President of LSU graduate school. Athlete. Scientist. Board of Regents intern. These are just a few titles of New Orleans native turned Baton Rouge resident Vernon Dunn.

He’s a busy man, but that’s because he believes it’s important to push yourself and try new things.
He went to high school at Country Day in New Orleans and earned his undergraduate degree in psychology and chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and is now working on his doctorate in neurobiology at LSU.

Science is a large part of Dunn’s life. It’s something he’s always been interested in, and until he got to LSU, he planned on going into the medical field. But after meeting with an LSU professor, he changed his path to research. In the future, he hopes to advocate for basic research funding at a congressional level.

He said funding in science fluctuates depending on who’s in politics, and he thinks he can make a bigger impact on the science community through the policy side of the field. To put it simply, he has a desire for change.

But just because science is a large part of Dunn’s life doesn’t mean his significant other has to wear a lab coat.

“It’s not important to me so much that you understand science at the level that I understand science,” he said.

Instead, Dunn is more interested in the intellectual connection he has with other people.

“I think that’s something that lasts the most. We get caught up so much in physical attraction, especially at my age…you get caught up so much in what a person’s doing and where they’re headed.”

Dunn said it’s also important that someone he dates has a spiritual connection. He said it doesn’t matter what religion or belief someone has, just that they believe strongly in something.

Dunn’s ideal date would involve something where the conversation is the priority, not the activity. A coffee date wouldn’t be an uncommon move for Dunn.

And at that date, you might find yourself talking about what’s currently on the silver screen.
“One of my favorite things to do is read, but my second favorite thing to do is watch movies,” Dunn said.

On his one day off a week, Dunn can often be found watching a whole series of movies, such as “Lord of the Rings.” He tries to see at least one movie a week in theatres, and sometimes after he comes home from the cinema, he presses play on another film on his own TV.

If you do end up dating Dunn, there’s another woman in the picture you should know about—his four-year old pit bull, Lola.

Photo by Nicholas Martino.

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