Shauna plans a career studying how brains work
Seeing the brain scans of psychopaths was what first prompted Shauna Crampsie to want to become a brain scientist. Shauna, who graduates on 15 July with BSc in neuroscience, explains it was the “lack of activity in certain areas of their brains and being able to relate that to their behaviour” that fascinated her.
Shauna, who is one of 1200 First Generation Scholars who are graduating this week, says: “I am the first in my family to go to university and that was simultaneously exciting and terrifying.” Arriving on campus was a culture shock: “I’d had no one to talk to about going and no one’s previous experience to learn from – so it was completely unchartered territory for me. It was exciting but a bit nerve racking,” she says.
First Generation scholars at Sussex receive extra help with settling in to university life and with improving their employability skills whilst they are studying – including internships organised by the university. Shauna made sure she took full advantage of this and ended up working for the Institute of Cancer (ICR).
“The ICR gave me a taste of being in an institute dedicated to research and it is the sort of place I want to work for the rest of my life,” says Shauna.
During her internship in human resources at the ICR she worked on Athena Swan Awards, which promote equal opportunities for female scientists.
Shauna says: “It was eye opening to see the potential struggles for women within science. The work showed me the leaky pipeline of scientific careers with the number of female employees getting smaller at higher positions. It was positive to see the way universities like Sussex are aiming to achieve a better workplace for women.
“The internship has made me better able to reach out and take opportunities that I might otherwise have let slip by.”
She also researched wellbeing in the work place for the ICR, which built her experience of working on the Student Union’s “Time to Change” and “Elephant in the Room” mental health campaigns on campus.
After graduation Shauna plans to study for a Masters. She says: “I want to know everything about neuroimaging and be able to use it to understand everything I can about the human brain. Although I have become interested in oncology during my time at Sussex, my interest lives and dies with personality; who we are and the pathologies that can affect us? his is something I hope to further explore.”