News of the Moment

Field Trip

Br. Thomas Sullivan, Ms. Lynda Miller, and Dr. Stan Eisen with students on a field trip.

New Degree:  The CBU Board of Trustees has approved a new Ecology degree for the coming academic year 2013-2014.  The new degree will replace our existing Concentration in Environmental Science.  The new degree will be housed in the Biology Department.  Thanks to Br. Edward Salgado, Professor Emeritus, and Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, and the whole Biology Department for their work in developing this exciting new major.  If you are interested in finding out more about the new degree, contact Dr. Moore at jmoore25@cbu.edu

Call for Abstracts:  The Western Collegiate Division Meeting Tennessee Academy of Sciences will meet on April 6, 2013, and be hosted by Christian Brothers University.  The abstract deadline  is Friday, March 15, 2013.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Duane McKenna, Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, has a paper published that she originally presented in Spain via Skpye:
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp?reload=true&punumber=6384918
Computers in Education (SIIE) , 2012 International Symposium ”Utilization of technology to manage an undergraduate international research program: Minority health international research training in Uganda, Kenya, Brasil or Thailand” by Malinda E.C. Fitzgerald and Lluis Vincent.

Dr. Fitzgerald with AX donations to food bank

Dr. Fitzgerald on her way to Food Bank with Alpha Chi donations

Professor Fitzgerald:   This is from Dr. Trisha Yarbrough, Executive Director of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society:   I’m writing first to congratulate you on your Alpha Chi chapter receiving the Star Chapter Award for 2012.  This is a significant achievement, and I’ll be on hand to tell you personally how much I appreciate your diligent service when certificates are distributed at the convention in Nashville.  Official letters of commendation are being sent to university presidents this week as well, since an active Alpha Chi chapter contributes to the overall academic health of any university, and I hope they’ll lead to continued support for the work sponsors and students are doing.

On Tuesday, January 22, Dr. Terry Ackerman, Director of Human Values & Ethics, UTHSC presented a talk on  Bioethics in Human Research.  The talk was part of BIOL 362 Junior Seminar taught by Dr. Mary Ogilvie, Professor of Biology.
 
Luca Anthony Trimboli

Luca Anthony Trimboli

On January 28th, Dr. Anthony Trimboli, Assistant Professor of Chemisty, and his wife, Nancy, had a baby: Luca Anthony Trimboli, 8 pounds 1 ouonce and 20.75 inches.  Congratulations!

 
On Tuesday, February 5, Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology and Director of Pre-Health Program, gave a talk on  Applying to Clinical Healthcare Programs.
 

Dr. Dennis Merat, Chair Department of Chemistry, is the General Chair in charge of planning the Joint Southeast Regional Meeting (SERMACS)/Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRMACS) of the American Chemical Society to be held in Memphis November 4 through November 7, 2015.  He gave a formal presentation to the SERMACS Board on November 17, 2012, covering plans and progress on preparations for the 2015 meeting.  This followed a similar presentation to the SWRMACS Board on November 7, 2012.  Both boards gave unanimous approval of the plans. 

Robert Banks, Biology 2013, has been accepted to the Pharm.D. program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Krystyna Clark, Biology 2013, has been accepted to the Pharm.D. program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Upcoming Events

The Science Olympiad is scheduled for Saturday Feb. 23. The event table for this year can be found here. The Director for the CBU site is Dr. Andrew Diener, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. You can contact Dr. Diener by e-mail at adiener@cbu.edu and by phone at 901-321-3452.

The 59th Memphis-Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 20-21 on the campus of Christian Brothers University (CBU). Project judging begins at 12 noon on March 21. There will be 2 judging divisions this year: one for grades 6 through 8 and one for grades 9 through 12.  If you are interested in participating in project judging or if you know of a student who would like to enter the fair, please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at dmerat@cbu.edu.

Alumni News

Jennifer Longo Allen, Psychology 2005, and her husband Lee, Mechanical Engineering 2005,  welcomed their first child Ryan in December.   Proud grandma Leah Allen, Administrative Assistant for the School of Sciences, has plenty of pictures to share.  They are currently living in Huntsville, AL.

Joe Alfonso, Biology 2012, has been accepted to graduate school and will be working on an MS in Entomology at North Dakota State beginning at the end of January.  From Joe:  I started working this week (first week in February) in Jason Harmon’s Insect Ecology lab at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND and will be starting as a master’s student this May or August.

Cynthia Caceras Baker

Cynthia Caceras Baker with the CBU group at the Tennessee Academy of Sciences meeting in 2005.

