Outstanding Seniors in the College of Science: Sylvia Zarnescu

April 19, 2022


This spring, each department in the University of Arizona's College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next up in the senior spotlight series is Sylvia Zarnescu.

Sylvia Zarnescu

Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Degrees: B.S. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science; B.A. in Economics

College of Science:Why did you choose your area of study?
Sylvia: I've always been interested in human behavior and—mainly inspired by my own indecisiveness—knew that I wanted to study decision making in college. The brain is the foundation for all things related to human behavior, so naturally, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science became my declared major. In my first semester of college, I also declared a major in Economics so that I could study decision making from a cognitive, social, and economic perspective.

COS: Tell us about a class or research project you really enjoyed.
Sylvia: One class I've really enjoyed is PSY 433, Decisions and the Brain. Being a double major in NSCS and Economics, it's rare to see these two disciplines explicitly overlap in my classes, but this class explores the neuroeconomics of decision making in such an interesting and engaging way. The few classes like PSY 433 that I've taken have really helped me validate my interest in and learn about the still emerging field of study that is behavioral and neuroeconomics.

COS: What is one specific memory from your time at UA that you'll cherish forever?
Sylvia: I've made so many incredible memories and had so many wonderful experiences over the past four years, but one that particularly stands out is being able to plan the NSCS department's annual wine tasting and silent auction this year. This was our first major event back in person since 2019 and it was so special seeing everything come together after months of hard work. With the help of the committee, our advisors, and my fellow NSCS ambassadors, we raised nearly $1,000 for NSCS student scholarships and research.

COS: What is next for you after graduation?
Sylvia: After graduation, I'll be moving to New York City to work in a Sales and Trading role at J.P. Morgan. I also hope to obtain a graduate degree within the next few years, and am so excited for what the future holds!