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Retired professors’ gift establishes Psychology and Neuroscience Colloquium

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Posted on Friday, April 26, 2019

NEW WILMINGTON, PA – A gift from two former Westminster College professors will be used to bring national psychology and neuroscience scholars to campus each spring to share research and inspire and educate students and faculty.

The Psychology and Neuroscience Colloquium—established by two psychology emeriti professors Dr. David B. Gray ’56 and Dr. Alan G. Gittis—will allow Westminster to further immerse undergraduates in the rigorous fields of psychology and neuroscience. Selected speakers will discuss the best emerging research and breakthroughs being done on a national level.

“Having personal and professional interactions with premiere scientists is an incredible opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Deanne Buffalari, assistant professor of neuroscience and psychology. “They are given a unique perspective on how cutting-edge research happens, how we gather new knowledge to push the field forward and what careers in research look like in practice.”

Dr. Alison Barth, professor of biology at Carnegie Mellon University, served as the inaugural speaker in March.

Barth, who is pioneering research in neuro-visualization technology, discussed her recent advances in her presentation “Mapping Synaptic Changes during Learning and Disease.”

Gray was member of the Westminster faculty from 1965-2003, while Gittis served from 1976-2011.

For more information about the colloquium, please contact Buffalari at 724-946-7358 or or Dr. Sherri Pataki, associate professor of psychology, at 724-946-7361 or

Pictured above: Dr. Alan Gittis, left, and Dr. David Gray '56, right, welcome Dr. Alison Barth, seated center, to campus as the Psychology and Neuroscience Colloquium's inaugural speaker. Also pictured are Gittis' and Gray's daughters, Dr. Gwendolyn Gray Schwartz, seated at left, and Dr. Aryn Hilary Gittis, right.