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Andrew Boucher ′10

Hometown: Germantown, TN
Major: Neuroscience
Fun Sports Fact: Along with baseball and football, I’m also pretty good at ping-pong and play with the club here on campus.

How did you find Rhodes?
I’m from Germantown and I knew a little bit about it from my older brother when he looked at Rhodes. I came for a visit, and the beautiful campus got me from the beginning. Going on tours and staying overnight on my visits, I really fell in love, and Rhodes was my number one choice once I got started. Football and baseball were part of my requirements when I was looking at colleges, but I needed to be able to play at least one—ideally both—and still have the academic rigor I was looking for. Rhodes ended up being a great fit for all of that.

Why neuroscience?
I decided before my freshmen year that I wanted to do pre-med. I took some introductory biology classes, and I saw that Rhodes offered a neuroscience major. It was pretty new at the time—I think they only had it for a year before I showed up. Neuroscience sounded interesting, and I started taking the classes required for the major. I really liked it, so I stuck with it. It’s been a great major for me, and I’ve had great opportunities and some great labs.

As for what kind of medicine I want to study, I’ll leave it open until I get to my clinicals in medical school. Going in, with all the neuroscience background I have, I imagine working with the brain will be the most exciting. I’ve watched a few surgeries, so pursuing some type of surgery is still on the table. I’m just waiting to see where medical school takes me.

How do you balance two sports and neuroscience?
Really good time management. I get a routine every year, every semester. I don’t go out during the week—I save that for when I take my weekends off. After practice, I study, and so long as I stick to the routine it really helps. It actually helps playing both sports because I always have that routine; the guys who play one lose their routine in the off-season, and it makes it a lot harder to adjust. I think of it as an advantage. I always have to stay focused because there’s no option.

Are there professors who have been crucial to you?
Dr. Blundon was a neuroscience professor I really enjoyed. He’s full-time at St. Jude now. Our labs were nine hours long, and we did some really incredible stuff, doing more technical work than I had ever done. I really felt like it was on a postgraduate level. He demanded a lot, but out of all the grades I’ve gotten I think I’m most proud of that one, just because of the rigor.

I also really enjoyed Dr. Lindquester′s molecular biology course. It was the first upper-level biology course that I took with a lab. This course really introduced me to how biology is studied in a lab from a technical perspective. He was also a very approachable professor who really seemed to care about what we learned. It was a difficult course, but he always made it seem manageable while still demanding a lot.

Has Rhodes prepared you well for medical school?
I think so. I think the science departments here force you to learn how to study correctly and that’s one of the biggest keys to success in medical school. You’re forced to learn how to study correctly if you want to do well. From intro biology all the way through any major, you have to know how to learn.

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Stephanie Valentine September 23, 2010

I have had the pleasure of knowing Andy and his family. Not only is he a classy guy, but he is fun to be around and smart as a whip. He is certainly the result of outstanding parenting!