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Kalamazoo College

Gabrielle Shimko


Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI
Majors: Biology and Psychology
Concentration: Neuroscience
Best Adjective to Describe You: Compassionate

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
Neuroscience allows one to gain a more broad and multidimensional understanding of the united mind and brain. 

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Do not be afraid to take classes that are outside of your comfort zone or prior knowledge. The beauty of this concentration is how it intersects many different disciplines.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
One of the many things I’ve learned at K is to surround yourself with people and opportunities that positively promote your personal growth.  

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Neurobiology with Dr. Moore or Physiological Psychology with Dr. Batsell. I love learning about the brain from both a top-down and bottom-up perspective. Additionally, both of these professors properly challenge their students with interesting, higher-level course content and often make out-of-classroom connections.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
The open curriculum allows me to design my quarters with classes for my major and other non-major classes of interest. I like how flexible my schedule is, and it allows for me to make connections between classes in all other departments.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
I have been a leader of two clubs, a member of the lacrosse team, and have recently been able to go to Vancouver, BC for a summer to do research at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Janet Werker.

What is your SIP?
In short, I will be using neuroimaging techniques to investigate whether learning more than one language simultaneously from birth alters neural networks in infants, specifically those specializing in attentional processes.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I hope to continue to do research for a little bit, go to medical school/graduate school, and become a psychiatrist/neuropsychologist/therapist. I have no idea.

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