Special Science Education Award
Bobby Heagerty, M.A.
Community Affairs and Education Director, OHSU Brain Institute
A longtime advocate for the OHSU Brain Institute and OHSU's neurology and neuroscience work has been honored with a special science education award from the Society for Neuroscience.
The award for OHSU's Bobby Heagerty was announced Thursday at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in San Diego.
Heagerty won the award along with Martha Farah, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
"Sharing the wonders of scientific discovery and the implications of the latest neuroscience research is vital to advancing the field of neuroscience,” said Larry Swanson, Ph.D., president of SfN. “This work engages and excites the public every day to learn more about how their brains work and function, and it builds the foundation of long-term support for neuroscience. It is an honor to recognize individuals who demonstrate such a strong commitment to neuroscience education and outreach."
Heagerty is the community affairs and education director for the OHSU Brain Institute, which encompasses all neuroscience and neurology clinicians and researchers at OHSU. In announcing the award, the SfN noted Heagerty's development of the OHSU Brain Institute's annual Brain Awareness Season lecture series, which brings some of the nation's and world's top neuroscientists to speak in Portland. It also noted her creation of an educational program that brings neuroscience into middle school classrooms across Oregon.
And the SfN also noted Heagerty's work and regular counsel with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore, on issues relating to brain research. Blumenauer is co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Neuroscience Caucus.
In nominating Heagerty for the award, Kathie Olsen, the former deputy director of the National Science Foundation, wrote that "although I have only known Bobby for about four years, when I think about her accomplishments and her exemplary selfless dedication towards advancing neuroscience education, outreach and advocacy, I am completely in awe. Ms. Heagerty embodies all of elements enshrined in the Science Educator Award. Indeed, I cannot think of a more deserving recipient."
Heagerty came to OHSU in 1999 as a community outreach advocate for the OHSU Neurological Sciences Institute. She helped create the OHSU Brain Institute in 2006 and has continually worked to help educate the public about OHSU's neuroscience work — and about neuroscience and brain research in general.
"Bobby is unique," said Dennis Bourdette, M.D., F.A.A.N., professor and chair of the OHSU Department of Neurology, who has worked with Heagerty her entire time at OHSU. "She has organized successful neuroscience education programs for such diverse groups, including the general public, school-aged students, college and graduate and established neuroscientists. She is a treasure."