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Phoebe
Pak

Cohort 7

Hometown: Morrisville, NC

Major: Neuroscience, with a minor in Chemistry

Research Interest: Neurodevelopmental disorders



My CSS cohort constantly inspires me to be a better person every day. My peer scholars truly have diverse sets of interests and are always willing to share their knowledge with the whole cohort.




WHAT DREW YOU TO THE CSS PROGRAM?

I was really attracted to the passion for Diversity and Inclusion in STEM and the knit-tight community of scholars.


WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CSS EXPERIENCE SO FAR?

Every moment I’ve been together with my cohort! Summer EXCELerator was a wonderful experience where I got to know every individual in my cohort in such a short time. Since I came to Carolina, when things tend to get busy and challenging, I always look back to July of 2019, when I had fun, was inspired, and grew to be a better person every day all thanks to my peer scholars; that recharges my energy and self-esteem to keep moving forward.


HOW HAS CSS SHAPED YOUR CAREER GOALS?

The CSS program has provided me endless professional guidance, the resources to succeed, and the most supportive community I’ve ever been part of. CSS coordinators are always willing to offer a diverse set of resources, including professional development and emotional support, regardless of one’s interests. From Day 1, my CSS mentor taught me about what it means to be a good leader through her valuable words of wisdom, positive impacts on the Carolina community, and genuinely embracing and celebrating every part of her identity to inspire others to do the same. My CSS cohort constantly inspires me to be a better person every day. My peer scholars truly have diverse sets of interests and are always willing to share their knowledge with the whole cohort. I already learned so much from the amazing individuals in the CSS community, and I am grateful to be able to grow together in their journey.


WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY RESEARCH INTEREST?

I have two primary areas of research. First, I pursue research projects in the Maness Lab in UNC’s School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, where we study different neuromechanisms of NCAMs and L1 family in the spine pruning process in mammalian brains during the adolescent period through animal models and different laboratory techniques. Second, in the Fry Lab, I’ve been pursuing research on prenatal exposure to different environmental toxicants and drugs, such as iAs or acetaminophen’s, and their roles in adverse health outcomes in newborns through brain MRI analysis. Both research pursuits are relevant and based on my interest in better understanding neurodevelopmental disorders for public health.


AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Office of Undergraduate Research Ambassador Leadership (20-21)
  • Buckley Public Service Scholar
  • Undergraduate Student Government Executive Branch committee member of the month (October 2019)