Track: Molecular, Cellular, and Physiological
Graduation Year: Spring 2022
Hometown: North Potomac, MD
Elena transferred to the University of Maryland in her sophomore year. At her previous school, Elena was a neuroscience major and when she learned that UMD was offering a neuroscience major so much closer to home she wanted to be a part of it. Elena chose to be a neuroscience major because she had been interested in the brain since she took AP Psych in high school and Elena knew she wanted to continue learning about its anatomy, connections, and various mechanisms that occur. One of the things she was most excited for was being able to take neuroscience courses so early on in her college career. Elena is currently on the molecular, cellular, and physiological track, so she is looking forward to taking classes like genetics, diseases of the nervous system, and a research lab course. Elena is also on the Pre-PA track and plans to take a gap year after graduation to get clinical hours and travel. Ultimately, she wants to specialize in neurology or neurosurgery as a Physician's assistant.
From October 2020 to January 2021, Elena shadowed a neurologist. She got to learn about different neurological disorders/conditions like Alzheimer's Dementia, traumatic brain injury, migraines, and various other types of neurodegenerative disorders. Elena also got to experience reading different types of brain scans, specifically MRIs, and learned a lot about medications and treatment procedures. Elena is also involved in Project Sunshine, a club on campus that creates care packages and organizes visits for pediatric patients at local hospitals. During COVID, they have been doing video calls with children and playing virtual games. Elena says "It's so fulfilling to see the smiles on their faces after spending time with them."
If you'd like to hear more about Elena's experiences, please contact her at etozzi [at] terpmail.umd.edu.