Pritzker Scientist Visits Parker

Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and Director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center Dr. Eve Van Cauter recently visited the school for a full day of meeting with students and faculty as this year’s Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence.

Dr. Van Cauter began by giving an Intermediate and Middle School Morning Ex focused on describing sleep and its different stages along with an explanation of the benefits of a healthy sleep schedule and, conversely, the pitfalls of not getting enough sleep. She finished this presentation with helpful advice on ways to normalize and develop a healthy sleep pattern. Next, Dr. Van Cauter spoke to the Upper School in a similar Morning Ex, but added information for the older students on how sleep affects their performance in school and other extracurricular activities, like driving, for example.

After these larger presentations, Dr. Van Cauter met with students in smaller settings. First, she visited three 9th grade Biology classes in the Harris Center; then, the Community Research and Medicine Club and the Young Women in Science Club sat down for an informal discussion during lunch; and finally, she met with Bridget Lesinski’s Upper School Psychology Class. These meetings gave students the chance to ask questions they had prepared ahead of time or thought of as a result of Dr. Van Cauter’s Morning Ex.

We are extremely thankful to the Pritzker family for their generosity in starting this program, which allows Parker to host thought leaders like Dr. Van Cauter to speak with our students. Students see directly how to apply the things they are learning outside the classroom. We look forward to more interaction during this academic year with Dr. Van Cauter and can’t wait for her free public lecture on Monday, February 4, “Sleep as a Pillar of Health and Wellness.”

Click here for photos from this visit.

The Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence program was created by a gift to Parker in honor of engineer, industrialist and philanthropist Robert A. Pritzker ’44. This program aims to expand science education opportunities at Parker and foster an ongoing dialogue among students and teachers about current issues in science. Previous speakers include Dr. Leon M. Lederman, Dr. Paul Sereno, Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Christina Mittermeier, Dr. Edward “Rocky” Kolb, Dr. Ka Yee Lee, Dr. Don Hillebrand, Dr. Matthew Tirrell, Dr. Elizabeth Gerber, Dr. Sian Beilock, Dr. Wendy Freedman and Dr. Rick Stevens.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.