Our last UFLi highlight for the semester is with Morgan Brinker (she/her/hers), a rising junior concentrating in Health and Human Bio. She is from Merrillville, Indiana. Read our interview below:

How’s your sophomore year going?
I’ve been grateful for the opportunities I had this year. I think I had this in the first half, kind of in the second half, but it allowed me to build on the lessons I learned my first year.

How has your perception of Brown changed since last year?
I think the lovely parts wore off of this place, being like wow everything is perfect and it’s like Disney World. I appreciate that it comes with its ups and downs and challenges. While this place wasn’t designed for me, I can be an agent of change.

What’s something you wish you could tell your freshman year self?
Stop trying to be perfect. You don’t have to prove yourself to any other people. I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome. But those people I thought about don’t pay for my tuition, they’re not me, so why should I worry about what they think? You’ve got to focus on yourself sometimes. 

Who’s an influential person in your life right now?
Dr. Rudnicki from the chemistry department. When I felt I was so disadvantaged coming to chemistry, I feel like she really said okay, you may have had those disadvantages in the past but we’ll try to catch you up. She kicked out people who were taking the class but knew the materials. She’s written letters of recommendation for me, and we have breakfast sometimes.

What’s your favorite part of your concentration?
I like how I can focus on a certain part of my concentration, like a theme, and really allow myself to explore things outside of biology. It also lets me look at health and medicine from an interdisciplinary perspective. I came in as biology and english because I didn’t know if I wanted to be premed or prelaw, and I also thought the only way to take an interdisciplinary approach was to keep them separate. I didn’t know I could combine them under one concentration. 

I don’t know if they told me specifically, but I remember my RPL, Gabriel, telling me about health and human bio. Someone also told me about Focal Point, so I looked through the Health and Human Bio page. It really encouraged me to explore.