On- and off-campus research prepared me for the next step

NAME: Sanah Munir     
HOMETOWN: Waverly, Iowa
MAJOR: Neuroscience and psychology

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS: Chemistry Club, Tri-Beta, BRAINS, Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Ki, Neuroscience Club, Psy Ki, International Club, Asian Students Association, Scholars Program, and Student Manager at Vogel Library

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I chose Wartburg for three reasons. The first one being that I always knew that I wanted to go into pre-med and pursue medical school later on. I knew Wartburg had really strong biology and neuroscience programs so that was the main reason why I chose Wartburg. The second would be how supportive the environment was. The faculty and staff were extremely supportive, and when I came onto campus for a visit everyone was so friendly, especially professors when I met with them one-on-one. They just seemed to be really nice. Third, I wanted a place that was small so that I could have those personal interactions with professors and get to know them better.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR MAJORS: I developed an interest in the brain and its functionality after watching a documentary about deep brain stimulation for the treatment of severe depression. As I grew older, I sought to understand both the biological and psychological facets of the brain and the mind-body interaction. I felt that the neuroscience and psychology programs at Wartburg complemented each other and together would help nurture the knowledge I was seeking to gain through my undergraduate experience.  

Sanah Munir

HOW HAS WARTBURG SET YOU UP FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR FIELD: Wartburg set me up for success by providing me with a lot of on-campus research opportunities that kind of helped me to materialize that into an off-campus research opportunity. I would say the biggest thing during my four years at Wartburg would be the summer of 2019 at the University of Michigan as a research assistant in the lab of the department of human genetics. Wartburg helped me to achieve that goal, and the professors I had inspired and encouraged me to use what I knew. They’re very supportive of the projects I had, and if I proposed something to my professor, they provided me with the tools and the mentorship to be able to carry those projects forward and that those opportunities helped me have the off-campus research.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUTION: Post-bachelor research and graduate studies. After that I plan to attend medical school.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: I have made a lot of great memories, especially in my first year. I had a lot of friends who were third-years and fourth-years, both domestic students and international students, and I would say they provided me with a lot of great advice so I could explore my options and get involved early on with a variety of different opportunities. They were the ones who really inspired me and pushed me to not just get involved with clubs such as International Club and Asian Students Association but also Tri-Beta and Chemistry Club. They also inspired me to talk more with professors and get to know them more. That inspired me to seek out more on-campus and off-campus research. It just helped me further along skills within my area of study but also learn more from others.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: If you’re interested in something and you know what you want to do early on, whether it be graduate studies or medical school, I would tell them to research those early on so that they know exactly what they need to do.

WHY IS WARTBURG WORTH IT: Since Wartburg is a liberal arts college, you can get involved in classes in your own major but you can be in classes and interact with professors of different programs and different departments. I would say that that was worth the experience for me. Being able to interact with different professors because then that allowed me to be able to interact with students of different major and different backgrounds.