STEMM Idol Speaker Dr. Jim Olson, PhD

Dr. Jim Olson, Ph.D., of Wright State University returns to CJ to celebrate Brain Awareness Week with students on Tuesday, March 18.

The professor and researcher will discuss topics in neuroscience, emergency medicine and the functions of the human brain with all interested students during homeroom sessions in the library. This year marks Dr. Olson’s third appearance as a STEMM Idol Speaker.

“The students love him because he brings actual human specimens of brain and spinal cord segments, which the students can see and touch,” said Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator. As part of his presentation, Dr. Olson also talks to students about the importance of organ donation for scientific research.

“Jim does an excellent job of explaining that, in discussing and handling such specimens from deceased donors, we are obligated to show utmost respect and care knowing the organs are from human beings.”

Dr. Olson will also be taking his presentation into the classroom for students enrolled in Anatomy and Project Lead the Way biomedical sciences classes with teacher Amy O’Loughlin.

“Jim is awesome because he is totally relatable to the kids,” O’Loughlin said. “The fact that they can see an actual human brain after we’ve talked about it just reinforces what they’re learning.”

According to organizers at The Dana Foundation, a grant-giving company for scientific research, Brain Awareness Week has been celebrated each March since 1996 to raise global awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. The week is officially being recognized March 10-16, 2014. Learn more at