Math Center Tutors 4/14

We continue our practice of showcasing our Math Center Tutors in this issue.

Sean Dantis, Math Center Tutor

Sean Dantis, Math Center Tutor

Sean Dantis is a senior majoring in Computer Engineering. To show his love for math he has Mathematics for a minor. To the Math Center he brings a smiling face and tutors everything from Basic Algebra to Discrete Mathematics as well as Physics and Computer Science. Sean is an international student from Oman and loves to travel. At CBU, he is the Vice President of IEEE and a member of the Judicial Board. He is on track to graduate in May 2014.

Featured Article: What makes a CBU Science degree so special?

Dr. Holmes

Dr. Holmes

by Johnny B. Holmes, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Sciences

What makes a CBU Science degree so special?  Is it the high acceptance rates to graduate and professional schools that are graduates obtain?  Or is that just a demonstration of how special our degree is?  Is it the nice classrooms and labs that provide the tools to help our students learn and explore?  Is it the seriousness of the students we attract – ones who value an institution for its teaching?  Is it the faculty who dedicate so much time and effort into the educational process in all of its myriad aspects?

I think the fundamental answer lies in the fact that CBU attracts and hires faculty who want to teach.  Faculty who are obviously talented in their fields accept positions at CBU because they and we value the teaching.  It starts with faculty who take pride in the work they do in the classroom.  Our faculty put hours into preparing their lectures and demonstrations and in designing experiments for the lab sections.  But effective teaching goes beyond the classroom.  It involves designing courses and preparing course materials.  It involves coordinating courses and designing whole curriculums (majors) that provide the knowledge and skill base for future careers and interests.  Effective teaching involves helping students through academic advising in one-on-one conversations.  Effective teaching involves interacting with students in the student groups that each department has.  Effective teaching involves interacting with students in their research, with help in finding interesting research for them, and helping them learn what it takes to perform that research.  Certainly no person can be outstanding in all of those areas of teaching, but I could easily give several examples of particular faculty members who excel in each of the above areas.

I know this sounds like a commercial for the CBU School of Sciences.  But what I am really trying to do is to say THANK YOU to the Sciences faculty who it has been, and continues to be, my pleasure to work with over these years.  I also wish to express my thanks to our graduates who have taken advantage of the opportunities that the Sciences faculty have provided and to our current students who continue to make those efforts to achieve a great and rewarding education.

Student Groups 3/14

We have four student groups in the School of Sciences:
Beta Beta Beta (Tri Beta) for Biology,
Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) for Chemistry,
Student section of the Mathematical Association of American (MAA) for Math, and
Society of Physics Students (SPS) for Physics.

Here is a list of what each group did in 2013:

Beta Beta Beta Induction last year (2013).

Beta Beta Beta Induction last year (2013).

Beta Beta Beta, the biology honor society, is a very active student group.
February:  Induction of 31 associate and 11 full members.  Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, was the invited speaker and talked about the ecology of the Mississippi River.
March:  The Volunteer Director from the Church Health Center (CHC) spoke to the group about CHC services and encouraged students to apply for internships.
April:  Beta Beta Beta joined SMACS in hosting the “Youth and Vitality vs. Old Age and Deceit” Volleyball game.
October:  Mock Interviews for students with professionals in the health care sector including alums.
November:  Bowling for Uganda event to raise money for Hope North.
December:  Beta Beta Beta joined SMACS in holding their Holiday party.

Foaming Pumpkins

Foaming pumpkins presented by the CBU SMACS club during the 2013 National Chemistry Week Celebration.

The CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) has been very active during the past year.  The club received notification during fall 2013 that it will receive an Honorable Mention Award from the national office of the American Chemical Society for its 2012-2013 chapter activities.  Formal presentation of the award comes at the March 2014 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.  Anyone with an interest in chemistry or biochemistry is encouraged to join the club; membership includes students from the School of Engineering and most majors in the School of Science.
February:  Members of SMACS assisted in the Science Olympiad competition.
March:  Members of SMACS assisted with the  Competitive Examination in Chemistry and the Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad sponsored by the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society.  These examinations are taken by high students from across Shelby County and are offered without fees to either the students or their schools.  The high scoring students win cash prizes provided by the Memphis
Section of the American Chemical Society.
October:  SMACS celebrated National Chemistry Week with a demonstration every day, and Mole Day Dinner on 10/23.
December:  SMACS and BBB co-hosted their annual Holiday Party.

The MAA students begin a tour at Oak Ridge last March (2013)

The MAA students begin a tour at Oak Ridge last March (2013)

The Student Section of the Mathematical Association of America was also active:
March:  MAA held its annual Pi Day celebration on March 14.  It also went on a tour of Oak Ridge.
April:  MAA assisted in helping CBU host a section of the Tennessee High School Competition.
October:  MAA held its annual Dress Like a Mathematician and Pumpking Carving Contest.
November:  MAA held is annual Chess Tournament.

The CBU chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS):
February:  Helped with the Science Olympiad
October:  Held is annual Science Jeapardy Contest.

Math Center Tutors 3/14

We continue our practice of showcasing our Math Center Tutors in this issue.

Daniel Davis, Math Center Tutor

Daniel Davis, Math Center Tutor

Daniel Davis is a freshman Electrical Engineering major.  A graduate of Arlington High School and a native of Bartlett, TN, Daniel brings an energetic, helpful presence to the math tutoring program in the Math Center.  He tutors all math subjects up to and including Calculus II.  He says that he enjoys tutoring because “to me the best way to learn is to teach.”  (His mother is a professor in the Math Department!)  He also says that: “When not tutoring or studying I spend my hours reading or trying to hunt down a partner to play chess with.”

Wenting Zhu, Math Center Tutor

Wenting Zhu, Math Center Tutor

Sophomore  Wenting Zhu comes from Wuzi FuRen High School in China and entered CBU in 2013.  She is a double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and has been tutoring everything from basic Algebra to Calculus II along with basic Physics since her sophomore year.  She says that she has a passion for tutoring, and when she has time, she enjoys music and anime.

CBU Alumni Participate in Inaugural Health Care Professional Inter Discipline Course at Southern College of Optometry

by Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald has had a long-term relationship with Southern College of Optometry (SCO) and has taught part-time as needed.  This summer in the mini term at SCO during July-August she was asked to co-ordinate a seminar-type lecture series that involved several different health care disciplines.  SCO faculty were interested in their optometry students knowing more about different health care disciplines and how optometrists could potentially co-ordinate patient care.  CBU alumni were called upon to participate in this educational process, since Dr. Fitzgerald knew several different professionals through the CBU alumni network.

Katie Dyer, Biology 2000, and M.S. in Public Health

Katie Dyer, Biology 2000

First to speak, on public health, was Ms. Katie Dyer, Biology 2000.  She has a M.S. degree in Public Health from St. Louis University (2004) and has worked as an epidemiologist and developed curriculum and taught at Baptist Health College as well as at CBU.  She is currently working with Health Memphis Common Table as a data analyst and grant coordinator in a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is particularly interested in maternal and child health.

Dr. Bobby Meyer and Ms. Carrie McIvor

Dr. Bobby Meyer, Biology 1998, and Ms. Carrie McIvor, Biology 2005.

The next speakers were Dr. Bobby Myers and Ms. Carrier McIvor.  Dr. Bobby Myers, Biology 1998, graduated from Life University (2002) with a degree in Chiropractic medicine.   While he was at CBU he was interested in sports, and Dr. Myers worked with the Riverkings from 2003-2007.  He currently is working at James Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Memphis and has mentored three CBU students in their senior projects.  Ms. Carrie McIvor, Biology 2005, U of M 2007, 2011) has been working since 2006 at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Pediatric Oncology/ Hematology.  Carrie just started her Ph.D.!   Both of these individuals talked about their positions and the role optometry plays in their respective disciplines.

