National Health Education Week

This week, join the celebration for National Health Education Week (October 16-20)! The weeklong campaign, sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), first began in 1995 as an effort to direct national attention towards public health issues and promote a general understanding of the role health education plays in our everyday lives.

Not sure where to start? Each day this week, SOPHE is providing a series of themed events online and on social media to open up discussions on health education, community events, and the impact of advocacy. Public participation is encouraged, and don’t forget to use #NHEW.

As another organization committed to educating the public about brain health and the latest in scientific research, the Dana Foundation offers a vast amount of free, lay-friendly publications and resources year-round, encouraging people of all ages to better understand the brain.

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Submission Deadline: Sticker Design Contest

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Want to see your art distributed on thousands of stickers for the global Brain Awareness Week (BAW) campaign? We’re calling on creatives from around the world to come up with their own design that captures the spirit of the annual campaign. BAW kicks off in March and continues to inspire people from all continents to spread awareness on brain health and the progress of neuroscience research. However, entries to the Sticker Design Contest are due at the end of this month–so there are just over three weeks left!

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Neuroscience and Society: The Meditating Brain

Many people who meditate, practice yoga, or pray report a sense of calm and well-being that extends beyond the time spent in each practice. Using modern neuroscience techniques, researchers have sought to quantify effects of these practices. What do we know so far?

“You can think of meditation as a form of attention training,” said Sara Lazar of Harvard during a panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week. The practice involves sustained attention, awareness of your thoughts and sensations, and holding in mind the intention to stay focused. Showing mainly results from studies investigating mindfulness meditation, she described changes in brain structure seen in new meditators after just eight weeks, including increased volume of gray matter and the left hippocampus, and decrease in size of the amygdala.

Social Media - Lazar

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BraiNY Neuroscience in Downtown NYC

On Friday, one of NYC’s newest venues in the Lower East Side opened its doors to science enthusiasts and curious bystanders for an evening of happy hour and brain-related activities. The aptly titled event, “Pregame Your BraiNY,” took place at CAVEAT, which launched just over a month ago as an event space devoted to intellectual nightlife and “oddball programming.”

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Photo credit: Kate Downey

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Honoring Our Colleague Dr. Barbara Rich

This week marks the one year anniversary of the loss of our colleague and friend, Barbara Rich, Ed.D., who led our communications department for more than twenty years. To honor her memory, we are pleased to announce that we are joining her daughter, Marla Hassner, in the endowment of a new “Barbara Rich Award for Social Justice” at her alma mater, the City College of New York (CCNY). This award will be given every spring to “an outstanding graduating senior at CCNY who (1) has demonstrated talent in the study and practical pursuit of social justice and (2) has demonstrated the potential to be a social justice leader in their career.”

A plaque bearing the names of the recipients will be displayed at the college’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. It will read:

Barbara Rich was a proud alumna of the City College of New York who, beginning as a student activist and continuing throughout her life, fought for social justice and equality, and defended the civil rights of all people. At CCNY she worked on the college newspaper and challenged those who would limit free speech and restrict personal freedom. She went on to earn her doctorate from Columbia University, but always considered herself first a City College graduate. After a lengthy career in academia, Dr. Rich served as Executive Vice President at the Dana Foundation. She was an educator, a communicator, a leader, and an unyielding advocate for a more equal and just society.

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