Profile of a professor: Dr. Edward Schicatano, neuroscience

Dian McKinney, Staff Writer

Dr. Edward Schicatano is coordinator of the neuroscience major and Psychology Department at Wilkes, and is known by many students as a dedicated and inspiring instructor.

Those who have met Schicatano know that he is not only passionate about neuroscience and teaching, but is also passionate about mental and physical health.

“I don’t want to just be a teacher, I want to be a well-rounded person. Body is important, mind is important; the connection between mind and body has always been an academic and life focus.”

In meeting Dr. Schicatano, one can gain a new and refreshing sense of motivation as he teaches you the importance of “Doing what you love and loving what you do.”

Schicatano received his Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University, his PhD at Wake Forest University, and did Post-doctoral research at SUNY Stony Brook in the field of neurobiology. Schicatano is very dedicated to both his mental and physical health; therefore, he practices healthy eating and mindful living, which is the mental practice of being present and appreciating life in the moment.

He also has earned a black belt in Hapkido and Taekwond and has practiced this skill for 10 years. Now and then, he teaches self-defense classes at the YMCA in Wilkes-Barre.

Schicatano decided to pursue a teaching career at Wilkes University because of the benefits of teaching in small, personable community. Schicatano said that if he were to teach on a large and more populated campus, he would not have the same rapport that he has with his students at Wilkes.

Schicatano’s students are inspired by the enthusiasm and humor that he brings to the classroom.

“The classes that I am teaching constantly evolve as neuroscience is a constantly changing field, so it keeps me fresh and excited,” he said.

Because the neuroscience major is still relatively small, this allows for great learning relationships between students and teachers.

The neuroscience major is very new to the Wilkes campus as it has taken years for Schicatano to be certain that it was feasible and the right fit for Wilkes’ students.

“I don’t try to be fake when I am meeting with and interviewing prospective students [interested in Neuroscience], I think it [my passion] really comes through.”

Many students in the neuroscience and psychology majors are required to do research before graduation, and Schicatano is an expert in getting his students to be active and participate in some type of research on the Wilkes campus.

“The research gets the students to think critically about what they read in class, and thinking through the research process is an important skill.”

Schicatano enjoys working with students one-on-one, including a few interns that he is currently training in the NeuroTraining and Research Center on the second floor of Breiseth. This center was built by Schicatano and Dr. Robert Bohlander in order to “help the Wilkes community with stress management, reducing stress, improved focus, improved concentration.”

The NeuroTraining and Research Center is open to anyone interested in research in the field of human neuroscience and neuroplasticity.