OMAHA - A student from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is one of just 10 students from around the world to earn an all-expenses-paid visit to an international neuroscience conference in Munich.
Beginning Wednesday, March 25, Shauna Kister will participate in the 2015 Munich Brain Course, which is held at Ludwig Maximilian University.
This is the second year in a row that a UNO student has received funding to attend the conference. Last year, an undergraduate student and alumnus both received funding.
Kister, a junior, is most intrigued about the chance to dissect a human brain – an opportunity that is rare for neuroscience majors in the United States.
“There are a lot more opportunities to dissect things like rats, or pigs, but a human brain is something I wouldn’t have access to otherwise,” she explained. “As someone who is interested in how the human brain works, it’s a great opportunity.”
Kister currently works the Lincoln Regional Center, a psychiatric hospital run by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. As part of her job, Kister experiences a wide variety of mental health issues.
“There really hasn’t been a lot of progress in treating mental illness,” she said. “Sure, we have therapies and drugs that can help, but in terms of determining the causes of these diseases and preventing them – there is a lot left to do.”
In order to earn her scholarships, Kister had to submit a motivation statement, an academic resume, a transcript and a letter of recommendation from an academic supervisor.
The Brain Course is divided into two sections, an English section and a German section. The English portion of the program runs March 25 and the morning of March 26 while the German program will run the afternoon of March 26 through March 28.
All told, only 40 student representatives from outside of Germany are invited to attend. Conference attendence is so in demand that they are already taking applications and reservations for next year's event.
“By any stretch, Shauna is in an exclusive group,” explained Suzanne Sollars, Ph.D., associate professor of neuroscience and behavior. “To have three students with UNO connections attend in the past two years sends a strong statement about the quality of our program.”
After graduating, Kister plans to earn a masters degree at UNO. Her long-term goals are to study pathophysiology related to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and mood disorders.
For questions about Kister’s visit to the 2015 Brain Course, please contact Charley Reed, UNO Associate Director of Media Relations, at 402.554.2129 or email@example.com.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.