Christine Faunce’s senior year was challenging: uncertainty, classes online rather than in person, opportunities lost, and missed months of not being able to continue her passion of research in a laboratory setting.
Nevertheless it has also brought rewards. A double major in experimental neuroscience and medicinal chemistry, Faunce was named the 2021 Outstanding Senior in the College of Science during the spring. The honor comes on the heels of winning an Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award in late December 2020, and being one of five Virginia Tech students selected to present research at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) Meeting of the Minds virtual conference in April. She also was a member of the Virginia Tech Honors College and was an Aspirations Fellow, winning an Aspire! Award for Curiosity for the latter.
This fall, Faunce is attending the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where she will pursue a Ph.D. in pharmacology.
“Before beginning the graduate school admissions process, [the pandemic] reinforced my decision to pursue my Ph.D. because I immediately realized how much I missed doing benchwork science,” Faunce said in May. “I am really excited to be able to merge my interests in chemical biology and psychiatric illness pathophysiology through the research at Penn.”