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Becker College student recognized for research

Becker College student recognized for research

Published on: March 25, 2020

Rebecca Fleiner

Rebecca Fleiner

Becker College senior Rebecca Fleiner was recently recognized in a national publication.

Fleiner is pursuing a B.S. in biology as well as a B.A. in psychology with a pre-med concentration. She recently received an official acknowledgement in the journal “NeuroToxicology” for her research work in support of an article on “Brainstem Atrophy in Gulf War Illness.”

“My assistance mainly entailed searching databases for relevant literature and organizing it into different sections,” she said, “so that when the literature review writing began, they wouldn’t need to search a giant database. They could search through what I’d organized for them.”

The article focused on veterans who suffer from Gulf War Illness, a condition that affects about 30 percent of veterans who served in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. Symptoms include gastrointestinal, respiratory, and skin problems.

Since the authors were interested specifically in incidents of brainstem atrophy, Fleiner’s research allowed them to focus on the relevant literature. As she discovered, there was a great deal of information to organize.

“I learned just how much database searching goes into writing an actual paper,” Fleiner said. “There’s a lot more paperwork involved in science than people expect.”

She noted that her time at Becker helped to prepare her for the research project.

“At Becker College, I’ve had experience writing papers of my own and organizing my own literature reviews, and this skill helped me a lot with organizing someone else’s literature review, even when I didn’t quite understand all the concepts,” she said.

Fleiner, who hails from California, said she decided to pursue her degree at Becker College for a number of reasons, including the school’s location. “But the main reasons I came here were that the College supported my wish to do a double major, and that it was a smaller college,” she said.

Fleiner is scheduled to graduate in May, but plans to continue her education.

“I hope to take a gap year and work at research labs to gain some lab experience before I apply to grad school,” she said. “I think I would like to focus on biochemistry.”

To learn more about pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at Becker College, go to  To find out more about pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, visit

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