It is with sorrow and fond memories that we report that Cynthia Caceras Baker, Biology 2005 and MHIRT 2005, died on February 5 of heart complication from the flu.  She went to Sao Paulo with MHIRT in 2005 and graduated from UTHSC with a D.D.S. and was practicing in Little Rock, Ark.  She married Lawson Baker, CBU 2007, who graduated from the University of Memphis law school.  Please keep Cynthia and her family in your prayers.  If you wish to make a donatation in her honor, you can do so with a special donation to CBU.  We plan on planting a tree in memory of her.  Also other donations can be made to the children of Peru:  http://www.childrenofperu.org/CynthiaCaceresBaker.php

Elizabeth Beebe, Natural Science 2011 and Daniel Longo were married in December, 2012.

Amanda Fitzgerald, Biology 2012, and Mario Belliver were married on September 1, 2012, in Austin, Texas.  Amanda is currently working on a Ph.D. in marine environmental toxicology at the University of Texas in Austin.  Mario graduated from LaSalle in Barcelona, Spain, with an M.S. in industrial engineering and is volunteering in Austin while he awaits his paperwork to apply for a position as an engineer in Texas.

Michael Herr, Biology 2008, and Ashley Elliott have announced their engagement.  They plan on a wedding in 2014.  Michael is currently at UTHSC working on his Ph.D.

Kyle Markway, Natural Science 2007, married Jess Matthews on October 27, 2012,  in KnoxvilleTn, where they live.  Kyle graduated from UTHSC with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2010 and currently works for TriState Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Jacksboro, TN. He is the clinical director managing two clinics for Summit Medical Group (a physician group in east TN). Jess is a second grade teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. 

Jessica Morgan, Biology 2001, defended her Ph.D. thesis at UTHSC in November.  Her title:  Mrp4 Is a Crucial Regulator of Testosterone Biosynthesis; her mentor: Dr. John Schuetz 

Dave Perera, Biology 2002, defended his Ph.D. thesis at  Auburn University in Fisheries Science in December.  His title:   Studies for Improvement of Reproductive Biotechnology for Production of Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) Female X Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) Male Hybrid Embryos.

Jackie Dover Ramerg, Business with a math minor 2005,  and her husband Chris,  engineering 2006, welcomed their second child Zoe in December 2012.  Their previous child Aiden (2010) is getting used to having a sister. They are currently living in Golsboro, North Carolina

Mrs. Analice (Hosey) Sowell, Chemistry 2002 and MAT 205, Instructor in Chemistry at Memphis University School (MUS), has been named the national chair for the American Chemical Society’s Chemists Celebrate Earth Day outreach program.  “I am honored to be nominated by my colleagues in ACS to hold this position,” Analice said. “Chemists Celebrate Earth Day programming helps educate children about the positive role that chemistry plays in preserving the Earth.”  In her new role Analice will not only help organize one of largest outreach programs for the ACS, but she also will play a leadership role in the development and publication of content for Celebrating Chemistry magazine, assist the ACS staff in creating outreach materials online, and aid in the evaluation of CCED.  In addition, Analice and fellow MUS instructor in chemistry Mrs. Rosalyn Croce are co-chairs for the high school chemistry program at the Southeast Regional ACS meeting, which will be held in Memphis in 2015.

Featured Story: Faculty Development

Faculty development in the School of Sciences at CBU happens in many different ways. All faculty work on their courses, both keeping up with constantly expanding content and improving the course materials and delivery. Work on developing course web pages and web resources keeps many of our faculty active throughout the year. Work on new and improved laboratory experiments also keeps many of us busy and involved in the lab. Work on using the power of the computer to aid instruction also is a source of continued faculty effort. While many of our students do their senior research with researchers at local research institutions, some of the Sciences’ faculty are able to work with students on their student research. In particular, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Dr. Stan Eisen, and Dr. James Moore, have worked with students in biology, Ms. Lynda Miller has worked with natural science students, Dr. Dennis Merat has worked with chemistry students, Professor Cathy Grilli has worked with math students, and Dr. John Varriano has worked with physics and even some engineering students on their senior research projects. In Computer Science, Dr. Arthur Yanushka oversees the Computer Science internships.

Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, has worked to develop some web based resources for some of his physics courses, and was recently asked by the Educational Technology division of the Ministry of Education in Singapore to allow them to link to some of his on-line resources. Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, has also created impressive resources for the web and has received numerous requests for permission to use those resources. Br. Walter Schreiner, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has developed statistics manuals for the calculators we use and for SPSS that are regularly used by other schools. He has also developed several Maple worksheets including a new set for Calculus III.

Some of us are able to find the time to devote to the traditional form of faculty development: publishing our research. Listed below are some areas of active interest and some of the papers that were published by the Sciences faculty recently.

