Well if all of our science endeavors collapse we should all open a restaurant! Wow...what a potluck in honor of our departing lab manager and celebrating so many distinguished graduates. Great fun and food was had by all. We will miss you Krishna! Thanks for all the great memories and the brain powered helicopter!
Congratulations to the CAN lab 2013 graduates: Katie D'aunno Laura Endris, Matt Kmiecik Nirav Patel, Beccy Shukhman and Leo Skiadopoulos who ALL graduated with honors! Photos are from the senior toast, honors convocation, and the CAS sciences commencement ceremony. Cheers to all of your hard work and accomplishment! We are excited to watch your continued grown and excellence, please keep us up to date!
CAN lab co-directors Dr. Morrison and Dr. Silton both received teaching honors this spring. Dr. Morrison was one of two recipients of the 2013 Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Morrison was the 6th psychology faculty member to receive the award since its inception in 1994. Dr. Silton was one of four professors named as a Master Teacher. Both awards recognize superb teaching of undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Recipients of the award seem to have a common dynamic presence in the classroom, a willingness to try new ways of teaching, and a devotion to students that goes well beyond the call of duty. They embody the Jesuit ideal of higher education in their dedication to high standards, to critical thinking, and to the principle that knowledge must be put to the benefit of humanity.
Drs. Morrison and Silton both thank each of you for making our jobs as teachers and mentors so meaningful and ENJOYABLE!
Top: Dr. Morrison with Dean Andress and members of the Sujack family. Bottom: Dr. Morrison with members of the CAN lab who returned from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting early to help celebrate. Right: Dr. Morrison's lovely hands!
Sujack Award conferral read by Sujack Chairperson Anne Figart
Dr. Morrison from the department of psychology has been teaching at Loyola for the past five years. He received his PhD from UCLA. In the short time he has been at Loyola he has taught six different courses in both psychology and the honors program. His course titles have ranged from experimental psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, the psychology of creativity, and an upper divisional graduate seminar in neuroscience. What really stood out about Dr. Morrison’s teaching record was his one on one mentoring of students. He regularly supervises students in the research laboratory and he also advises the Loyola Neuroscience Society. In his statement Dr. Morrison talks about teaching students the business of science including seeking funding, presenting work at conferences, and writing and publishing papers. Over 15 students in 5 years have received research fellowships under Professor Morrison’s direction. Professor Morrison strives to create a classroom environment were active learning is present to encourage students to integrate their own world experience with the course material. He uses a variety of methods including classroom exercises, videos, Blackboard, blog assignments and as we learned "assessable" Powerpoint. His enthusiasm, organization, and love of his subject matter are apparent both to this committee and to his students. The comments show that students love his courses even though, and particularly because, they are academically rigorous and challenging. Several key words appeared over and over in his course evaluations: enthusiasm, organization, and passion. Some student comments include: “Professor Morrison is a wonderful teacher and effectively stimulates interest in the subject matter. Each week I would leave class inspired and would find myself independently researching topics that we touched upon. His use of social media and technology gives the course an updated hip feel that is extremely relevant to the generation he is teaching.” Another student wrote, “Dr. Morrison is a brilliant, kind, and enthusiastic professor. His enthusiasm about neuroscience is contagious. I find myself excited to attend each class and feel exhilarated as he holds each class. He is fair, accountable and genuinely cares about his students." So, because of his exemplary record as an outstanding teacher and mentor the selection committee recommends Dr. Robert Morrison for the 2013 Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence. Congratulations.
We have SO much to celebrate! Another successful year, graduating seniors, awards, and new fellowships!...oh and most of all the greatest Lab Manager ever!
Take that last final...write that last paper...don your commencement gown...and then get you and yours to Bob's place on Sunday, May 19 at 6p. We will provide grilled meat (and veggie burgers) and cold drinks. If possible please bring appetizers, salad, side, dessert, etc.
Please sign up here so we know whether you (and a guest) are coming and whether you will bring any food along.
A special congratulations to former CANlabbie Brian Sweis, whose paper, "Individual Differences in the Effects of Chronic Stress on Memory: Behavioral and Neurochemical Correlates of Resiliency" was just accepted for publication in the journal Neuroscience. Brian is the first author of the paper which resulted from his Carbon Scholars Program research he conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Louis Lucas and Dr. Morrison and served as the basis for his honor's thesis at Loyola. Way to go Brian!
In case you haven't been keeping track of all the congratulations going around we are celebrating 13 new LUROP awards coming to lab this year! 5 Provosts, 3 Mulcahy's, 2 Johnson's, 2 Summer Research Mentorings, a 1 McNair. Yeah! Becky and I really appreciate all your hard work!
The CAN lab was out in force at the 2013 LUROP Research symposium. Callie Short gave a talk followed by Poster presentations by Ryan Brisson, Will Beishel, Laura Endris, Elise Gagnon, Matt Kmeiick, Nirav Patel, Izabelle Rymut, and Beccy Shukhman. The lab also celebrated with Matt Kmeicik as he received the 2013 University Libraries Undergraduate Research Paper Award at the LUROP award ceremony.
Congratulations to sophomores Sarah Zaza and Hadeel Barrawi who both received Johnson Scholarships for the next two years for their research in the CAN lab. Working with Dr. Morrison, Sarah will be using EEG to study verbal analogical reasoning in young women. Hadeel will be working with graduate student Catherine Lee and Dr. Silton to study the neural correlates of coping.
And last but not least congratulations to Ryan Brisson, Makkiah Nuutein and Julie Flannery for receiving Mulcahy scholarships. Ryan will work with Dr. Morrison on a project studying the neural correlates of analogical reasoning, and Makkiah will work with graduate student Dane Wendall and Dr. Morrison to study how political engagement affects the types of reasoning people use to think. Julie will be working with graduate student Daniel Dickerson and Dr. Silton to explore the neural mechanisms of rumination in recently depressed individuals.
The day before the Sujack Award ceremony, Matt, Ryan, Krishna, Natalie and Beccy and I sat at a dark table in San Francisco illuminated by the bright smile of the Vietnamese woman cooking us lunch. A cockroach had been spotted but the food was savory and the coffee strong and sweet. Accomplishment was fresh as we celebrated new friends, future possibilities in graduate and medical school, and successful presentations at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting.
Later in the day back at the Chinatown loft we were sharing, we met with a colleague from another university who was trying to find her career path. I reflected on my own improbable path: molecular biology; polymers and sculpture; a string of generous people willing to chance on a long shot; starting an education nonprofit; a post-doctoral fellowship at the last possible moment, followed by a tenure track job the year of the stock market crash; a bright young colleague willing to experiment with co-mentoring a research lab; and brilliant, motivated, students showing up on my door step. This was a winding path populated by so many blessings and occasionally by courage.
I looked at our divining colleague and my students ready to jump towards exciting futures.
Do what you love...the rest, will follow.
I know why I am here.
Thanks to the Sujack family, Anne Figert and the rest of the Sujack Awards committee, my supportive family, friends, mentors and colleagues.
But most of all, thanks to my student collaborators in learning. Awards are great, but the true reward is being able to do what I love with all of you!
Thanks to the generosity of LUROP, the Mulcahy's Scholars Program, and the Loyola Department of Psychology, Krishna Bharani, Ryan Brisson, Natalie Mandel, Bob Morrison, and Beccy Shukhman attended the 20th Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference in San Francisco to present some of our recent work on analogy, SuperAging, and memory monitoring. As usual the poster sessions was rocking. This year's conference featured many great presentations including ones from developmental cognitive neuroscientist Pat Kuhl and neurologist Bob Knight. Our digs in a Chinatown loft were sweet...and savory with all of the good food in the neighborhood...can anyone say YUMMY...they miss us!