Academic Programs



Neuroscience Spotlight

Roshni Desai: A Neuroscience Trailblazer

Roshni Desai“Because of the liberal arts education Transylvania offers, the neuroscience major manages to combine biology, psychology, chemistry, and even computer science and physics into a single course of study. And, of course, it all relates back to one organ—the brain.”

Roshni Desai ’14 couldn’t wait for Transylvania to offer an “official” neuroscience major. It was the end of her sophomore year, and she was struggling to decide whether to major in biology or psychology.

Chemistry professor George Kaufman stepped in to rescue her. He suggested that she design her own neuroscience major. And the proverbial light came on.

“That would combine two of my favorite topics, physiology and behavior, and let me relate the two,” said Desai. “It didn't take much convincing.”

Kaufman, psychology professor Meg Upchurch, and biology professor Becky Fox then helped her identify the courses she would need. “After taking classes such as biopsychology and neurobiology from professors Upchurch and Fox respectively, I knew that neuroscience was definitely the major for me.”

Desai hasn’t yet determined her career path after graduation, but she knows that a dynamic field like neuroscience offers new possibilities and new challenges every day, whether in medicine, in behavioral psychology, in the criminal justice system, or in environmental science.

“Although neuroscience seems like a very narrow field, I've realized that it has many different aspects, with many different opportunities to explore.”

Desai chose Transylvania because she wanted to work closely with the dedicated faculty in an academically stimulating environment. By designing her own major, she made sure she was able to do just that.

Students following Desai to Transylvania can now simply declare a neuroscience major. And Desai has simple advice for them.

“It's a big major, but if it's what you're truly interested in, it's worth it!"

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