Q&A with neuroscience student Sydney Swatzell

Medical school is in the plans for Sydney Swatzell when she graduates from WSU this spring. The Spokane, Washington, native and West Valley High School graduate is currently pursuing a degree in neuroscience and specializing in pre-medicine. She is a member of the Honors College and plans to graduate with the MESI (Mindfulness-Based Emotional and Social Intelligence) Certificate, which teaches happiness as a life skill and provides Honors students with the tools to improve their performance, relationships, health, and happiness.

How has WSU prepared you for your future?

Washinton State University has prepared me for my future in various ways. I have taken many classes, including honors classes, that have taught me about skills needed outside of the classroom. I am also a part of different organizations, including the Bookie Board, that have taught be skills that are outside of the scientific field.

What’s your favorite thing about WSU?

My favorite thing about WSU is the community it has provided. I have found a very great sense of belonging here at WSU, and I have met so many wonderful people throughout my time as an undergraduate.

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

Although I have had so many great classes, one of my favorites was a mindfulness class that was taught by Dr. Lydia Gerber through the Honors College. During that class we were taught about how to take care of ourselves and prioritize our mental health as we journey through college and life in general.

What do you hope to do when you graduate? 

When I graduate, I plan on attending medical school. I am not sure where I am going to end up, but I am excited to create a new adventure wherever it may be.

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

I have both a job and work in a research lab. I work as a medical clinic support technician at Cougar Health Services, where I help the clinical staff throughout the day doing various tasks. I also work in Dr. Rita Fuchs’ research lab as an undergraduate assistant. At the lab I support the graduate students and their projects, while also conducting my own neuroscience addiction study for my Honors thesis.

What’s one of your favorite things to do?

One of my favorite things to do is walk and hike around Pullman. I like to get exercise in when I can, and I find hiking and walking are really enjoyable and relaxing activities to do when I have the extra free time. I also enjoy doing yoga and have done quite a few classes here in Pullman.

What’s a unique fun fact about you?

A unique fact about me is that I have two large dogs. One of them is named Lola, and she is a St. Bernard/English mastiff mix. The other one is named Mabel, and she is a Newfoundland. They are the sweetest dogs in the world!