05/02/23 - BOSTON, MA. - Associate Teaching Professor, Jenn Ingemi, delivers the Last Lecture, held in Curry Student Center ballroom on May 2, 2023

Sometimes backyard paleontology turns into a swimming pool

Sometimes backyard paleontology turns into a swimming pool. Northeastern professor imparts wisdom on failure and taking risks during ‘Last Lecture’

Her childhood paleontology dreams didn’t pan out when the brachiosaurus skull she and a friend were digging up in her family’s backyard turned out to be just a large rock.

But Jenn Ingemi, an associate teaching professor in behavioral neuroscience and psychology at Northeastern University, learned a valuable lesson from that disappointment.

“Disappointment happens, but it is very temporary,” Ingemi said. “I was very sad it was a rock. I was not sad when my dad covered it up with a pool.”

The episode was one of many changes in plans that Ingemi has experienced in her life. But Ingemi told students at the annual Last Lecture on Tuesday morning, that such moments are nothing to be ashamed of; rather they can lead to something amazing.

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/ Northeastern University

Behavioral Neuroscience