My name is Nadia Peyravian and I am senior biology and psychology double major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a 2015 Karen M. Gil Intern. By my graduation in May 2016, I will have had 2 years of clinical neuroscience research experience working with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Therefore, it comes at no surprise that I have been continuing research out of a genuine yearning for constantly questioning, innovating, and progressing the field. Nevertheless, my experiences as a Gil Intern goes beyond development of an autism expertise, or my significant experience working with valuable psychiatric measures and utilizing cognitive neuroscience techniques. As I wrap up the semester, I want to take the time to recognize one of the most rewarding aspects of this experience that will follow me for a lifetime: my mentors.
As a Gil intern, I had the opportunity to conduct research with the executive director of the TEACCH Autism Program, Dr. Laura Klinger, at the #1 public institute for autism research. Working closely with such a highly acclaimed distinguished faculty member as well as an outstanding Ph.D. student, Patrick Powell, meant constantly being surrounded with knowledgeable, curious, and innovative individuals who were not only exceptionally talented and passionate about research, but were true intellects. My mentors provided guidance, yet promoted independence and a home for me to grow, probe, and pioneer techniques, to better serve and improve the lives of individuals with ASD and their families across the lifespan. These individuals not only inspired my future in academia and research, but also the type of mentor whom I desire to be one day. Patrick Powell, Dr. Laura Klinger, and Dr. Mark Klinger: Thank you. Thank you for inspiring me to go into academia and research, for never hesitating to share your wealth of knowledge with me, and for truly shaping my Gil experience.
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