Neuroscience Major Julie Uchitel Addresses Graduating Class of 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019
Julie Uchitel

In high school, Julie Uchitel recalls being interested in biology and psychology. “During my AP Psychology course, we studied a unit on neuroscience. I was blown away by the complexity of the brain – how many mysteries surrounded its function despite decades of research. That was when I knew that I’d found my favorite subject.”

The recipient of a Marshall Scholarship, Uchitel will spend the next two years studying in the United Kingdom: the first year at the University of Cambridge where she’ll pursue an MPhil in Pediatrics, and the second year at King’s College London where she’ll pursue an MA in International Child Studies. Her long-term goal is to attend medical school in the United States. “I’m looking forward to seeing all that we discover in neuroscience and neurology. Perhaps how we view the brain will be radically different twenty years from now. I just hope to play a role in this process of never-ending discovery.”

When asked about the people at Duke that helped shape her personal and professional trajectory, Uchitel names professors Dr. Leonard White, Dr. Deborah Jenson, and Dr. Mohamad Mikati, each of whom is affiliated with the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. “I cannot list the many ways in which each of [these professors] has influenced and supported me, it would really take pages. They have been integral to my intellectual and individual development at Duke.”

With reference to the city of Durham, Uchitel will miss Saturday Farmers’ Markets, Durham Bulls games, and “the perfect balance between suburban greenery and downtown liveliness.” When looking back at her time at Duke specifically, she recalls one of her fondest memories being of the first time she ever visited campus, “I knew it was home.”

Uchitel, a native of Southampton, Pennsylvania, had in attendance at graduation her parents, grandparents, and boyfriend, Drew. She delivered her student speech at the Neuroscience Graduation Ceremony on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Page Auditorium.