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Faces of New Paltz

Emily Heimbender '13 '15g - Psychology

Past Faces of New Paltz
Andrew Limbong
Paige Munroe
Fine Arts (Metal Program)

Hometown: Valley Stream, N.Y.
Graduation Year:

  • 2013 (B.A., psychology with concentration in psychobiology)
  • 2015 (M.A., psychology with concentration in neuroscience)


  • Student worker, Sojourner Truth Library

You initially came to New Paltz majoring in math and science. How did that lead you to neuroscience?
While taking biology classes my freshman year, I found the nervous system extremely interesting. After taking physiological psychology with Dr. Giordana Grossi, I fell in love with neuroscience and spent hours reading about it, even when I wasn’t studying for a test. I discovered that New Paltz offers a psychobiology concentration, which allowed me to fulfill my interest in learning about the brain.

Why did you decide to stay at New Paltz for your graduate degree after completing your bachelor’s?
The research I've been working on in the lab with my mentor, Dr. Grossi, is an ongoing project I started when I was an undergraduate student. We're still learning from it and extracting new findings. I'm planning on basing my master's thesis off of our research, so remaining in her lab was the best opportunity for me. I really like what I’m doing here. I couldn’t picture myself at any other university. I’ve had all these life-changing experiences here. I’ve met amazing people who have affected my life in such a positive way. New Paltz has changed me for the better.

Have there been any particular projects you’ve worked on that stand out for you?
Last May, we presented our research at the Association for Psychological Science conference in Washington, D.C. We worked with bilinguals and measured their brainwaves by using electroencephalography (EEG). I also presented research at the Psychonomic Society conference this past November in Toronto, Canada. These two conferences enhanced my college experience and provided me a unique opportunity to meet people from all over the world who are familiar with and interested in similar research.

How did you become involved with the library and what have you learned from working there?
Even though I already had an off-campus job, I needed another job to help pay for tuition. The library allowed me to work between classes, which fit perfectly into my schedule and has proven to be one of the best experiences I've had on campus. I've learned so much about doing research, which helped me exponentially in my scholastic career. I enjoy helping other students with their research, which in turn helps me to learn more. All the librarians are extremely helpful and caring. After working in the library for almost four years now, I still feel like I'm always learning something new.

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