If you’re reading this, your brain weighs about three pounds; that’s a little more than the average cantaloupe. Three pounds may not sound like much, but as a percentage of body mass it’s comparatively enormous. A sperm whale’s brain, for example, is as big as a beagle — but it’s tucked in a 30-ton frame. 

Acclaimed UA harpist Carrol McLaughlin has played her harp in concert halls around the world, from Japan to Brazil, from New York to London. But one day in June 2012, she hauled her massive instrument into a decidedly different performance venue: the intensive care unit at the University of Arizona Medical Center.

Alfred W. Kaszniak guides his students through an exercise: mindfully eating raisins, one at a time. 

“Some of you may be thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? This is dumb,’” he says. But he urges them to suspend judgment.

Slowing down is at the core of contemplative traditions and practices like yoga, meditation, tai chi, deep listening, and mindful eating, all of which have been growing in popularity.

Food is a powerful force for the health of the body and the brain. The brain needs energy in the form of glucose, amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and an assortment of vitamins and minerals to operate. Here are a few tips for dietary choices to protect and promote brain health.

The most important step toward protecting your brain’s health? Get started! It’s never too late to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, and even small changes can have a big impact.

Student-athletes ease themselves onto padded tables as athletic trainers probe and prod and wrap long, beige bandages around twisted ankles. 

Here, in the training room in McKale Center, a sports medicine team of physicians and trainers treat the whole student-athlete, and Amy Athey, the UA’s new director of clinical and sport psychology, is part of that team.

At the UA, student-athletes have access to a range of programs and support. Among them is the nationally recognized Commitment to an Athlete’s Total Success program, known as CATS, which offers individualized academic tutoring and other services. 

Success on the field and in the classroom seem to go hand-in-hand for some teams.

The UA women’s soccer team placed 12 members on the Pac-12 Conference All-Academic team after their season ended in November. 

In 2013, Fletcher McCusker ’74 started Sinfonía Healthcare, coalescing a leadership team thick with Wildcats, from UA nursing-school graduate Danielle Sipe ’95 — now Sinfonía’s director of clinical services — to the company’s chief medical officer, Christian Moher ’95, who earned his medical degree at the UA College of Medicine. 

“All of us have significant connections to the UA,” McCusker says. “So many of us are alumni, and part of our interest was maintaining a relationship with the UA College of Pharmacy.”

Terry Lundgren ’75 is not a man to forget his roots. That’s why, in 2005, the Macy’s CEO put his name behind the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the UA. The center has introduced hundreds of students to the world of retailing — some of them stepping into successful careers with Macy’s.

Meanwhile, the center draws the international retail world to the UA for its annual Global Retailing Conference, where students network with industry leaders. 

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