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News Release

Brain Awareness Week in the Lehigh Valley to Run March 14 to 20

This year’s theme focuses on neurological disorders in children

Bethlehem, Pa., March 8, 2011--Moravian College and other Lehigh Valley colleges will hold Brain Awareness Week beginning Monday, March 14 with activities running through to Sunday, March 20. Students and faculty from Moravian College will be joined by others to conduct a number of activities designed to promote awareness of the functions of the central nervous system and recent advances in neuroscience research. This education initiative is organized by The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience.

The week starts with a film entitled “Phoebe in Wonderland” on Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m. in the Miller Family Building, Room 22, at Cedar Crest College. “Phoebe in Wonderland,” is a tremblingly sensitive family drama that examines the difference between the growing pains of a gifted child and the possibility of more serious mental illness. When 9-year-old Phoebe auditions to play Alice in a school production of “Alice in Wonderland,” childish superstition drives her to act out self-punishing rituals to earn the part. In one she repeatedly washes her hands until they are raw. Another involves executing painstakingly counted-out dance steps on the sidewalk without landing on a crack. Phoebe, who wins the role, becomes the pet of the drama teacher who is a fierce defender of alienated, artistically inclined children.

There will be Fun Brain Activities in the Haupert Union Building of Moravian College at lunchtime on Tuesday, March 15, called “Celebrate your Brain.”

Dr. Karen E. Senft, Board Certified Physician of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, will present Autism: New Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment” on Wednesday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex (PPHAC), of Moravian College. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Dr. Boosara Ratanawongsa, Board certified Physician of Psychiatry and Neurology and Child Neurology at Lehigh Valley Physician Group, will present a Case Based Introduction to Pediatric Neurology on Thursday, March 17 at 4:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex (PPHAC), of Moravian College. This lecture is free and open to the public.

A film entitled “Temple Grandin” will be shown on Friday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m. in PPHAC, room 102. Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman’s perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when it was still quite unknown. The film chronicles Temple’s early diagnosis; her turbulent grown and development during her school years; the enduring support she received from her mother, aunt and her science teacher; and her emergence as a woman with an innate sensitivity and understanding of animal behavior.

The Brain Awareness Week campaign, launched in 1996, has united the Society for Neuroscience with The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and a coalition of over 1,200 science, advocacy, and other health organizations that share an interest in elevating public awareness of brain and nervous system research. During the week-long educational blitz, Society members sponsor a variety of educational activities for the general public including lectures, lab tours, classroom visits, and exhibits across North America to demonstrate the importance of basic neuroscience research to the health and well-being of the American public.

All the events are cosponsored by the Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience Chapter. For more details, please contact Dr. Cecilia M. Fox, 610-861-1426 or cfox@moravian.edu.

More information about Dr. Dawson and her visit can be found at http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/Dawson.html. The Chapter is comprised of Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College, Lehigh University, and Lafayette College.

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at Katro@moravian.edu or 610 625-7880.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their future. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.