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, does research on Volterra integral equations.  Some of his recent results include theorems that allowed him to find closed-form solutions of integral equations that were previously unknown.  They are among some of the other results that appear in the following papers:
Resolvents for weakly singular kernels and fractional differential equations, Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications,75, Issue 13 (Sept. 2012), pp. 4839-4861. 
Singular integral equations, Liapunov functionals, and resolvents, Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications, 75, Issue 7 (May 2012), pp. 3277-3291 (coauthored with T. A. Burton and I. K. Purnaras).  Resolvents and solutions of weakly singular linear Volterra integral equations, Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications,74, Issue 5 (March 2011), pp. 1892-1912.  Seven of his papers are cited in a recently published book by T. A Burton entitled Liapunov Theory for Integral Equations with Singular Kernels and Fractional Differential Equations (amazon.com 2012). Dr. Becker also reviewed papers for two journals last year.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, writes:  “As a faculty member in science, it is important to stay current in my area of expertise, as developments progress so quickly.  One of the ways I am able to do this is to apply for summer faculty development funds.  These funds allow faculty to attend meetings, conduct research or update our classes.  I have been fortunate enough to receive summer support, which I used to attend an international meeting as well as a workshop, and it supported time to re-vamp my courses.  This past summer, I attended the International Congress of Eye Research in Berlin, Germany.  This was a small meeting by comparison to other meetings I normally attend: ARVO and Neuroscience that have 15-20 thousand people in attendance, and  ICER that has 500 attendees.  I was able to present my data and attend other sessions that were outside my field.  In this manner, I learned a lot about areas of research in the visual system that I would not normally read about.  I also had the opportunity to observe Dr. Felix Vasquez-Chon, Biology 1998, who is currently a post-doctoral fellow in Utah.  He moderated a session at the meeting and it was wonderful to see him ‘grow up’ in the scientific community.  It was not all work, Felix and I rented bikes and rode around Berlin.  It was a wonderful city. ”

Dr. James Moore

Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, had two papers published in 2012:  Water stress interacts with early arrival to influence inter and intra-specific priority competition: A test using a greenhouse study. Journal of Vegetation Science 23(4): 647-656;  and  Long-term population demography of Trillium recurvatum (Beck) on loess bluffs in western TN. AoB-Plants doi: 10.1093/aobpla/pls015.

Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, attended the Annual Human Anatomy and Physiology Society http://www.hapsweb.org/ Conference in May 2012.  Annual HAPS meetings are attended by A&P professors from across North America and feature two days of update seminars followed by two days of hands-on workshops.  Dr. Ross reports, “Having students use clay to help learn human muscles is an idea I’ve had my eye on for several years… but the name brand versions of the skeleton model cost several hundred dollars each and sculpting muscles in clay seemed far too time consuming.  Then I attended a workshop at the May 2012 HAPS meeting and saw that a couple of A&P professors had developed a cheaper method… using the Tiny Tim model skeletons (about $20 each) and strings of clay (instead of having to sculpt more realistic looking muscles).  They even have a web site that shows  about 60 muscles constructed this way.  After trying it during the workshop I decided I could make this work for CBU’s A&P course.”  So, early last summer Dr. Ross purchased 14 of the skeletons (one per student), 4 clay extruders, and a few pounds of good quality plasticene clay.  She then modified the A&P Supplement and syllabus to include this hands-on lab activity in the Biol 217 lab course.  This fall, each A&P student constructed a few assigned muscles on a small model skeleton.  Then the students examined each other’s models and identified the names and actions of the muscles other students constructed.  Dr. Ross reports that students really enjoyed the hands-on lab activity and befitted from practice learning the names and actions of human muscles.  Here are some photos of the students in action http://facstaff.cbu.edu/aross/APIhome.htm#L8_9

new models in use

New models being used in Human Anatomy & Physiology

Dr. Johnny B. Holmes, Professor of Physics, and Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, worked this year to update the physics computer assisted homework problem sets that they created. These 48 programs worked fine on the Windows XP and older windows operating systems, but the recent versions of Vista and Windows 7 required the use of a third-party DOSBOX routine. The updated programs now run directly on all of the windows operating systems.

Featured Story: Math Center Tutors

Will Zachary

Will Zachary, Math Tutor

Senior Will Zachary has been working in the Math Center throughout most of his years at CBU.  He graduated from Horn Lake High School and majors in Chemical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Chemistry.  He tutors everything from basic math to Statistics and Probability, in most Chemistry subjects  and in basic Physics.  He is active in TKE fraternity and AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) and has served as a Peer Counselor, a CARL (CBU Advising Registration Leader), and as sacristan to the chapel at CBU.

Nadia Earle, Math Center tutor

Nadia Earle, Math Center tutor

Sophomore Nadia Earle graduated from Woodlands High School and is in her first year as a tutor in the Math Center.  She is majoring in Biochemical Engineering.  She tutors everything from basic Algebra to Calculus II and Statistics.  Nadia is also President of the Society of Women Engineers and a member of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers).  She is a member of the Honors Program at CBU and AXD sorority.

