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Husky In The Spotlight: Alejandro Rovira

Name: Alejandro Rovira

Major: Behavioral Neuroscience

Year: 3rd Year

Hometown: Dorado, Puerto Rico

Favorite Place in Boston: The Greenway by the water


What inspired you to pursue neuroscience?

I’ve always enjoyed science, medicine and brains. In high school I had the opportunity to enter a hospital setting under a shadowing program. The experience of interacting with doctors and surgeons, specifically neurosurgeons, was very impactful in my honing onto neuroscience as a field of study.


How are you hoping to use this major in your career path?

The behavioral neuroscience program at NEU is ideal for those students that see medical school as a future possibility. In my case, I want to pursue an MD/PhD. The combination of coursework with the research experiences, whether during the year or during co-op, gives me the best preparation for graduate studies.


What are you involved in on campus?

I’m currently involved in two projects on campus. The first is my Honors in the Discipline project where I am gathering data on motivation via surveys of students in their general chemistry classrooms. The purpose of this survey is to quantify motivation patterns for students over the course of the year and to see if dips exist during certain times of the year. The data acquired can then be used in the future to investigate whether classroom interventions and changes aimed at motivation were successful in altering these patterns.


The second project is focused on the curricular redesign of the general chemistry labs. The teams are composed of undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors. They are tasked with the creation multi-week projects based on green chemistry and medicinal chemistry principles that integrate research being done by groups at Northeastern to the labs. A key differentiating factor is that the content for the course is designed, tested, parametrized, and built by students that have taken the labs in the last couple years, adding an unique, unexploited perspective to the content design process.


What has been your favorite class you’ve taken at NU?

My favorite class at Northeastern has to be Behavioral Genetics. Taught by Dr. Ingemi, the course works through genetic testing models and methodologies and covers how these may be used to study genetic pathways that impact behavior through the view of neurobiology. I would certainly recommend it for those students that have the prerequisites.


Where is your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is by the fountain that is between Curry and the quad in front of Hurtig Hall. It’s a great place to chill, sit on a bench, and read.


Best piece of advice you have received?

The best piece of advice I’ve received is to make haste slowly, an oxymoron coined by Augustus Caesar. It’s a quote I grew up hearing that became entrained in my way of self, and it’s how I consciously work to approach all that happens in my life.


Best piece of advice you would give?

The best piece of advice I could give is that good things take not only time but constant effort. When I began working on these projects, I thought I would reap the rewards immediately. I quickly learned that it’s easy to have an idea and start working on something, but it’s the everyday execution of quality work that makes it more difficult but also much more worthwhile.

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Carly Mendez


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