B.R.A.I.N. club raises money for neuroscience charities

By Carolyn Williams

Writer

The Bucknell Researchers, Advocates & Investigators in Neuroscience, or as they are more commonly called, the BRAIN Club, was created by Jacob Schaeffer ’10 in 2008. Since the club’s beginnings, members have focused attention on expansion, activities and trying to make the student body aware of their presence on campus. The club’s goal is to “to promote and involve the Bucknell community in the advancing and fascinating field of neuroscience,” according to the club’s University website.

“The club began as an academic interest group. Meetings consisted of neuroscience-related lectures, videos and activities. However, within the past two semesters, we have really tried to change the direction of the club to become mostly philanthropic,” said Alper Dincer ’11, the club’s president.

As a charity organization, the group has become a means by which students can give back to the cause that interests them.

“The club’s new purpose is to be a central fundraising source for organizations that are trying to help cure nervous system diseases,” Dincer said. “Essentially, the club finds new ways to raise money and donate to various neuroscience organizations, such as the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. For this reason, prior background [in neuroscience] is not needed to become an active member because anyone can help.”

The club meets every other week, and is looking specifically for “creative and passionate students of any major or interest who would like to become involved in fundraising for a good cause,” Dincer said. “There are not many commitments or obligations, but coming frequently to the meetings and participating in the club is enough,” he said.

Monica Burney ’14, an undeclared major, agrees that the club allows students from all fields to explore neuroscience. “I feel that the BRAIN club’s new approach will serve as a useful resource for students who are still exploring their options. Many people are often intimidated by the prospect of majoring in neuroscience—this is a great way to ease them into that field,” she said.

The BRAIN club typically gains members through its activities on campus. “We try and recruit through our activities and add those who are interested on a mailing list, where we frequently update members on meetings and news,” Dincer said. “Otherwise, joining and becoming involved is really maintained through current members telling their friends or other neuroscience majors about the club and our activities.”

The next big project the BRAIN club has planned is a t-shirt campaign called “Bucknell Brains against Tumors.”

“Currently, we are in the design stage but we hope that within the next few weeks we can start selling t-shirts in which proceeds will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation,” Dincer said.

The club has received a great deal of help from the biology and psychology departments, notably from their faculty advisor, David Evans, professor of psychology.  “Since we are a fairly new club, we are still evolving quite a bit. I’m not sure in what direction the club will go next, but I’m really happy with what we’re doing now,” Dincer said.

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