Monday, October 21, 2013

Precious Gem: Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee is a senior Neurobiology and Physiology major with a minor in Linguistics on Team RITALIN (Research In Testing ADHD's Link to Impulsivity in Neuroscience).  
Though Jessica was not certain of how she would mesh with the University of Maryland as a freshman, in her final year here she reflects "... I couldn't have made a better decision."

Jessica's team is researching the impact of prenatal nicotine exposure on impulsivity and neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of a rodent model as it relates to ADHD. Team RITALIN hopes to further develop understanding of the neurological basis of the disorder. From writing the literature reviews to working with rats in the lab collecting data, Jessica has enjoyed every minute of working with her team and has found the entire process very gratifying.  After all, she says, “Not everyone will be able to say that they spent four years coming up with a research idea, conducting the research, and writing a thesis...all with a team of other students!

Jessica has been on the Gemstone Student Council for all four undergraduate years and currently serves as the GSC President! She has done a great job so far, successfully recruiting new committee members and coordinating Gemstone freshmen events. She has taught GEMS100 and GEMS104 in the past and is currently a Section Leader for GEMS202. You have probably seen Jessica walking around campus and pointing out random buildings, not because she is crazy, but because she is one of Maryland Images’ finest tour guides as well as their committee head!  She knows the campus like the back of her hand and can effortlessly spit out random UMD Trivia.  But her love for the campus community doesn’t stop there.  Jessica also serves as a CMNS Recruitment Ambassador, for which she reaches out to prospective UMD freshmen. 
What drives her to take on all of these activities? 
Generally, I love serving as a mentor to other students,” she says. 

Being a senior is bittersweet for Jessica.  She’s eager to finish her Gemstone senior thesis, graduate, take a year off, and eventually go to graduate school for health or public administration (she hasn’t yet decided). However, she is enjoying her last year on campus and still makes time to have some fun. Currently, she is working on crossing off items one by one on her "Maryland Bucket List" before she graduates in May!  Well, Jessica, you can cross off “being a legend,” because you truly have come to be a Precious Gem that all current and future Gemstone students can admire and remember for years to come!

-Shivani Patel: Class of 2015: Team BASS

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