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Peer Academic Coaching for Neuroscience


Neuroscience PAC is the best way to get the most out of your NS classes at Skidmore. Right now, we work with students in Intro to Neuroscience (NS 101), and Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (NS 201). But if you are in another NS class that we don’t expressly cover, it is likely that one of our coaches has taken that class and could help.

Simply stop by!

Support for NS 101 and 102

Room: Tisch 205

Our NS PAC team talked with faculty about their research and how to become involved.  Check out the video above!

Sun 7-9PM Mon 9-11AM Tues 7-9PM Wed 7-9PM Thurs 7-9PM

Meet the PAC Team for neuroscience

Elisabeth Saraceno '22 - NS PAC Captain

Major: Neuroscience, Pre-med  Elisabeth

About me: I’m on the women’s soccer team here at Skidmore and love spending time with my teammates exploring around Saratoga. I love farmers markets, and then going home to cook or bake with any interesting foods I find! 

Why PAC: As a first-year neuroscience student, PAC really helped me excel in the course. I found a study group of peers who all pushed each other to succeed with the help of our PACs. I want to be able to provide that same resource for incoming students. 

Favorite class and why: Hormones and Behavior with Hassan Lopez. It’s a really fascinating class that focuses on the effects of the endocrine system on the brain and all the aspects of daily life and development that can differ because of it. There is also an experimental component that helped me really develop my writing skills specifically with lab reports. 

Academic advice: Try your best to find people to study with. You’ll be able to challenge yourself and others by asking questions. Having a friend in a class is a really great resource for difficult classes and it makes it more enjoyable. PAC is a great place to find peers in your classes!

Emily Gilbert '22

Major: Neuroscience, pre-med  Minor: Dance  Emily

About me: In addition to PAC, I have worked in Dr. Sheppard's biochemistry research lab and been a TA for the BI 107 lab. I am also very involved in the dance department and have been cast in multiple performance workshops choreographed by faculty and guest artists. I have also been cast in student choreographed projects for their Senior Capstone, Choreography II, and Dance, Music, and Film classes.

Why PAC: I wanted to become a PAC because I want to help other students understand concepts they may be struggling with. I enjoy talking about topics that interest me, especially in neuroscience. Explaining and discussing these topics lets me revisit them with a new perspective while also being able to engage and help other students in the community.

Favorite class and why:  My favorite class was Organismal Biology with Corey Freeman-Gallant. His passion for the material and compassion for his students was evident in every lecture as he was always trying to find ways to make the material more interesting and work with his students on any concepts they were struggling with. I especially enjoyed the physiology unit and learning about how major body systems differ between organisms and the pathways through which they operate. 

Academic advice: Remember to take breaks! Go for a quick walk to get a drink or have a small snack to replenish your energy and refocus your mind. Making to-do lists can also be helpful! Lists help me stay organized and feel more productive and motivated as I start crossing off tasks.


Gabriel Makower '22

About me: Outside of PAC, I am a part of Skidmore College Swim and Dive team. I swam all throughout high school but last year I decided to walk onto Skidmore’s team as a diver. In addition to that, I am an EMT for SCEMS. I have a love for science and an interest in the human brain. I enjoy spending time with friends, traveling, trying new foods, and going on adventures. I look forward to starting my journey as a PAC tutor!

Why PAC: Since I got to Skidmore, I have been consistently utilizing the PAC program for help with my own school work. PAC tutors have helped me tremendously with understanding difficult concepts from my classes. When I got an offer to join PAC I felt honored to be able to help other students the same way. I have a passion for neuroscience and by helping others learn the material, I can better understand it myself. 

Favorite class and why: My favorite class I have taken so far is Intro to Neuroscience. Before taking this class, I planned to only major in computer science. NS101 is the class that made me decide that I also wanted to study the brain. This class made me change my perspective on the human brain and overall, the human experience. I enjoy the science; I like to create images and movies in my head about what is happening to the brain on a molecular level. I learned a tremendous amount in NS101 which only my piqued interest.  

Academic Advice: Plan everything ahead of time. With so many classes and assignments, it is easy to forget assignments and due dates. Take the time to write down assignments from the syllabus and plan days to get it done. If you are having a difficult time understanding what you learned in class, do not suffer in silence. Use your resources! Speak to professors and come to PAC!

Sarita Padukone '23

Soumya Peri '23

Majors: Neuroscience and Chemistry (concentration in Biochemistry)  Souyma

About me: As a premed student, a South Indian Classical music diploma holder, a research enthusiast and vivid reader, I have learnt to truly embrace the interdisciplinary nature of almost everything I practice and pursue. At Skidmore, I do biochemistry research and work as a PLTL leader for Principles of Chemistry! During high school, I spent a lot of time fundraising for cancer patients through the medium of music and hope to continue that at Skidmore as well! I also refuse to stop re-watching Grey’s Anatomy regardless the emotional pain Shonda Rhimes has caused me. I can’t wait to explore more ways to engage myself at Skidmore! 

Why PAC: I love teaching and sharing resources with people! Intro to Neuroscience was such an interesting course and I found myself discovering so many different ways to go about the class material. I can’t wait to re-explore such a fascinating class while helping others!  

Favorite class and why:  My favorite classes were definitely Organic Chemistry 1 with Professor Giguere (I am yet to take Orgo 2) and Intro to Neuroscience with Professor Lagalwar! Organic Chemistry fascinated me due to its unique nature; although it was different and difficult, it seemed like a big puzzle and challenged me to think outside of the box! Intro to Neuroscience allowed me to explore the pure biological aspects of Neuroscience while simultaneously exposing me to its history, associated diseases and notches of Psychology; its wide scope for learning was something I loved!

Academic advice: Planning is important but execution is ultimately the key to success. If your studying style isn’t yielding the results you want to see, make changes as soon as possible! Reach out for help during office hours and take advantage of PACs in all your subjects!