explore more

Inside Moravian

Filter by Category
Filter by Category

Raquel Lopez de Boer, Class of 2021

Raquel Lopez de Boer ’21 works with a rat in the neuroscience lab.

Growing up in Sevilla [Spanish spelling], Spain, I watched my grandmother suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, it was a rough time for my family, and it made me want to understand more about the brain, so I decided to study neuroscience. In Spain one can't study neuroscience at the undergraduate level, so I decided to pursue a bachelor’s in the United States. Some family friends were living in Reading, Pennsylvania, and I began my first year at a community college as I found my way around the change in academics. Luckily, that year gave me time to get comfortable with the language and look for universities that offered neuroscience. That is how I came to Moravian.Raquel interior

Once in college, I discovered that I enjoyed chemistry a lot and realized how much more I could learn if I majored in both neuroscience and chemistry. I am completing an honors research project with Dr. Cecilia Fox studying the protective effects of curcumin in the production and metabolism of dopamine in the 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinson’s disease.

[Note: Raquel is the recipient of The Neuroscience Award, presented to a senior neuroscience major who has demonstrated excellence in academic and research pursuits in understanding the brain and behavior.]

Tell us a little bit about your life in Spain.

I grew up in a lovely family. My mom and dad worked quite a bit, so after school I would spend a lot of time with my grandmother. At an early age, I got involved in extracurricular activities after class including painting, karate, and soccer. I was really good at soccer, and I miss it a lot. I even had the opportunity to play for my city’s team, Sevilla Futbol Club, in their girls’ division.

At the time there were very few girls-only teams so I grew up playing with boys all the time, which made it difficult to make girlfriends as I was more interested in kicking the ball than talking about boys.

When my family moved to Triana, I started to play basketball—I was 10 years old—and was finally able to have a group of girlfriends that was interested in sports. I played for Club Nautico Sevilla and met incredible people through basketball and in my school, from coaches to teachers. When I decided to come to the United States, it was not easy because I left a lot behind, but at the same time, I am lucky I was granted this opportunity, and I would do it all over again. 

What activities are you involved in at Moravian?

I am president of the international student organization, vice-president of Brain Club, and an active member in other clubs, including the American Chemical Society. I have been a member of the women’s basketball team here at Moravian and am a 26-point ambassador. In addition, I am a student-worker at the fitness center and the center for global education, and I served as a teacher assistant for multiple science classes.

What’s next after you graduate?

I have been accepted to a doctoral program at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, which starts on July 1.

Will you return to Spain once you’ve completed your doctorate degree?

I am not sure. It will depend on whether I do a postdoctoral fellowship or decide to work in industry. In terms of research, there are not many opportunities in Spain right now. Whatever I do, I would like to be near home, so I might apply for positions in Europe as well in the United States and see what opportunities become available.

On a light note, what is your favorite spot on campus?

The star room in the Sally building. I love to study there and see the beautiful views.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not studying?

I like to explore new places to hike and walk. There are so many cool places around Moravian!

What is the best advice you have ever received or a quote that stays with you?

Stay true to yourself.

Community Partner, William Penn Elementary
Alec Buttner ’21 Accepted to Doctoral Program at University of Chicago
Related Posts
1742 Experience Turns 10
Sharkey and Kelly-Cavotta Honored for Service
The World Stories Program


Subscribe To Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates