Jerrik Rydbom

“Stay Open-Minded”: Senior shares how his W&J journey landed him in a top neuroscience program

Created: April 30, 2021  |  Last Updated: April 30, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (April 30, 2021) – When Jerrik Rydbom ’21 spoke to prospective students at W&J Take Action Day in April, he shared an important piece of advice: stay open minded, because you never know where your college experience could take you.

Jerrik, a neuroscience major with a minor in chemistry, will attend Case Western Reserve University this fall for a Ph.D. program in neuroscience. He’s looking forward to working alongside Case Western’s faculty researchers, and hopes to be part of work that ultimately will have a great impact in the field of neuroscience.
Jerrik said the support of the people at W&J, especially his professors, made it possible for him to customize his W&J experience both in and outside of the classroom.

“It’s the people at W&J who push you to succeed, and who push you to be the best possible version of yourself and find those true passions that you have,” he said. “So stay open minded to that because you never know where you could end up.”

Jerrik’s academic achievements include an Honors in Neuroscience award for his research on “Tau-mediated changes to gut microbiome composition and immune activation.” His project represents work that he did as Independent Study in the W&J Biology department in the laboratory of Dr. Kelly Lohr, Assistant Professor of Biology, throughout Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.

Outside of the classroom, he regularly works with the Office of Admission to introduce W&J to a new generation of Presidents. He hopes that through his own work mentoring prospective students over the past four years that he has also been part of that campus support system himself.

“I’ve worked with a ton of prospective students and other classmates during my time at W&J. I just hope that I could have made a positive impact in some of their lives so they, too, can start or continue their W&J journey confidently and with an open mind,” he said.

About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.