• Noah Salinas
  • Class of: 2018


Major: Cell Biology & Neuroscience

Minor: Psychology

How did you decide on your major?

I have always been passionate about studying the sciences and learning how the world worked, but nothing ever interested me more so than to study the peculiar magnificence of life itself. Consequently, coming to Rutgers I was easily able to immediately narrow down my choices of major to Biological Sciences or Cell Biology & Neuroscience. The only reason the scale was tipped towards CBN was due to the added emphasis on neuroscience which I found to be an incredibly intriguing topic considering how it centralized on an understanding of the most enigmatic organ of the human body, the brain. So, pairing CBN with a minor in Psychology gave me the best of both worlds: an overall understanding of the foundation of life and an even more focused look into how the brain manages to carry out that life.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

The department is full of people who are just as passionate about biology as I am. It also provides an assortment of resources and advisors which work with me in concert to achieve the goals I’ve set out for myself. I wouldn’t be here today had it not been for the organization and the support that the CBN department has provided for me.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite class would definitely be Fundamentals of Cell & Developmental Biology with Dr. Carr-Schmid. That class went over so much information that I’ve often found myself referring back to its notes and doing better in other classes like Genetics since it had already touched heavily on the subject. Not only was the subject matter interesting and extensive, Dr. Carr-Schmid made it easily digestible, and her energy and passion for the subject made the morning much more exciting. With the wrong professor, I would certainly not have the same enthusiasm for the class that I do, as it could easily become a droll lecture on cellular happenings. Even to this day, my friends and I often reference and reminisce about that class and it is nearly entirely because of Dr. Carr-Schmid.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

Beyond CBN, I have had fantastic experiences with classes in my Psychology minor. In particular, any class taught by Dr. Mayhew has been fantastic. I’m actually taking my third class with her this upcoming semester! Similar to Dr. Carr-Schmid, she adds personality to her lectures and makes the material astoundingly interesting. Being from the Netherlands, she also adds a valuable perspective on American life and provides insight into how a foreign country functions in the form of either an aside or as a relevant example to current subject matter. Her classes and her humor have never failed to disappoint, and I am excited to be taking yet another class with her.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

Outside the classroom, I work in a pharmacy lab studying the possible anti-cancer effects of certain dietary compounds. I also participate in a Rutgers club called North American Disease Intervention (NADI, for short) where we go out to public venues and do blood pressure/pulse/BMI readings for free to provide people with a better awareness and understanding of their health. I similarly volunteer at Robert Wood Johnson hospital responding to patients’ needs and improving their hospital experience. Beyond that, I am also a consultant for OIT and work at the computer labs on cook/douglass.

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation, I intend to pursue a medical degree and follow the long path to becoming a doctor, possibly specializing in neurology!

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