In the Light: Laynie Dratch

Senior Laynie Dratch is often told she is too involved on campus. Originally from Ambler, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, nowadays you will most likely find Dratch in Olin Hall. Dratch is a behavioral neuroscience and psychology concentrator, but didn’t originally think she would end up in science. She converted to neuroscience after taking Intro to Brain and Behavior with Professor Yoshino, who convinced her that she should get over her fear of chemistry and whom she thanks for all her amazing experiences with neuroscience.

One of the many things with which Dratch keeps herself busy is working as a Signature Programs Intern at the Center for Career Services, where her responsibilities include SophoMORE Connections, A Day in the Life, Real World and more. Dratch is also the instructor for Zumba. Partnering with a friend who is a yoga instructor, Dratch has used her Zumba skills to raise money for various organizations by hosting “Zumba and Yoga-Thons” on campus. She also volunteers in the Office of Admission as an Illustrator, is the Vice President of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, volunteers with Let’s Get Ready as an SAT tutor, mentor and college guidance counselor and is the student representative for the Department of Neuroscience and Psychology. In the past, she has also been an admissions tour guide and has worked as a research assistant in cognitive psychology.

To complement these Colgate extra curriculars, Dratch has spent her summers working as a research intern at the Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration Center, which is comprised of a multidisciplinary team and serves as both a clinical and research hub for rare, early-onset neurodegenerative disorders. Laynie worked on a number of projects, most recently working on an MRI staging analysis of Alzheimer’s disease and atypical dementias. She has also spent part of her summers working as a camp counselor.

“Whether it is academic or social, there are always things to do and people to see [at Colgate]. I will miss living with my best friends, and I will miss the demanding but vibrant energy of campus,” Dratch said of her time at Colgate.

Thinking back to her first year, Laynie wishes she knew that everything works out and things tend to happen for a reason.

“I would tell first-years to take advantage of every opportunity,” Dratch said. “I think the way I became so involved is by saying yes to everything, and I think that is a good way to achieve success and happiness. Go out, spend time with friends, go to the sports games and concerts; you have your whole life to work but this is your time to take advantage of college.”