Inside Moravian
e-Newsletter of the Moravian College Campus Community 03/18/15

Moravian College Celebrates 20th Anniversary Brain Awareness Week

Cecilia M. Fox Receives Grant from Society for Neuroscience to Help Fund Programming

The Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Chapter and Moravian College BRAIN Club are hosting the 2015 Brain Awareness outreach program throughout the month. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Brain Awareness Week, the society has planned film screenings, demonstrations, expert talks, and its annual Brain Party to educate and inform the public on the importance of brain health, while emphasizing the significance of continued, meaningful research on the awe-inspiring organ.

Cecilia M. Fox, director of the neuroscience program and president of the Lehigh Valley SfN Chapter, was recently awarded a grant through the Society to assist with the funding for these programs, as well as the Lehigh Valley SfN Undergraduate Research Conference. This year's conference will be held at Lehigh University on April 25th. Moravian College serves as the host college for this award-winning chapter.

Fox identified the need for a Lehigh Valley SfN chapter when she noticed an absence in undergraduate colleges at the Philadelphia chapter’s conference. After some petitioning, the chapter now includes colleges in the Lehigh Valley, as well as outlying institutions including Lycoming, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and several schools in New Jersey. And it’s not just neuroscience students, either—the society welcomes psychology and philosophy students in order to create a full picture of awareness and research.

“When I think about the mission of Moravian College, we’re here to serve the public and be good stewards for our community—that also means in the scientific realm,” said Fox. “The activity of this chapter ensures our undergraduates have the opportunity to develop into scholars.” Thanks to involvement in the society, students are given the unique opportunity to build outreach programs from the ground up while presenting their work at a national level.

BRAIN: Students from Moravian College and other area institutions perform brain awareness demonstrations at The Terrace at Phoebe Allentown on Monday, March 16.

Events take place throughout the Lehigh Valley, including at newly-inducted society member DeSales University. Attend one of the talks, see a movie, or get a hands-on demonstration, and you’ll walk away with fun souvenirs, pamphlets, and crafts—plus a whole lot of curiosity about the brain. 

“We want to reach that kid who never knew that she could be a neuroscientist someday and give her a taste of how fascinating the brain is. We want to reach that one gentleman who is wondering about how his brain is changing now that he has retired and let him know that there are reliable resources he can go to, including us, to find out more,” said Sarah K. Johnson associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, and chair of the psychology department, who co-organized some of the events. The events also speak to the importance of research, while letting the public know that it can’t happen without their support.

Check out one of these upcoming Brain Awareness Week events, which are free and open to the public:

Wednesday, March 18
Movie Night: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
DeSales University, Gambet Auditorium, 5 p.m.

Saturday, March 21
Brain Party! Demonstrations and activities for K-8 students and their families (all ages welcome)
Bethlehem Area Public Library, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24
Invited talk: How a Traumatic Brain Injury Changed My Life by David Cap, Esq.
Lafayette College, Oeschle Hall 224, 7pm

Saturday, March 28
Norbit the Neuron’s Brainy Story Time: Brain-related stories for children ages 3-8
Bethlehem Area Public Library, 10:30-11:30am

Tuesday March 31
Invited Talk: The Neuroscientific Challenge to Legal Doctrine by Peter A. Alces, Esq.
Lafayette College, Kirby 104, 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m.

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