St. Joseph’s Academy senior Derquisia Spears spent two weeks in Atlanta, participating in one of Emory University’s pre-college programs.
Spears enrolled in the Neuroscience of Brain Enhancement course led by Dr. Michael Crutcher. “I chose this course because I am really interested in developmental aspects of the brain,” she said. “I also wanted to learn more about how greatly the brain and personality are influenced at a young age.”
The course covered recent scientific developments as well as predictions for the future. Topics discussed included technologies for enhanced intelligence, cloning, brain stimulation and human droids. “I was struck by so much that has been developed already,” Spears said. “One aspect of the course that I really appreciated was the professor’s openness to hearing our opinions on these scientific technology breakthroughs. Many times, we discussed the moral and ethical concerns of these developments.”
Spears said while she’s drawn to a college major in biological sciences rather than neuroscience, brain development holds a special interest for her. “I also wanted to explore a new topic and challenge myself,” she said.
Emory University was especially appealing, Spears said, citing the school’s lively spirit. “I learned a lot about fun traditions that the school continues, which resonated with me because of the many traditions I treasure at St. Joseph’s,” she said. “I felt at home when I was on campus.”
Outside of the classroom, Spears and her family enjoyed an Atlanta Braves baseball game and visits to Lenox Square Mall, the Georgia Aquarium, the Human and Civil Rights Museum and historic parts of the city. “My favorite area was definitely the historic district on Auburn Street,” she said. “The entire square is now a national landmark, which encompasses Dr. Martin Luther King’s childhood home, his church, his legacy center and the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I was amazed by many events in his life that are not as often publicized.”
Spears said her experience at Emory was a blessing. “I met so many amazing people who were also passionate about their future studies,” she said. “I am hopeful that we may meet again in the near future.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt