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Neuroscience

Augustana offers a major in neuroscience for students who wish to understand the biological bases of thoughts, perceptions, emotions, motivations, decisions and actions.

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Careers and internships

Augustana's major prepares students for admission to a wide variety of graduate programs in neuroscience and other fields related to the brain sciences.

What graduates do

Here's a sampling of what recent neuroscience graduates are doing:

Doug Peters is in the doctorate program in microbiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Christopher Carter completed a MA in bioethics at Indiana University and is now studying health care administration at the University of Iowa.

Rabia Jawed is pursuing a doctor of osteopathic medicine at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Ill.

Eric Pease received a doctor of osteopathic medicine at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and is completing his residency in psychiatry at the Mayo clinics in Rochester, Minn.

Cancer Center and other institutions within the Texas Medical Center. (See Augustana Magazine, "Making It Count in Texas")

 

Distinctions

Augustana offers a major in neuroscience for students who wish to understand the biological bases of thoughts, perceptions, emotions, motivations, decisions and actions.

The major was added in the fall of 2010. Major coursework is flexible, allowing students to pursue their interests within the field. Neuroscience students often have interests in psychology, biology, chemistry, and philosophy — individually or in combination.The neuroscience major is a truly interdisciplinary experience.

The three full-time neuroscience faculty have a Ph.D. in psychology or neuroscience, with expertise and interests in the areas of learning and memory, pain and drug-seeking behavior, communication, cognitive and affective neuropsychology, and sensation and perception.

Faculty from the biology, chemistry, computer sciences, communication sciences and disorders, philosophy, and religion departments also teach courses in the major. As is common in most other Augustana programs, the neuroscience major culminates in a Senior Inquiry capstone experience, which will give the students the opportunity to conduct research on or off campus.

The program director is Dr. Ian Harrington.

Outside the classroom

Augustana participates in several undergraduate, graduate and professional research conferences and encourages students to present their research as part of their professional development. Examples for neuroscientists include Midbrains: The Undergraduate Neuroscience Conference of the Upper Midwest, and the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences and Psychology sponsored by the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science.

Students of neuroscience at Augustana will have options to participate in the prestigious Texas Medical Center Summer Research Internship Program, as well as other high-quality internships and opportunities to practice empirical research.

Learning communities

What are called "learning communities" have been around awhile. They typically involve combining two or more courses in different academic disciplines to approach topics in new ways. Taking these student communities abroad adds an extra dimension.

 Ellenelle Gilliam, Rebecca Brosch and Alexander Lobo

Shaping their futures through lessons in Africa

The friendship between a student and his mentor brought about a program that makes life-changing learning experiences in Africa open to more students. 

Kendra Rakers '16

Connecting interests leads Rakers down memorable path

Kendra Rakers ’16 is interested in memory and how it works, particularly as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease. So she chose an interdisciplinary major in neuroscience with minors in biochemistry and history. It’s a perfect fit, she says, because each field approaches memory from a different point of view, which is a good way to provide more flexibility in her career. As she sees it, “I’ll probably wind up with a job that hasn’t been invented yet.”