President's Column

FUN President’s Column

Noah Sandstrom

 

Happy Spring! I am thrilled to write the first President's Column for the FUN Newsletter. The publication of this Newsletter marks the next big step in our efforts to enhance communication among members of our exceptional community. A huge "Thank You" to Amanda Clinton and Amy Jo Stavnezer who have embraced the challenge of soliciting and organizing the contributions. I hope you find our content to be helpful and stimulating. I'm particularly excited about the "What I Wish I'd Known Then" column in which contributors can share the wisdom they have accumulated over the years. Just as our field is rapidly changing, so too are the methods we use to teach it. Despite over a dozen years of experience, I'm excited to learn some new strategies and techniques for sharing neuroscience with my students.

So much of of our work is focused on working side-by-side with our students in the laboratory. In each issue, we hope to highlight a successful collaboration between students and faculty. Our members do amazing work with students and we look forward to celebrating this and learning about some of the forms that these projects take. If you have a new publication with a student, let us know! If you have a creative way of managing a team of undergraduate researchers, let us know!

As many of you know, Educational Resources in Neuroscience (ERIN) has gone live. This catalog of neuroscience resources is a truly exceptional tool for professors looking to enhance their teaching. In each Newsletter, we hope to highlight one of these resources. Bob Calin-Jageman's piece on Mendeley in this issue has prompted me to get my own database of articles in order!

I also want to celebrate our establishment of a new listserve. As many of you know, our listserve had become outdated and unmanageable. Through the dedicated efforts of Bob Calin-Jageman and Elaine Reynolds working with Deb Colbern, we now have a functional listserve to faciliate the exchange of ideas among our members. Within minutes of activating the listserve, messages were posted and responses poured in! This listserve has tremendous potential to enhance our communication. Already, I've been amazed by conversations about creating neuroscience programs, announcements of regional undergraduate neuroscience meetings, and pedagogical ideas. If you aren't receiving these messages or would like to receive them as a single daily message, you can easily subscribe and customize by visiting your account on the FUN website.

The Newsletter Editorial Board welcomes your contributions to the Newsletter. It will only thrive if our members share their wisdom and their ideas. If you have a new publication with a student collaborator, have a teaching demonstration that works well, or have any other ideas to share with your FUN colleagues, please let us know!

Finally, I want to strongly encourage you to consider applying for Student Travel Awards with your students who will be presenting at the Society for Neuroscience meeting next fall. I also encourage you to apply for the Brain Awareness Travel Award. Please know that your outreach activities do not need to occur during the formal Brain Awareness Week -- it can be any time during the year! I know that a great many of you engage in outreach with your students, whether a visit to a local elementary school classroom, creation of a museum exhibit, or speaking at a retirement community. There are countless ways in which our members are taking neuroscience out into their communities. Please, share those ideas with FUN and SfN by presenting at the annual meeting and by applying for a Brain Awareness travel award!

 

Enjoy the Newsletter!

Noah Sandstrom,

President FUN