Mr. Johnny Timmerman and Dr. Robert Appling

Mr. Johnny Timmerman Biology 2012, and
Dr. Robert Appling, Biology 2003

Dr. Robert Appling, Biology  2003, Barry University 2008, Surgery residency podiatry 2009, and Mr. Johnny Timmerman, Biology 2012, UTHSC 2015, discussed their professions next.  Dr. Appling won for the grossest pictures of diabetic toes and feet on which he had conducted surgery.  Johnny is currently in physical therapy school, so he was able to best relate to the students at SCO.

Dr. Frank Ramirez and Dr. Fitzgerald

Dr. Frank Ramirez and Dr. Fitzgerald

Our final speakers were Dr. Frank Ramirez, Chemistry 2008; Pharm. D. Union 2012, and Dr. Beth Sparrow, current faculty at SCO and the Optometrist at the Church Health Center. Dr. Ramirez is currently the manager of the pharmacy at Walmart and the discussed the importance of all individuals prescribing medications to have information about each other, frequently not disclosed by the patient.  Dr. Sparrow not only has been an optometrist for several years and taught at the clinic at SCO, she presented information about the history and importance of the Church Health Center.

While this was the first time this class was taught, the CBU alumni shared their experiences with the second year optometry students (two of whom were CBU alumni).  Many of these alumni also participated in “meet the professionals” night that Ms. Amy Ware of the CBU career center held on October 3rd.  We as faculty at CBU appreciate the time and energy that all of our alumni put in to help with students that are beginning their careers.

R.E.A.P. Grant Program

R.E.A.P. students at work with Br. Tom

R.E.A.P. students at work with Br. Tom

by Lynda Miller

The R.E.A.P. program has continued in the biology department and has just completed its fifth year.  R.E.A.P. stands for Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program.  The program is funded by the U.S. Army Department of Research and supports local high school students to participate in primary research during the summer.  Participating faculty mentors are Lynda Miller and Br. Tom Sullivan.  Each summer, between three and five students work in the lab, learning the basics of the scientific method and collecting data for their individual research projects.  This work culminates in an oral presentation at the meeting of the Western Collegiate Division of the Tennessee Academy of Science.   For the past two summers, the students have been studying lichens and their role as indicators of pollution.  They have collected and identified lichens down to species, looked at their diversity in urban and rural habitats, and examined the distinct morphology that is exhibited by the variety of lichens present in Shelby County.  They have also learned how to use the scanning electron microscope with electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy to identify heavy metals that are present in the lichens.  Although the current students are back in their respective high schools now, they are finishing their data analysis and writing their abstracts in preparation for their presentations in the spring.

 

Featured Article: BIOL 430 Biology of Zoo Animals 10/13

Juste Augustinaite at the zoo during lab holding an Apalachicola kingsnake.

Juste Augustinaite at the zoo during lab holding an Apalachicola kingsnake.

Biology of Zoo Animals (Biol 430) is being offered this semester in the biology department and is taught by Lynda Miller.  It is the third time that it has been taught since its inception five years ago.  The students learn about the biology of exotic animals and their special needs when they are in captivity.  The class integrates many areas of biology including physiology, vertebrate zoology, ecology, evolutionary theory, nutrition, and behavior.  For the lab experience, the students spend time at the Memphis Zoo where they go behind the scenes with the keepers and learn firsthand about animal care.   The students get the opportunity to hold snakes, feed tortoises, prepare treats for the black bears, observe elephant operant conditioning, participate in sea lion training, and visit the animal hospital to observe animals that are being treated. The zoo has been a great host to our students and this partnership will hopefully continue for a long time in the future.

