February 16, 2018
Our second Ambassador of the week is for Spring 2018 Avery Sage.
Avery is a third-year triple major pursuing degrees in Biology, Neuroscience and English and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Avery has a deep personal interest in Exploration of Dementia and Alzheimer's Research. Concerned about the exploding number of Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S., Avery noted that in 2017 “approximately 5.5 million Americans lived with Alzheimer's dementia with approximately 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 years”. Avery’s great-grandfather is counted among these numbers. “My family and I had a very rough experience with his dementia and I knew then that I did not want other families to have to suffer through this psychological trauma”.
Avery’s family challenges with Alzheimer’s dementia has fueled Avery’s aspiration to become a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist can assess, diagnose and treat patients with psychological disorders associated with brain-based conditions. They get to explore the emotions and behaviors of their patients, run a series of cognitive and behavioral tests, as well as get extensive evaluations of their patients’ backgrounds. Avery would like to be a neurological re-habilitationist, and is actively pursuing opportunities in Alzheimer’s research that could lead to significant findings for publications.
Avery became a member of the STEM ambassadors program to find a sense of community within the larger UMASS STEM program. “I wanted to find students who have similar academic interests to mine who also can serve as lifelong friends…to which I can say I found some already!” Avery’s favorite part of the STEM Ambassadors program was being involved in the summer internship program. Having acquired extensive hands-on research skills as a researcher in Dr. Alexander Gerson’s Lab, assisting graduate students with data collection and analysis on the evolution of migration birds, Avery was selected from a pool of highly qualified applicants for the STEM AP undergraduate leader (UL) position to mentor five REU interns from diverse backgrounds for six week during Summer 2017. “I had an amazing experience that I know I will never forget…not to mention, I worked with some pretty brilliant students!”
Besides academic, research, and leadership endeavors, Avery plays intramural volleyball, assists with food services on campus, and serves as a teacher’s assistant for Junior Year Writing in Psychology. Avery will also be working with the Student Exchange Program at Oxford University in England. We cannot wait to hear all about Avery’s adventures and experiences abroad!