Former Evergreen camper doing cutting edge research to better understand the Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lauren and two of her close Camp friends back when they were campers

So many of our K&E alumni grow up to have incredibly interesting adult lives, often figuring out how they can turn their passions into helping others. Last week we were excited to see that former camper Lauren Singer presented her undergraduate work at a prestigious scientific conference. We asked Lauren about her research and here’s what she had to say:

I recently attended the International Society for Autism Research Annual Meeting in Montreal to present my research on the difference between how males and females with autism spectrum disorder process emotional facial expressions. I did this project during the past school year, but I’ve been doing scientific research since the first summer after I was in Juniper at Camp and I’m continuing to do research this summer as an intern at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center’s Division of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

Lauren followed her mother’s footsteps by becoming an Evergreen camper in 2009, and in her final summer was a part of Juniper 2014. Many of you know her first cousins Jaden, Skyler and Levi who all joined us in 2018. Asking her to reflect on her 6 summers at K&E she told us the following:

Some of my favorite camp memories are on Outdoor Adventure trips with Adventure Dave. He would take us to do things like jumping off bridges into rivers and swimming in really cold water. I’d never done anything like that before Camp and I remember how terrified I was the first few Adventure periods. But my friends and I always cheered for each other whenever we tried one of the activities for the first time, and it was awesome to see everyone overcoming their fears! These days I don’t get to see people from Camp super often, but when I do, we fall right back into our friendship like we were never apart. Camp friends are some of the best kinds of friends! After Yale, I hope to go to medical school.

Camp really showed me the value and fun of winning as a team as opposed to alone. From being a manager for the Tri-State Softball tournament to learning Camp cheers to Color War, I was always learning that when people support each other, celebrate each other’s strengths, and push each other to improve, they can accomplish more than any of them could on their own. For me, that definitely translates to my research—I’ve had such amazing mentors and peers who inspire me to work harder. Working as a team helps us create better solutions to problems.

If you’d like to read more about Lauren’s research please click here. Let’s give our Camp friend an “Acka-Lacka Ching” for taking her passion and using it to help us understand our world, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, better.