Dream Catchers: Amy Vanderloop

As a mid-year freshman transfer student, it took Amy Vanderloop time to orient herself. Even with basic classes like Core II, Writing 50, and the required biology and chemistry classes needed for her major in neuroscience, she was still unsure of her academic direction.

Then, she took a cognitive neuroscience course from Professor Stacey Wood. “I loved what I was learning,” she says. “It made sense, grabbed my attention, and furthered my interest.” At the end of the semester, Professor Wood asked Amy if she would work in her lab, as well as TA for the same class in the fall.

“I was floored,” admits Amy. “I didn’t think I was even remotely knowledgeable enough to be a teaching assistant, let alone work in a research lab.”

Amy accepted both positions, and last May graduated magna cum laude, evidence that she may have been entirely too modest about her abilities.

This fall, Amy is attending the University of Arizona’s PhD program in neuroscience. “This is almost entirely due to the mentoring and support of Professor Wood,” Amy says, again modest. “Some say that small schools have their drawbacks. I disagree. The one-on-one time with professors is the most valuable thing a school can offer, and in that, Scripps has succeeded.”

As has Amy.