It’s a Neuroscience/Academic Lifestyle/ Social Justice/ Travel blog:

This blog started as a way for me to keep in touch with people back home. In particular, I had made a bunch of new friends when I did a Fellowship in Atlanta. It has evolved into a blog that integrates science, history, and personal stories. If you want to see what science I’m interested in right now check out my twitter @GarnetXttina

My Master’s Program:

The Joint Master in Neuroscience is a unique program that is a joint effort between the universities of Strasbourg (in France), Freibourg (in Germany) and Basel (Switzerland). Students take classes and may do lab rotations at all three Universities (although lab rotations can be done at any lab that is willing to take the student).  Classes my year included:Neurodevelopment, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Genetic Animal Models, Neuropharmacology, Mathematical Models, Quantitative Methods, Memory, Rhythms, Neuroimmunology, Sensory Physiology, and a class on research design and presentation.  All instruction is in English. To find out more about the JMN please check out their website.

My History:

I am from Santa Barbara, California. I went to an unique public grade school and so did many of my oldest friends.  In high school, I did well and I made it to the California State Science fair, where I first learned about Cognitive Neuroscience. I attended Scripps College, a women’s college, in Claremont, California. There I majored in Cognitive Neuroscience and did my thesis on disability stereotype content and trait judgment processes.

After college, I completed a year long fellowship in the Emory PREP program, in Atlanta Georgia. There I found a wonderful community in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta and I was sad to leave them, when I moved to Europe. However, research in Europe had been a dream of mine.

So in 2013, I moved to Strasbourg, France and took classes at the University of Strasbourg and the University of Basel. Then I moved to Freiburg and did two internships and two intense summer courses. In spring of 2015, I started my thesis research in Rome. However, I had to suspend my thesis due to a personal concern. So I took a leave of absence in 2015-2017 and now am working three part time jobs, while finishing my thesis at the University of California Santa Barbara.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there!
    I’m currently finishing off a postgrad honour’s degree (it’s a weird in-between postgrad degree we have in South Africa) in philosophy, with my emphasis on the ethics of diagnostic procedures in psychiatry, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder. I’m in the process of checking out different Master programs, and a lot of the time my efforts lead to interdisciplinary neuroscience programs. Do you think we could make contact? I’d love to find out more about your study path so far, and whether or not you think (cognitive) neuroscience would be a good fit for me. I’ve got a longer view in mind, perhaps doing a PhD in neuroethics eventually. Also, I’ve also had to take a leave of absence due to illness, so perhaps we have that in common too.
    All my best,
    Lienkie Diedericks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lienkie: I’m sorry I just seen this. I would love to get in touch. Also there is a former JMN from South Africa, who helped all of us get settled in France. She might be a good person to talk to. I can’t figure out how to send you a private message, but I’ve told wordpress to alert me to replies to this thread. I promise, in future, I will respond more quickly!


  2. Hey there,

    I saw that you attended a PREP program and was wondering how you made the case for applying. Could I email you with some questions? The NIH states that PREP programs should be directed towards (1) minorities, (2) people with disabilities and (3) people in rural/inner city locations. Looking at the kids selected to be PREP scholars at various schools, the programs appear to be geared exclusively towards minorities. I have a “life-altering” disability and go to a small college without many research opportunities, but I’m not sure I’ll be competitive since I’m not a minority.

    Could you describe what you think made you competitive for the PREP program?



    1. I e-mailed you, but I wanted to respond to you here as well. Short answer: You should write the programs you are interested in to ask.

      Long answer: Each PREP program has to combat research inequities. They should serve science minorities, as defined by the NIH (African American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, Disability, as defined by the ADA, low income, Women in computing and math). They may also consider a history of volunteer or professional work that aids science minorities, as proof of interest in combating research inequities. In my application, I mentioned that I regularly volunteered to teach science in a low income school. I do not know if that was a factor.

      Each program can decide which groups to focus on. They may have a successful history helping certain groups or may wish to focus on inequities specific to their institution. Some defiantly only want people with physical disabilities. Verifying cognitive disabilities is difficult and a bit messy. For reference, most of the people in my program, myself included, belonged to more than one qualifying group.

      When you write them you want to be as honest as possible about why you need the program to continue with your career. You need to help them see how they can help you. I sent each program I wrote references to the PREP grant, NIH definitions of science minorities and the ADA.


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