Communicating My Brackenridge Research

If I were talking to a lay audience about my research this summer, I would first need to distill it into something understandable by the general population. My specific project involves a lot of jargon and acronyms that aren’t familiar to the average person, and I’ve encountered difficulties explaining it even to other Brackenridge Fellowship recipients. However, most people are interested in the mind & brain in general, and as such I’ve had success playing up the fact that I get to put an EEG cap on people and observe their brainwaves in a lab. This also segues into why I believe my research is important; our cognitive capabilities are what set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and so gaining deeper insight into them is utterly fascinating.

As far as my current professional plans, I’m hoping to earn a Ph.D. and become a professor. This will obviously involve a great deal of research in an academic setting, as well as interacting with the entire gamut of the academic population (from undergraduate students to senior professors). However, I’ve established a wonderful rapport with most of the professors I’ve had here at Pitt, and — having now completed five semesters as an undergraduate teaching assistant — also have a decent amount of experience working with and mentoring students myself (something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and which has helped me to form some of the most meaningful relationships I’ve had in college). As such, I don’t anticipate a great deal of social obstacles to reaching my career goals, and look forward to the day when I can join the noble profession of teaching on a full-time basis.

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