Where are you from?  Hazlet, NJ

How long have you lived in the area?  10 months

What are three words your friends would use to describe you?  Loud, empathetic, and scatterbrained

Why do you run?  Mostly for my mental health; it’s probably the only form of exercise after tap dancing that makes me feel more relaxed and happier after I do it. I love putting my music on, letting my mind wander and taking in the beautiful scenery outside.

Why did you decide to join the Station Pub Run?  I needed someone to hold me accountable to run. The community is also fantastic—I remember at my first Pub Run, Ed introduced me to a lot of people and started talking to me about the World Cup. During my first few runs it was really easy to make new friends, and that’s what’s kept me coming back.

What is your favorite thing about the Station Pub Run?  I love the friendly and supportive atmosphere of the run. No one pressures me to run more or faster than I feel comfortable. It’s also great to get a chance to spend time with people outside my school bubble!

Describe the most recent (appropriate 🙂 ) photo you took with your phone:  A photo of a flower garden on an indoor veranda in New Orleans.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received, and who gave it to you?  In college, as I was crying about a boy who broke my heart, I told my friend, “I just want to be the most important person in someone’s life!” In response, my friend told me, “Rebecca, YOU have to be the most important person in your life.” It didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time, but now I take it to mean that our self-worth is what we have at the end of the day. No one can know exactly what goes on in my head except for me, and that solitude can be liberating rather than lonely.

If you could have any talent or skill in the entire world, without needing to practice and money was no limitation, what would it be?  Probably the ability to speak any language I want, at the level of a native speaker.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know:  Music runs in my family. My mom is a trained opera singer and my dad has played the piano his whole life. My mom told me that I learned to sing before I learned to talk. As she was changing my diaper one day, she noticed my singing the melody of the Barney Song (“I love you, you love me…”) before I said my first words.

What is something you have done recently, or are about to do, that you are proud of?  At my job last year, I started a research project on the prevalence of birth defects in a cohort of babies who may have been exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy. Although we’re still collecting data, I’m proud of taking the initiative to use data that we collected for another purpose and share our findings with the scientific community.

Please share your favorite quote or slogan:  This quote from George will always makes me laugh: “The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”

Anything else you'd like to share with us?!  The picture I took is of me standing above the wing of the plane I took over the Nazca Lines in Peru!