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**Enhancing Student’s Enthusiasm for Neuroscience Through Hungarian Program**

Vivian Schmidt ’25, a double major at Kalamazoo College, has the potential to contribute significantly to the research on neurological disorders like ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, as evidenced by her recent academic endeavors.

During the University of Michigan’s Summer Intensive Research Experience in Neuroscience (SIREN) program, Schmidt engaged in valuable research work. Subsequently, she embarked on a challenging academic journey at ELTE in Budapest, Hungary, where she explored a diverse range of subjects such as biology, psychology, philosophy, and computer science. This experience broadened her knowledge in neuroscience through a collaborative program involving faculty from Slovakia and Hungary. Now, equipped with this enriched academic background, she is preparing to return to Ann Arbor for further hands-on research opportunities this summer.

Reflecting on her time in Hungary, Schmidt expressed her gratitude for the exposure to groundbreaking research beyond the United States. She emphasized her initial goal of stepping out of her comfort zone, embracing new experiences, cuisines, languages, and interactions. Schmidt credited her transformative experience to the James G. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarship, facilitated by Alpha Lambda Delta, a prestigious honor society recognizing academic excellence in first-year college students. This scholarship, awarded to 20 high-achieving students annually, enabled Schmidt to pursue her academic aspirations abroad, fostering personal growth, academic success, and lasting connections.

As a first-generation student, Schmidt acknowledged the scholarship’s pivotal role in making her study abroad dream a reality, allowing her to immerse herself in a culture unfamiliar to her. Her time in Eastern Europe not only provided her with a fresh perspective but also created enduring bonds and unforgettable memories. Schmidt cherishes the relationships forged during her three-month international experience, considering them among the most profound connections in her life.

Additionally, Vivian Schmidt ’25 was the recipient of a scholarship that facilitated her study abroad journey in Budapest, Hungary last fall. The Alpha Lambda Delta scholarship program, which awards a total of $30,000 annually, supports high-achieving students like Schmidt who rank in the top 20% of their class after their first year of college with a GPA of at least 3.5.