College Hosted Brain Awareness Event for Local High School Students

Friday, April 29, 2011

Westminster College hosted its third Brain Awareness event April 14 for 112 students from five local high schools.

The New Castle school district had the largest representation with 61 students.  Additional high schools represented were Hickory, Lakeview, Neshannock, and New Wilmington.

Westminster students enrolled in "Behavioral Neuroscience" classes staffed activity stations that provided information on a variety of brain awareness and research areas, including "Brain It," "Two Brains in One," and "What Lobe Is It Anyway?"  High school students rotated through all activities.

Following lunch, students competed for prizes in Brain Bee, a Jeopardy-style competition with questions related to neuroscience.  A team from New Wilmington took home first place and New Castle teams placed second and third.

The event was coordinated by Tiffany Wilkins, Dana Griesmer, and Nikita Madhyani under the supervision of faculty adviser Dr. Alan Gittis, professor of psychology.  Westminster sponsors were the Department of Biology, Department of Psychology, Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and Jazzman's Coffee & Bakery.  A number of local businesses also contributed.

Brain Awareness events are coordinated globally by the Society for Neuroscience, the European Alliance for the Brain, and the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants and educates the public about the successes and potential of brain research.  Visit for additional information about Brain Awareness Week.

Contact Gittis at (724) 946-7358 (e-mail or Wilkins at for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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Front (l-r): Eleni Yargo, Tiffany Wilkins, Nicole Karpinsky. Back (l-r): Emily Pitzer, Dana Griesmer, Emily Montone, Alexandra Bailey, Michael Codita, Dr. Alan Gittis, Abbey Keppel, Briana Isenberg