Research Endeavors Earn Students Invitation to a Renowned Sleep Science Conference

October 27, 2014


Stonehill Students are Among the First Undergraduates Invited to the Lake Arrowhead Sleep Training Workshop

The research and academic accomplishments of two Stonehill College neuroscience majors recently earned them the distinction of being two of only three undergraduates invited to an international sleep science conference held in September.

Alexandra Trausch ’15 and Abigail Hulverson ’16 were both awarded fellowships to the 2014 Lake Arrowhead Sleep Training Workshop at the Lake Arrowhead UCLA conference center in California.

“Abigail got to present her research and I got to participate in a debate against top researchers in the field of neuroscience,” Alexandra says of the conference. “We also participated in a mock grant writing competition and acquired new relationships and connections that will further our success in the field of neuroscience.”

Professor John McCoy, director of Stonehill’s Neuroscience Program, said the recognition speaks well of the College and of the students.

“The workshop is intended primarily to train postdoctoral fellows and graduate students,” says McCoy. “Only three undergraduates nationally were selected and two of the three were Stonehill students.”

One key to their selection was their research experience.

As part of directed study, Alexandra had worked since January at the Veterans Administration medical facility in Brockton as an intern under Dr. James “Jay” McNally, a research health scientist working at the Brockton VA in collaboration with Harvard Medical School.  She focused on schizophrenia studies involving impaired gamma band oscillations in the brain. She also was awarded a Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) grant to continue her research under the advisement of McCoy for the summer.

Abigail also worked at the Brockton VA with Dr. James “Tim” McKenna, an associate professor for Harvard Medical School. She focused on the neural circuitry involved in the mediation of consciousness in minimally conscious patients. She continued her research at the VA with support from a SURE grant through the summer, also under the advisement of McCoy.

Both labs in which the pair worked are under the supervision of Dr. Robert McCarley, chair of the Psychiatry Department at Harvard Medical School. They also worked closely with Drs. Stewart Winston, Ritchie Brown and Robert Strecker.

Learn more about Stonehill’s Neuroscience Program