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Meredith Course

July 1, 2011
Meredith Course is a musician and a scientist who reaches for everything Pomona College has to offer, from music lessons and Oldenborg's French-language dorm to intense research and the Southern California sun, which warms her Northwestern heart even while she's studying.

Meredith Course is a musician and a scientist who reaches for everything Pomona College has to offer, from music lessons and Oldenborg's French-language dorm to intense research and the Southern California sun, which warms her Northwestern heart even while she's studying.

Meredith Course is a musician and a scientist who reaches for everything Pomona College has to offer, from music lessons and Oldenborg's French-language dorm to intense research and the Southern California sun, which warms her Northwestern heart even while she's studying.

A Life of Research

I live and breathe it. When I first came here I knew I wanted to study neuroscience and do research. I started in Professor Karl Johnson’s lab during the summer of my freshman year, and I’ve worked with him since then. We’re studying specific genetic mutations in fruit flies. Professor Johnson is the quintessential Pomona professor. He’s an incredible mentor and has been a huge part of my experience here. [And the lab is] a little sanctuary, a home away from home. We joke about living there. Our lab, where I work with five other students, is in the Seaver Biology Building and has a study room with a couch and a kitchen. I feel so lucky every time I walk into the building. It’s not only beautiful, but we have access to equipment that allows us to do a very high caliber of science.

Her Musical Side

There was a time when I thought I’d have to make a choice between a music conservatory and a liberal arts college. If I’d continued with music as a profession, I think it would have become one of those things you have to do. Instead it’s become my passion, my emotional conduit. There are so many incredible musicians at Pomona. You can always find someone to play with. I also have a second mentor in my cello teacher Robin Lebow. He knows I love music and wants to encourage that, but he also understands that I’m a science student.

Language and Lunch

I live in the French Hall in Oldenborg. I took a lot of French before coming to Pomona, but because I don’t have time right now, I go to the language lunches and study events. It makes you speak a ton of French with other students, which has given me a lot more confidence in my language abilities.

Working Out

Running and yoga keep me sane. I’m a member of the marathon club, which is really laid-back. I take a Bikrim yoga class off campus—which is really intense because you do it in 100-degree environment—and Kundalini yoga at Pomona. It’s a new kind of yoga for me, with more chanting and meditation. It’s very relaxing and would be a nice way to end the day if that were the end. But then I have to crack down and do some homework.

Soaking Up the Sun

Coming from Washington, it’s innate to me that if it’s sunny, you have to drop everything and run outside. That’s another reason I like Seaver. There’s a big glass cube with a sunny room, where you’re surrounded by all this natural light. It’s great because I can be inside soaking up the sun, but still have a desk. I’ve never thought of myself as a beach girl, but there’s this beach I like to go to near Laguna that’s kind of out of the way. There’s something to be said for just lying in the sand near the water