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Dartmouth Hall through dry branches

I have been involved with research at Dartmouth since my freshman year. I started working at Reading Brains Lab under wonderful Professor Donna Coch in freshman winter through the Women In Science Project (WISP), an undergraduate research program that matches first-year women with faculty in STEM. Reading Brains Lab is an interdisciplinary lab working on, projects combining psychology, neuroscience, and education. Professor Coch herself teaches classes in education, focusing on reading processes and children's literature. Most of my coworkers in the lab have joined the lab after taking Professor Coch's classes.

At Reading Brains Lab, I primarily worked on a project investigating the skills influencing non-word reading in college students. In my first two terms at the lab, I scored the diagnostic language tests conducted by my coworker and acted as a secondary during the experiments, double-checking data. In my second year, I got funding through Undergraduate Research Assistantships (URAD) to continue working at the  Reading Brains Lab. In my second year at the lab, I ended up running the language tests myself on participants. It was an incredible professional opportunity, as I learned how to interact with participants from diverse backgrounds in the experiment room. Throughout my second year at the lab, I also trained in recording event-related potentials, a neurological measure of the electrical signals in the brain.

I learned an incredible amount from my time at Reading Brains Lab thanks to my coworkers and Professor Coch. It was a difficult decision to switch to a different lab, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit. Through funding from Presidential Scholars, awarded to rising juniors above a certain grade threshold, I applied to AIM High Lab run by Professor Jacobson at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The goal of the lab is to make mental health treatments more effective and accessible through novel technological and computational methods.

At AIM High Lab, I am part of the chatbot training project, which aims to create and test a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot treatment for multiple mental disorders. Currently, my job entails writing sample dialogues based on therapy chapters and testing the chatbot by interacting with the newly developed app. The clinical trials will start soon, which I am super excited about.

My journey in research is one of many paths to research at Dartmouth, as I have many friends involved in research in some capacity. After all, the increased opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research at Dartmouth is one of the main reasons why I chose Dartmouth, and I was not disappointed!

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