Spending the summer studying the effects of stress on the brain might make any young researcher feel some anxiety of her own, but Atlanta Girls’ School senior Emma Goldman said the experience was one she would not trade for the world.
The 17-year-old interned at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University as an Institute on Neuroscience Scholar. Goldman spent eight weeks participating in hands-on activities, discussions and readings about neuroscience.
“Performing experiments in the lab was my favorite part,” she said. “I think that’s where I learned the most about research and had the most fun doing hands-on work, learning how to use the tools and everything. I got to do some of my own experiments and that was very cool.”
Goldman, daughter of Maureen and Mark Goldman of Buckhead, said the experience was both fascinating and challenging.
“I was amazed to discover that the research I was participating in (the effects of stress and anxiety on the brain) would help improve the lives of people suffering from diseases like schizophrenia and PTSD,” she said.
Melissa Bobeck, the school’s science department chair, lauded Goldman’s scientific curiosity that last year earned her the school’s Advanced Science Award.
“She has a critical eye for problem solving and data analysis, and she challenges herself to ask thoughtful questions,” Bobeck said.
Aside from her academic interests and impressive 3.86 GPA, Goldman also plays soccer for her school’s varsity team and the Concorde Fire Soccer Club, plays piano and is involved with a variety of organizations, including student ambassadors and Headmaster Joan King’s Headstrong Club. She also participated in the school’s Global Travel program and took trips to Germany, Spain and Belize.
While Goldman is wholeheartedly involved in school activities, she has her sights set on her post-high school career.
“I’m most looking forward to getting through college applications and figuring out where I’m going to school,” she said of her senior year.
After graduation, Goldman said she hopes to attend Georgetown University to major in neuroscience or neurobiology.