Methma is a Volunteer Representative for Swearer Tutoring and Enrichment in Math and Sciences (STEMS). As a VR, Methma helps plan weekly meetings for the tutors, which are intended to provide Brown tutors with tools to work more effectively, through tutoring skills, knowledge of current education policy, discussions on the role of a tutor in a classroom, or information about the Providence Public School system. She is currently tutoring in a physics class.
Tara Torabi '15 is an Access Scholar with the College Advising Corps at Brown University and the Coordinator of Brown's first Brain Bee.
There are more connections in our brain than stars in our galaxy: we acquire the ability to speak and see by virtue of the complex interactions between the billions of neurons we possess. But this art of connection is not, and should not, be exclusive to our inherent biology. Much like one neuron cannot survive without communicating with another, we as individuals cannot endure without acknowledging the need to connect with each other.
When I was a junior in high school, I participated in my local Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for teenagers. Winning the competition and advancing to the national level during my senior year, I had the opportunity to tour research labs and examine the anatomy of brain cadavers. The efforts of others had enabled me to discover something that had always existed, instilling in me a need to continue studying the brain.
Coming to Brown, I was inspired to share the knowledge that had first brought me here with others – founding the Brown University Brain Bee for high school students in Rhode Island. From October through February, students from different high schools spend their Saturdays on campus learning about neuroscience. In eating “miracle berries” that trick their perception of taste or using paperclips to test the two-point threshold on different parts of their body, they learn that science is not limited to textbook diagrams. Rather, it is something that occurs simply by way of existing and experiencing our environments.
Recently, the program culminated in the annual competition. As students correctly scribbled answers on their boards in response to questions about superoxide dismutase and Broca’s aphasia, I was inspired by their dedication to learning and the depth of knowledge they had attained. Once again, I was reminded of the power of connection – in being able to encourage these students as they discovered their own passion for science and determined their own future ambitions.
We have all read books that have shaped us, had teachers who motivated us, had interactions that have quietly become part of our identities. We are undoubtedly who we are because of the opportunities we were provided and the individuals who supported us. Ultimately, we must never forget these invisible threads which connect us to each other, enabling one person’s journey to become another’s.
June 20, 2016
June 13, 2016"I think about opening my mouth to call out goodbye, or to salute her in a traditional sign language farewell. Instead, I stand silently and smile."
Sally Hosokawa is a Community Fellow for Writers’ Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that facilitates creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities. She studies literary translation in the Comparative Literature Department.
May 14, 2016“Club teachers understand us,” she says. “Even though they’re older, they’re not that much older, and so they’re like us and we can identify with them and talk to them about our problems.”
Addy is a volunteer with the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring Program (BEAM), a Swearer Center community partnership that facilitates after-school programing activities and mentorship between Brown volunteers and students at William D’Abate Elementary School in the Olneyville neighborhood.
February 22, 2016
Pia is a junior double-concentrating in Education Studies and Comparative Literature. This is her third year with Writers' Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that offers creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities, and her first year as a Swearer Center Community Fellow.
February 19, 2016I was intrigued by the program, but very intimidated by some of the topics. I’ve never been in the position to talk about gender or sexuality or rape culture.
Tiara came into Brown dead set on studying Neuroscience. After a summer or working with the local Planned Parenthood branch and taking health based classes she realized public health was her real calling. She has been volunteering for the SHAPE (Sexual Health Advocacy through Peer Education) program since sophomore year.
February 16, 2016