Flint native Evan Nudi will head to Texas this fall with plans to pursue a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin's behavioral neuroscience program.
He will continue the sort of research he began at Saginaw Valley State University, where Nudi graduates along with some 1,000 other students in May. He'll receive a bachelor's degree in psychology.
The 2007 Flushing High School graduate hopes one day to be able to oversee his own research lab studying traumatic brain injuries and strokes.
His work in SVSU's Brain Research Laboratory helped shape those aspirations.
"I've always been interested in the brain and brain functioning," he said. "At first, I went down the clinical psychology route, and I knew it wasn't for me."
While working at the laboratory, Nudi was charged with overseeing two projects studying traumatic brain injury and recovery. The second project was funded by SVSU's Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Student Research and Creativity Institute, a program supporting student research projects, up to $10,000.
Charles Weaver, an SVSU assistant professor of health sciences who worked with Nudi in the laboratory, said his student possesses the wherewithal to succeed at the next level. And the level after that.
"He is methodical and confident in his skills, and intellectually, is graduate school-ready," Weaver said. "Because of his ability to problem-solve, he was given many responsibilities, and managed and completed them efficiently. Evan is one those students who truly understands the necessity of learning the fundamentals of basic neuroscience.
"His vision of becoming a research scientist is within his grasp, and he is ready to seize it," Weaver said. "The effort is there and the heart is there."
Nudi praised the opportunities that opened up for him, including several trips where he presented his research to others -- including professionals -- in the field.
Nudi has presented twice at the Society for Neuroscience Conference, including once in New Orleans and again at San Diego; at the National Neurotrauma Society symposium in Nashville; and at the Michigan chapter of the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. He plans to attend a second conference for the latter group when it convenes May 30.