Love in the time of COVID-19: Roxanne Kadoun


Roxanne Kadoun was a senior in psychology when COVID-19 arrived in Iowa. 

Amber Mohmand

Editor’s note: This is part of a contributed collection of students and faculty experience with COVID-19.

Though students have transitioned to an online schedule, graduating seniors have said they do not get to experience the closure of commencement.

Spring commencement ceremonies for undergraduates, graduate students and veterinary medicine students were canceled.

“COVID-19 has impacted me personally as a senior in the fact that I won’t have a ceremony this spring,” said Roxanne Kadoun, who was a senior in psychology. “I’m worried that I won’t be able to see a lot of the friends I made, and making connections with professors is a lot more difficult to gain references for graduate school.”

Since the semester ended, Kadoun said in a follow-up interview she had received references amid the pandemic.

Kadoun transferred to Iowa State her junior year and has been working on research with Martin Acerbo, an associate teaching professor in the psychology department.

Kadoun said she plans to attend graduate school in the future and she wants to gain research experience in her senior year.

“Since I was a transfer, I started my research late,” Kadoun said. “It was going really well and I was able to learn a lot about actual research experience; however, due to COVID-19, I am not able to continue adding research.”

One area of research for Acerbo is avian brain functional neuroanatomy, which Kadoun said she is focusing on the visual cortex of the pigeon brain.

“I do this by studying images of it through a microscope,” Kadoun said. “After drawing the image in a bigger proportion, I then measure the level of activity in the different brain regions.”

The lab focused on analyzing and evaluating the collected data from home.

“Since I’m not on campus, I cannot use the microscope to draw new images; however, I am able to do measurements from home on my computer,” Kadoun said.