This is the first post in a new series highlighting NIGMS’ efforts toward developing a robust, diverse and well-trained scientific workforce.
“A lot of people would never guess that I’m in research and I take pride in that. I want to be able to represent people that don’t even go this far,” Chyann Richard, 20, says.
Currently a junior at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Richard is majoring in psychology. After she graduates with a bachelor’s degree in 2018, she plans to continue to a Ph.D. program and do research in behavioral neuroscience.
Richard is among a select group of undergraduate college students participating in the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program. The BUILD programs focus on finding innovative approaches to increase student engagement in the biomedical sciences, through interventions at student, faculty and institutional levels. As a BUILD scholar, Richard is conducting laboratory research and preparing for graduate school through career development seminars, presentations and other activities.
Richard loves how research introduces her to new ideas and allows her to share these concepts with others, including her parents.
“Because they’ve been teaching me my whole life … now I’ve got a one-up because I know about research and they don’t. That’s really fun,” she says.
Richard’s interest in behavioral neuroscience is both personal and scientific. During Richard’s junior year of high school, her mother was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. This sparked Richard to take an Advanced Placement (AP) psychology course, where she began learning about the prevalence of and treatments for such disorders.
“[The class] started bringing [my mom’s condition] into perspective – that it wasn’t just some random thing,” Richard says. Continue reading