COSAM Graduate, Aspiring Neurologist, to take Knowledge to Poland
Julia Dickenson, a recent graduate from the Auburn University College of Sciences (COSAM) and Mathematics, will soon take the knowledge she has gained at Auburn to teach others in the country of Poland.
Julia, who graduated with concurrent degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology as a University Honors Scholar, was recently awarded a Fulbright grant. She will relocate to Poland in the fall to teach in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, where she will teach English to aspiring scientists in bachelor’s and master’s programs in Polish universities.
Julia has plans to become a physician, but decided to take the opportunity to leave the country while she had the chance. She has been accepted to the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and will attend medical school after her time with the one-year Fulbright Program concludes.
“I’m excited about being in a new culture and getting to adapt to that and experience the world in a different way for a little while,” Julia said about moving to Poland. “I got a little worried I wouldn’t have that option if I went straight to medical school. I also just started teaching an MCAT course this year and found that I really enjoyed teaching. I realized that I’m really interested in education and that can be such a big part of being a doctor.”
A native of Brentwood, Tenn., Julia originally chose to attend school at Auburn to become an engineer, but she didn’t enjoy the engineering courses as much as the biology courses. After also working as a resident assistant for Auburn Housing, she said she knew she wanted a career where she could work more closely with and help people.
“I enjoyed getting to help students come into their freshman year at Auburn,” she said. “I realized that I enjoyed offering that support and helping people. I needed that human connection, which is more than I would have gotten in engineering. That helped me decide that I wanted to be a physician.”
Julia is interested in becoming a neurologist, which is why she chose to study psychology.
“I think psychology is applicable to anything I do because it’s so much about how people tick,” she said.
During her time at Auburn, Julia was also a part of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-professional Honor Society, a member of social sorority Delta Zeta, and during her last year was president of The Big Event, the largest community service event on campus.
She said she volunteered for The Big Event during her freshman year and enjoyed that it brought Auburn students together to volunteer throughout the community.
“When you drive around Auburn on the day of The Big Event and see everyone out volunteering, I think it’s really cool that it’s so accessible for students that might not be involved in community service otherwise,” she said. “I think it shows students how much of an impact they can have with just a few hours of their time. It also builds such a connection between the students and the community.”
Julia also maintained a 4.0 while at Auburn and was named a Dean’s Medalist. She also fulfilled roles as a Chemistry tutor in the Student-Athlete Development Center and as a founding member of Global Medical Brigades. She acted as a research assistant at the Harrison School of Pharmacy, presenting at the Student Research Symposium, and was also a research intern at Advanced Neurosciences Institute, a neurology research clinic in Franklin, Tenn.
This summer, Julia will once again be involved in neurology research and will volunteer for the second time at Camp Hope, a summer camp for children that are burn survivors.
In her free time, Julia said she loves to attend concerts and Auburn sporting events, paint, play with her dogs, and travel to new places.
Julia said she enjoyed the challenges being a COSAM student offered her.
“I appreciate the experience of wanting to be challenged, that’s something that’s really important to me,” she said. “COSAM really challenges me to go above and beyond and find ways to make thing interesting to myself. I think our teachers also do a great job of connecting whatever we’re learning to whatever we might be doing in the future. I think the professors are really passionate about what they do and I’ve continued to be challenged.”