Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week

Penn State Altoona will host Brain Awareness Week March 23 – 29, 2014. The program comes on the heels of the annual international celebration held the second week in March. This year’s theme is “Get Connected.”

The campaign is held to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research, as well as to celebrate the amazing wonder of the brain.

Speakers, seminars, demonstrations, and lab tours will be offered throughout the week. The program is free and open to the public.

Schedule of Events


Sunday, March 23

Movie Night: Inception
6:00 p.m., Devorris Downtown Center (Part of the Penn State Altoona Film Series
The film is free and open to the public. Free popcorn and soda!

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library


Monday, March 24

Seminar: "Traumatic Brain Injury" by Dr. Wayne D’Agaro, Clinical Neuropsychologist, James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center and Private Practice
5:00 p.m., 101-103 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
An overview of traumatic brain injury: definition, epidemiology, classification, impairments, and intervention.

Seminar: “Sport Concussion from an Athletic Trainer’s Perspective” by Jonathan Salazer, MS, ATC, Associate Director of Athletic Training Services at Penn State University
6:00 p.m., 101-103 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
This lecture will consist of a short review of the "Consensus Statement on Concussions in Sport - the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Zurich, Switzerland, November, 2012;" including an overview and demonstration of the SCAT3 – Sport Concussion Assessment Tool. This will be followed by a review of current reference materials for coaches and parents developed by the CDC and NCAA. The talk will then conclude with an overview of Penn State’s Intercollegiate Athletics’ current Concussions Management Protocols.

Seminar: "Brain Injury Support Group" by Lisa Cullen, Center for Independent Living
7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Rooms 101-30

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library


Tuesday, March 25

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library


Wednesday, March 26

Seminar: “This is Your Brain on Alcohol” by Essie Auker, Addiction Specialist, Penn State Altoona Health and Wellness Center
5:00 p.m., 101-103 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
Get answers to the following questions: What is a blackout? Why do people act like idiots when drunk? Is passing out "just sleeping it off"? Why do some people become alcoholics or drug addicts? Learn how alcohol and other drugs affect the brain.

Demonstration: “EASE- Ease Away Stressful Emotions” by Jamie Pyo, LPC, Mental Health Outreach Coordinator, Penn State Altoona Health and Wellness Center
4:00 - 6:00 p.m., 101-103 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
“EASE utilizes biofeedback from you Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Stress negatively affects the body and can be noninvasively measured by monitoring HRV. The EASE program will teach you the Quick Coherence Technique. Quick Coherence allows you to change your HRV to more coherent rhythms which in turn reduces the body's stress response and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety.

Biology Student vs. Faculty Jeopardy
6:30 p.m., 101-103 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
Come see Biology students face off with Biology faculty members in an exciting game of Jeopardy! Can students outsmart their professors? Show up and find out!

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library


Thursday, March 27

Seminar: “Dispelling Myths About College Teaching and Learning” by Barbara Hong, Associate Professor of Special Education, Penn State Altoona
12:15 - 1:05 p.m., 101-102 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
Is reviewing notes before or after class causing more harm than good? Does practicing more problems necessarily lead to improved learning? What’s the difference between “learning skills” and “studying strategies? How can one tell when the intended information has been learned? Instructional decisions are often based on a mix of theories that appear to be changing and fluctuating. Cognitive science research has revealed important findings about how our brain works and especially how it learns. This workshop will dispel myths about how the human mind processes, organizes, retrieves, and retains information.

Psychology and the Brain Games
1:10 - 2:30 p.m., 101-102 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona
A friendly competition between students. Can the Psychology Club outwit other students? Show up and find out!

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library


Friday, March 28

Lab Tours: “Meet a Neuroscientist and see what we do in the lab!”, Drs. LaDage and DePasquale, Assistant Professors of Biology, Penn State Altoona
Noon - 2:00 p.m., 107 J.E. Holtzinger Building, Penn State Altoona
Drs. LaDage and DePasquale will take you into their labs and demonstrate how we section, stain, and mount brains, as well as what we look for under the microscope. Get a chance to try your hand at slicing brains!

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library


Kids Day Event

Saturday, March 29

Elementary students: “Neuroscience for Kids!”
9:00 a.m. - noon, First floor, Hawthorn Building, Penn State Altoona

Book Displays
All day, Penn State Altoona's Robert E. Eiche Library and Altoona Public Library