3/08/2022 Kim O'Brien

‘You Learn as Much Outside of the Classroom as You Do Inside’

It was in a psychology lab at Franklin & Marshall College where Saïsha Ramdour '21 got a glimpse into her future. Ramdour was working with her research adviser, Associate Professor of Psychology Timothy Roth, when she felt a profound connection to the research process. Now, Ramdour works as a research assistant at Brigham & Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School, studying asthma and inflammation resolution. 

Ramdour said her liberal arts education — especially the training she received in research knowledge and techniques — has been invaluable in her career. We asked Ramdour to elaborate on how F&M led to her current path, and offer advice for high school seniors considering attending her alma mater in the fall. 

  • Saïsha Ramdour '21 Saïsha Ramdour '21

F&M: Where are you working or studying?

Saïsha: Brigham & Women's Hospital, Department of Medicine, Pulmonary

F&M: What is your job title/responsibility or area of postgraduate study?

Saïsha: I'm working as a research assistant with Dr. Melody Duvall on Asthma and Inflammation Resolution.

F&M: How has your liberal arts education prepared you for what you are currently doing?

Saïsha: F&M, in my experience, offered the incredible opportunity to acquire skills through multidisciplinary classes, research with faculty, and involvement with different departments. Most of my classes and labs at college were interactive and hands-on. You were expected to ask questions, present and discuss. You have the practice of always listening and learning since everyone comes with a unique background, and evaluating information critically and from varying perspectives. Being already somewhat familiar with research knowledge and techniques, to me, is now as important as the ability to engage in different discussions and to confidently present information. My liberal arts education prepared me to adapt and get the most out of new challenges.

F&M: Tell me about a person or experience at F&M that you've drawn on to help you succeed when presented with a challenge.

Saïsha: Professor [Timothy] Roth was my research adviser and I started really liking research after my experience in his lab. He encouraged asking questions but also learning how to find answers, which was either self-teaching, thinking about it from other perspectives or finding other professors or peers to broaden the discussion. He also encourages working and problem-solving independently. I draw from these experiences when navigating challenges: to slow down, try to think through it differently and reach out to others and discuss it. 

F&M: What brief advice would you give an admitted student who is considering attending F&M?

Saïsha: You learn as much outside of the classroom as you do inside. Join clubs, apply for leadership positions or any role that interests you, and read emails because there's always free food and fun trips.

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