Growing Neuroscience program reaches milestone with its first three graduates

Growing Neuroscience program reaches milestone with its first three graduates

Eastern Michigan University’s Neuroscience program has marked a significant milestone. After launching just two years ago, the rapidly growing program now has its first three graduates.

Amber Schmitt
Amber Schmitt

Amber Schmitt, the first EMU student to receive a Neuroscience degree, graduated in December 2017. The following two graduates, Deanna Price and Masa Seif, received their degrees in April 2018.

The interdisciplinary Neuroscience program (biology, chemistry and psychology) is an undergraduate degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Neuroscience is a dynamic interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand the nervous system’s structure, function and role in behavior and neurological diseases.

The program provides an integrated and diverse education that cannot be achieved within any single discipline. State-of-the-art lecture and hands-on lab courses infuse cutting edge research methods, approaches and techniques directly into the curriculum. Students learn to use scientific inquiry to creatively answer contemporary neuroscience questions, as well as propose and present new experimental approaches to specific questions.

All three program graduates plan on pursuing advanced degrees. Schmitt will enter the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Oakland University this fall. She hopes to earn a post-graduate certification in orthopedic manual therapy, neurology or pediatrics.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the human brain,” Schmitt says. “The Neuroscience major offered an opportunity to learn about the intricate neural circuitry and anatomy of the nervous system. I couldn’t come close to pursuing that in another major.”

Deanna Price will enter Eastern’s Cellular and Molecular Biology master’s program in Fall 2018.

Deanna Price
Deanna Price

“The interdisciplinary Neuroscience curriculum allowed me to experience aspects of the field I was previously unaware of,” she says. “I gained valuable experience in neurochemistry research and fell in love with the work. The program has verified my passion for research, and I plan to spend my career pursuing it.”

Seif is currently studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and is planning to apply for medical school enrollment in 2019. Her goal is to specialize in sports medicine.

“The Neuroscience program allowed me to combine my love for biology and psychology in one degree,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in studying the brain since it controls basically everything in our bodies. I also have a passion for sports and am interested in studying the effects of contact sports on the brain. I believe my Neuroscience degree will help me become a successful sports medicine doctor in the future.”

Schmitt says the Neuroscience program exceeded her expectations and is perfect for students who are fascinated by the complexities of the human nervous system.

“It’s very exciting to learn from the most incredible, knowledgeable, passionate and down-to-earth professors who truly care about your education,” she says. “Soak up every bit of information they present because it will be applicable to your future patients or future research. The things students do and learn make this major not just something you study, but something you truly experience and apply. Neuroscience is absolutely incomparable to any other major or program of study.”

Program enrollees are on the rise, with 73 currently enrolled students (22 seniors) and more expected for Fall 2018.

Masa Seif
Masa Seif

To accommodate current students and prepare for program expansion, EMU is investing $1.4 million as part of its 2018-19 capital budget for renovations to the fifth floor of the Science Complex. This space houses labs for the Neuroscience and Fermentation Science programs. Neuroscience plans include a 24-cap wet lab equipped for use of laboratory animals (rats and mice), a computer lab and an electroencephalogram (EEG) lab. Construction will begin during the Winter 2019 semester and be completed for the start of the Fall 2019 semester.

Visit the Neuroscience program website to learn more about the curriculum, faculty members and career paths for graduates.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves 20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

August 15, 2018

Written by:
Jeff Samoray

Media Contact:
Darcy Gifford