Biochemistry and Philosophy (double)
Presidential Scholar 2012; Dean's List 1st Honors (Fall '08, Spring '09, Fall '09, Spring '10); Sophomore Scholar 2010; recipient of Advanced Study Grant; research assistant in Prof. Gao's chemical biology lab; senior social science and senior layout editor of undergraduate research journal Elements.
Neurobiology, neurochemistry, biology of sensation and perception, cognitive and affective neuroscience, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of aesthetics, and poetry (composition and criticism)
Why did you want to join the Arts & Sciences Honors Program?
One of the most attractive features of Boston College when I was a prospective student was the A&S Honors Program, and my appreciation for the program, its mission, and its people (students and faculty) has grown considerably through participation. Practically speaking, I would not be able to pursue the demanding course of study in which I am currently engaged were it not for the unique double credit/core fulfillment structure of the Western Cultural Tradition segment of the Honors curriculum. More importantly, I believe that living a considered, discerning, and resolute life – that is, "being for others" in the Jesuit Catholic tradition – requires an acute apprehension not only of the core questions of human experience, but also of the framework through which our society asks, struggles with, and answers those questions. The structure and spirit of the Honors Program serve by engaging us with the evolution of Western insight from Homer to T.S. Eliot and beyond, distilling in us an organic, but critical awareness of our present-day cultural, intellectual, and spiritual environment. Because it is sometimes easy to deride our collective exercise as "purely intellectual" or even to dismiss it as "irrelevant and detached" from the more specialized training that we receive in our major disciplines, we are fortunate to have as guides some of the most gifted faculty on campus, each of whom, in his or her own way, manifests the discerning life for the benefit of all.
What are your plans for the future/after BC?
I am interested in all things concerning the brain, from chemical composition to thinking about thinking. I have taken care to construct my undergraduate curriculum so as to build a firm foundation both in biochemistry and in philosophy – what I consider the floor and ceiling of the room housing areas of study applicable to the brain – with a view to move conscientiously toward the disciplines in between. I imagine this course of study culminating in an interdisciplinary career as a physician, research scientist, philosopher, or perhaps a bit of all three. Ultimately, I want to make a living doing science and teaching during the day, doing philosophy at night, and doing all three in a way that speaks meaningfully both to the scientific community and to the philosophical community. That said, ask me in 10 years, and I might have a better answer.