One in Two Thousand: Grace Reynolds ’22.5

Luke Chinman

(Luke Chinman/The Williams Record)

Each week, the Record (using a script in R) randomly selects a student at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature, excluding current Record board members. This week, Grace Reynolds ’22.5 discussed her neuroscience thesis, her plans after graduation, and how she likes to spend her time outside in Williamstown. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Luke Chinman (LC): You’re in the Class of 2022.5, which means that this is your last semester. How does it feel to be so close to the end of your college experience?

Grace Reynolds (GR): It’s definitely really exciting. I feel like I’m very close and also very far, because I am finishing up my thesis right now, so there’s a lot going on with that.

LC: What is your thesis on?

GR: I’m doing a neuroscience thesis with [Assistant] Professor [of Psychology Shivon] Robinson. We’re studying the developmental effects of early-life exposure to opioids and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.

LC: What is your major?

GR: I am a biology and psychology double major with a neuroscience concentration.

LC: Did you always know that would be your track?

GR: I’ve always been interested in neuroscience. I was also [considering] public health for a little bit, but then I did a public health internship, which I didn’t really like. So I kind of moved back to neuroscience.

LC: Because this is your last semester, do you have any advice that you’d give to your first-year self?

GR: Although I love both my majors, I kind of wish I had taken some other classes outside of the classes I’m comfortable with. Right now, for example, I’m taking a history class which I really like, but it’s one of the few classes I’ve taken that’s very much outside of my comfort zone.

LC: Do you have a favorite class that you’ve taken?

GR: I think one of my highlights is a neuroethics class. It was such an interesting class and we talked about a lot of different things. I also took a class with my thesis advisor Professor Robinson about the opioid crisis, which is a psychology, public health, [and] neuroscience kind of class, and that was really interesting, too. 

LC: How do you feel being a super senior on campus?

GR: I actually don’t mind it. I was on campus this summer, so I feel like I kind of never left. So I don’t feel like I had to come back for only one more semester. I really have liked doing an off-cycle thesis and having a summer in between. And also, it worked out well for my plans post-grad.

LC: What are your plans post-grad?

GR: I got a job at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, so I’ll be working in a pediatric brain cancer lab.

LC: Is that the kind of career that you want to pursue?

GR: I think eventually I want to go to medical school. But I came into Williams very hardcore pre-med. I was interested in research more as something that would help me get into medical school but not really something I actually wanted to do. But working in labs has made me more interested in eventually doing more research, so I think it’ll be cool working in a lab outside of Williams.

LC: Okay, switching away from academics. Are you involved in any student organizations on campus?

GR: I’ve been a part of WRAPS, which is Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus. We package leftover dining hall food and deliver it to local communities. It’s a really fun way to get involved in the community! I also like teaching, so I worked in the elementary school with second graders.

LC: I’d love to hear more about your work at the elementary school!

GR: I was a math tutor at Williamstown Elementary School and worked with second graders. A few times a week, I’d go and help them with their math and sometimes teach a lesson. It was fun, because the way that they approached math was just so interesting to see.

LC: Do you have any aspirations for teaching?

GR: I’ve always liked teaching, but I never really thought I’d be a teacher — especially an elementary school teacher. But I hope that in whatever I do, medicine or research, I get to teach in some capacity. But I’m not sure I have the patience to teach all day.

LC: You previously mentioned to me that you like to spend time outside. What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?

GR: I grew up swimming, and I ran cross country in high school. If I don’t get outside, I usually feel antsy. Most days I run outside or go for a bike ride. I just really love the Williamstown mountains.

LC: What’s your favorite outdoor spot?

GR: I really like going up Bee Hill. I love the view up there. I also just love running in Hopkins Forest.

LC: Okay, I have some rapid fire questions. Goodrich or Tunnel City — if you’re a coffee drinker?

GR: I definitely drink lots of coffee. I think Tunnel.

LC: Schow or Sawyer?

GR: I always worked in Schow my freshman year, but now I never go to Schow anymore. But I also never really go to Sawyer anymore. You can always find me in Wachenheim — that’s my preferred spot.

LC: What’s your favorite dining hall?

GR: Probably Driscoll.

LC: What’s your milk of choice?

GR: Oat milk, definitely.