Millsaps College

Neurophilosophy Studies Charts Path for Millsaps Grad

by Web on June 26, 2018

Gracey Belote credits her career path to her studies in neurophilosophy and the related research she did as an undergraduate at Millsaps College.

 A 2018 Millsaps graduate, Belote will attend the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Ph.D. Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University enjoys an international reputation as a center of excellence in this field and reflects an awareness among philosophers of an informed interdisciplinary approach to understanding the mind/brain.

"My major in neurophilosophy and all of the relevant research that I've done in this discipline through my projects with Dr. Patrick Hopkins (professor of philosophy at Millsaps) made me want to pursue this in my graduate studies," said Belote, who is from Brandon. "After I earn my Ph.D., I plan to become a professor and continue to work with material spanning both the realms of neuroscience and philosophy."

As a freshman, Belote conducted research with Dr. Sabrina Grondhuis, assistant professor of psychology at Millsaps, which led to a poster she presented at a conference during her sophomore year. "That experience helped me to know that I wanted to continue to pursue research but that I also wanted to explore more types of projects as well," she said.

During the spring semester of her sophomore year, Belote began research for a project that focused the concept of trust and its functions in interpersonal interactions.

"That work quickly grew from independent study and became a Ford Fellowship and an honors program thesis, both of which were mentored by Dr. Hopkins and led to further conference presentations," she said. "I also had the opportunity to do research in the neuroscience department with Dr. (Elizabeth) Krusemark (visiting assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Millsaps), which culminated in a poster presentation at a conference in Houston, Texas."

While an undergraduate, Belote worked as a presidential ambassador in the Millsaps admissions office during her freshman year, and then took on the leadership role of enrollment fellow during her sophomore and junior years. In her senior year, she served as the student leadership coordinator, which allowed her to work closely with the team of presidential ambassadors through hiring, training, and managing the office logistics.

As part of the Foundations program that helps new students adjust to life on campus, Belote led Foundations groups during her sophomore and junior years and became a Foundations and orientation director where she helped organize all of the activities for the Foundations program and for the initial return of Millsaps' orientation program in the summer of 2017. 

Belote was also involved with Enable America and assisted the founding president of the Millsaps chapter, Sarah McLean Archer, B.S. 2018, with establishing the organization on campus by serving as a member of its executive board. 

"Greek life was also a part of my involvement as well," Belote said. "I was a member of Chi Omega for all four years that I was at Millsaps."