Spotlight on Natural Sciences Alumni: Laura Socwell

socwellName: Laura Socwell

Occupation: Medical Student at the University of Iowa

Education (UR and additional): BS in Brain & Cognitive Science, Class of 2011

Current city/state/country of residence: Iowa City, IA

Current Community activities: U of I Mobile Clinic, Community Free Mental Health Clinic, Hawkeye Football First Aid Volunteer

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I was looking around for schools with good science programs with a flexible curriculum. It was harder than I thought to find schools like that. Once I found Rochester, I came out to visit and there was no looking back. I loved everything about the school. There were so many opportunities that I couldn’t find anywhere else. The decision to go to Rochester was one the best I’ve made.

When and how did you choose your major(s)?

I had done soooo much research before I even got to Rochester for orientation, I was pretty sure I wanted to be a Brain & Cognitive Science major from the beginning. It was the perfect combination of biology, psychology, and research that I was looking for.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

There were so many valuable experiences at Rochester, but some of the best were studying abroad in Italy and England and volunteering as an EMT with R/C MERT. Both gave me so much real world experience before I ever left campus. Many of my pre-med friends at other schools never got to study abroad and didn’t have much medical experience coming into med school, so both of those things were phenomenal and gave me lots of great material for med school interviews!

What did you do immediately after graduation?  How did you decide to take this path?

I jumped right into medical school at the University of Iowa. I knew in high school that I wanted to go to Iowa for medical school so I really tailored what I did at Rochester to make me a better applicant and a better student. I’m still not sure what kind of medicine I will persue but because of my BCS experience, I might end up becoming a neurologist!

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

Being able to critically read articles has been more useful to me than I ever thought possible. Critical analysis of research has been very helpful in my continuing education.

How you are still connected with the University?

I am a volunteer alumni interviewer through UR Involved to help the Admissions Office select the best candidates for the University of Rochester. It’s been a great way to stay connected.

What is your fondest memory of the University?

It’s a tie between seeing Stephen Colbert during Meliora Weekend sophomore year and hearing Bill Nye the Science Guy give a lecture. Both were awesome experiences.