Starting this fall, the University of Lynchburg will offer a minor in neuroscience. This addition to the School of Sciences comes after numerous students expressed an interest in having a more neuroscience-focused degree.
“In recent years, several students, including Ken Rose ’15, Brooke Thompson ’17, and Meagan Collins ’18, have either double majored in psychology and biomedical science or were heavily engaged in both curricula with a neuroscience focus,” Dr. William Lokar, dean of the School of Sciences, said.
Rose recently earned his PhD in neuroscience, and launched a pharmaceutical company along the way. Thompson and Collins are currently enrolled in medical school for psychiatry and a PhD program for neuroscience, respectively.
In addition, Katie Roderick ’19, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology on May 18, is headed to the University of Hawaii to pursue a PhD in behavioral neuroscience. “Our University strengths in these areas, as well as increased student interest in the field, made it necessary to formalize a program within our curriculum,” Dr. Lokar said.
The neuroscience minor is the result of a collaboration between the University’s Psychological Science, Biology, and Biomedical Science programs. “These three programs have had a long history of not only educating some of the University’s finest students, but also engaging students in undergraduate research experiences that have shaped their futures,” Lokar said.
According to Dr. Lokar, Psychological Science faculty members Dr. Ei Hlaing and Dr. Keith Corodimas were instrumental in developing the initial framework for the curriculum. This was followed by collaboration between faculty from the Psychological Science, Biology, and Biomedical Science programs.
The curriculum includes four required courses — Cells: Genetic and Molecular Perspectives, Introduction to Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Human Neuropsychology — along with a number of electives. “[It] resulted in an interdisciplinary minor that we believe will serve our future students well as they aspire to careers in neuroscience,” Dr. Lokar said.