BrainWaves: The Neuroscience Graduate Program Newsletter

Here Comes SOMA Claus: A SOMA Holiday Update!

AUTHOR: Kathryn Reynolds & Saurabh Shaw, SOMA Co-Presidents

We would like to start by thanking you for coming out to SOMA’s recent events and making them tremendously successful! Your active involvement and feedback has helped us plan events that cater to a larger SOMA student body.

For example, we had such good feedback from our summer hike to Dundas Peak that we decided to host a second hike in late September, introducing members of the new Neuroscience Graduate cohort to the natural beauty of one of Hamilton’s many nature trails. Ten of us explored the Chegwin and Ravine Road Trails in beautiful Cootes Paradise, right on the edge of campus. Our final destination was Sassafras Point Lookout, where we took in the gorgeous views of Cootes Paradise Marsh. A few deer even stopped by to say hi on our way back to campus!

Over the years, SOMA has held some exceptional Halloween parties, and 2019 was no different. This year, we teamed up with the Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour program to host a bowling event at Splitsville Burlington, followed by a pumpkin carving night filled with cake, candy, and identity-swapping SOMA Co-Presidents.


In addition to hosting fun events, SOMA also assisted the undergraduate McMaster Neuroscience Society (MNS) in the planning of their recent McMaster Undergraduate Neuroscience Conference. This conference aimed to bridge the gap between the undergraduate and graduate neuroscience programs at McMaster, introducing neuroscience undergraduate students to the world of graduate research. With our help, the MNS team planned an informative evening composed of 3 Minute Thesis talks and panel discussions from a variety of graduate students and professors in our program. We hope to see some of these undergraduate students on the graduate side of the bridge next year!


As we head into the holiday season, SOMA is now gearing up for a Holiday Party! We’ll be getting together on Wednesday, December 18th in the Psychology Lounge between 4:30-10 pm (drop in anytime!) to build gingerbread houses and sip hot chocolate while watching a Christmas movie. Feel free to bring along any board games you’d like to play as well - us Co-Presidents are quite fond of Settlers of Catan! We can’t wait to celebrate the holiday season with you!!


As 2019 comes to a close,we are alsoready to bring a new President-Elect into the SOMA team. We are looking for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year PhD students who will be in the program for at least 2 more years, and who are excited to plan events for the Neuroscience Graduate community. You can either nominate yourself or your peers to join SOMA in this official capacity. Nominated individuals may choose whether to run in the upcoming SOMA election held at the beginning of January, either alone or alongside another student as co-President-Elects. The elected individual will step into the President-Elect role by the end of January 2020 and will help us plan the remainder of the Winter/Summer 2020 events. They will then transition to the President role at the beginning of September 2020. Keep an eye on your inbox in the new year and get ready to nominate and vote for your next generation of SOMA representatives!


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Neuroscience students exploring Cootes Paradise


SOMA presidents Kathryn Reynolds and Saurabh Shaw swapped identities at our Halloween party. Who wore it better?!
Who new that Neuroscience students were so skilled at pumpkin carving?