“I love the fact that my original research is adding to the field. It makes me feel like my education is meaningful and that I’m really going somewhere. I love the feeling of contributing to what’s being taught out there someday."
-Tim Lazicki ’11, Neuroscience Major
All undergraduates are invited to join Dominican’s Neuroscience Club. This club organizes social events, film screenings, and joins with the Psychology Club to put on an annual awards event. For example, the Neuroscience Club recently hosted on on-campus screening of the acclaimed new documentary Naturally Obsessed, a film that chronicles the joys and frustrations of working in a life-science laboratory.
High-achieving neuroscience students may join Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society for neuroscience. Membership is open to neuroscience majors who have completed at least nine semester hours in neuroscience. They must have an overall GPA of 3.2 and a 3.5 GPA in neuroscience courses.
Neuroscience majors are strongly encouraged to complete an independent research project as part of their elective credits for the major. Many resources are available to inspire, guide and support students throughout the process. In addition, a range of competitive funding opportunities are available to help majors gain the time and resources necessary to conduct their own research.
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Investigations (URCI) promotes undergraduate research in all disciplines at Dominican. Research funding is available on a competitive basis and URCI’s Expo held on campus each April, provides an important opportunity for neuroscience undergraduates to promote their independent research.
In addition to URCI funds, which may be offered to students in any discipline, the Neuroscience program has been successful in securing outside grants to fund student research. Recently, the program was able to fund ten assistantships per semester that covered ten hours per week. Future assistantships will depend on the level of grant support awarded to the program, but outside interest in funding neuroscience at Dominican appears to be high.
By any measure, neuroscience majors have been notably successful in garnering regional and national recognition during the program’s brief existence. Consider these results:
- 2009 Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, main session and undergraduate poster session. A total of 3 posters were presented by student authors. Presenters included Benora McBride ’11, Carolina Matel ’10, Laura Salazar ’11, Kristine Bonnick ’11, Tim Lazicki ’11, and Patrycia Oleksiak, ‘11
- 2009 Molecular and Cellular Cognition meeting, 2 posters were presented by student authors. Presenters included Benora McBride ’11, Carolina Matel ’10, Laura Salazar ’11, Kristine Bonnick ’11, and Patrycia Oleksiak, ‘11
- SOMAS (Support of Mentors and their Students in the Neurosciences) Award (2009) which funded summer research by Benora McBride, ’11
- ARRISE Centers Scholarship for research into autism spectrum disorder, to Tim Lazicki, ‘11
- Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Travel Award for Mary Petrosko, ‘09, 2008
- 2008 Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC. Poster presented by student author Mary Petrosko, ’09.
- Chicago SFN Student Poster Competition, Second Place, for Mary Petrosko, ’09, 2008
"What I love is that undergraduates are actually performing their own research and that they become intellectually engaged in the research. They operate as full intellectual partners in the research enterprise.”
Robert Calin-Jageman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychology & Director, Neuroscience Program