I came to Johns Hopkins because of the research I would be able to pursue, and the people I would have access to work with and learn from. In my field you must be accepted into a particular lab to work with a specific adviser, so it is important to get a sense of what your working relationships and environment might be like.
I work in the Courtney Lab, where we use cognitive neuroscience to better understand the relationship between the brain and behavior in a diverse range of individuals. My research is focused on understanding the ways oscillatory brain activity underlying working memory in humans may be different based upon sex, gender, and age. My undergraduate studies were in cognitive science, and my dissertation aims to truly increase understanding of differences between individuals – in their cognition and brain activity – by bridging and incorporating knowledge from several disciplines.
In many ways I am not the “traditional” student. I had a large gap in my education and pursued different career paths before returning to academia to become a scientist. I am an underrepresented minority in STEM, and I am a parent. At times during my academic career these differences from other students have seemed very large. Learning to appreciate how they contribute to my own unique perspective and voice, and respecting that others have ways in which they also feel quite different from everyone else, has been an important part of my journey.