My name is Jordan Ortiz, and I became inspired to become a neuroscience major when I experienced how difficult it was to learn about neurological diseases from the perspective of a non-scientist. I truly believe that neuroscience is a discipline that will help me to become a better researcher that applies scientific knowledge to problems within the community. This is currently my last semester at George Mason, and I am overwhelming thankful that I am working with Dr. Wendy Lewis and Professor Brett Berlin on our Oscar project: “The Enhancement of Neuroscience Educational Tools
for Subjects with Traumatic Brain Injury.”
Our team has an unwavering dedication to this project; we were collectively inspired to help people with neurological diseases to learn about the biology and neuroscience of their conditions. This project helped me realize that there is a lot that needs to be done to reform the medical education system. Over the course of this project, I have adapted information from neuroscience literature into lesson plans that anyone can understand, developed methods for qualitative and quantitative data collection, and executed the improvement of innovative educational tools. With the help of my mentors, I've had a substantial transformation as a researcher; they have helped me become an entrepreneurial inventor. Currently, we are performing outreach to collaborate with directors and CEOs of like-minded organizations that help patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries, which is something that I thought I never could do. Thanks to my mentors, I discovered that the limit does not exist when it comes to helping people and making a difference within the community.
As for my long-term goals, this project is opened up a world of new possibilities. Our team and this project has been a crucial part of my undergraduate experience, and I intend to work for a nonprofit organization that aims at changing some aspect of education. I am so inspired by this project that not a single minute has felt like work. All the effort I put towards completing this project has felt natural, so I know that I must be a “change-maker” in this world. My future goal is to make a living as an educational activist, and I will mindfully choose a PhD program that allows me to live this dream.