Carol Ann Paul
Carol Ann Paul, senior instructor of science laboratory emerita and a founding member of our neuroscience program, passed away on October 23 at the age of 66. She taught at the College from 1983 until 2010. Carol Ann taught first in Biological Sciences and later in the Neuroscience Program. She was the driving force behind the successful laboratory experiences in the core neuroscience courses, and was much beloved by students, faculty and staff alike.
Carol Ann will be remembered for her commitment to her students and her dedication to creating meaningful laboratory experiences for them. She constantly integrated across the disciplines and brought new ideas into our Neuroscience labs. For instance, she created a magnetic resonance imaging laboratory with faculty in the chemistry department that was incorporated into an advanced neuroscience course in the spring of 2010. She also organized a laboratory experience with computer science faculty, in which students use a tabletop computer interface to explore bioinformatics. As an example of Carol Ann’s commitment to our students, while her recent stroke prevented her from formal teaching, she returned to our introduction Neuroscience course to tell students about the neuroscience behind strokes and her experiences as a stroke survivor.
Her love of neuroscience could be seen in the breadth of academic endeavors that she pursued. She was the editor of Discovering Neurons: The Experimental Basis of Neuroscience, which was published in 1997 and co-edited by Barb Beltz, the Allene Lummis Russell Professor of Neuroscience, and Joanne Berger-Sweeney ’79, former Wellesley faculty member and Associate Dean of the College. Professor Paul also published many peer-reviewed papers, including the “Association of alcohol consumption with Brain Volume in the Framingham Heart Study” that was published in the Archives of Neurology in 2008 and received national attention. She was the principal investigator on an impressive number of grants, including those from the National Science Foundation for neuroscience curriculum development. She also presented her curriculum ideas at workshops for AAC&U’s Project Kaleidoscope and Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.
Born in Belfast, Ireland, Carol Ann earned a B.A. from Keele University in England, and a master’s degree in epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to coming to Wellesley in 1983, she was a lecturer at Williams College and a lab instructor at Harvard University.
Given her many teaching and scholarly contributions to the field, Carol Ann was selected to be awarded the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this November. Fortunately, we were able to share this news (which was intended to be a surprise) with her a few weeks before her death, so that she would know how much her contributions to neuroscience were admired and appreciated on a national level. We will always be grateful to Carol Ann for her profound contributions to the Neuroscience Program and her passion for “learning by doing”. We will always cherish her devoted friendship and her Irish wit and charm.
Friend to Wellesley Neuroscience
Members of the Wellesley community are invited to the Hubel Memorial on Nov. 16 (2pm, Memorial Church, Harvard Square). To honor his memory, the family has established a fund to support student travel to the annual Society for Neurosciences meeting, which is currently ongoing in San Diego. This is a terrific cause, and 100% of donated funds will go directly towards supporting the award. To contribute, go to
David Hubel, John Enders University Professor of Neurobiology, Emeritus at Harvard University and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Wellesley College, died on Sunday, September 22. Many Wellesley students will remember David as their teacher and mentor during their time at Wellesley. We are grateful for all that he gave to the Neuroscience Program since its founding in 2007, and will miss his presence among us. However, his legacy at Wellesley will continue, as he established The David and Ruth Hubel Endowed Fund for Summer Internships in Neuroscience, which will provide support in perpetuity for our undergraduates engaged in summer research.
Additional information about Dr. Hubel's life are found online:
Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of neurons and how they are assembled to produce behaviors.
Neuroscience was implemented as a new interdisciplinary major in 1999, replacing the Psychobiology Program and providing a strong foundation in neuroscience and related courses.
Our students benefit from small classes and investigative labs in their introductory and advanced courses.
Our majors graduate with a liberal arts background and a strong foundation in neuroscience which allows them to proceed to medical school or attend top-ranked graduate neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychology Ph.D. programs, including UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Duke, and Northwestern.
The best proof of the success of the Neuroscience Program:
- 60 percent of our graduates proceed to medical school;
- 15 percent of our graduates continue on with graduate work in neuroscience, psychology, or neuropsychology;
- 10 percent of our graduates pursue careers that intersect with neuroscience—for example, patent law or work in the biotech industry.