Senior Psychology Major Meghan Pavelka: CAS Corps Feature of the Month

The CAS Corps are chosen to  serve as representatives to all constituents of the College of Arts and Sciences and to create, promote and execute opportunities for academic and professional growth. These students represent a variety of departments from across the College of Arts and Sciences and  will represent the College at events through interaction among current students, future students, parents, donors and alumni. Each month of this year we will be introducing one of our eleven students representing the college in a question and answer format. This month, meet Meghan and learn about her study abroad and research experiences. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Major: Psychology- Natural Science

What clubs or organizations are you a member of: 
IMPULSE: The Premier Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal (Editor-in-Chief), Health Professions Club (MD/DO Special Interest Group Leader), American Red Cross Club (Former President), Appalachian Neuroscience Organization (Former Social Media Specialist), Phi Chi: Honors Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Fraternity, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars

What locations have you completed an internship:
Community Care Clinic of Boone

What locations have you completed a study abroad or study away:
Johannesburg, South Africa and El Cidral, Dominican Republic

In what locations or labs have you conducted research:
Labs of Dr. Denniston and Dr. Zrull in the Department of Psychology

What research have you been most passionate about:
Neuroscience research, including studying the effects of environmental enrichment on the brain and behavior of rats

What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far:
Presenting research at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington, D.C. with 30,000+ neuroscientists this past November

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution:
I've been able to work concurrently in two research labs, present at 10 professional research conferences, and publish a paper as first-author in a national conference proceedings. I've also been able to work as an editor of an international neuroscience journal, which is exclusively hosted by Appalachian. Unlike many of my friends at other institutions, I've been able to fill my resume with uniquely valuable, professional experiences that have been offered to me as an Appalachian State student

Can you tell us about a transformational experience you have had at Appalachian:
During my sophomore year, I participated in a week-long Alternative Service Experience in the Dominican Republic with a group of fellow Appalachian State students. We got to live in a small community, known as El Cidral, where we helped to construct a bathroom onto the local schoolhouse. Even though this trip was only a week long, we were able to develop a much greater understanding of social justice issues that impact our global community, in addition to developing lasting friendships and a greater appreciation for Dominican culture.

Can you tell us about one faculty member that has made an impact on your life and how:
Dr. Chishimba Mowa has been an extremely supportive mentor to me, especially with regards to my pursuit of a medical career. I was very fortunate to form a close connection with him on my study abroad program in South Africa, in addition to getting to know him through his Human Systems Physiology and Endocrinology classes. Dr. Mowa has made a huge impact on my life as a student and as a young adult by offering me advice and encouragement whenever I need it. His door is always open to students no matter how busy he gets, and it's always comforting to know that he's in my corner. He even admits that he's a designated "pre-med cheerleader."

 Can you tell us about one other connection you have made while at Appalachian- a friendship, mento, colleague, a new found hobby or interest:
I didn't know much about neuroscience before I came to college, and I never anticipated finding such a passion for it. I started working in a behavioral neuroscience during my sophomore year, simply because I liked doing research and wanted to get more experience in it. Since then, I've fallen in love with the field of neuroscience and it's become a new career interest for me.

What are you doing after graduation:
Taking a gap year, working in a clinical and/or research setting, and applying to medical school

What is your dream job:
Physician and Clinical Researcher

What do you think you will miss most when you graduate:
My amazing professors who inspire and encourage me on a daily basis


Senior Psychology Major Meghan Pavelka: CAS Corps Feature of the Month
Published: May 9, 2018 8:44am