Q&A with neuroscience undergraduate Amanda Richards

Feb 12, 2021
A big fan of “Invader Zim,” her son and the scientific study of the nervous system, Amanda Richards plans to apply to graduate school next year to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Amanda was recently awarded the Auvil Scholars Fellowship - an award that supports undergraduate research. She was also recently hired as a part-time lab manager in Dr. Ryan McLaughlin’s lab.

“Amanda is able to accomplish all of this while maintaining a full course load AND while taking care of her 5-year-old son at home. She is an inspiration to me and to many others in my lab,” - Dr. McLaughlin.

Where are you from and where did you graduate high school? 
I am from Spokane and I also graduated high school there. I transferred from Central Valley to an online program at Barker (now called Mica Peak), where I graduated.

What is your favorite thing about/around WSU?
My favorite thing about WSU has been being able to participate so actively in research. I always thought research was interesting, but I didn’t realize how much I love working in research until I was able to do so.

What’s your favorite course you’ve taken at WSU?
My first WSU neuroscience course with Dr. Ryan McLaughlin was my favorite. I always thought I would be interested in studying neuro, but it can be hard to tell what it will be like until you actually get a chance to try it.

What’s a unique fun fact about you?
I’m not sure I’d call it a fun fact, but I have a 5-year-old son and I have been in college most of his life. His name is Damon!

What are your career goals? 
I will be applying to graduate school next year to work on my Ph.D. in neuroscience. I am still uncertain what career I will go into, but I have a feeling I will be staying in research. I will be graduating at the end of fall 2021.