Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Organized by:
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Participating Organizations:

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/ Briefing

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • High School students(9-12)
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute hosted four public lectures during Brain Awareness Week, under the theme of, “The Amazing Adaptive Brain!” Each lecture was given by a neuroscientist from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. Each speaker presented on their own research: visual systems; epilepsy; learning, memory, and the aging brain; and how the brain processes pain. While the research covered in the talks is highly complex, the goal of each lecturer was to present for a lay audience. We aimed to attract the general public, and introduce them to some of the brain research conducted at our institute. The feedback was overwhelming positive, and it appeared that our audience members left knowing a little bit more about what we do than when they arrived. Our goals were achieved, but we’d like to create a way to monitor specific metrics for next year. We’d also like to expand to a more interactive format–audience members had the opportunity to ask questions at the the end of each talk, and that seemed to be the favorite part for most people.

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 press release worked well, as the speakers were invited on a local news morning show. Several attendees signed up the day the segment on "Brain School" appeared. The targeted emailing worked well, too, since the information was sent directly to people had previously expressed interest in this kind of activity.


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:

  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research
  • It’s Mindboggling!
  • More Mindbogglers!
  • Staying Sharp Bookmark
  • BAW Stickers
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • The Mindboggling Workbook
  • BAW Buttons
  • Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain

Feedback & Keys to Success

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

The immediate benefit of BAW participation is that it offered an opportunity for our community members to visit our Institute. The format of the talks geared to non-scientists gave the audience members insight into the work, as well as there researchers, at the Institute. We host other events, but BAW seems to offer more relatable and understandable material for the public at large.

Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:

An interactive format for events is highly suggested, as well as trackable metrics for goals.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Ashley WennersHerron

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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