is a curious person with a variety of interests.
“My greatest passion is learning and understanding how the world works. Whether that is learning new things about the brain or learning the process by which a band wrote an album, I just love finding and figuring stuff out,” she says.
Katie is also a big fanatic about the brain. From its shape to its functions, it was no surprise when the Cincinnati, Ohio native decided to major in neuroscience
, which is the study of the brain.
“I am particularly interested in the gut-brain axis, which is how what you eat, and what’s inside your digestive tract, affects how you think and behave," she says.
During her time at NKU, Katie has taken a plethora of classes, but if she had to pick a favorite class, it would be one about perspectives on brain illness and injury.
“It took a neuroscience perspective on personal memoirs that had to do with mental illness and traumatic brain injuries, and I really enjoyed everything we read and discussed,” she says.
And with several courses under her belt, she encountered several professors. It’s hard for her to pick her favorite, though.
“This is tough because I’ve had incredible mentors while at NKU. If I had to pick I would say Jim Buss, dean of the Honors College. Dr. Buss has really shifted the way I look at the world, and we always have such interesting and helpful conversations,” she says.
Katie’s hard work opened several opportunities for her outside of NKU.
“I worked in Dr. Chris Curran’s lab starting the summer after my freshman year until now. This lab has shaped me more than anything else at NKU and is why I am going into the field I am,” she says. “The most exciting thing that has happened was probably going to a conference in San Diego to present my research this year. That was a lot of fun.”
But it wasn’t all studying and coursework. Katie had ample time for leisure activities and to develop her social life.
“I have been very blessed to have such fond memories of my time at NKU, but one of my favorites was helping plan and run sorority recruitment this past fall. I had so much fun, learned a lot about myself and grew incredibly close with some amazing women,” she says.
As Katie’s undergraduate career comes to an end, she left this advice for first-year students at NKU.
“Figure out when you are productive,” she says. “Not everyone is a morning person, I do my best work at 6 a.m. before classes but can’t force myself to do anything at 3 p.m. My best friend does her best work at 2 a.m. and sleeps until 2 p.m. Don’t waste your time trying to be productive when you’re not.”
Following graduation, Katie will attend the University of North Carolina in its biological biomedical sciences program to obtain a Ph.D. in toxicology.
“After I get my Ph.D., I would really like to work in science diplomacy, helping lawmakers understand science to best make decisions about public health,” she says.