Undergrad Research LSAMP Scholar Spends Eight Weeks In Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab

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In just eight weeks senior Deanna Molina was able to work independently on a research project that fit precisely with her major.

Molina is a senior studying neuroscience and was selected as an Indiana STEM Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) scholar.

The undergrad first heard about the program after receiving an email from the Groups Scholar Programs for students in STEM majors who would qualify.

To apply for this undergraduate research project, students had to submit an online application that consisted of demographic information and a few short essay questions regarding past research experience, with a follow interview with LSAMP’s campus coordinator.

For Molina, the next steps were critical for her acceptance. The interview focused on the specific labs of interest and her distinct qualities.

Two weeks later Molina received the acceptance as an LSAMP scholar and was told what lab she would be working in.

“Overall, the process was very organized, and I always received prompt updates of what was expected of me which I very much appreciated since it made everything less tense,” Molina said.

Molina had the opportunity to work alongside the Department of Psychological and Brain Services directly with faculty  Dr. Sharlene Newman in The Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory.

The next eight weeks Molina experimented on a proposal focused on the impact of video game mechanics on memory while using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to eventually expand into an honor thesis she is currently working on.

Throughout the program, Molina was awarded an hourly wage of $16 and worked approximately 25 hours each week; Each LSAMP scholar was awarded the same amount for their work in the lab. Accommodations are made for students who might need housing and meal plan during the program.

“I feel very honored to receive such a reward, especially for the experience I received. LSAMP gave me the opportunity to complete research and use methods that I would never have before while also maintaining a community of support and guidance,” Molina said.

One of the most rewarding parts for Molina during those eight weeks was to establish connections that will be helpful for her future academics and her career in research.

Molina says the award has given her the chance to challenge herself by working independently on a research project with the responsibility of resolving any issues and innovating new ideas.

For students interested in applying for an undergraduate research program with LSAMP visit this website: https://inlsamp.org/application/.