Featured Alum:

Our featured alum for this issue is
Jonathan Henderson, PT, DPT, Natural Science 2005

Jonathan Henderson

Jonathan Henderson, PT, DPT, Natural Science 2005

My name is Jonathan Henderson, and I graduated from CBU in 2005 with a B.S in Natural Science and a Minor in Biology.  When I started CBU, my original major was Biology, and I had hopes of attending medical school after graduation from college, but that was quickly changed after I took courses in Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy & Physiology all in the same semester my sophomore year.  So, as a Biology major, I enrolled in Biological Career Choices.  During that class, I had the opportunity to explore my options for post-professional degrees other than M.D., such as Dentistry, Optometry, and Nursing.  I still couldn’t see myself as either of those professionals.  So, I was introduced to Physical Therapy, and I immediately fell in love.

With the help of Dr. Eisen and his pre-professional health careers advice and Beta Beta Beta’s mock interviews, I was able to apply to various Physical Therapy schools with the necessary guidance and recommendation letters.  After graduation from CBU, I worked at Church Health Center’s Wellness Center as a Therapy Aide/Coordinator.  I then went on to get accepted and enroll in Alabama State University’s Physical Therapy program in Montgomery, AL.  Physical Therapy school was very, very challenging, and I don’t think that I would have survived if I had not experienced and learned through CBU’s challenging science courses. 

I graduated PT school with my Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2010.  Currently, I work at Healthsouth Rehabillitation Hospital – North in Memphis.  There, I have served as a member of the Stroke Team, given staff inservices about patient mobility, served as a Certified Clinical Instructor for current PT students, and I am the 2012 Healthsouth NorthStar (patient survey’s employee of the year).  I love my career, and if not for CBU, I don’t think I would have ever fallen in love.

Thank You Note to Sciences Faculty

This month we have a thank you note to Mrs. Sandra Davis, Instructor of Mathematics, from a student.

From: Ross, Mary
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 12:37 PM
To: Sandra Davis
Subject: thanks

Ms. Davis,

I just wanted to send you a note to say, thank you.  I appreciate all your hard work, help, and attention you gave our class.  I originally was going to avoid taking Finite Math.  I had built up a fear about taking the class.  I just decided to overcome that fear, I had to face it head on.  I was going to either have to face now or later, I knew in order to graduate.  I would have to take that class.  I so appreciate educators such as yourself.  You can see your infectious passion for math and it is catching.  I so appreciate your optimism and encouragement.  You would not allow us to focus on what we could not do, you just keep telling us it’s not hard.   It may appear that sometimes those small things don’t mean much.  They definitely spoke volumes in my life.  I now feel differently about math.  I don’t have that fear anymore, you helped me to overcome that fear by creating a positive learning environment.  I will walk away from this class a better person.  This class has helped me with my critical thinking, it has improved my organizational skills, it has helped me to have more of an eye for detail, and it has helped me to logically approach difficult task.  It has been an pleasure and honor.  I hope I see you on campus in January.  Once again, thank you very much.

Happy New Year,

Mary Ross
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
Information Systems – IT Manager

Featured Major: Chemistry

The CBU Chemistry Department offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a degree in Biochemistry that we featured in our September 2012 newsletter. Four paradigm options are available with the chemistry degree: a traditional paradigm designed for students interested in graduate school or working in a chemistry lab, a paradigm designed for pre-med students, a paradigm for pre-pharmacy students, and a paradigm for pre-forensic science students. The biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy school, medical school, or dental school. The program places emphasis on development of a wide range of laboratory skills that are needed in today’s biomedical laboratories, whether they are found in industry or academia.

The Department also offers, in conjunction with the Department of Education, a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science with teaching licensure in chemistry or chemistry and biology for grades 7 through 12.

The Chemistry program provides students with an understanding of chemical principles in the areas of analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Students gain laboratory skills and the ability to select and utilize appropriate instrumentation to investigate and solve specified problems.

Biochemistry Lab

Students in the Biochemistry Lab are shown performing a column chromatography experiment.

One of the main aspects of our chemistry program that contributes to its success is the number and quality of the labs that support the lectures. Labs are a place where students get to know the subject by working with the subject and working closely with the chemistry faculty. The CBU lab instructors are usually the same professors that teach the lecture component of the course. The Chemistry Department regularly offers 17 different courses and 13 of those 17 have labs attached. The labs have excellent equipment thanks to some large grants from the Assisi Foundation as well as others. The department has a web page showing and explaining their major instruments.

Chemistry is very much a three dimensional subject, and the imaging capability of computers has greatly enhanced our ability to visualize in three dimensions. The Chemistry Department has recognized the importance of this kind of tool, and with the help of donors has obtained software to help with this visualization.

Chemistry Lab Assistant

The picture above shows Riley Pace, Chemistry student worker.

