Science of the Good Life Faculty and FIG Assistant

David McCormick
FIG Faculty: David A. McCormick

David McCormick is Director of the Institute of Neuroscience and is interested in the neuroscience and psychology of a well-lived life, full of meaning and purpose.  Sasha, a 9 year old female Samoyed, grew up on college campuses and loves to be pet by, and comfort, students.  David and Sasha moved to the University of Oregon a few years ago to become part of the Oregon community of caring, empathetic people who are working together towards a better tomorrow.  By creating the course Bi170 Happiness: a Neuroscience and Psychology Perspective, David sought to bring his long standing interest in positive life engagement into a discussion with students, helping them develop the skills and knowledge needed to live life skillfully and fully.

David received his BA degrees in Psychology and Math at Purdue University and his PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University.  Prior to the University of Oregon, he was a professor at Yale University School of Medicine for 30 years, and lived with students in a residential college with his wife, Lanch, and Sasha.  For 7 years, David travelled to rural India each summer to teach Tibetan Buddhist monks neuroscience in their monastic universities.  He was also the lead of Yale/New Haven Insight Meditation group, and currently teaches meditation to students each week in Unthank Residence Hall, where he is a Faculty Fellow.  Sasha attends class and meditation and is just happy to love, and be loved by, students.


Sorayah Alvarez photo
FIG Assistant: Sorayah Alvarez

Hi there! My name is Sorayah, and I am thrilled to be your Fig Assistant this year! I am a junior at UO, and I'm double majoring in Accounting and Psychology, with a minor in Spanish. I am originally from Forest Grove OR, but Eugene quickly became my new home. I love exploring the surrounding nature and activities that the city has to offer when I am not in class! Fun fact Eugene has some of the best ramen and it’s only a 15-minute walk from campus. (Toshi's Ramen)

I am so excited to get to know all of you, and I am here to help! Please reach out if you have any questions about your first term here on campus whether it’s about classes or hiking recommendations, I am more than happy to help! Don’t be afraid to email me even if you don’t have questions and just want to chat!

I also love reading and listening to music. It brings me immense joy when others share their favorite picks. Feel free to send them my way I am all ears! Again, excited to meet you this fall!