Isabella Sarno Marin

Isabella Sarno Marin, Neuroscience Major

By Ryan Schoensee, Senior Communications Specialist

Meet Isabella Sarno Marin, a senior from Venezuela who is graduating this fall with a B.S. in Neuroscience with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience and minors in biology and psychology. The undergraduate degree in neuroscience became an official major this fall semester and Isabella is the first student to graduate from this new program.

Isabella started her academic journey as a Roadrunner in 2018. Isabella always had a passion for psychology and biology, and studying neuroscience which combines both of those disciplines was an easy decision for her. Originally a biology major, she chose UTSA because she learned that the university had a strong biology program with a Neurobiology concentration. In fall 2022, Isabella became a neuroscience major as soon as the program was available.

Isabella learned early on the importance of getting involved and seeking experiential learning opportunities that are relevant to your area of study. "UTSA’s emphasis in getting students involved in research early on, as well as helping them define their career goals is something that sets the university apart," said Isabella. "As someone who has a really hard time defining those things myself, I really appreciate all the resources we have on campus to help!"

During her time at UTSA, Isabella has worked as a teaching aide and undergraduate research assistant in the laboratory of Nicole Wicha, professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology. In her research role, Isabella helped evaluate the language processing differences between participants with mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and neurotypical participants during sentence comprehension. In another research project in the Wicha Lab, she worked to identify and collect linguistic factors that are known to influence language processing, such as word concreteness, imageability and frequency.

After Isabella graduates, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and is interested in finding a career in research. After four years as a Roadrunner, her advice to students is simple, yet often challenging: build connections with your peers and mentors at UTSA.

"Don’t be scared to reach out," said Isabella. "Professors, staff, and even students are all very kind and willing to help and answer your questions, or at least point you in the right direction to get the answers."

Congratulations to Isabella who walked the stage and graduated on December 13, 2022 as the first alum from the neuroscience program at UTSA!

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