Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Brandon Wu

Mary Gates Leadership Scholar, Spring 2023


Research Project: Expanding the Grey Matters Outreach Initiative

Research Project Description: With the help of the leadership in Grey Matters, I led the creation of an outreach team that brings accessible neuroscience education to underrepresented populations in STEM. With sheep brain dissections, neurotechnology demonstrations, and college Q&A panels, we have reached over 2,000 PreK-12th grade students at 20+ events across Seattle.

What have you learned throughout your research/leadership project and experience?

Outside of professional skills in leadership and team management, I’ve simply learned that I love to teach. Whether it be hosting a training for other undergraduates to use our human to human interface or explaining the importance of Phineas Gage to a group of elementary schoolers, sharing the knowledge I have with others is now a non-negotiable component of my future career path.

What advice do you have for future Mary Gates Research applicants?

Pursue what you love! Oftentimes there are ways to incorporate what you are learning into a format that you wouldn’t have originally expected. I never would have guessed that I would be travelling to high schools regularly with a pail of sheep brains, but it has been the most engaging way that I’ve been able to employ my neuroscience degree to make a difference in the community. Find what gives you that same enjoyment, and focus on expanding it as much as you can!