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Posted by Junior Cortney Hafkin on September 28, 2016
As a senior in high school, applying to colleges is a major stress; where you end up going is a major decision. For Arielle Pistiner, deciding which school to attend was an extremely difficult decision. Since she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, she hoped to attend a college that was reputable in science and would best line her up for a successful future. She chose Binghamton University because she was invited to be a part of the first Freshman Research Immersion (FRI) program.
Hometown: Rockland County, N.Y.
Club/organization involvement: Member of the Pre-Dental Society and Alpha Epsilon Phi
Career aspirations: Wants to pursue something in the medical field
Her guilty pleasure is watching old Disney Channel shows
Loves listening to classic rock music and seeing her favorite bands perform live in concert
Schedule of Arielle's busiest day:
9-9:30 a.m. -- Wake up, eat breakfast and get dressed
9:40-10:40 a.m. -- Biology lecture
11-11:45 p.m. -- Grab a quick lunch
12-12:40 p.m. -- Meet with FRI group and professor, and go over the procedure for the day
1-4 p.m. -- Work in the research lab
4-6:15 p.m. -- Study
6:30-6:45 p.m. -- Eat some dinner
7-9 p.m. -- Biology tests/quizzes
9:15-11 p.m. -- Watch Netflix or hang out with friends
11:30 p.m. -- Go to sleep
What made you decide to be a neuroscience major?
"I am fascinated with both biology and psychology, so neuroscience was the perfect fit for me. Coming into college, I always knew I wanted to be a science major, but being a part of the neuroscience stream of the FRI program really helped me solidify my decision."
What is your dream job?
"My dream job is to be a pediatric dentist or health professional of some sort. I am still figuring that out, but would love to work with children and hopefully own my own practice one day."
Freshman Research Immersion (FRI) is a groundbreaking, new program that gives first-year STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) students the opportunity to combine their academic studies with the experience of conducting real research, investigating important problems that yield publishable results in the areas of biomedical sciences, sustainable energy, environmental science, computer science and engineering.
Why is the FRI program important?
"The FRI program is important because we carry out extensive research. We use lab rats to test our research because of the similarities of their brain to the human brain. They have high cognitive function and are very capable of learning, which is what we need them to do for most of our tests. We care for them extremely well during this whole process, and all FRI neuroscience students take a certification course in order to work with lab animals. This type of research plays a huge role in medical advances all over the world, and it excites me that this type of testing could lead to potential treatments to help a human suffering from a neurological disease live a more comfortable, normal life."
Do you think that it will be beneficial to your future that you were in the FRI program?
"Yes, absolutely. My freshman year was the first year that Binghamton introduced the program, so I will be able to say that I was a part of the first group of freshmen to ever do this type of guided undergrad research at Binghamton University. I think that having FRI under my belt will be a great thing to have when it comes to future grad school or job interviews."
What is one thing that you have accomplished at Binghamton that you are the most proud of?
"One thing I have accomplished at Binghamton that I am most proud of is being a part of a research project that has contributed to search for an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Every little step counts, and I think it is beyond cool to be able to say that my group and I used our knowledge, resources and love for neuroscience to do our part in helping to progress that research."
What are you going to miss the most about Binghamton?
"I am going to miss hanging out with my friends on a daily basis. I would not have been able to get through college without their endless support."
Cortney Hafkin is a junior from Queens, N.Y. She is a member of Off Campus College Council and Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, and enjoys eating pizza and sushi.
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