It’s been a while since we’ve met as a group, and I am so excited to see you all tomorrow and hear about your current projects and endeavors. These past couple of weeks have been very intense and exciting for me in terms of my research project, the Sleep Deprivation study. It took me a while, but I finally feel comfortable assuming the role of a “leader” (I still write it in quotation marks out of habit) and taking this project off the ground with the help of my fellow lab members. We ran several General Information screening sessions, and though we did not have many participants sign up, those who did expressed genuine interest in the study. I also had the experience of screening the participants and determining their eligibility for the rest of the study based on their medical data. The whole process of interacting with the participants and having access to their medical data while still maintaining their privacy and confidentiality taught me a lot about research ethics and the many delicate areas of research in general.
I must admit that it is sometimes hard to remain motivated when the study is moving at a rather slow pace. When I said that these past couple of weeks have been intense, I mostly meant that the hardest part was actually beginning the data collection. There were so many gray areas and uncertainties, and I often felt discouraged and overwhelmed at the sheer amount of organization and preparation that this study required. However, with the help of my lab members (and a lot of practice running sessions), I became confident. Now, the biggest issue is the lack of participant signups. There is no one right answer; maybe it is still early in the semester, maybe the study seems intimidating, maybe the time slots and inconvenient…or maybe the majority of people are just not interested. As a researcher, I hope that the last possibility isn’t true, but as a student, I do understand that most people who sign up for these studies just want the credits and do not necessarily want to commit to such an intense (albeit interesting) study. Anyway, those are just my thoughts and concerns. Many of us did not feel comfortable running sessions and assuming authority right away, and I think that it is perfectly normal to have doubts–but overcome them with time and exposure.
Many students in our workshop have expressed interest in applying to the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the Teachers College at Columbia University. This weekend, the College will host an on-campus open house and information session. If any of you are interested, please reference the email I have received below:
“We will host an Open House & On-Campus Information Session on Saturday, November 16th. This special, on-campus information session is the best opportunity to learn more about our top-ranked programs, the admissions process, financial aid, housing options, and what makes Teachers College unique – directly from our admissions team, faculty, and current students!
Saturday, November 16th | 11:00AM – 1:00 PM | 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
What to Expect:
This event is more robust than a traditional Information Session and will provide a truly comprehensive look at the College and its individual departments and programs. You will have the opportunity to attend individual chats where you can meet with college representatives from your specific area of study, as well as take a campus tour of the College given by current Teachers College students.
If you’re not able to attend, explore the full list of events
including future information sessions, online chats, graduate school fairs, and open houses on our website.”
I hope that some of you will be able to attend and find it useful, interesting, and inspiring!
I was reading through this week’s lab meeting minutes and saw that my lab discussed several upcoming conferences, including the EPA and APS. There was another conference discussed that will take place on October 27th in St. Francis College; the theme is ““Scientific Reflections: Psychology as a Mirror of Society and the Self”, and while the deadline to submit was in September, I think that it would be a great opportunity to attend, network, and connect with students and faculty (and it’s free!)
For more information, click this link:
As for lab life, I have recently met with Professor Engle-Friedman to discuss another project that I may be working on while the Sleep Deprivation IRB is in the process of being approved. I will be analyzing some data from our lab’s Sociability Study (the sociability assessments will also be integrated into the Sleep Deprivation Study so it is helpful to familiarize myself with the data.) I will begin looking at the data and hopefully find meaningful correlations and perhaps even explanations for the results!
I was going to post about the “From Neurons to Neighborhoods” lecture at Weill Cornell Medical College, but I noticed that the very first blog post was about just that! It sounds like a very interesting lecture about a fascinating topic. I am currently enrolled in Dr. Mangels’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior class in Cognitive Neuroscience and she provides us with many valuable resources both in class and through email. I first found out about the lecture from her and I was very glad that another REU student was also aware of it. I also recently received an email about an NSF REU program in Brooklyn College from Professor Mangels; her email read as follows:
“The Brooklyn College NSF REU Program in Neuroscience is seeking undergraduate applications for Spring 2014 (program dates are Jan. 27 – May 16, 2014). The current application deadline is October 1, 2013 (but we plan on extending it for a couple of weeks). Twelve students will be admitted (8-9 from campuses other than Brooklyn) and each will receive a stipend of $3,100. REU participants are given the opportunity to carry out an independent research project under the guidance of REU mentors, and to deepen their understanding of the neurosciences through structured didactics and ethics training.
More information about the program can be found on the following website and blog:
While I know that this opportunity will not directly apply to any of us since we already are REU students in a year-long program, this may be an invaluable opportunity for those you may know (especially those with an interest in neuroscience)…and maybe a chance for us to apply for next year!
Personally, I am starting to find neuroscience to be quite daunting and intimidating. When I enrolled in Dr.Mangels’s course I truly did not know what I was getting myself into (I guess I overlooked the entire “science” part of “neuroscience” and expected to be learning fun, almost trivial facts about the brain…enough to brag about, but not enough to truly understand.) With an exam fast approaching and other responsibilities accumulating, I am finding myself in a rather tough spot.
As for lab life, every week I feel more and more confident about the Sleep Deprivation IRB. Professor Engle-Friedman, Tiffani, Viktoriya, and I are almost finished with the Part II and cannot wait to finally submit it and begin running our study. This is one responsibility that I am very excited to take on!