Students from the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy learned about brain anatomy and health during a series of seminars led by Dr. Michael Modic, an expert in the fields of radiology, neurology, and neuroimaging. Dr. Modic is the chair of the Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, the hospital that received the number one ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s “2012-2013 Best Hospitals.”
He serves on CGLA’s Governance Board and considers it a privilege to partner with CGLA and share his passion for science and education with middle and high school students – many of whom are planning to pursue degrees and careers in science fields.
“I’m interested in education,” said Dr. Modic. “Part of what I’ve done in my career in medicine is to be an educator as well as a researcher. I’m very interested in seeing how we can adapt schools to really produce better students. I think the charter schools have been interesting because they’re a little more innovative, and they’re trying things that are a little different. And I think that there should be a spectrum of educational efforts.”
In his interactive presentation to the students, Dr. Modic made information about the brain not only understandable but also relevant to the girls. He covered a range of topics: brain anatomy, brain function, protecting the brain, the impact of health and behavior choices on brain health, the variety of science-related career choices, and the complexities of health care.
The students were interested in the connection between nutrition and brain health. They learned that they have a great degree of control over the health of their brains by avoiding tobacco products, making smart nutrition and diet choices, and keeping their stress to a minimum. “I learned that we need to watch how many calories we put in our bodies and to move all the time instead of sitting a lot,” said Frida, a seventh grader who was shocked at the obesity epidemic in Tennessee and the U.S.
“I think it’s invaluable for our students to meet and converse with scientists and professionals like Dr. Modic,” said Dr. Elaine Swafford, executive director of CGLA and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation. “In presentations like this students are exposed to fields of study that they may want to pursue, they learn more about their own anatomy, and they realize the importance of making healthy life choices. This is what CGLA is all about – expanding knowledge, applying knowledge, and seeing how knowledge can open doors.”