BRAIN Club increases involvement on campus

By Olivia Seecof

Writer

This week, the University’s BRAIN club will be holding a campus-wide Brain Awareness Week.  The BRAIN club promotes interest in the brain, and the areas of neuroscience and psychology by holding events for its members and the campus community.

Events for this week focus on fundraising for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  Sororities and fraternities will have a chance to participate in the philanthropy “Links of Love” event, which includes purchasing construction paper links to either add to a chain or remove from a different chain.  At the end of the week, the Greek organization with the longest chain will win.

Another event that the BRAIN club will host is the “Cycle Against Brain Tumors” race.  Teams can register to race other teams on the stationary bikes in Davis Gym.  Funds will come from money pledged for each mile.  T-shirts will be on sale all week.

“It is awesome to be able to help out the community, especially when club members have close ties to the charities we work with,” club president AJ Collegio ’13 said.

Some of the club members will be attending the annual Neuroscience 2011 conference in Washington, D.C.

“This is the largest scientific conference in the country and also, some of our members’ research will be presented, including my lab group’s research,” club vice president Jen Gerard ’14 said.

The club has a lot of members that are science and psychology majors, but is always looking for new members and is open to anyone interested in brains and neuroscience.

“Since freshman year, the club has provided me with a group of students of similar interest and has allowed me to be more academically engaged outside the classroom,” Collegio said.

“The BRAIN club is doing wonderful things to raise awareness in a variety of different causes, and they bring a lot of passion to what they do.  But, they also reflect the breadth of neuroscience and illustrate how students from a variety of disciplines can be interested in neuroscience.  To me, it is the heart and soul of the liberal arts,” faculty advisor Dave Evans said.

“One of the first fun activities [of the club] was to make Jello from brain molds, trying to place candies into strategic places that one could dissect and eat.  Since then, the club has taken on more serious endeavors,” Evans said.

Last spring, the club held a Tug McGraw Foundation baseball game to raise money for brain tumor, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury research.  They plan to hold the second annual game along with an Autism Walk this spring.

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