Dream Catchers: Rayna Brooks

Rayna Brooks is an academic standout, but she says it was the supporting and nurturing nature of Scripps that helped her accomplish all she did.

For starters, she was a double major in molecular biology and psychology and graduated magna cum laude. With a strong interest in biology and neuroscience, she designed an academic program that fit her interests (with the help of academic advisor Professor Newt Copp, she is quick to point out).

She received multiple research grants: an Esterly, Mellon, and Johnson, and, in 2006, a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, a prestigious award given to only a few of the nation’s top students in mathematics and science in their junior year.

Rayna is now in a PhD program in neuroscience at Harvard and plans a career in autism research. “I hope to be able to do work that will lead to a better understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of the disorder and of the possible cause,” she says.