06 Jun Meet Kaitlyn O’Connor, TESS Summer Intern
My name is Kaitlyn O’Connor, and I am excited to join the TESS Research team! As an intern this summer, I will be working on creating science-simplified articles that I can’t wait for you to read. Being at TESS, I am eager to gain a deeper understanding of the important work nonprofits do. I am excited to immerse myself in this community during my time here.
Currently, I am a rising junior at Pitzer College, where I am pursuing a major in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. At Pitzer, I actively contribute as a research assistant in the Global Mental Health lab. Starting next semester, I will also take on the role of a mental health and wellness ambassador. Additionally, I engage with the larger Pitzer alumni community and fundraise in the Advancement Office.
At the age of twelve, my life took an unexpected turn when I started experiencing continual, drug-resistant seizures that affected the left side of my body. Despite undergoing two targeted brain surgeries, the seizures unfortunately persisted and worsened. Consequently, I was diagnosed with Rassmussen’s Encephalitis and Cortical Dysplasia. In 2015, I underwent a right hemispherectomy. My extensive medical journey has profoundly influenced my career aspirations and fostered a deep interest in clinical psychology. My ultimate goal is to work in a hospital, providing assistance to children who face similar challenges as I did. Moreover, I aspire to delve deeper into studying Rassmussen’s, similar to how TESS is investigating the SLC13A5 gene mutation. After graduating from college, I also plan to publish a memoir about my medical experience, hoping to offer guidance and inspiration to others facing medical challenges.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the TESS Research team and look forward to the valuable experiences and knowledge I will gain during my time here.