New Ecology Degree 10/13

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

Beginning this fall we have a new degree program in Ecology at CBU. From the greek word Oikos meaning ‘house’ (habitat), Ecology is the scientific study of organisms and their interaction with both biotic and abiotic factors in their environment. The formal term was coined by Ernst Haeckel in 1866 and has been a major scientific field long before the official term was adopted. Historically, Ecology was dominated by natural history (observation of nature) and has transitioned to elaborate empirical studies. Ecology as a science is broad and ranges from small systems such as microbial communities surrounding plant roots to global nitrogen cycles.

Field Trip!

Field Trip!

Students at CBU have a tremendous advantage of taking a plethora of classes that fulfill Ecology degree requirements, many of which are not offered at much larger universities on a regular basis. For instance, we now offer the following courses on a regular basis: Dendrology, Herpetology, Limnology, Animal Behavior, Ecological Census Techniques, Wetland Ecology, Algae Fungi and Lichens, and other ecologically relevant courses. Students who obtain an Ecology degree from CBU will be prepared to compete well in the environmentally conscious job market.

This new degree offers an exciting new perspective within the biology department and exposes students to other career opportunities beyond the traditional health-oriented professions.

Here are some student research projects:

JD Wolfe examining seedling height prior to experimental planting.

JD Wolfe examining seedling height prior to experimental planting.

J.D. Wolfe conducted research on the campus of CBU in the summer of 2012. JD’s project resulted in a submission to The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society entitled:  “Moore, J.E., J.D. Wolfe, S.B. Franklin. IN REVIEW. Growth responses of different aged individuals of Xanthium strumarium L. in flooded conditions”.

Two exotic invasive trees growing in competition experiment.

Two exotic invasive trees growing in competition experiment.

Daniel Stewart conducted research on the campus of CBU in the summer of 2012. Daniel’s project is currently in co-author peer review and will be submitted soon. The title of Daniel’s project is “Facilitative interactions of two co-occurring invasive trees in the Southeastern U.S.” This work was presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Minneapolis Minnesota in August 2013. See the image above.

Desire’ Smith getting up close and personal with her study organisms.

Desire’ Smith getting up close and personal with her study organisms.

Desire’ Smith, the first projected recipient of a CBU Ecology degree, conducted two projects during the May-mester course Ecological Census Techniques. Both projects have been submitted to Herpetological Review. The papers are entitled:  “Hanlon SM, Smith D, Kerby J, Parris MJ, and Moore JE. IN REVIEW. Confirmation of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection via qPCR at the Edward J. Meeman Biological Field Station, Tennessee, USA;  and  Hanlon SM, Smith, D, Peterson B, Kerby J, Parris MJ, and Moore JE. IN REVIEW. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, Arkansas, USA.”

Cathy Thorn’s project illustrates great experimental design.

Cathy Thorn’s project illustrates great experimental design.

Cathy Thorn is the newest member of the lab. She is conducting a project that is examining the effects of allelopathic compounds on nodulation. Cathy’s project is currently underway and will result in one publication.

Math Center Tutors 10/13

Ryan Smith, Math Center Tutor

Ryan Smith, Math Center Tutor

Junior Ryan Smith, a graduate of First Assembly of Christ School (FACS) and a transfer student his sophomore year, became a Math Center tutor this year.  He is a Civil Engineering major having changed his major from Business Administration.  He is a member of the CBU baseball team and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  He says that he wanted to be a tutor in the MC because “I’ve gotten a lot help from the Math Center in my time here and am tutoring, in a sense, [to] pay that forward a little bit.”

