I grew up in a college town in Minnesota and from a young age was captivated by animals, plants, and everything in between. I was equally fascinated by the human mind and the disorders that can disrupt its functioning. I went to college at St. Olaf, a small liberal arts school in southeastern Minnesota. I started freshman year knowing I would pursue neuroscience, which combined my interests in biology and psychology. In my first year, I decided that I wanted to be actively involved in scientific inquiry and education. I had the opportunity to spend summers in college on research projects at St. Olaf, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Minnesota. In graduate school at the University of Iowa, I was drawn to Dr. Nandakumar Narayanan’s research on cognitive dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disease. My thesis focused on the role of the prefrontal cortex and striatum in basic cognitive processing and cognitive dysfunction. As a new postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Pittenger’s lab, I will continue my focus on the striatum by investigating the underlying striatal basis of repetitive, stereotyped movements in mouse models of tic disorders.