In this series, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences is shining the spotlight on distinguished members of the Class of 2022 from a wide array of disciplines.
Carly DeSesa is a psychology major with a neuroscience minor fascinated with discovering and explaining more about the human brain.
DeSesa received the Excellence in Psychology Award from the department this spring. She also served as president of the psychology club in 2021-22, is the psychology student board director for Elon’s Undergraduate Research Student Association, and is a member of Psi Chi psychology honor society and Kappa Delta sorority.
Tell us about your undergraduate research.
I work with Dr. William Schreiber on his research line of invertebrate learning. My specific research focuses on habituation of locomotor activity in harvester ants, sensitization learning in ants and habituation of aggression in harvester ants. I participated in Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2020, and presented at the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum Day in 2021 and at the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research in 2022.
How did having a mentor affect your Elon experience?
Dr. Schreiber has made a huge impact on my time at Elon. I took his behavioral neuroscience class as well as his neurobiology of learning and memory class and I have been working with him on research since fall of 2019. He has helped me grow tremendously as a researcher and is very supportive regarding both academic and non-academic endeavors.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am hoping to find a job as a research assistant in the field of behavioral neuroscience.
What’s been the most valuable part of your college experience?
The ability (and requirement) to take many courses outside your major in various fields of study is something I love about Elon. Because of this, I have been able to learn Latin, study abroad in Greece and discover my love for ceramics. I feel that I am leaving college as a well-rounded individual and I appreciate all of the experiences that Elon has had to offer.
What advice would you give first-year students?
If you are interested in research, seek it out as soon as you can! You do not need to be a fellow to participate in research, and you can reach out to URSA or directly to your professors to get involved.