Celebrating our 2023 Graduates

Biology Student Lands Full-time Job in RWU Professor’s Lab

By Melanie Thibeault
Samantha Soares

Samantha Soares ’23, a Biology major with minors in Psychology and Criminal Justice, will work as a research technician and lab manager for RWU Assistant Professor of Psychology Victoria Heimer-McGinn’s neuroscience lab.  

Undergraduate Research: “My thesis combines Biology, Criminal Justice, and Psychology. I’m collaborating with a Legal Studies major, and we’re talking about the disconnection between neuroscience and the law. Eventually I hope to get my Ph.D. in neuroscience. I feel extremely lucky; especially considering a Ph.D., I have so much experience under my belt. I’ve been able to do undergraduate research, help establish certain classes, write papers, and go to neuroscience conferences. All of this is helping shape me into a scientist.”  

Hands-on Experience: “Roger has helped prepare me in a lot of ways. I was one of a few students who had the opportunity to help Victoria (Heimer-McGinn) establish a neuroscience lab (which studies cognitive behavior). We learned how to create a lab in a span of six months. We were just thrown into it. That’s the best way to learn.”  

Teaching Opportunities: “Victoria asked me to be a teaching assistant for her. I absolutely fell in love with it. I never thought I could be a teacher. She saw something in me that I didn’t see. As a TA, I hold study review sessions and help students with tutoring and running activities. I also help with BRAINY visits, where we teach K-12 classes about the brain. I realized how much I love being able to inspire and teach kids about the brain. It’s helped me understand my path better.”  

Soares, a first-generation college student from Bristol, R.I., served as vice president of the Brain Club.  

Every spring, as Commencement nears, RWU spotlights members of the graduating class. Suggestions are welcome. Email: stories@rwu.edu 

Celebrating our 2023 Graduates