Michael Stuart, Math Center Tutor

Michael Stuart, Math Center Tutor

Stephen Michael Stuart (everyone calls him Michael) is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and is a junior Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Major with a Minor in Math.  Surrounded by engineers all his life, he naturally took a liking to math and engineering.  He has been a very effective tutor in the Math Center for three years with a pleasing personality and laid back manner.  He enjoys video games, sports, and hanging out with friends, especially at the weekly Pizza Fridays.  Besides his tutoring duties in the Math Center, he is a Resident Assistant (RA) in the Living & Learning Community (LLC), the IEEE Web Designer, a SEARCH Co-Director, an Honors Program member, is on the Honors Board of Directors, a leader in the September of Service (SOS), and many other things.  It goes without saying that he is a very active person at CBU and as he says: “I enjoy it!”

Featured Story: 2013 Summer Research

Summer research via fellowships, special awards, or paid internships:

Iman (Emi) Abutineh, Biochemistry 2015, received an Ophthalmology Research Fellowship from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to work in the Ophthalmology Department at the Hamilton Eye Institute with Dr. Eldon Geisert.  The title of her project was: “Effect of Blast Injury on Central Corneal Thickness”.

Stephanie Allen, Biology 2014, was awarded a neuroscience fellowship and conducted research with Dr. Sunny Anand, UTHSC Neurology and LeBonheur Pediatricss.  Her research title was: “Socio-economic Status and Cortisol Levels from Sequential Hair Samples as Posible Indicatators of Neurocognition Development and Learning in Early Childhood”.

Cale Baskin, Biology 2014, worked with Drs. Steve Charles and Eric Sigler of the Charles Retina Institute.  His research title was: “Spectral domain Optic Computer Tomography (OCT) of disk nerve fiber layer in myopes.”

Elton Banks, Biomedical Science 2014,  conducted his research in Brazil with the MHIRT program with Dr. Luis Britto, Department of Neuroscience, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The title of his research was: “Analyzation of Expression Patterns of Hamartin and Tuberin in Animal Models with High Fat Diets”.

Anna Birg, Biochemistry 2014, received a University of Tennessee Health Science Center Summer Research Scholar award to work in the laboratory of Dr. Rennolds Ostrom in the Department of Pharmacology.  The title of Anna’s project was “Receptor Agonist Mediated Response of IL-6 and cAMP in Human Bronchial Smooth Muscle Cells”.

Kevin Pham and Kristin Davis in Junior Seminar last spring.

Kevin Pham and Kristin Davis in Junior Seminar last spring.

Kristin Davis, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Marc Taub, Southern College of Optometry.  The title of her research was: “A Comparison of Letter vs. Continuous Text Contrast Sensitivity Testing”.

Jacob Foreman, Computer Science 2014,  Summer internship at FedEx Services. This was a group based internship. He worked on two projects that were technical in nature and required many different skill sets to complete. A project lead worked with the group to properly complete each project. The projects were presented to a board of directors.

Hope Gilbertson, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Richard Gilbertson, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The title of her research was: “Preclinical Assessment of Gemcitabine as an Effective New Treatment of Ependymoma”.

Rebekah Herrman, Mathematics & Physics 2014  Quantum Computing, specifically Continuous Quantum Walks on graphs  with Travis Humble at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Russ Higgins, Biomedical Science 2014, worked with Dr. Jian Zuo, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The title of his research was: “High Throughput Screening for Protection of Hair Cells within the Organ of Corti Against Cisplatin Ototoxicity”.

Kaitlin Howle

Kaitlin Howle

Kaitlin Howle, Computer Science & ECE 2014, Summer internship at FedEx Services. She was part of the EIS (Executive Information Systems) team-based approach. She worked on two projects, where the main idea was to create a portal for accessing information between all of the operating companies within FedEx, and also to create a portal to provide unified communication for products like Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint. Her team won the “Most Creative” for the first project, and the “Customer Focus” for the second project.

Kevin Pham, Biology 2014, was awarded a neuroscience fellowship and worked with Dr. Kristen O’Connell, Dept of Physiology, UTHSC.  The title of his research was: “Observing Food Intake and Neural Circuitry”.

