Graduation Spotlight: Lucas Carstensen, Psychology

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Lucas Carstensen

Undergraduate research and psychology faculty are why Lucas Carstensen (B.A., psychology, ’17) applied to IPFW. Carstensen studied math and chemistry at Southern Utah University, but decided to leave when his sister moved to Fort Wayne. Later, Carstensen spoke with a friend about psychology faculty Ryan Yoder’s research lab. After meeting with Yoder, Carstensen decided to major in psychology at IPFW.

Carstensen worked as a research assistant in Yoder’s and Professor Carol Lawton’s labs. The research he did in Yoder’s lab helped Carstensen discover that “what I am most interested in is how the brain works and how the different regions interact.”

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Carstensen in the virtual reality lab

In Lawton’s lab, Carstensen studied mental rotation and navigation. According to Lawton, Carstensen “is an extraordinary student” and “his ideas have been the basis for projects in my virtual reality lab this year, including the creation of an iPad app.”  The feelings of appreciation were mutual, as Carstensen noted that Lawton “has shown me how to do research and how to be persistent in science.”

Lawton also helped Carstensen a more direct way. According to Carstensen, Lawton was “extremely helpful in the entire graduate school process, and I owe a lot to her for aiding me in getting into Boston University,” where he will enter the Neuroscience Ph.D. program in fall 2017.

So #WhatsNext for Carstensen? Besides preparing to move to Boston, he’s treating himself to a few days at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

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