An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life

Autism Campus Minorities Undergrad
Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast
Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast
An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life

Autism, college life, and connecting with other minority students during undergrad. In this audio clip on what it’s like being an undergraduate from another country, autistic self-advocate Laura Gilmour asks her mentor Dr. Melike Shalomon, originally from Barvaria, about her experiences acclimating to studying in Canada when she was an undergraduate.


STEM Mentor Dr. Melike Schalomon smiling and looking at camera
Dr. Melike Schalomon, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. Associate Professor, Psychology. MacEwan University, Alberta, CA.

Dr. Schalomon’s background is in behavioral neuroscience. Her graduate education focused on animal research in rodents, with an emphasis on neuroanatomy, neurosurgery and neurogenetics. She studied cerebral lateralization and the consequences of damage to the corpus callosum as a result of split brain surgery and congenital agenesis of the callosum. After obtaining her degree, she developed a secondary teaching and research interest in the field of human sexuality with a primary focus on sexual orientation. She has explored the relationship between sexual orientation and sexual behavior in exceptional populations. Over the past several years, her main research interests have refocused on behavioral neuroscience. She is engaged in a program of research using zebrafish. Zebrafish are rapidly becoming a major model organism for studying the nervous system, as their genetics are well understood and their neurochemistry closely parallels that of the human brain. One focus of Dr. Schalomon’s research with zebrafish is the development of reliable and valid paradigms for assessing zebrafish behavior. These paradigms are then used to explore how environmental manipulations, for example pharmaceutical agents, affect various behaviors including anxiety and memory.

Download the transcript here: Laura Gilmour and Dr. Melike Schalomon Being a Minority on Campus as an Undergrad.docx

Want to hear more from Laura and Dr. Schalomon? Try these:

STEM, Autism, and Building Professional Relationships: Interview with a Mentor, Part One

Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics & Autistic Students

You might also like:

Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode One, Institutions of Higher Education

Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know

How Examining Autism and the Immigrant Experience Together Can Benefit Communities

Where’s Bavaria? What’s it like?

Learn more here.

Questions or comments? Let us know!


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Laura Gilmour is a PhD candidate in educational psychology at the University of Alberta and an autistic self-advocate. Her research has centred around issues surrounding autism across the life span ranging from sexuality, online gaming, employment, and autism culture. She is actively involved in guest lectures in the Edmonton community which share both her personal and research experience.

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