Student and Professor Honored at Neuroscience Conference

December 6, 2011

Photos by Robert A. Lisak

Stonehill junior Emily Palmisano and Associate Professor of Psychology John McCoy were honored at the 21st annual Northeastern Under/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON) Conference at Quinnipiac University recently.

A total of five Stonehill students presented posters on their original research at the conference alongside Professor McCoy, who directs Stonehill's Neuroscience Program, and Associate Professor of Biology Sharon Ramos-Goyette, who founded the program in the spring of 2006.

Palmisano won the award for Best Artwork using Traditional Media for her two submissions entitled "Perception" and "Dimension." The award was part of a new segment introduced this year at the conference titled "The Art of Science," where students could submit their two-dimensional artistic depictions of scientific objects and concepts.

Professor McCoy received the 2011 Mary Esrkine Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Mentorship. The award is given to a professor who demonstrates excellence in research and mentorship, and is named after a highly respected and influential researcher at Boston University who died from breast cancer in 2007.

"Professor McCoy is helping to shape the future not only of sleep research, and the Neuroscience Program at Stonehill, but he is mentoring the next generation of neuroscientists," said Ramos-Goyette.
McCoy was nominated for the award by former student Kristyn Sylvia '11 and Ramos-Goyette.

In her nomination letter, Sylvia said, "I can say without exception, Professor McCoy has been willing and excited to help guide me academically and professionally throughout my time at Stonehill, and even after graduation. He is extremely compassionate and truly cares about his students. Although Professor McCoy was not my advisor, he always found the time to meet with me and speak about my future plans."

Joining Palmisano at the NEURON Conference were fellow students Ashley (Emily) Procter '12, Liz Belanger '13, Maura Ferrarini '12, and Jacob Boganski '12.

In the cell culture facility at the Shields Science Center at Stonehill, Boganski, Eric Schott '13, and Professor Ramos-Goyette helped to work out the conditions necessary to grow neurons and quantify their morphology. They presented this work at the conference while Procter, Belanger, and Ferrarini all presented their projects on sleep research directed by Professor McCoy.

The NEURON Conference provides an open forum for neuroscience undergraduate and graduate students to present and discuss their work with students and faculty with similar interests.
Since 1990, the organization has held conferences in Boston, New York City, and at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut.

The event is free thanks to federal and private funding, and colleges from around the northeast are represented. The progress and outcomes of the recent conference will be presented at The Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington D.C. at a date to be announced.

Stonehill's Neuroscience Program, which began in the spring of 2006, is an interdepartmental major that provides an integrated and in-depth foundation for understanding the complex functions of the nervous system and in particular, the brain.

To view photos from the 21st annual Northeastern Under/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON) Conference, visit here.


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