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Photo of Kira Griffith

Kira
Griffith

Cohort 5

Hometown: Christiansted, VI

Major: Neuroscience, with minors in Music and Chemistry

Research Interest: Neuroscience and cognitive psychology



CSS was my first family at UNC. The supportive community CSS provided instilled a sense of confidence in me and also was a continuous reminder for me to give back to the community.




WHAT DREW YOU TO THE CSS PROGRAM?

I was drawn to the CSS program’s dedication to excellence as well as its commitment to providing a supportive community for students from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM. I was also drawn to the program’s investment in supporting undergraduate student research and leadership.


WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CSS EXPERIENCE SO FAR?

The annual CSS Research Symposium has been my favorite experience so far because it is a fun opportunity to share research interests with other students in the program and celebrate our growth as scientific leaders each year.


HOW HAS CSS SHAPED YOUR CAREER GOALS?

As a scholar, my experience in CSS has been invaluable to my academic and intellectual development. Through the support of the program I was given several opportunities to explore new research, present my work in poster and oral presentations, and inspire students around me. I developed confidence in my public speaking and presentation skills and learned how to navigate the research university setting in a way that afforded me opportunities to conduct years of biomedical research at universities in the U.S. and Canada. CSS also provided me with an abundance of academic support in the form of tutoring, emphasis on peer study groups, and accountability. My dedication to my studies and resilience in the face of challenging coursework was supported by my involvement in the program. CSS was my first family at UNC. It was through the support of my cohort that I was launched into leadership positions on campus, starting with my run for Community Governor. The supportive community CSS provided instilled a sense of confidence in me and also was a continuous reminder for me to give back to the community. I am currently aspiring to be a neurosurgeon. Through CSS support, I had the opportunity to shadow a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University and watch her perform a live procedure in the operating room. This experience, among many others, was exciting, humbling, and directly related to my long-term goal of practicing medicine in under-served communities around the country. Ultimately, I would like to reinvest my efforts into my hometown of St. Croix by building a private hospital dedicated to addressing existing healthcare disparities in the area.


WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY RESEARCH INTEREST?

My primary area of research interest is neuroscience and cognitive psychology. I work in the Hopfinger Lab and study the effect of music on mechanisms of attention.


AWARDS AND HONORS

  • 2020 Chancellor’s Award: Robert White Linker Award (for exemplary dedication to service)
  • UNC Chapel Hill Dean’s List
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Hayden B. Renwick Academic Achievement Award
  • 2018 Community Governor of the Year
  • CSS Distinguished Scholar Award
  • 2020-2021 Member of Senior Honors Program in Department of Psychology and Neuroscience