Neuroscience added as a Minor Field of Study

Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary area that is one of the most compelling scientific frontiers in understanding ourselves and our actions, was added to the Minor Fields of Study by the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences on April 3.

The new minor in Neuroscience enables students to critically evaluate how the brain functions from the molecular and cellular level, and how these processes affect behavior. Six courses are required:  four specific courses in Biology and Psychology plus two electives selected from a list of courses offered by Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Psychology.

The minor program was developed over the last three semesters by faculty in five academic areas. This interdisciplinary program is under the leadership of a five-member Steering Committee. Jessica Siegel, psychology, chairs the Steering Committee; the other members are John Palisano and Alyssa Summers, biology, Bethel Sharma, chemistry, and Helen Bateman, psychology. 

Jessica A. Siegel, who completed her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University (School of Medicine) in May 2011, accepted a tenure-track appointment in psychology starting in academic 2011-12. Shortly after her arrival, Dr. Siegel began conversations with a wide range of Sewanee faculty, which have led to the establishment of the Neuroscience minor. It is anticipated that, over the next five to 10 years, other faculty appointments will add to the breadth of expertise in neuroscience.