The Chemistry Department has adopted a philosophy that the best way to learn to do chemistry is to do it in real world settings. In addition to the research requirement in the department, we offer a variety of opportunities through either work-study or direct employment in the department for students to begin working in the laboratories throughout their entire course of study with us. Students begin as Laboratory Assistants; juniors and seniors have the opportunity to be selected as Laboratory Specialists. Two students who have been in our work-study program for at least two years have the opportunity to be selected each year as Associate Lab Coordinators. The Laboratory Specialist and Associate Lab Coordinator positions include supervisory responsibilities, giving students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience.  Riley Pace and Yusef Akbik are the department’s second and third Associate Lab Coordinators.    Duy Nguyen has been named the department’s fourth Laboratory Specialist.

SMACS officers

The picture above shows 6 of the 2012-2013 SMACS Officers. Pictured from left to right are Krystyna Clark (Treasurer), Russell Higgins (Senator), Yusef Akbik (President), Esha Thakore (Secretary), Tiffany Corkran (Chemistry Olympiad Chair), and Anna Birg (Vice-President). Not pictured are Robert Banks (National Chemistry Week Chair), Brent Holmes (Social Chair), and Alvin Siow (Photographer/Historian).

The CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society, SMACS, has continued its high level of activity during the past year. The CBU SMACS chemistry club won two more national awards from the American Chemical Society in 2012.  The first award was the Honorable Mention Award for their 2011-2012 Program and Activities.  The second award was a 2011-2012 Green Chemistry Chapter Award from the American Chemistry Society Green Chemistry Institute.   The club is one of the sponsors of the Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair. Members of the club serve important roles in the Fair handling registration, judging middle school projects, helping with general set-up, and serving as courtesy guides. The CBU chapter of SMACS is co-host for the Greater Shelby County High School Chemistry Olympiad and Local High School Chemistry Competitions which are sponsored by the American Chemical Society. The club participates in a wide range of additional service activities including chemical demonstrations for middle school and high school students, participation in the Science Olympiad, participation in activities that promote environmental awareness, and presenting demos for National Chemistry Week, and Science and Engineering Day.

SMACS meeting

The picture above was taken at the second SMACS meeting in 2013.

The Chemistry Department serves not only its own majors, but many others including other science and engineering majors. For the electrical, mechanical and civil engineers, the department has developed a one semester chemistry course with lab, Chem 115, that is more solid state than the traditional wet chemistry necessary for biology, chemistry, and chemical engineering students.

The results of a CBU chemistry degree, and with any of the CBU science degrees, is quite impressive. See our statistics for the past five years for acceptance into medical, pharmacy, and other health professional schools. The department is also successful in getting is graduates into graduate programs and directly into the workforce.

BBB Potlucks with ACS, AX Induction Moves & Science Fair in March

Beta Beta Beta and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society will have a joint Christmas pot luck party tentatively scheduled for Nov. 27. As always we’ll they will sing Christmas carols with Dr. Mary Ogilvie, Professor of Biology, playing the guitar and the science people doing their part with the singing. All science people are welcome.

Alpha Chi officers

Pictured are the Alpha Chi Officers: Jessica Ferrell (VP),
Jada Owens (president), and Krystyna Clark (Sec/Treasurer)
with their skeleton friend.
Click on the image for a picture of the Peace Pipe with Alpha Chi members.

 

The Alpha Chi Induction has been moved to December 2nd. Membership is by invitation only based on standing within each individual school. Invitations will be issued via email to the top 10% of the juniors and seniors in each school. Alpha Chi has finally collected enough quarters to buy a goat from Heifer International. There will be a quarter rolling party at the induction. They will start to collect for their next goal of providing chickens and other small animals again from Heifer.

On January 10, we will have a Science and Engineering Discovery Day. This is an opportunity for prospective students to participate in hands on learning activities and experiments through the School of Science and the School of Engineering. The event is scheduled for January 10 at 2:00pm followed by a reception at 4:15pm. If you are interested, please contact the Admissions Office at 901-321-3205 or email admissions@cbu.edu. You can also register for the event at www.cbu.edu/visit.

March 20-21: The Memphis – Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair is a regional Fair that is affiliated with the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair for the high school competition and with the Broadcom Masters Competition for Middle School Students. The Fair this coming year will be will be held on March 20-21, 2013, on the campus of Christian Brothers University. The event is co-hosted each year by the CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society and the CBU Chemistry Department and School of Science. The high school division is for grades 9 thru 12 and accepts only individual projects; the middle school competition is open to grades 6 thru 8 and accepts both team and individual projects. The high school division winner of our Fair goes on to compete in the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Pittsburgh this year. The top 10% of our middle school fair goes on to compete in the on-line phase of the Broadcom Masters competition. Our student participants come from the Memphis-Shelby county area. Our competition is open to all middle and high schools in Memphis/Shelby county, whether public or private, to students from schools that do not have science fairs, and to home school associations. We do not charge schools or students a fee to enter. For more information, please contact the Fair Director, Dr. Dennis Merat, at dmerat@cbu.edu.

