Spring 2019 Newsletter | Community Outreach

high school students study sheep brainsNSB Outreach Committee visits Holyoke North Campus High School
Graduate students from the Neuroscience and Behavior Educational Outreach Committee had a great visit to Holyoke North Campus High School! They met with ~65 10th graders who are part of the school's Medical Life Sciences Academy, currently studying biology and chemistry. View Photo Gallery

students and TILL group hold up PBS t-shirtsThe International Perspectives on Disability class visits TILL
Students in the International Perspectives on Disability faculty-led study abroad program traveled to the Charlestown location of Toward Independent Living and Learning (TILL), a non-profit organization providing residential, clinical, and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. The students were welcomed in the after school program facilities and given a tour of newly constructed group homes for adults with disabilities. The UMass students will be traveling with 15 participants from TILL to Scotland this August to attend the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) conference. View Photo Gallery

child speaks into laser deviceLIPS Lab attends Science Night at Jackson Street School
For the second year, the Language, Intersensory Perception, and Speech Lab participated in the Jackson Street Elementary School's Annual Science Night. Faculty member Alexandra Jesse and lab research assistants showed children how the ability to read cannot be turned off in the exhibit "Do Not Read This!", transcribed children's names in "The Secret Code of Speech Sounds", tested their lipreading abilities in "Be a Spy and Read My Lips!", and turned their voices into laser patterns in "See Your Voice!" View Photo Gallery

students pose with adopted menteesAdopted Student Advisory Panel hosts 2nd annual We Celebrate Adoption
On Sunday March 31st the Adopted Student Advisory Panel (ASAP) in collaboration with the Adoption Mentoring Partnership (AMP) and Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted the second annual “We Celebrate Adoption” party at UMass for children in the community who are adopted.  By playing games, sitting in a circle and talking with each other the adopted college students were able to create a warm and welcoming environment for the children.  The party gave the children an opportunity to occupy a space that was fun, had positive role models and normalized adoption.

students tabling in campus centerThe Boltwood Project helps 'Spread the Word'
The Boltwood Project, Best Buddies, Special Olympics and Autism Speaks banded together to help spread the word about inclusion on March 6th, "Spread the Word" Day. They worked together to help people take the pledge supporting the cause. Spread the Word is a Special Olympics organization that began their mission to end the use of the r-word. They have now expanded their mission to spreading inclusion, both in language and in society. UMass students will continue to help spread this message through the above organizations. The Boltwood Project has been part of UMass for over 50 years and is the largest and longest continuously running, community engagement program at UMass Amherst.

Lucius Couloute Jr., Adaeze Egwuatu , Louis Colaruotolo and Laura HancockAdaeze Egwuatu attends Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering
Adaeze Egwuatu, a Neuroscience graduate student, recently participated in the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop in Washington D.C from March 24-27. Adaeze was one of four UMass Amherst graduate students selected by the Office of Professional Development (OPD) to attend via a competitive application process. 

During this workshop, which is hosted annually by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), students were introduced to the policy-making process and learned effective ways to communicate their research to policy makers. At the end of the workshop, Adaeze and her fellow UMass Amherst participants were able to exercise these skills by meeting with congressional staff from the offices of Sens. Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer as well as the offices of Reps. Katherine Clark, Jim McGovern, and Ayanna Pressley.

For Adaeze Egwuatu, neuroscience and behavior, the CASE workshop instilled a sense of responsibility. “I learned that politicians and voters are counting on us to help them make informed decisions. If scientists don't engage, people will seek information elsewhere, increasing the risk of rampant misinformation and bad policies. Science is our beacon of hope in polarizing times and CASE really showed me that being an effective scientist includes a civic responsibility.”

Pictured left-right: Lucius Couloute Jr., Adaeze Egwuatu , Louis Colaruotolo and Laura Hancock

erik cheries at cooking classErik Cheries reviews study abroad program
In April, faculty member Erik Cheries traveled to Italy to help review one of the study abroad programs at UMass Amherst. He met with students in Rome, Florence, and Toscania, attending classes and meeting with instructors and administrators about all aspects of their abroad experience. Here Cheries is pictured with UMass students during an Italian cooking class.