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Communications and Marketing

A Forester you should know: Yoan Ganev ’19

Every year in the fall, neuroscience student organizations on campus come together to collaborate and host Brain Awareness Week. This year, Yoan Ganev ’19 will not only help with hosting as a member of Nu Rho Psi, but he will also present his research and play the piano at one of the lectures.

“Every single behavior we produce is actually a function of the brain,” said Ganev, who will incorporate his passion for science with his musical talents when he plays piano for the Brain Awareness Week lecture, “Mind and Society Dialogue: Brain, Race, and Theater.” The lecture will feature speaker American playwright and author Lydia Diamond, and Ganev will be performing Chopin’s Ballade Nr. 4 in F minor (Op. 52).

You can see Ganev display his neuroscience research in the Robert B. Glassman Symposium at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, and he will reveal his piano talents at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8. 

This multifaceted neuroscience and chemistry double-major is a Forester you should know. 

Q: What drew you to Lake Forest College?

A: “The science program. When I visited DePaul University and Loyola University, their science programs did not really stand out. At Lake Forest College, I saw that students in the science programs were really involved and they had opportunities to become even more involved. Students here can work in labs, make posters, and present these posters at national conferences. This summer, I actually presented my research poster at the Great Leagues Chapter for the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, which was held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Q: What experiences have you had here—besides your classes—that have helped prepare you for your future career?

A: “I think learning how to balance your schedule and knowing what needs to be done immediately versus what can wait is very important.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: “I like to play the piano, especially Beethoven and Chopin. I have been playing since I was six years old. For Brain Awareness Week, Professor of Biology Dr. DebBurman asked me to display my piano skills at the race and theater lecture. I’ve performed at other occasions on campus as well. Assistant Professor of Music Anne Barry once contacted me with an opportunity to accompany the choir. I met her quite by chance. I was playing the piano in the room next to her office, and she happened to walk by. She asked me for my email, and a few months later, she reached out. I also performed at another event through the College with a fellow student, Claire Olson ’20, who sang while I played background music for a party at one of the houses in Lake Forest.” 

Q: Do you have any advice for new students?

A: “You should know that academics are very important, but you should also find a field you really enjoy. Then, you will be able to study without saying, “oh I have to study.” It becomes something that you are interested and invested in.”

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: “I really want to go to medical school, so I’ve been looking at studying different opportunities by volunteering and shadowing at different places in order to see what my options are. I currently volunteer at a local hospital as a patient guide ambassador.”

Q: Parting words:

A: “Enjoy your time here at the College, because it is really awesome.”

-By Tracy Koenn ’18