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Brain Awareness Week honors neuroscience champion Professor Bob Glassman

This year marks the tenth annual Brain Awareness Week at Lake Forest College. Starting in 2003, this symposium educates people about the brain through teaching, seminars, and entertainment. Events run from Monday, November 11 through Saturday, November 16.

Events include a lecture about happiness with Northwestern psychology professor Dr. Robin Nusslock, a talk titled, “The Biology of Helping: Lessons learned from rodents” with University of Chicago neurobiology professor Dr. Peggy Mason, and campus screening of the movie Amour with an interdisciplinary faculty panel.

First-year students will present brain outreach seminars about sex and sexuality, emotions, and sleep.

“I am excited about learning from the other groups’ presentations,” said Peyton Schrag ’17. “I feel confident about presenting because we have received a good background about the anatomy of the brain. We learned about the brain regions associated with different functions and how they interact.”

“Students are learning how to teach what they know,” said Professor of Biology Shubhik DebBurman, stressing how teaching leads to better comprehension during the learning process.

Starting this year, the mid-week symposium has been named the Robert B. Glassman Memorial Brain, Mind, & Behavior Symposium in honor of the late Professor of Psychology Robert Glassman, who played a leading role in developing Lake Forest’s popular neuroscience major.

“As far as I can remember, Bob Glassman has been the greatest champion for neuroscience at Lake Forest College,” said DebBurman. “It was his vision to teach neuroscience to students and the community.”

DebBurman said the symposium has a strong interdisciplinary approach, highlighting that only one faculty member presenting studies science. The rest teach English, communication, theater, and philosophy.

“It’s unusual to have such a diverse faculty group tell their stories about the brain,” he said. “That said, Bob would have loved this lineup which brings together big ideas from many different perspectives.”

This year’s symposium will also feature more poster presentations than ever before. For the first time, alumni are also presenting alongside current students.

“The symposium will involve more than 27 students presenting on more than 20 studies,” said Victoria Egedus ’14, president of Nu Rho Psi. “It will be a great opportunity for students showcasing their neuroscience related work.”

Wrapping up a week of exciting brain presentations will be Saturday night’s Explodeo Rodeo performance. Mentalist Chris Carter will be coming back to the College to put on a hypnotic show. 

“Everyone should expect a night filled with laughter and good people,” said Crystal Ramirez ’14, Synapse co-president.

This week’s events are free and open to the public to learn more about the science of their brain.