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Alaina Riordan

Title of Program: Biopsychology & Human Health

E-mail Address: ariordan@vols.utk.edu

Hometown: Greenville, SC  

Year: Junior                         

Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2021

Description of Program: The foundation of this program rests upon a twist of the long-debated scientific, philosophical, and cultural dilemma of “Nature vs Nurture.” By marrying the natural and social sciences, this program delves into the myriad of components which comprise our bodies and our personalities. By gaining a better understanding of how our life choices and evolutionary framework affect us, we can work to remedy the serious psychological and physical issues that plague our society.

Departmental Emphases: Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Public Health, Chemistry

Faculty Mentor: Tim Sparer

Plans after grad uation (career, graduate/professional school, etc.): My plan is to attend medical school in order to become a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy and hopefully complete a residency abroad or with the US Medical Corps.

Other Academic Interests: Hispanic Studies

Study Abroad: Possible plans to study abroad my junior year, during the summer, or as a medical mission trip after graduation to improve my Spanish speaking skills and gain a broader perspective on international public health.

Research Experiences or Internships: Preliminary undergraduate research on the Toxoplasma Gondii parasite under Dr. Chunlei Su. Frequent job shadowing in clinical, hospital, and emergency room settings.

Part-time employment; Hobbies; Campus Clubs/Activities: As a student-athlete on the Track and Cross Country teams, I enjoy staying active. Besides running, I love the outdoors, animals, hiking, and swimming. I am a member of SAA, SGA, and Leadership Knoxville Scholars. With care for the environment and community, I also work with Keep Knoxville Green Club, UTK Recycling, Microbiology Club, and as the social media manager for EcoVols and volunteer for Remote Area Medical.


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