Brennan PowersComputer Science & ECE 2014,  Summer internship at FedEx as an Intern Programmer Analyst. He assisted in the development of IROADS, an intracompany web application.  He learned the fundamentals of large project organization, web development, and database management. He succeeded in having all of his work moved into the current production of IROADS, and was just recently rewarded with the opportunity to return to work with the same team beginning in October.

Feb Ex group

Todd Seabrook (on the left) with his FedEx group. Kaitlin Howle is the fourth from the left.

Todd Seabrook, Computer Science 2014,  Summer internship at FedEx Services. He developed a web portal for them that was needed by one of the Admins in Accounting. This system was designed using Java servlets and JSP’s that ran on a web logic server. The program he developed is currently running on their production servers and in use by the Admins.

Shesha (Sheshaben) Shah, Chemistry 2014, was awarded a 2013 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Webster in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.

JD Wolfe with his MHIRT group in Brazil.  JD is in the center with the blue shirt.

JD Wolfe with his MHIRT group in Brazil. JD is in the center with the blue shirt.

J.D. Wolfe, Biology 2015, conducted his research with the MHRIT program in Sao Paulo, Brazil.   He worked on albinism and the genes that potentially are involved in the genetic alterations of these individuals.

Erika Yates, Biochemistry 2014, received a 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Erika worked in the laboratory of Dr. WenLin Sun in the Department of Pharmacology. The title of her project was: “Neurological Basis for Individual Differences in Punishment Sensitivity”.

More student summer research:


Danny Vu Cao, Biology 2015, worked with Dr. Alex Dopico, Dept of Phrmacology, UTHSC.

Yuan (Eva) Chen, Biochemistry 2014, completed a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Xuan Zhao in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.

Chelsea Clark, Biomedical Science 2014, worked with Dr. Pat Flynn, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Infectious Disease.

Lee Curbo, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology at CBU.  The title of her research was: “Levels of Helminth Parasitism in Fecal Samples Collected from Three Memphis Area Dog Parks”.

Jessica Jameson, Biomedical Science 2014, worked with Dr. Lisa Jennings and Michael Herr, UTHSC.  The title of her research was: “Tetraspanin CD9 Works Through Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor to Augment Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Production and Secretion in HT1080 cells”.

Eric Joe, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Kristin Hamre, Dept of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UTHSC.  The title of his research was: “Is there a strain difference in mice that supports one being more anxious?  Is there a correlation between sleep and anxiety?”.

Kevin Liao, Biochemistry 2014, worked with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.  His project involved synthesis of gold coated nanoparticles.

Shannon McDonald, Biochemistry 2014, worked with Dr. Richard Smith in the Orthopedics Department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.  Her project involved monitoring the cellular response to particles on/in knee replacements.

Christine Nguyen, Biochemistry 2014, did research with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.

Danny (Duy) Nguyen, Chemistry 2014, worked with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.  His project involved synthesis of Iron Oxide Nanospheres.

Chawan Rasheed, Biology 2015, worked with Dr. Monica Jablonski, Dept of Ophthalmology, Hamiton Eye Institute, UTHSC.

Melanie Saunders, Biochemistry 2014, worked with Dr. David Tipton in the College of Dentistry at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.  Her project examined the effects of cranberry components on hepatocyte growth factor production by human Gingival fibroblasts in response to IL-1B and LPS.

Desire' Smith

Desire’ Smith

Desire’ Smith,  Ecology 2014, conducted two projects with Dr. James Moore, CBU, and in collaboration with Shane Hanlon, Ph.D. candidate from the University of Memphis. The first project is a confirmation of Chytrid fungus at the Edward J. Meeman Field Station using qPCR, and the second was detecting the occurrence of Chytrid at Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.

Hema Sura, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Bobby Myers, James Chiropractic Practice.  The title of her research was “Motor Vehicle Recovery via Chiropractic Techniques”.

Esha Thakore,  Biochemistry 2014, completed a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Dopico in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Natalie Wright, Biochemistry 2014, did research with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.