Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Organized by:
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Participating Organizations:

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Virginia Tech’s Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Graduate Program, Dana Foundation, Family Services of Roanoke, Brain Injury Association of Southwest Virginia, VTCRI’s Student Outreach Program

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Conference/Forum
  • Exhibit
  • Lecture/ Briefing
  • Open House
  • Press Briefing
  • Symposium

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • High School students(9-12)
  • Middle school students(6-8)
  • Patients & Caregivers
  • Professionals
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute hosted three public forums and an outreach exhibit during Brain Awareness Week, focusing on the theme of things that can influence the brain during development and through the lifespan. The first panel included leading experts on addiction, the second lecture was about parasites and led by Dr. Michael Fox of the VTCRI, the third panel was on how electronics can help and hinder development. The talks were crafted to communicate highly scientific information to the general public, including high school and college students. Program objectives included starting conversations about the current state of neuroscience and future directions of the field, and, based on the feedback from attendees, we achieved that goal. Also, based on feedback, we started those conversation at a more digestible and inclusive level for the general public. We improved our outreach scope and included more interactive elements (attendees could hold a real human brain, as well as participate in the much-loved Q&A sessions). We updated the pure lecture style from last year to include panels and more audience discussion, which went over very well. We’ll definitely continue this trend in future years.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

The emails and social media outreach was probably the most successful. We had a snowstorm push back our events by a day, which messed up the schedule for the week. By keeping the attendees posted via email and social media, we ended up with a great turnout despite the weather and schedule changes.


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • Staying Sharp Bookmark
  • BAW Stickers
  • Brain-shaped Erasers

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

Participation in BAW brought our organization and community together. Our “Brain School” is one of the most popular events we host, and this year was no exception. By varying the format from lecture to discussion, we brought the community in even more.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

Yes, it was very helpful.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Ashley WennersHerron

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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