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Kalamazoo College

Mousa Ghannam


Northville, MI
Study Abroad:
Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 15 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Unearthing the complexities of human behavior is both a deeply fascinating and a humbling experience.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I was drawn to this department because I thought knowing the physiological underpinnings of our behavior would facilitate a more concrete explanatory framework for the way we think. I keep coming back because the more you learn, the more you realize how much there is to know.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
If you’re really interested in learning about the brain, study abroad in Budapest. It will give you an introduction on many of the sub-disciplines within cognitive science, as well as the opportunity to gain research experience in a sub-discipline of your choice.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Neuroscience is amazing because it allows me to integrate my interest in chemistry, biology and psychology.  Furthermore, computational neuroscience has introduced me to concepts in machine learning and artificial intelligence, which are very relevant to biomedical informatics, an area of study that I am considering to pursue.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Working hard is more important than being smart, and working smart is more important than working hard.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Cellular and Molecular Biology. It was very interesting to examine the molecular pathways responsible for important processes such as cell division, as well as the tools to manipulate and study these pathways. Moreover, it is crazy how much my conception of DNA has changed since I last learned about it.

What is your SIP?
My SIP was in the chemistry department, and I examined the physical properties of dental composite resins with respect to polymerization shrinkage.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
Although I am not totally sure, I am considering pursuing dentistry, as well as possibly getting a degree in biomedical informatics.

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