Student Success 9/14

At CBU, we strive to give each and every student the best opportunity for success. Sometimes that means helping students get into professional or graduate school to further pursue their ambitions. Sometimes that means helping students determine a “Plan B” if their initial plan was not really suited to their talents and/or initial expectations. Other times, it means helping a student determine what are the possibilities out there that match up with their interests and talents.

Jessica Ferrell , Biology 2013, Riley Pace, Chemistry 2013, Scott Parker, Biology 2013,  in M1 white coat ceremony on Firday, August 15, at UTHSC.  Joe Fong, Biology 2011, an M2 also joined the CBU grads.  Kell Jeu, Biomedical Sciences 2012, is also an M2 at UTHSC.

Jessica Ferrell , Biology 2013, Riley Pace, Chemistry 2013, Scott Parker, Biology 2011, in M1 white coat ceremony on Firday, August 15, at UTHSC. Joe Fong, Biology 2011, an M2, also joined the CBU grads. Kell Jeu, Biomedical Sciences 2012, is also an M2 at UTHSC.

In the last five years (classes of 2010 to 2014):

  • We had 23 of our graduates accepted into medical school (85%* acceptance rate)
  • We had 26 of our graduates accepted into pharmacy school (93% acceptance rate)
  • We had 8 of our graduates accepted into physical therapy school (89% acceptance rate)
  • We had 16 of our graduates accepted into nursing school (94% acceptance rate)
  • We had an additional 29 students accepted into various other health professional schools such as dentistry, veterinary, optometry, physicians assistant, and chiropractic.
  • We also had 31 of our graduates accepted into graduate (M.S. or Ph.D.) programs in the sciences (97% acceptance rate).

* In reviewing these percentages, please note that we do not pre-screen our applicants to the various professional or graduate schools as some institutions do. Some of our students were initially rejected but were accepted in a following year. If a student was accepted in one area and rejected in another, we only count the acceptance and not the rejection since we concentrate on student success.

For comparison purposes with medical school acceptances at UT, East Tennessee, U of Arkansas and nationwide (data for 2012, source is data from aamc):

  • UT-Memphis accepted 165 out of 1,629 applications (10% acceptance rate).
  • East Tennessee Quillen accepted 72 out of 1,929 applications (4% acceptance rate)
  • University of Arkansas accepted 166 out of 2,148 applications (8% acceptance rate).
  • nationwide, 19,517 are accepted out of 636,309 applicants with each person giving 14 applications on average for an overall acceptance rate per person of 43%.

For pharmacy schools, the average acceptance rate for 2012 was about 16% for each school (6.4 applications per acceptance), but since students often apply to more than one school, we obtained information a couple years ago that 50.2% of all PharmCAS applicants received at least one acceptance.

CBU’s Steps for Success

To get into competitive professional (e.g., medical, pharmacy, dental) schools, there are five things that are important:

1. Grades At CBU.  Most of our science courses have labs associated with them, and the instructor for the lecture is usually the instructor for the lab. Our professors have at least 10 office hours each week to help students both with their coursework and with advising for their career plans.

2. Entrance tests (e.g., MCAT, PCAT, DAT).  The excellent courses supported by well equipped labs prepare our students for these tests. In addition, the CBU Career Center offers practice tests to try to help prepare our students.

3. Experience in the field.  At CBU we provide our students with many opportunities to gain experience in their chosen field. Our student groups, particularly the Biology group, Beta Beta Beta, and the Chemistry group, Student Members of the American Chemical Society, provide opportunities to see and interact with institutions and people in the local health community. In the freshmen Principles of Biology courses, we have a discussion section that spends some time talking about what it takes to get into various fields. In the junior year we have a Junior Seminar course that brings researchers onto campus to talk about their research. All of our majors have a senior capstone research or internship course. This experience is viewed very positively by the various health professional schools.

4. Recommendations from your professors and the supervisors of your work in the field.  At CBU, you are encouraged to really get to know your professors. If you take advantage of this, the professors will be able to write very specific letters of recommendation for you.

5. Interviews.  As part of the admissions process for professional schools, students are required to attend an interview. At CBU, we help students prepare for this opportunity by holding mock interviews staffed by our alumni and other health professionals.

To help and guide you in your preparation for pursuing any of the health careers, we have a Pre-Professional Heath Director, Dr. Stan Eisen. He has a very extensive set of web pages on the various health careers and what it takes to get into these professional schools.

Special Awards to alumni

We feature three special awards here, one to Susan Appling, Natural Science 1996, and two to Analice Hosey Sowell, Chemistry 2002 & MAT 2005.




ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 16, 2014 – Physical therapist and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member Susan A. Appling, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS received APTA’s Lucy Blair Service Award during the association’s NEXT Conference & Exposition held in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 11-14, 2014.

Appling is an associate professor for the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the clinical coordinator for the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program. She is also a consultant and practitioner with University Therapists in Memphis.

Since joining APTA in 1985, Appling has been involved with APTA’s CEO Search Work Group, Task Force on Governance Review, Finance and Audit Committee, Task Force on House of Delegates Governance, Orthopaedic Section, and Tennessee Chapter. She has been honored with the Tennessee Chapter’s Carol Likens Award and APTA’s Abstract Recognition of Excellence.

The Lucy Blair Service Award honors members who have made exceptional contributions to the association through district, chapter, committee, section, task force, or national activities. Lucy Blair (deceased 1985) was known for qualities such as having unswerving dedication, self-sacrifice without limit, an infectious enthusiasm, strong personal and professional values, a sharp wit and sense of humor, and a genuine interest and concern for every individual she met.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 88,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@MoveForwardPT), Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest


Sowell Volunteer of the Year

Mrs. Analice Sowell, chair of the Science Department at Memphis University School, is Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year for the American Chemical Society.  She is among 65 volunteers across the country recognized by the ACS Committee of Community Activities for exemplary education outreach efforts in their local sections.

Analice won the 2002 Dominic Dunn award.  Pictured with Analice are Drs. Busler and Condren, Professors of Chemistry, both now Emeriti.

Analice won the 2002 Dominic Dunn award. Pictured with Analice are Drs. Busler and Condren, Professors of Chemistry, both now Emeriti.

Several times a year over the last decade, Sowell has visited Klondike Elementary, to provide lectures and demonstrations for the Science and Engineering Club. During National Chemistry Week in October 2013, she took her Materials Science students along to demonstrate Halloween-themed chemical reactions. Since becoming involved in ACS in 2002, she also has led several workshops and presentations for both pre-service and current K-12 teachers. Additionally, she has mentored several Teach for America participants. In the local section of ACS, she has served as chair, secretary, and High School Exams Committee chair. She currently serves as chair of the Awards Committee and co-chair of the High School Program for the 2015 Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Analice Sowell wins the Nail Outstanding Teaching Award at MUS

Analice also won the John M. Nail Outstanding Teaching Award at Memphis University School (MUS).  Nominations for the John M. Nail Outstanding Teaching Award are made each year by a Selection Committee of student leaders from the senior class, and the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award is determined by a majority vote of the class.  See the following link for the MUS newsletter detailing her accomplishments: .


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.