The Happy Scientist

Moon on Halloween 2012 at Cooper Wilson

Halloween full moon setting by Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences.Can you find the moon among the lights?
Click on the image to see the same view at the same time one day earlier. Can you find the moon in this earlier image?

The devastation that super storm Sandy delivered shows both the power of nature and how far civilization has progressed. Certainly nature can deliver even more powerful events such as a large asteroid strike or a near star going super nova; and hopefully science, engineering, and civilization can progress much further than we presently have. It is our goal in the School of Sciences to advance that civilization as much as we can.

As important as advancing civilization is, the real goal is to make it possible for people to be happy. Here I don’t mean that being happy is simply being giddy. When are you most happy? For me, it is when I am doing my work and when I am interacting with my family, both immediate and extended (including those at CBU). Science is hard work, but science is also fun. I am often surprised at how much I enjoy teaching (and preparing for) my classes. I am also continually surprised at how tired I am after class. It is one of the things I try to include in my teaching: the learning of science is hard work and valuable, but it is also fun!

Our featured major in this issue is Computer Science. It can be a challenging major, but it can also be a very interesting major with great job prospects even in this market.

I hope you are enjoying these newsletters, and I look forward to sharing more of our work with you in February, after the holidays and after the start of the spring semester. If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may please contact me.

Travels to Haiti, MHIRT News, SMACS & more

Br. Edward in Haiti

Br. Edward in Haiti.

Br. Edward Salgado, Biology Professor Emeritus, went to Haiti last month, to help with the Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis.

 

 

 

 

Eva Chen (left) and Elton Banks (right) in Haiti.

Eva Chen (left) and Elton Banks (right) in Haiti.

Two students, Eva Chen and Elton Brand, joined Br. Edward in Haiti over fall break. The two pictures were taken in a school for children living in a refugee camp for victim of the earthquake. The school is run by the Scalabrinin Fathers and the Dominican Sisters, who also work at the Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis’ clinic in Croix des Bouquet. In the second picture you see Elton Banks and Eva Chen along with Br. Edward and a Columbian volunteer.

Julia Hanebrink, MHIRT Program Coordinator, passed her doctoral examinations with high praise from her committee, who indicated that “they were perhaps the finest we had ever seen. The level of sophistication, analytical rigor, command of the literature and debates, and the sheer quality of exposition and argumentation evident in Julia’s responses puts her in a league of her own. Especially critical is her ability to synthesize theoretical material and secondary literature with the vast body of data she has collected in Uganda as the program coordinator and co-investigator” of the NIH MHIRT grant administered through CBU.

Duy Nguyen with AEGIS recruiter

The College Recruiter for AEGIS is shown talking with Duy Nguyen, Chemistry 2014, after the presentation.

On October 19, the CBU Department of Chemistry and the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) hosted a special Forensic Sciences presentation by Kara M. Allen of the AEGIS Sciences Corporation. Kara Allen is a College Recruiter for AEGIS, a Nashville-based full service forensic toxicology and consulting corporation. Her presentation included descriptions of summer internships and potential job opportunities at AEGIS Sciences Corporation which currently has over 700 employees. Kara Allen is also a former Memphian and Industry advisor for the CBU SMACS chapter.

SMACS officers

The 2011-2012 SMACS officers were Corey Haughey, Chris Brack, and Brent Holmes (front row); and David Kim,
Alvin Siow, Justin Edwards (President), Justin Gallagher, and Yusef Akbik (Vice-President) (back row).

The CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) have been notified by the national office of the American Chemical Society that they won 2 national awards based on their activities during the 2011-2012 school year. The CBU SMACS chapter received an Honorable Mention award for chapter events and service activities. The chapter also won its second Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award. The awards will be presented at the 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans in April 2013.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event that celebrates the important role of chemistry in our society through a combination of outreach and fun activities. In honor of the 25th anniversary of this event, the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) presented a number of demonstration events during the week of October 22-26.

Foaming Pumpkins demo

The Foaming Pumpkins demonstration
Click on image for picture of the Mole Day dinner.

The week began on Monday October 22 with a demonstration of Elephant Toothpaste in the lobby of Assisi Hall. On Tuesday, the fun continued with Diet Coke and Mentos in front of the Cooper-Wilson Center. On Wednesday, an unsuspecting Gummi Bear met its fate in molten potassium chlorate in a fiery redox reaction in AH 201. On Thursday, Dr. Harmon Dunathan gave an exciting presentation that included a number of chemistry demonstrations. On Friday, CBU SMACS presented Foaming Pumpkins in the Cooper-Wilson lobby at noon. The week concluded on Friday afternoon with a special demonstration event for visiting high school students. An important part of National Chemistry Week is Mole Day which is celebrated on October 23 (10/23) each year. The day commemorates Amedeo Avogadro’s important contribution to science of the number that bears his name: 6.02 x 10^23 . This year, the CBU SMACS chapter hosted a special Mole day dinner at 6:02 pm at the Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Memphis.

