Gray Matters



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Download Slides: Letting Knowledge Serve through interdisciplinary neuroscience (& a few extra brains!) (115.3 MB)


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This is a video conversation about how PSU faculty and students are working alongside community partners to bring neuroscience research and philosophy into K-12 schools.

Biographical Information


  • Neuroscientist Bill Griesar and artist Jeff Leake, psychology faculty and co-founders of NW Noggin, a volunteer-run nonprofit that brings science and art into schools
  • Britta Harbury and Sienna Morris, undergraduate student volunteers with NW Noggin
  • Alex Sager, professor and chair of philosophy who founded the Oregon High School Ethics Bowl and developed a senior capstone that brings philosophy to children in grades 1-8
  • Travis Eddy, a middle school teacher at the Ivy School, a public charter Montessori in Portland that has been working with our Philosophy Department since 2014
  • Jolie Gentzkow-Foster '21, a philosophy graduate who was a student in the capstone and served as a TA for the Philosophy Summer Camp

More about the Presenters:

Jeff Leake
Artist, Instructor at Portland State University
Co-Founder, NW Noggin

Jeff Leake, M.A. currently teaches interdisciplinary art and neuroscience courses in the Psychology and University Studies departments at PSU. He is also the president, co-founder and arts coordinator of the nonprofit NW Noggin. A working artist, Jeff has completed prestigious residencies in Shanghai, Nevada and Wyoming (UCross), and is currently heading to Latvia in February 2022. He has traveled the country lecturing and teaching neuroscience through art and was recognized as an innovator by the Obama White House.

Bill Griesar
Senior Instructor at Portland State University
Co-Founder, NW Noggin

Bill Griesar, Ph.D. is Senior Instructor in Psychology at PSU and a co-founder and Neuroscience Coordinator of NW Noggin. He has developed and taught arts-integrated neuroscience courses at PSU and OHSU since 2001 and helped create a new interdisciplinary neuroscience minor at PSU. Through NW Noggin he’s met with more than 50,000 K-12 students over real brains and art. He’s been recognized as an innovator by the Obama White House and has won numerous teaching awards.


Science -- Study and teaching -- United States, Interdisciplinary approach in education, Science and the arts, Neuroplasticity


Art Practice | Education | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Philosophy

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Gray Matters