Monday night I attended the annual poster session and social event sponsored by the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN). Over the past decade the event has grown to be one of the largest of the socials sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience. There were 165 scientific poster presentations by undergraduates at the social.
For students, FUN provides competitive travel awards that assist by covering some expenses for undergraduates presenting their research at the conference. This year there were 16 travel award recipients. It is also a great opportunity for undergraduates to speak with representatives of graduate programs in neuroscience and for faculty to re-connect with their former students who are now pursuing careers in the neurosciences.
A number of awards are announced at the FUN social, among these were the Educator of the Year Award, which was awarded to Patsy Dickinson of Bowdoin College (ME), and the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Stephen George of Amherst College (MA).
Another important announcement was that The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE) - an open-access, peer-reviewed journal, edited by FUN members - will be listed on PubMed. The most recent issue of JUNE was just posted on the journal's website: http://www.funjournal.org/ In fact, I have an article on design and assessment of undergraduate neuroscience curricula that is co-authored with colleagues at Ithaca and Oberlin College.
Following the FUN social Nikki Scutella ('10) and I walked a few blocks to enjoy a memorable dinner and get re-acquainted. Nikki is currently a research assistant in a laboratory of Dr. Gary Fiskum at the University of Maryland Medical College.