Alexis LaRosa is a first-year Stamps Scholar at Tulane planning to major in neuroscience and cell & molecular biology. She recently took time to reflect on the first few months of her Honors experience.
Alexis is currently enrolled in an Honors first-year colloquium class titled “How to Think About Weird Things,” taught by Professor Marc Zender from the Department of Anthropology. The course aims at equipping students with the tools to investigate claims of all sorts. Zender’s course places a special emphasis on conspiracy theories and pseudoscience both past and present, addressing topics such as the existence of ghosts and the flat-earth theory. “It is interesting seeing how rational thought has shifted,” states Alexis, “and how these ideas have spread throughout the world.”
The daughter of two medical professionals, Alexis has been exposed to biology and medicine her entire life. Now, her coursework at Tulane has allowed her to engage with clinical science. She says psychology is her favorite class this semester, where she’s been able to survey the field’s methods and findings. She appreciates the interdisciplinary research methods present in psychology and neuroscience, citing a group that studies mouse lemurs in Madagascar to understand Alzheimer’s disease. Alexis also enjoys that psychology principles appear regularly in other fields, including in her colloquium, with a reading on realism versus relativism. While wishing to understand the brain on a more cellular level, Alexis plans to major in neuroscience, with a potential second major in cell and molecular biology. “The brain is so interesting and there’s so much we don’t know about it,” she explains. Eventually, she hopes her experiences and commitments at Tulane will make her an excellent medical school candidate.
Alexis is also a member of the Honors First-Year Residential Learning Community in Wall Residence Hall. She enjoys living around “like-minded freshmen who care about their grades.” While Wall is filled with ambitious students, they still manage to support one another. “Everyone is very supportive and friendly to each other.” Alexis is a member of the “Life and Death in New Orleans” Wall Society, led by Professor Emily Harville in the School of Public Health. After a recent tour of Tulane Medical School, the society will soon visit local cemeteries to explore burial practices and traditions. Alexis has enjoyed Honors RLC events such as Wall’s yearly tie-dye on Bruff Quad, Fall Fest, and more recently, the Honors Registration Event where Wall’s faculty-in-residence Dr. Wyland and representatives from Honors, Advising, and other campus offices discussed registering for second-semester courses and other opportunities including the Center for Public Service, success coaching and study abroad.
Alexis notes that “Before coming to Tulane, I expected to be spending a lot more time in the city searching for things to do.” Rather, she’s found campus to be filled with fun and engaging events. In particular, Alexis enjoys attending Fridays at Newcomb and visiting the Rathskeller Lounge, especially for their trivia events and drag shows. Being in New Orleans, there’s also plenty to do in the city. As for off-campus fun, she recommends visiting shops and restaurants on Freret Street and checking out local art pieces and prints on Jackson Square in the French Quarter.
Alexis is “incredibly grateful” to be named a Stamps Scholar at Tulane University. As of now, Alexis plans to visit Stockholm, Sweden this summer, then Madagascar to explore and research the biodiversity in the area. Wherever her travels take her, she looks forward to returning to the Tulane Honors community for her sophomore year.
The Stamps Foundation awards a select few Tulane students each year with the Stamps Scholarship, a merit-based award that covers the total cost of attendance to Tulane and also provides an enrichment fund for student endeavors such as research or study abroad.