Medical Education Maverick to Give Workshop

Living and learning, personal development and communication with students will be the topics of a daylong workshop Monday, March 26, at Western Carolina University featuring medical education maverick Jeannette Norden, a neuroscientist from Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine.

The public program is part of the “Learning to Live, Living to Learn” yearlong initiative designed to engage WCU faculty, staff and students in exploring ideas, passions and convictions about learning and teaching.

Registration deadline for the workshop, sponsored by the Visiting Scholar Program, is Thursday, March 1.

The day’s first session, “Living and Learning: The Challenges of Intellectual and Personal Development,” will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Room 104 of Killian Building. At a noon luncheon in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center, Norden will address the role of student voices in the challenges of intellectual and personal development. The final workshop, “Enhancing Communication with Students,” will begin at 3 p.m. in Room 104 of Killian.

Norden’s approach to teaching students, which stresses personal as well as intellectual development, has made her an innovator in medical education, said Beth Bowser, faculty development specialist in WCU’s Coulter Faculty Center and coordinator of the “Living to Learn, Learning to Live” program.

As director of medical neurosciences for second-year medical students, Norden teaches a course in which factual knowledge, clinical reasoning skills, and interpersonal skills are integrated. Even though Norden’s field is medical education, her remarks are applicable to all disciplines, Bowser said. Norden, who has won numerous awards for her teaching, is involved in numerous outreach programs in Nashville and surrounding communities, frequently visiting schools and gives public talks on psychoactive drugs, the aging brain, and other topics related to neurosciences.

Cost to attend the program is $50, which includes the three sessions, breaks and lunch. There is no charge for WCU attendees, but reservations are required for everyone wishing to attend the luncheon. For reservations or information, contact Bowser at telephone (828) 227-3702, or via e-mail (