests with my lifelong desire to travel.
Next summer, I will be going on two separate mini-study abroad trips through Northeastern's Dialogue of Civilizations program. For the first trip, in May, I will travel to Santiago, Chile to take a Biomedical Imaging course with a Northeastern professor as well as a Chilean culture course taught by multiple professors from the Universidad de los Andes. I will learn how medical imaging techniques like MRI and ultrasound work, while immersing myself in a different culture and hopefully picking up some Spanish. I was inspired to take this class because I enjoyed doing imaging in the lab on co-op and because I will probably use some of these techniques in my future career. The second trip is a five-week-long journey across Russia, where I will learn about Russian culture and language as we travel from west to east. I decided to sign up for this program because I was so amazed by what I learned in one of the history classes I mentioned earlier. I hope to better understand this country, one we hear so much about in the news, by seeing it firsthand.