New minor focuses on neurology
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 18:02
Rice students can now officially start learning about the brain as a field of study. On Jan. 30, 2013, the proposal for a neuroscience minor at Rice was approved by the Faculty Senate, so students graduating in 2014 or later can now minor in neuroscience.
The minor was developed by a steering committee of nine faculty members, including professor of computational and applied mathematics Steven Cox.
However, according to Cox, the faculty was not the only driving force behind the neuroscience minor.
“Students have organized an effort to build neuroscience at Rice since 2008 and have made significant contributions to the tailoring of the proposal,” Cox said. “Students have reached out to Baylor and UT faculty. They even invited the Baylor [College of Medicine] chair of neuroscience to Rice for lunch, as well as other faculty from Baylor.”
Two students who spearheaded the formation of this minor are alumni Nazima Zakhidova (Sid Rich ’10) and Tommy Sprague (Wiess ’10), according to Cox.
“I came into Rice in 2008 wanting to learn neuroscience but was misled by the cognitive sciences program,” Zakhidova said. “It was psychology-heavy, and I wanted to learn more about the biological, chemical and electrophysiological side to neuroscience. I started emailing people on day one and by Sept. 1, 2008, had started correspondence with [Cox] about initiating a neuroscience minor.”
In order to gauge interest in a neuroscience minor, Zakhidova said she emailed a survey to colleges’ mailing lists, which is how she met Sprague. They then met with the steering committee for the minor to work out the details of the minor.