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Outreach Highlights
Outreach Highlights

From left, Nicole Baganz, Ph.D., David Cinalli, Ph.D. Photography by Paige Russo

In addition to Brainy Days, SNBI’s Community Engagement and Programming Team, headed by Baganz, spent countless hours this past year enthralling youth and adults with lessons on brain, behavior and health.

“With a conviction that society-wide changes in understanding mental health and illness needs to be seeded with the young, these dedicated fellows, lab scientists in their day job aspire to share this passion through the Advancing Community Engagement through Neuroscience Discovery Program (ASCEND),” said Randy Blakely, executive director of the Brain Institute, and a professor of biomedical science in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.

The new building provides an expanded home for the ASCEND Program, and a parking place to load up our MobileMinds “brainmobile” for its trips to Title 1 schools. Headed by David Cinalli, Ph.D., MobileMinds seeks to bring a museum’s worth of activities and insights to kids who often lack someone to take them to a

museum. Students are not the only beneficiaries of the group’s outreach, with the Brainy Days program every March bringing the promise and progress of brain discoveries to both young and mature minds.

In the 2022 interation of Brainy Days, Baganz hosted Judith Grisell to speak to students of the Wilkes Honors College on her life struggles with addiction, happily now inspiring her award-winning research on substance abuse.

Other programs included talks on the fascinating minds and brains of crows and best approaches to ward off Alzheimer’s disease, as well hands-on fun with kids as they learn about the shocking fun of understanding the brain’s own electricity.

"The spirited team of trainees that bring these programs to life and realize SNBI’s community missions, in action, are truly a joy to behold,” Blakely said. “For these efforts, 2022 was a banner year. 2023 will be even better."

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