College’s neuroscience honorary receives national grant for mental health awareness

2017-2018 Nu Rho psi Chapter at Lake Forest College
November 02, 2017

The Lake Forest College chapter of Nu Rho Psi (the national neuroscience honorary) was awarded a 2017-2018 Chapter Activity Grant Award from the Nu Rho Psi (NRP) National Council. Our college’s chapter was one of four institutions nationally to receive this award through a national competition between regional NRP chapters.

The 2017-2018 national grant competition’s goal was to encourage innovative programming at universities and colleges with NRP chapters  that promote awareness for this year’s chosen them: Stress and Anxiety.

The College’s chapter received funding for its vision to create a community awareness day on March 1 (2018) entitled “A Forester Collaboration to End the Stigma on Mental Illness”. By engaging with stories from those who have experienced mental illness and providing coping mechanisms, the chapter’s hope is to encourage those struggling to speak out, to get help, and no longer feel alone. They propose the three related activities for the college community and the public, for which they are forming collaborative partnerships with the College’s Health and Wellness Center and multiple student groups.
a) produce a video capturing student first-person accounts of their struggles with anxiety and stress and their stories of resilience,
b) sponsor a campus meditation hour with yoga and tea, and
c) sponsor an evening event that features a public talks by a series of inspirational speakers representing the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Lake County (Illinois)

The chapter’s committed effort to raising awareness on Stress and Anxiety issues goes beyond  the grant’s funded activity. On September 13, the organization sponsored a public seminar Dr. Jelena Radulovic from Northwestern University spoke on the neurobiology of stress-related memories that attracted an audience of over 100. On April 28 (2018) they will sponsor Dr. Joanna Dabrowska from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science who will highlight the role of oxytocin in controlling stress in the brain. The organization also sponsored two faculty panel-driven movie showings that are linked with stress and anxiety. On September 8, they showed Silver Linings Playbook (on bipolar disorder) to audience of over 125. On November 10, during the college’s annual Brain Awareness Week, they will show the award-winning classic movie on mental illness, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

In 2012, Lake Forest College became the 26th member of Nu Rho Psi. This is not the first time, the chapter and its members have been honored nationally. In 2014, the chapter was honored as the National Chapter of-the-Year at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego (CA). In 2015 and in 2016, two neuroscience majors, Alexandra Roman ’16 and Paul Jones ’17, respectively, received undergraduate research grants.

The purpose of Nu Rho Psi is to:

  • encourage professional interest and excellence in scholarship, particularly in neuroscience;
  • award recognition to students who have achieved such excellence in scholarship;
  • advance the discipline of neuroscience; encourage intellectual and social interaction between students, faculty, and professionals in neuroscience and related fields;
  • promote career development in neuroscience and related fields;
  • increase public awareness of neuroscience and its benefits for the individual and society; and encourage service to the community.