Oregon Health & Science University

Graduate students in Behavioral Neuroscience and Neuroscience at OHSU are encouraged and welcome to participate in various outreach activities, in winter term at Portland State University, during the spring semester at Washington State University in Vancouver, and throughout the year in both Vancouver and Portland Public Schools…


Graduate students may join ongoing advanced undergraduate neuroscience classes at PSU or WSU-V by enrolling in a graduate teaching practicum course at OHSU (BEHN 650) in winter.

The new BEHN 650 syllabus for 2017 can be found here…

OHSU grad students

OHSU graduate students acquire valuable undergraduate teaching skills by preparing short mini-courses covering ongoing research on a topic of their choice (e.g., drug dependence and abuse, learning and memory, adolescent brain development, imaging techniques, epigenetics), and by introducing advanced PSU or WSU-Vancouver undergraduates to currently funded work.

Syllabi from Portland State University (for winter term 2017) and Washington State University Vancouver (spring semester 2017) are both available here:

SYLLABUS Advanced Neuro PSU 2017
Past syllabus (2016):  SYLLABUS Advanced Neuro PSU 2016

SYLLABUS Adv 473 WSU-V 2017
Past syllabus (2016):  SYLLABUS Adv 473 WSU-V 2016


For more information on how to enroll in this practicum, and how to complete and submit the required Teaching Activity Approval forms, please read through the BEHN 650 syllabus above.

Please contact Garet Lahvis in Behavioral Neuroscience at lahvisg@ohsu.edu to formally enroll.  Please also email Bill Griesar at griesar@pdx.edu to confirm your interest in participating…


Graduate students are also encouraged to participate in neuroscience outreach efforts in both Vancouver and Portland Public Schools.

OHSU Grad students 2

In summer you can usually supervise and mentor undergraduates, and help design and deliver high quality, creative, arts-integrated, collaboratively developed neuroscience programs to academic priority K-12 students in our community…


Students get excited about science, learn about their own developing brains, and see how to keep learning if this topic grabs them, from college to graduate school to jobs in teaching and research.  And you gain useful real world experience designing academic curricula, teaching and engaging students, and working directly with school professionals, undergraduates and kids..!


In summer 2016, volunteers worked with 150 high school juniors at Skyview High School in Vancouver, and introduced them to neurons and networks, supervised sheep brain dissections, and accompanied them to OHSU’s imaging labs, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon National Primate Research Center…


In summer 2015, our volunteers developed two middle school courses (at Sabin K-8 and Jason Lee K-8, in Portland Public Schools), one elementary and middle school program (at the Boys & Girls Club in Vancouver), and one WSU Vancouver-based high school outreach effort, through the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program in Vancouver and Evergreen Public Schools



In 2016 we even brought 26 graduate and undergraduate volunteers (including four teaching/outreach participants from OHSU) to Washington DC, to teach and present on their NW Noggin experiences in Congress, the White House, the NIH, and at “Neuroscience Night” at the Phillips Collection!


There are typically a few generous, $750 OHSU Portland Alcohol Research Center (PARC) scholarships available as travel stipends for committed graduate participants in outreach each summer…

Binyam Nardos (nardos@ohsu.edu) is the Noggin Resource Council member for OHSU, and Christie Pizzimenti (pizzimen@ohsu.edu) is the Resource Council member for graduate recruitment.  Interested students should also contact Bill Griesar at griesar@pdx.edu…


Graduate students are also highly encouraged to present a public lecture on their research at Velo Cult, a bicycle shop/event space/pub in NE Portland!


We pair each graduate speaker with an art student from PSU, or the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and you each gain unique, creative experience introducing your work to the general public.  (And $1/pint sold during presentations supports outreach in public schools… 🙂

To learn about a few past presentations by OHSU participants, please click on the links below…


Mushrooms and Meth @ Velo!


A Zombie Feast: Imaging Brains @ Velo!


I Feel Your Pain @ Velo!


Your creative, lying brain – at Velo!


Waltzing Mice @ Velo!


Interested in getting involved with NW Noggin? 

We are very active in the community all year, and if you want to discover more about our integrative approach to teaching neuroscience with art, and how you might share your growing passion and expertise, please email Binyam, Christie, and/or Bill, submit the form below and follow the instructions in the confirmation email. Cheers!

We are committed to creating and fostering a learning and working environment based on open communication and mutual respect.  We have an extraordinarily diverse K-12 student population, and a diverse community of teachers as well. We expect volunteers to be respectful and welcoming of difference, including differences involving race, color, religion, age, national origin or ancestry, veteran or military status, sex, marital status, pregnancy or parenting status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.  Inappropriate behavior is unacceptable, and will result in removal from NW Noggin activities…

Please help everyone feel valued as full, respected participants in our teaching and learning communities – this is key to successful outreach…

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