Alex Mitchell '17


Firstly, I would like to thank the neuroscience program for supporting my nomination, Joan and Elaine for their help this semester, and of course my co-UDRs, David Alpert and Dahlia Kushinsky. This award is theirs as much as mine.

My favorite part about being a UDR is seeing how much passion our students have for neuroscience. We love neuro. We find the problems of neuroscience challenging and rewarding. We like to learn about how our brains work, what can go wrong, and how to fix it. And, of course, we love to talk to each other about neuroscience too.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was at a Dharmic prayer service on campus, and I met another neuro major there. After the event we ended up spending three hours together talking about all things neuroscience. We had nothing in common - different friend groups, different politics, different religions - but we had neuro, and that was enough to make a connection.

As UDRs, David, Dahlia, and I have used this shared love of neuro to build a community. We started a journal club, where neuroscience students teach each other about the latest research. We’re starting a mentor program, where younger students are paired with an upperclassman who can teach them the tips and tricks that a faculty advisor might not know. We’ve had community events, meant to bring together neuro majors of all class years.

What we’ve found is that when you have community, students are not quite so stressed. They’re more engaged with learning. They’re happier and more productive. They’re less liable to cheat off and sabotage one another. As UDRs, we’re natural leaders in our academic communities, and this award reflects the success that Team Neuro has had in building our community.

Thank you.