Q&A with neuroscience student McKenna Spencer

McKenna wearing Coug gear and standing outside VBR.

Even when back home in Portland, Oregon, it is not uncommon for McKenna Spencer to be greeted by strangers with “go Cougs!” McKenna is majoring in neuroscience and will graduate this spring. She hopes to get into medical school after she wraps up her undergraduate studies.

How has WSU prepared you for your future?

WSU has prepared me for the future because while it has strengthened my science background, it simultaneously has provided me with opportunities to learn outside the classroom. I have been able to participate in undergraduate research and lead my own project, grow my interpersonal skills as a student ambassador, and work at Pullman Regional Hospital to expand my knowledge surrounding the medical field.

What are some of your things about WSU?

My favorite place is the Veterinary Biomedical Research building because it has the best places to study with all my lab mates. My favorite thing about WSU is the community and the spirit. Nothing beats going back home to Oregon and getting a “Go Cougs!” from strangers when I wear my Coug gear.

What’s your favorite course you’ve taken at WSU?

My favorite course at WSU is one I am currently taking called Medical Physiology with Dr. Meighan because I get to learn about the mechanistic details surrounding organ functioning. Further, I enjoy learning how these processes apply to disease states, medical procedures, and overall health.

Do you have a job or work in a lab or somewhere else?

I work in Dr. Ryan McLaughlin’s Lab in the Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience department investigating the influence of sex hormones on cannabis-seeking behavior. Additionally, I work in the Office of Recruitment and Admissions as a student ambassador where I lead prospective students around WSU.

What’s one of your favorite hobbies?

One of my favorite hobbies is going paddleboarding. Usually I bring my black lab, Trooper, for company. In the Northwest, this typically limits this hobby to the summertime, however, I take any chance I get to be around or on a body of water.

What’s a unique fun fact about you?

I’m a third generation Coug!