Upcoming Important Dates
Saturday August 20th: Michigan Chapter’s annual conference at Central Michigan University
Member Highlight: Zackary Bowers 2019 Chapter Video Challenge Winner
By Bhairavi Srinageshwar, PhD
In 2019 Zackary Bowers received first place in the Society for Neuroscience
(SfN) Chapter Video Challenge. Zack is a final year graduate student at Central
Michigan University working under the supervision of Dr. Gary Dunbar. Zack’s major
area of research includes working with a proprietary compound composed of
antioxidants from tart cherry extract and omega fatty acids in a rodent Alzheimer’s
disease model. He was introduced to SfN in 2014 while he was an undergraduate
student under the guidance of Drs. Smith and Weaver at Saginaw Valley State
University. He received Faculty for Undergraduates in Neuroscience’s (FUN) poster
award providing funds to attend the SfN international conference. He began
attending the Michigan Chapter of SfN (MISfN) meetings and in 2017, became a
Student Counselor. Zack is very happy to be associated with MiSfN, he says “a lot of people know that this is one of the oldest societies, and is one of the oldest chapters in the Society for Neuroscience. The chapter is fantastic. They are this organic creation out for people just wanting to share. It is amazing when you look at the history of the academic societies and the role that they can fill, they really are essential to [the] sharing of ideas in a genuine way …”.
The Chapter Video Challenge is a very prestigious award given
by the Society for Neuroscience, and is presented during the
presidential lecture. Financial assistance is also given to do additional
outreach events. “If you're the type of person that likes to help
others so that everyone can grow, people are just drawn to that.
” He applied for the award when he was a MISfN student counselor.
“Honestly, it was just really good timing.” Zack was very interested in
creating video ads, and he enjoys making videos.
“I wanted the opportunity to learn about video editing.I think everyone should learn about video editing or just even with your phones, the ability of that software and how people take it for granted”. He also emphasized on how students should learn different software available to them for free to help with their academic writing and presentations.
”I was very excited when we won. That was big and that's because I knew that we could do something great with the money that would be possibly awarded. I knew that we would be recognized as a state that cared about continuing research to everyone. The council of SfN really did a fantastic job. They had really respected the idea that I felt passionate about the things that I would want to do in outreach”. Zack is also very happy that his wife and son were able to be there during this award ceremony. “Now my son sees what outreach can do, and that's a huge deal.”
Zack encourages the future generations to get involved in the outreach events as well as participate in the video challenges for the brain awareness week. “The student has to ask themselves why they're doing it. Look at the outreach events options on the Society for Neuroscience website. Talk to your mentors and get their advice and guidance. If you like the idea of outreach, put a video together, video is so powerful. It can reach lots of people in a way that is very approachable”. There is a financial compensation for the award-winning video, but there is more advantage to it. The students can improve their network circle and learn a lot about their area of research from their peers as well as build their career skills. “The outreach events like this can inspire a lot of students to do science, especially for younger generations who do not have any opportunities and are under served. If you introduce neuroscience to a 12 year old, they're going to be ahead of a 13 year old. And when you get kids from at risk populations, that's where those gems seem to be. It really is. Those who have never been exposed to it and you see their eyes just go wide.”
The Founders Awards: Where do they come from?
By Zazai Owens, MEd
The "Montford F. Piercey Award" and "Duncan McCarthy Award" are in
honor of these founding members for their contributions in organizing
and maintaining our Michigan Chapter of SfN (MISfN). The award was
created to highlight the research accomplishments of two graduate
student members of the chapter. The students with the highest scoring
papers this year will be presented with one of these awards as well as
$250, a plaque, and an opportunity to present a 15-minute slide
presentation (based on the paper submitted) during the annual chapter
Dr. Monty Piercey and his wife Renay Piercey-Nesius (Handout image as
cited by Killian, 2011, mlive.com)
Every year a similar announcement is made and one or two graduate students are selected in honor of our founders, but few know much more than that about them. With special thanks to Dr. Gary Dunbar, we are able to learn more. Dr. Duncan McCarthy worked at Parke-Davis and Dr. Montford “Monty” Piercey worked at Upjohn Inc., which were the two pharmaceutical companies that formed the original MISfN (along with neuroscientists from University of Michigan, Wayne State, and Michigan State University). Dr. McCarthy was the Director of Neuro-pharmacology research at the Ann Arbor Parke-Davis drug company laboratories, and eventually served on the University of Michigan Medical School staff as a lecturer of pharmacology at the time of his death. He also served as visiting professor of pharmacology at Michigan State University and was one of the first researchers to do pharmacological testing of ketamine. Dr. Piercey, was a pharmaceutical researcher, was co-inventor of two patents, author of over 70 research articles and served as city commissioner for Kalamazoo. He and his wife were honored for their efforts to save Asylum Lake near Kalamazoo. Currently, a 4-ton rock memorial in their honor can be found at Western Michigan University’s Asylum Lake Preserve. Both founders have since passed away, but we thank them for establishing the foundations that enabled the success of our chapter.