Dr. Fitzgerald at the SNF meeting surrounded by CBU alums and students.

Dr. Fitzgerald at the SNF meeting
surrounded by CBU alums and students.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, attended the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, LA, over fall break week. The meeting had over 30,000 attendees. Dr. Fitzgerald was a co-author on one paper: Decrease of neuroinflammation markers in the beneficial effects of exercise in hemi-parkinsonian rats, by Ellen. Ford, Caroline C.Real, Priscilla C.Garcia, Malinda E.C. Fitzgerald and Luiz R.R. Britto. This research was funded by an NIH MHIRT grant to Dr. Fitzgerald and research was conducted at USP, Sao Paulo Brazil.

 

Dr. Fitzgerald with Kyle Summers and Melody Allensworth at the Neuroscience meeting.

Dr. Fitzgerald with Kyle Summers and Melody Allensworth at the Neuroscience meeting.

Three CBU undergraduate students presented posters in a special undergraduate poster session at the Neuroscience meeting. The first paper is entitled: Neuroprotective treatment for blast-induced vision loss by Lauren D’Surney, Biomedical Science 2013, Brendan Luon, Courtney Bricker-Anthony, Jessica Hines-Beard, Biology 2011, and Tonia Rex. This research was funded by Research to Prevent Blindness, NIH and DOD to L. D’Surney and T. Rex. The research was conducted at UTHSC, HEI. Dr. Rex is currently at Vanderbilt. The second paper is entitled: Conditioned olfactory aversion increase olfactory sensitivity in mice by Lydia Hyatt, Biology 2013, Mounir Bendahmane and Max Fletcher. This research was funded by a Neuroscience Merit Fellowship to L Hyatt and NIH To M. Fletcher. The research conducted at UTHSC, Memphis, TN. The third paper is entitled: Behavior tolerance to zolpidem and associated changed in forebrain GABA A receptor subunits by Britney T. Wright, Catherine F. Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, and Scott A. Heldt. In addition, Jessica Schneider Biology 2014, and Eric Joe, Biology 2014, attended the meeting. CBU alums attending were Kyle Summers, Biology 2008, and Brittney Wright, Natural Science, both Ph.D. candidates at UTHSC, and Melody Allensworth, Biology 2009, and her husband, David James, Engineering 2009.

 

CBU Group that went on the Gulf Coast field trip.

Group that went on the Gulf Coast field trip.
Click on image for an action shot!

On the last weekend of October, Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, Ms. Lynda Miller, Science Lab Coordinator, and Br. Tom Sullivan, Campus Ministry and adjunct biology instructor, went with a group of students to the Gulf Coast Research Lab on a field trip.

On Tuesday, October 30, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, gave a 10 minute video presentation to Spain from here in Memphis for the XIV Symposio Internacional de Informatica Educativa meeting on the use of technology in the MHIRT program.

On Thursday, November 1, Br. Kevin Ryan, Natural Science instructor, visited Wooddale Middle School and made several presentations on the solar system, the planets, and the moon with its phases and eclipses.

On Thursday, November 1 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sabbatini Lounge we had our annual Health Career Opportunities Fair. The event was anchored by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and we had representatives from the following programs:

  • Southern College of Optometry
  • Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program
  • DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine
  • Union University
    • School of Pharmacy
    • School of Social Work
  • U.S. Army Healthcare Scholarships
  • William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

In the evening, we had special presentations for interested students pertaining to the following programs:

  • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program, featuring Jamee Covington and Elizabeth Schriner, two of the students in the entering class
  • U.S. Army Healthcare Scholarship
MAA Chess Tournament

Chess match between Martin Tribo and Khai Nguyen at the MAA.
Tournament.
Click on the image for a second picture.

On Friday afternoon, November 9, the CBU student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) hosted its annual Chess Tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the second floor lounge of Cooper Wilson. Hotdogs, drinks, and lots of fun were served. Fred Smith emerged as the champion of the tournament.

