It may be that a diet high in saturated fats causes neurological impairment to a brain area called the hippocampus, which is important in regulating eating behavior. I will be investigating the possibility by administering a cognitive task and observing the ability to regulate eating during two weeks. It is important that I collect as much data as possible during the summer. For my study participants will have to come into the lab three times with specific scheduling requirements. This fellowship allows me to work on research full-time, which allows for more flexible scheduling. This project requires plenty of work; I believe it could only be accomplished through research on a full-time basis.
Hometown: Williamsburg, VA
Future Plans: I intend to go on to earn a PhD and continue research in the interaction between eating behavior and learning. I am currently exploring options for graduate school.
Campus Activities: I have been in the William and Mary Women’s Chorus since my first semester of freshman year. I’m also a member of the William and Mary chapter of the Marine Science Society.
Hobbies: In my free time I enjoy cooking, sewing (sometimes quilting), reading fiction and non-fiction, and playing video games. I have an interest in computers and programming, and I like to keep up to date on game development. When I find opportunities to do so, I also love doing field work in biology. I’ve volunteered at the Kent Forestry Center surveying trees, and I’ll be going on a marine science field course in Wales later this summer.
Fun Fact: I am a vegetarian; it’s the primary reason I took an interest in eating behavior research. Vegetarianism is also the subject of the first student I worked on.
Follow Stephanie’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!