Kristin R. Anderson ’13 heads to Lehigh University this fall to begin a Ph.D. in neuroscience. “The fact that I was able to get directly into a doctoral program with only a B.S. says much about the quality of Rider’s Science department and the Leadership Development Program. They helped me get out of my comfort zone and be a leader inside and outside of the science community,” Anderson said. “Researching the phenomena of ‘chemo brain’ with Dr. (Todd) Weber (associate professor of biology and behavioral neuroscience) for four years also gave me a competitive advantage.”
Upon completion of the five-year doctoral program, the Middlesex, N.J., resident plans to take a post-baccalaureate position in a pharmaceutical company or another university for two years before becoming a full-time researcher or a neuroscience professor. According to Anderson, her drive to succeed comes from her science professors.
“They hold you to high standards, and push you to do better in all areas of your life,” she said. “Their high standards became my high standards.”
Last year, the Behavioral Neuroscience major presented with Weber at the Society for Neuroscience Conference.
“Examining different aspects of the phenomena ‘chemo brain,’ we found that the neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is an underlying cause of many ‘chemo brain’ symptoms,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s intense undergraduate work earned her induction into Tri-Beta, the National Biological Honor Society; Sigma Xi, the National Research Honors Society; Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the National Chemistry Honors Society; Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honors Society; and Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Freshman Honors Society.
In addition, she is president and founder of the Rider Chapter of Active Minds, president of Tri-Beta, vice president of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, and a mentor for the Science Learning Community. Anderson captained a Relay for Life team, served as a peer mentor for freshman seminar classes and a tour guide and student admissions representative, and was a member of Rider SERVES and Emerging Leaders.
Anderson describes a level of drive and pride in herself that she never knew she could have. “Rider has instilled in me a passion and a wealth of knowledge,” she says, “that has transformed the person I am today.”