Mallory Crosby’s ’20 trip to Germany over the summer is helping her choose between a career as a doctor or in medical research, one of the big decisions she hopes to resolve in her senior year at Earlham.
Crosby was one of 10 students accepted into the three-week Neuroscience Seminar Program in Germany, a collaboration between the College of Charleston, the Ludwig Maxilimians Universität in Munich and Charité Medical University in Berlin. The program allows students to engage in neuroscience research and immerse themselves in the deep history of the discipline in Germany.
Participants learned the history of neuroscience and visited labs for first-hand insights. “Germany was on the forefront of neuroscience, so it has a rich history,” she says.
“I’ve thought about medicine for a long time, and then I heard people talking about research,” she says. Previously, she enjoyed a summer research position at Earlham with Assistant Professor of Psychology Michelle Tong. The work involved looking at the role of perineuronal nets in memory interference in mice.
“I like working with my hands and doing fine motor things,” she says. “People have told me that I have steady hands, and that I would make a good surgeon. It’s definitely on the table.”
Whichever way she chooses as far as her career, she feels prepared.
Crosby’s favorite class is anatomy and physiology.
“Our lab meets every week and we work with a cadaver,” she says. “It gives us an opportunity to see the systems we’re learning. We have a computer simulation, but it’s very different to be able to touch and feel a cadaver. This allows me to apply the knowledge I’m gaining to an actual physical thing. I like to study how the human body works. I think I just really like fixing things. Even at home, I was curious about how things work and how to fix them.”
In addition to the experience with cadavers and research opportunities at Earlham, Crosby says relationships with professors are crucial.
“Our professors are open and honest with us about their experiences in grad school, so we benefit from their opinions and ideas. Since Earlham is a smaller college, students can build relationships with professors easier.”