Student Spotlight

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Student Spotlight

Lydia Baxter-Potter

About Lydia: 

Though I am originally from South Bend Indiana, my family moved to Pullman when I was in high school and I consider Pullman to be my hometown. I caught the running bug when I joined the cross-country team my senior year, and running continues to be an important part of my life. My father lived in Thailand (mostly Bangkok) until he was nine, where my grandfather designed numerous buildings and both grandparents served as a Presbyterian missionaries. My mother was also a pastor’s kid, and spent most of her childhood in Columbus Ohio where my grandfather was a Presbyterian minister and my grandmother taught first grade. I have two younger brothers; one who is a senior at the University of Puget Sound studying classical history, and another who is a sophomore at Ohio University studying aviation.

Since high school I’ve had a passion for ceramics. I was fortunate enough to take some classes after college at Ohio University where my professors allowed me to complete independent projects, as well as explore glaze mixing and firing techniques. My favorite by far was tending a wood-fired kiln. Throwing pottery is a very relaxing and meditative activity, and I would love to have my own hobby studio someday.

I enjoy various outdoor pursuits including hiking, ultimate frisbee, and rowing. Among my most frequent activities are running, biking, and swimming, and I have completed four sprint triathlons to date. At some point, I hope to complete an Ironman triathlon in either Vancouver BC or Coeur d’Alene ID.

About Lydia's interest in neuroscience: 

With the current epidemic of mental illness in the world, it’s essential that we focus on determining the brain’s function. I first became interested in neuroscience in college, where so many of my fellow students were prescribed antidepressants or antianxiety medications. The lack of information and research on the long-term effects of such drugs troubled me, and prompted me to take my first neuroscience class. Here at WSU, I’m interested in studying the endocannabinoid system and stress.

Lydia's motivatiors:

A lot of my inspiration comes from my grandpa, who has dedicated his life to serve others. After he retired, he volunteered as chaplain for the Omaha Fire Department and Police Department, and volunteered to help people overcome addiction. He always gets me thinking about things from different angles.


B.A. Biology, minor in Neuroscience, Hope College, Holland, MI


Undergraduate Research Symposium Participant-Hope College, Holland, MI
Chemistry Club Officer-Hope College, Holland, MI
Field Studies in East Africa-Hope College, Tanzania


Testosterone-Influenced Neurogenesis in Male Japanese Quail
Biological Sciences-Ohio University, Athens, OH

Analysis of Planting Date Dependent Artemisinin Levels in Artemesia Annua
Crop and Soil Sciences-Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Determination of Suitability of Rapeseeds as Potential Biofuel Sources
Crop and Soil Sciences-Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Homocysteic Acid Treatment in Rats to Determine Sex-Related Differences and Potential Development of a Novel Schizophrenic Model
Biology Department-Hope College, Holland, MI

Long-Term Effects of Bupropion HCL on Female Rat Sexual Behavior
Biology Department-Hope College, Holland, MI