Rachel Lamparelli

Program II Profile: Psychopathology, Morality, and Law
Hometown: Buffalo, NY

What is your PII about?
My program investigates how decision-making and its concurrent ethical and philosophical underpinnings are understood from various disciplinary approaches, and further how decision-making on the individual level functions as a dynamic aspect of psychopathology. In order to accomplish this I have drawn from the departments of neuroscience, pharmacology, bioethics, psychology, philosophy, ethics, and public policy. My thesis on neuropredicition in criminal law draws on the classes I have taken to look at a modern problem that requires interdisciplinary perspectives.

Who are your PII mentors?
Nicole Schramm-Sapyta and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

What doors have been opened to you thanks to PII?
In addition to fostering great relationships with Duke faculty and researchers, Program II has been a unique discussion point in interviews for internships and graduate schools. Through my Program II mentors, I became a research assistant in behavioral genetics for Professor Evan Charney in the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy and interned for the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. in the Office of Science and Technology Communication.

What inspired you to pursue Program II?
I was inspired to pursue Program II because there is a demand for a truly interdisciplinary perspective in the sciences in order for us to apply research to society and I was able to create the most enriching academic experience through Program II.

What was your greatest challenge in designing your program?
The greatest challenge in creating my program was finding a central theme that was forward looking and would allow me to engage in real-world issues as they unfold, but my Program II mentors were immensely helpful during this process.

How did Program II factor into your post-graduation plans?
Program II has created a strong foundation for me to pursue a STEM focused law degree — there is a call for lawyers with science backgrounds and many schools are creating programs specifically for STEM-based law practice.

Rachel Lamparelli