Butler One: The Brain Project

Photo courtesy of the Garriott Family’s Facebook

Gabby Moline | Assistant Editor | gmoline@butler.edu

Butler One: The Brain Project is a two-fold initiative.

Butler One, a series that Butler hopes to continue for years to come, is an endeavor for the whole campus to come together. The Brain Project is the content focus for this school year, emphasizing brain health.

The project will feature eight speakers who will be talking about the impact of neuroscience. There will also be a series of films, guided readings and activities associated with the Brain Project throughout the year.

Ena Shelley, dean of the College of Education, had a vision that was the basis for the Brain Project. The idea came from the project approach in elementary education where students delve into a project and bring all disciplines together.

This means that community members, student and faculty of all backgrounds and majors can enjoy the neuroscience topics presented in the project for this year.

Catherine Pangan and Susan Kleinman are the project managers for the Brain Project.

“We’re breaking down traditional classroom walls and expanding the fluid boundaries of the university to maximize our education potential,” Pangan said.

The Brain Project allows different opportunities for community members and students to get involved. Sophomore Lauren Koester serves on the student committee and helps promote the project on social media.

“My job is to let everyone know what the Brain Project is about and to make sure that the student body knows that it’s a youthful event,” Koester said. “It’s not too sciencey.”

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor kicked off the Brain Project series on Sept. 14 with her talk on the overview of the brain. She worked at Harvard’s brain research center until she experienced a stroke at the age of 37.

She gave a TED Talk in 2008 based on her stroke and following eight year recovery to rebuild her brain. This was one of the first TED Talks to ever go viral.

Throughout her talk at Butler, she kept the audience engaged, while also making them laugh. Her enthusiasm for the topic was always evident.

First-year Daniel Tinkey said he found Taylor’s talk interesting and expressed interest in going to future Brain Project presentations.

“I liked when she gave tips for teenage students, because it was very applicable,” Tinkey said.

The next Brain Project speaker is Malaz Boustani, who will speak at 7:30 on Oct. 4 in the Johnson Room.