By: Brynn Gibson
If there is one thing senior Victoria Anderson wants you to know about her, it’s the fact that this is not her newspaper debut. When she was eight years old, she made headlines in a German newspaper for being unusually good at sailing. While her seafaring days are behind her, Anderson has since developed a reputation as an ASR goddess and master of chocolate chip cookies.
Planning to go into the biomedical field, Anderson is currently taking an incredibly rigorous course load consisting of AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science, AP Literature, AP Government/Honors Economics, AP Chemistry, and AP Research (also known as Advanced Science Research or ASR).
In ASR, students spend the majority of the year planning and conducting scientific research on a topic of their choice. While time-consuming and work-intensive, ASR is by far Anderson’s favorite class. “It’s so gratifying,” she expressed, “It’s not a normal AP class with homework and answers to everything. I have to figure it out myself.”
Her second year taking the class, Anderson has spent both her years in ASR studying treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Last year, she tested the effects of CBD on C. elegans — tiny worms –– with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She found that CBD significantly improved the motor skills of the worms, giving Anderson hope that the treatment could help human patients as well. This year, she turned her focus to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and studied the effects of Vitamin B-12 in preventing relapse. Anderson’s choice was not coincidental, as she explained, “I’m interested in neurodegenerative diseases in general because my brother [LGHS graduate Julius Anderson] has MS. That’s why I wanted to study it this year.” Her research this year was once again successful, and she admitted that “I would force feed Julius Vitamin B-12.”
If she’s not pipetting a worm or force-feeding her brother vitamins, you can find Anderson co-leading two different clubs on campus. While passionate about her work for Interact, a service club, Anderson finds special honor in leading the Women in STEM club. After joining the club sophomore year, Anderson fell in love with science: “It’s the reason I joined ASR in the first place. It’s so cool to have the same position as the people who inspired me to pursue [STEM].”
Anderson took her interest in STEM outside the classroom this last summer. Working as an intern for a phlebotomist, Anderson prepared blood samples for testing. While she enjoyed the experience and can see herself going into the medical field, she admitted phlebotomy was not for her: “A phlebotomist draws blood all day…I can’t see myself doing the same thing every day. I definitely want to have some variety in my [profession].”
While Anderson may seem like your average American girl, she actually hails from Europe. With a German mother and English father, Anderson explained she moved around a lot as a child, “I was born in England…When we moved here when I was five, we’d go every other summer to Germany and live there for two months.” Anderson has spent less time living abroad as she’s gotten older, but she still visits often with her family: “I’m very grateful to be able to travel to Europe and spend time there.” Speaking German fluently, Anderson holds not just two, but three citizenships, gaining her American passport last year. She fondly remarked her one-year “Americanaversary” was just a couple of weeks ago on Mar. 4.
Stemming from her European roots, Anderson hopes to attend university outside the United States — in Germany, England, or the Netherlands. “I’ve applied in four different countries,” she admitted, “we’re just gonna see where that takes me.” Wherever she ends up, she hopes to study biomedical sciences or neurology.