As a neuroscience major, research guided Meira Robbins from behavioral labs on campus to summer internships in Israel.
While the freedom to explore her passion for science led her to different countries and career opportunities, Meira will be back at Georgia State to pursue a master’s degree in education shortly after graduating from the Honors College this May.
“My Georgia State honors experience has been fantastic and guided me into understanding what I want to be,” the Presidential Scholar said.
Convinced that she “wanted to do research forever,” Meira applied for a university assistantship at the university’s Neuroscience Institute her freshman year. She studied social behavior under Dr. Aras Petrulis, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology.
The summer after her sophomore year, she interned at the Landau Lab at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Meira helped with research on tactile perception and worked more with human participants than the rats and mice she was accustomed to in previous labs.
“This research experience was very different than what I was used to, so I decided I wanted more research experiences,” she said.
The following semester, she joined the Murphy Lab at Georgia State and studied the relationship between age, sex and the effectiveness of opioids at providing pain relief.
In addition to her research, Meira has worked as a supplemental instruction leader (SIL) since her sophomore year. As an SIL for a Principles of Biology course, she helped mentor students and reinforce concepts covered in the classroom.
“Through these honors research experiences, I realized that, although research is interesting and important to me, it pales in comparison with human interaction and helping students understand science,” she said.
Meira worked with Jacob English, director of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships, to search for jobs in education. With his guidance, she was accepted to an Innovator in Residence position at the Georgia Tech Center for Education Integrating Math, Science, and Computing. During her senior year, she began working at Centennial Academy Charter School to create and implement STEM-based lesson plans.
“I have greatly enjoyed this experience, and I am incredibly proud of the students I’ve worked with this year,” she said.
She paired her job at Centennial with a couple of master’s courses, which she enrolled in as an undergraduate with the help of Honors College Dean Larry Berman.
Meira says she will be similarly engaged in graduate school, gaining practical experience as a student teacher or full-time teacher throughout the program. However, her experience in the Honors College has proved that there is more to learn outside of campus.
“The Honors College has meant a lot to me, especially because of the people who have helped to guide me through so many difficult and confusing things,” she said. “When I think back, they have all been there for me, every step of the way.”