Bowling for Uganda

Billy Hardwick’s was the place to be for CBU faculty, students and alums on Friday, Nov. 9. Beta Beta Beta hosted its annual Bowlathon for Hope North, a small community in Uganda educating and caring for children devastated by the recent civil war in that country. It was a night of triumph (TKE took the first place trophy and student Velita Thornton garnered the highest women’s average) and tragedy (Dr. TJ, normally the picture of health and agility, fell while not so gracefully attempting to throw an 8 lb bowling ball. Those over 50 were just relieved she hadn’t broken a hip.) Thanks to all faculty bowlers who risked their reputations as prickly professors to come and make amazingly low scores. A surprising number of them were actually spotted having fun. They included Drs. Maureen O’Brien and Tracie Burke (psychology), and Dr. Brendan Prawdzik (English). Also showing up with their game faces and bowling shoes were, Drs. Sandra Thompson-Jaeger, Malinda Fitzgerald and Mary Ogilvie (Biology); Dr. Johnny Holmes and Bro. Kevin Ryan (Physics); and Drs. John Young and Tony Trimboli (chemistry).

Jennifer and Christina

Jennifer Hendrick and Christina Brown Tran, founders of the fundraiser.

Thanks too to all alums who good-naturedly played next to former professors and current students. Joe Alfonso, Biology 2012, took top honors with the highest overall average. Sadly his team members, Kelli Jeu, Biomedical Science 2012, Catherine Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, Madeline Reynolds, Biology 2012, and Austin Gooch, Mechanical Engineering 2012, were not so fortunate. Other young alums included Prashant Patel, Biochemistry 2012, Joe Fong, Biology 2012, David Kim, Biomedical Science 2012, Kyle Smith, Biomedical Science 2012, and Rhett Jordan, Biochemical Engineering 2012. Even some of the older alums came tottering in, i.e., David Tran, Chemistry, 2005, Christina Brown Tran, Biology 2006, and Jennifer Hendrick, Biology 2006. Incidentally, Jennifer conceived of the fundraiser back in 2005 and both she and Christina brought it to fruition that year. The rest is history. The adversity that the children of Hope North have overcome is nothing short of miraculous. It gives one pause to realize how fortunate most Americans are. What an honor it is for Tri Beta to be able to present a check of over $1,000 to the struggling community.

 

Science Trivia Contest

Science Trivia Contest.

On Tuesday, November 13, the CBU section of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) hosted a “Jeopardy-like” Trivia Night covering Biology, Math, Chemistry, and, of course, Physics. There were five teams of three members each including two teams from Rhodes College. A trophy was awarded to the winning team, prizes were awarded, and small refreshments were served. The first place team members were Joey McPherson, Catt Miller, and Alec Lindman from Rhodes. They were awarded the “Science Genius” trophy. The second place team members were Tiffany Corkran, Rebekah Herrman, and Lucia Pagni from CBU.

 

Upcoming Events

Beta Beta Beta and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society will have a joint Christmas pot luck party tentatively scheduled for Nov. 27. As always we’ll they will sing Christmas carols with Dr. Mary Ogilvie, Professor of Biology, playing the guitar and the science people doing their part with the singing. All science people are welcome.

Alpha Chi officers

Pictured are the Alpha Chi Officers: Jessica Ferrell (VP), Jada Owens (president), and Krystyna Clark (Sec/Treasurer) with their skeleton friend.
Click on the image for a picture of the Peace Pipe with Alpha Chi members.

 

The Alpha Chi Induction has been moved to December 2nd. Membership is by invitation only based on standing within each individual school. Invitations will be issued via email to the top 10% of the juniors and seniors in each school. Alpha Chi has finally collected enough quarters to buy a goat from Heifer International. There will be a quarter rolling party at the induction. They will start to collect for their next goal of providing chickens and other small animals again from Heifer.

On Janurary 10, we will have a Science and Engineering Discovery Day. This is an opportunity for prospective students to participate in hands on learning activities and experiments through the School of Science and the School of Engineering. The event is scheduled for January 10 at 2:00pm followed by a reception at 4:15pm. If you are interested, please contact the Admissions Office at 901-321-3205 or email admissions@cbu.edu. You can also register for the event at www.cbu.edu/visit.

March 20-21: The Memphis – Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair is a regional Fair that is affiliated with the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair for the high school competition and with the Broadcom Masters Competition for Middle School Students. The Fair this coming year will be will be held on March 20-21, 2013, on the campus of Christian Brothers University. The event is co-hosted each year by the CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society and the CBU Chemistry Department and School of Science. The high school division is for grades 9 thru 12 and accepts only individual projects; the middle school competition is open to grades 6 thru 8 and accepts both team and individual projects. The high school division winner of our Fair goes on to compete in the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Pittsburgh this year. The top 10% of our middle school fair goes on to compete in the on-line phase of the Broadcom Masters competition. Our student participants come from the Memphis-Shelby county area. Our competition is open to all middle and high schools in Memphis/Shelby county, whether public or private, to students from schools that do not have science fairs, and to home school associations. We do not charge schools or students a fee to enter. For more information, please contact the Fair Director, Dr. Dennis Merat, at dmerat@cbu.edu.