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Student-Driven Initiative Yields Approval for GSU Chapter of National Neuroscience Honors Society, Nu Rho Psi

ATLANTA - As a result of the tireless efforts of a small group of undergraduate neuroscience students and a faculty advisor, Georgia State University (GSU) recently established a chapter of Nu Rho Psi and inducted five inaugural members.

Nu Rho Psi is the sole nationally recognized honor society in the area of brain research. The GSU chapter, which was officially chartered on July 2, 2013, is one of only two in Georgia and 35 nationwide.

Under the guidance of Dr. Michael Black of the Neuroscience Institute at GSU, students Norma Hernandez (junior), Elizabeth Hinton (senior), Shalin Jyotishi (junior), and Lluvia Frias (senior) worked as a team putting in many hours to collect information and write the charter application. The application process required the students to compile a large amount of detailed information about the graduate and undergraduate programs, neuroscience faculty, teaching and research activities and university academic policies, and submit their proposal with a persuasive justification for establishing a chapter at GSU. They deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in preparing an impressive application, said Director of the Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Walter Wilczynski.

When asked about her involvement in establishing the new chapter, Norma Hernandez said, we spent the spring semester of 2013 working on making our students, faculty, and neuroscience programs shine in the application. In my three years at Georgia State, I have met some amazing students and professors. I have seen them working long hours in the lab, preparing for classes, and volunteering in the Atlanta science community. So, our main reason for applying for a chapter was to officially recognize and congratulate their efforts. The inaugural members are the face of the neuroscience community at Georgia State University. They will serve as role models for current neuroscience students and will be inspirations for future neuroscience students. It is my hope that with this honor society we, as a neuroscience community, can encourage the continuous success of these bright GSU students.

Nu Rho Psi was founded in 2006 under the auspice of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience and through the joint efforts of faculty and students at Baldwin-Wallace College, Baylor University and Johns Hopkins University. Its aims are to: (1) encourage professional interest and excellence in scholarship, particularly in neuroscience; (2) award recognition to students who have achieved such excellence in scholarship; (3) advance the discipline of neuroscience; (4) encourage intellectual and social interaction between students, faculty, and professionals in neuroscience and related fields; (5) promote career development in neuroscience and related fields; (6) increase public awareness of neuroscience and its benefits for the individual and society; and (7) encourage service to the community.

Membership into this honor society is by invitation only and is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who major or minor in neuroscience and who meet other academic qualifications. On September 24, 2013, the first five students were inducted into the chapter: Jarod Collens (graduate student), Sepehr Goshayeshi (senior), Sara Khan (senior), Morgan Mosley (junior), and Jill Weathington (graduate student). Pictured left are the two students who attended the induction ceremony, Morgan Mosley (right) and Sara Khan (left) along with the chapter’s advisor, Dr. Michael Black.

The main objectives of Nu Rho Psi are to increase relations between students and faculty and to spread awareness of neuroscience to the general public. To procure these goals in our chapter, we hope to collaborate with fellow neuroscience students to start an undergraduate student-run journal, which will include a peer review panel. This will help undergraduates expand their knowledge on current research being done in the field and prepare them for the process of writing scientific papers and going through the publication stages, said Chapter President Morgan Mosley.

We are also planning volunteer events including trips to local schools to give brief presentations about the neuroscience field. It is our hope to not only increase awareness of the growing field of neuroscience, but to also have an impact on children who will eventually become the future of neuroscience.

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For more information about the National Honor Society in Neuroscience, Nu Rho Psi, visit http://www.nurhopsi.org/drupal/

For more information about the Neuroscience Institute and its undergraduate and graduate programs, visithttp://neuroscience.gsu.edu/index.html

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