Jennifer Elwell ’18

Interned with: Wheaton Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
Supported by:
Wheaton Fellowship
Majors:
Music, psychology
Hometown: 
Stratham, N.H.

Favorite class: “I took ‘Cognition’ with Assistant Professor of Psychology Katherine Eskine last semester and it was one of my favorite classes. So I asked her if she had any opportunities for a student research position and we just went from there. I helped Professor Eskine [who is investigating the effects of music on the cognitive abilities of people suffering from mild dementia] by recruiting and testing participants, conducting electroencephalograms (EEGs) and processing EEG data.”

Valuable opportunity: “I received a Wheaton Fellowship and I definitely would not have had this experience without it. I usually spend the summer working and babysitting to make money for textbooks, tuition, etc., so it’s amazing that I was able to have this paid internship experience in place of a summer job.”

Jennifer Elwell, ’18 (left), with Assistant Professor of Psychology Katherine Eskine and fellow research assistant Clara Colas ’19, review test results collected as part of Eskine’s research project, “The Effects of Music Listening on Cognition.” (Photos by Keith Nordstrom)

Sharing stories: I have really enjoyed meeting and working with all of our participants. We are specifically testing persons over the age of 65 and they are all incredibly kind and polite. My favorite part about testing the participants is having them listen to music that they listened to when they were teenagers and seeing how happy it makes a lot of them. Many of them share stories afterwards about their lives, and I enjoy hearing those, too.”

Career connections: “I have been thinking about pursuing music therapy for a long time, which is why I decided to double major in music and psychology. During my time at Wheaton I have definitely become more interested in my psychology studies, and I think that, whether I decide to move on to music therapy or something else in the psychology field, having the experience of working with participants and learning about EEG testing both support my goals.”

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