EDITORIAL | Issue 2010 | Editors: Anna Walton and Katie McClellan | Institution: University of South Carolina
This past year has been marked by a number of groundbreaking firsts that carry IMPULSE to a new level of recognition and position in the local, national, and international undergraduate and at-large communities. Not only did 2009 bring the most manuscripts to be published by the journal – including our first manuscript written by a German author - but we have expanded our outreach activities. For example, the IMPULSE review team at University of South Carolina (USC) organized its first Brain Awareness Week activities in 2009. Through a series of lectures given by neuroscience professors and surgeons, IMPULSE not only increased general understanding and recognition of neuroscience issues, but also brought the spotlight onto undergraduate neuroscience education and the innovative neuroscience research conducted at the university. IMPULSE was even featured on the front page of the USC website! An additional reviewer training site has been established at Salve Regina University, bringing the total number of official reviewer training sites to four, while even more are in the works. As the new reviewer training sites find their role within the journal and their own communities, the journal has the potential to have a great impact on undergraduate education in neuroscience. At the Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago, IL, we presented the first ever Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) undergraduate travel award, sponsored by IMPULSE. Wellesley College student Courtney Ackeifi received the $750 award presented jointly with FUN at the annual undergraduate research poster session. My two year term as Editor-in-Chief has been productive, stimulating, and innovative, and I am confident that the journal will continue to redefine the undergraduate neuroscience educational experience as we explore how IMPULSEcan bring change to college curricula and our communities.
As I begin to take over the duties of the Editor-in-Chief for IMPULSE, I am very excited about the coming year. To me, the reason IMPULSE is so important is that it gives undergraduates the opportunity to experience both sides of the process of reviewing a manuscript. As a student who has done neuroscience research, I believe that experience with scientific publication is a crucial part of a scientific education, and it is unfortunate that so many undergraduates do not have this opportunity. For this reason, I am particularly delighted to be able to say that IMPULSE has made its way into the classroom. One professor at Ursinus College, Dr. Rebecca Kohn, incorporated IMPULSE into her curriculum by having her students come up with an original research project, perform the experiment, collect data, write a manuscript, and then go through the peer review process with IMPULSE. We are so proud of this accomplishment that we featured it as the topic of our Society for Neuroscience 2009 poster. Though it was IMPULSE's seventh year at the Society for Neuroscience conference, it was my first, and I was especially grateful to be able to meet IMPULSE members from other institutions. We plan to continue promoting IMPULSE at neuroscience meetings this year, including SYNAPSE at Wake Forest in March, FENS in Amsterdam in July, and SfN 2010 in Los Angeles in October. In conclusion, I am looking forward to another great year of neuroscience here at IMPULSE.