NAME: Sara Wagner
HOMETOWN: Mifflintown, PA
FAVORITE THING ABOUT SHIPPENSBURG:
Small town exactly like where I grew up with opportunities such as shopping and dining out in only a 20-minute drive.
TWO INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT ME:
I completed a triathlon this summer. My dad has instilled in me almost every Seinfeld quote/situation ever broadcast.
Psi Chi, Psychology Club, United Campus Ministries, Shippensburg Track and Field - heptathlon.
This past summer, I had an internship at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. The lab and I were evaluating the effects of diabetes in rats, particularly the alterations in genetic expression in diabetic retinopathy. We induced diabetes in rats and determined what genes were up or down regulated as retinopathy developed. I learned many valuable skills during the summer including how research in a lab is conducted, different laboratory techniques, and what to expect out of graduate school.
STUDENT RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:
I have been working with Dr. Robert L. Hale since my junior year in heart rate variability in correlation to binge drinking. I also helped two (now graduated) students with their project last year on altered responses to social emotions.
MOST MEANINGFUL LEARNING EXPERIENCE AT SHIP:
I realized that through one of my classes, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. During Dr. Gregory Paulson's Animal Behavior class, we had to come up with an individual experiment/project to develop and carry out. I did mine on the effects of maternal separation in mice. Through this experiment during the semester, I found out that I loved research. At times it can be hard, like going into the lab at 10:00 PM on a Saturday night after an all-day track meet. However, when the project is over and the results are analyzed, a significant result reassures that all your hard work and dedication paid off. Perhaps these results only accomplished a good grade in a class, but research in a medical lab may save many lives.
COMMUNITY SERVICE/VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES:
I traveled to North Carolina on two separate missions trips to repair houses affected by hurricanes and flood waters.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN:
I like to read and go hiking. I absolutely love campfires!
MY PLANS AFTER GRADUATION:
Attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience or Neuroscience.