Upcoming Events 11/13

Last year's chess tournament in action.

Last year’s chess tournament in action.

On Friday, November 15, the student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) will sponsor its annual Chess Tournament beginning at 2 p.m.  There will be hot dogs & snacks provided.  The proceeds benefit St. Jude’s.  There is a $5 suggested donation.

On Friday, November 15, Beta Beta Beta will host its annual Bowling for Uganda at the Billy Hardwick Lanes (Quince at White Station) at 6 PM.  Contact Dr. Mary Ogilvie (mogivlie@cbu.edu) for more information.

On November 19:  Dr. Raena King‘s differential equations (MATH 232) class has a big project coming up that will help them understand how the spread of disease can be modeled by differential equations.  To do this, we are trying to get as many people as possible to participate in a campus-wide Humans vs. Zombies game.  One person will start as a zombie and will tag other people.  Once tagged, they join the zombie horde.  Students will take the data on a website that shows when humans become zombies and use it to develop a model for the rate of change of both the human and zombie populations.  They will then link the ideas to develop models for the spread of disease.  The more people that participate, the better the data will be.  The game starts on November 19 and will run for 5 days.  It will not interfere with classes, but should be fun and exciting.  Two of her students (Becky Wauford and Trey McGinnis) have been very involved in the planning of the game.  Professors can also play.

The CBU Deckhands include several CBU Science faculty members

The CBU Deckhands include several CBU Science faculty members

Brought to you by It’s a Great Day at CBU, the Deckhands will be appearing at the following CBU athletic events:

  • Saturday, November 16 at the 2:00 p.m. women’s basketball game (dance performance)
  • Tuesday, November 26 at the 7:00 p.m. men’s basketball game (dance performance)
  • Thursday, January 16 between the 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. basketball games (slingshotting goodies)
  • Saturday, January 18 between the 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. basketball games (dance performance)

Your CBU Deckhands are Dr. Tracie Burke, Dr. Divya Choudhary, Sarah Condra, Professor Sandra Davis, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Dr. Karen Golightly, Dr. Jeff Gross, Professor Cathy Grilli, Melissa Hanson, Dr. Kelly James, Dr. Anne Kenworthy, Dr. Teri Mason, Professor Chanda Murphy (Deckhands Coach), Dr. Maureen O’Brien, Dr. Mary Ogilvie, Dr. Sandra Thompson-Jaeger, Stacey Trotter, Professor Eliza Warren, Dr. Jennifer Weske, and Dr. John Young. And from time to time, they will be joined by special guest-stars!

The deadlines for applications for the MHIRT program for this summer are December 17 for early bird and December 31 for the final.  See the website at: www.cbu.edu/mhirt  for more information, or e-mail malinda@cbu.edu .

Alumni News 11/13

Dr. Cina Ali, Biology 2001 & UTHSC 2008, and Dominique Butanwan were married in 2012.  Dr. Ali finished his residency in Radiology at UTCHS and has moved to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, to be a Musculoskeletal Radiology Fellow.

From Jeff Brown, Biology 1997:    Hi Dr. Ross!   It has been a long time since I spoke to anyone there.  It is amazing how fast time can go by and you not realize it.  I hope things are well there.  I completed a fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesiology at UAB in 2011.  I am board certified in Transesophageal Echocardiography and focus on Cardiac Anesthesiology.  I am in private practice with Metropolitan Anesthesia Alliance in Memphis, and live in Germantown. Tell everyone there I said hello.

Dr. Courtney Coletta, Biology 2009 & Pharm.D. 2013, and Paul Thompson, Accounting 2008, were married Saturday October 19.

Michael Herr, Biology 2008, was married on November 9th to Ashley Elliot.  Michael will defend his Ph.D. thesis on December 11.  Michael was the graduate student mentor and worked with Jessica Jameson, Biology 2014, last summer.

Mallory Poff Loughridge, Biology 2009 & BMH nursing 2011, and her husband, Scott, just welcomed Amelia Rose into their lives on October 26.  She was 6 lbs 13 oz.   Everyone is doing fine.

Dr. Jason Porter, Biology 2008 & UTHSC 2013, is currently doing an intern year of internal medicine at UTHSC and is applying for fellowships for next year.

Indiana Soliman, Biology 2013 biology, just obtained her US citizenship.

Jessica Wright, Natural Science & Education 2010, just started her new job on October 30 as an education specialist at the Tulsa Zoo.

Featured Alum: David Tran, Chemistry 2007

David Tran last year with Justin Edwards, Biochemistry 2012.

David Tran last year with Justin Edwards, Biochemistry 2012.

Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.  During my time at CBU, one could see this phrase all around campus, but I did not truly comprehend the meaning of this phrase until I was trying to discern what to do with my life. Mass became a time for me to meditate on God’s plans for my life, and I reflected on many different options. Should I follow in my father’s foot steps and become a prosthetist, should I continue to do research, or should I look into some other medical programs, or should I become a teacher?  During my reflections, I would construct a mental pro and con list for each option. Every time I thought about teaching, I felt a sense of calm and peace. When I thought about my other options, I could feel that calmness and peace leaving me and stress replacing them.  The more I thought about teaching, the more it felt it was the right thing to do.

Come to think on it, I have been teaching since I was a freshman in high school. I earned my Black belt in Pa Sa Ryu when I was in the 9th grade. To be a good black belt, one must not only learn and perfect different techniques in katas and sparring, but one must be able to pass on the knowledge to future students. Master Rhea’s greatest hope were for his students to one day surpass him in his skill and ability. During my time at the headquarters, I gained the reputation of pushing others hard, but at the same time being kind and willing to work with students to be their best.

While I was at CBU, I was an active member and a President of the Student Affiliate of the American Chemistry Society (SAACS,) with Dr. Condren as our sponsor.  Every year, we would visit schools in the area, where we performed demos and workshops for the students. We would show a flame test, make slimes, and show many other activities to the students. I always loved to see the smiles and amazement on their faces. Through SAACS, I met many chemistry/science teachers in the area, and I got to see the different side of education careers.

Based on my own experience in martial arts and my time at CBU, I eventually decided to follow what I believe was a sign from God to give teaching a chance. I applied to many high school in the Memphis area and after many offers, I decided to join the faculty at St. Agnes Academy. I have not regretted my decision to teach. The past four years as a teacher have been amazing. I love educating the young minds at SAA because they are energetic, fun, and willing to learn. Working at a school that has similar tradition and values as the Christian Brothers has been a blessing.  Not only do I enjoy teaching the girls at the Academy, but I love getting to know them and their dreams for the future. The Class of 2014 will be the first class I taught to graduate from SAA. It will be sad day when I see them go, but at the same time, I will be excited to see what they will do in the future. I am honored to have the opportunity to help shape their future.

David Tran with his research poster in 2005.

David Tran with his research poster in 2005.

My teaching and testing style were shaped by my time at CBU and my martial art experience. My philosophy on always being accessible to my students comes from Dr. Merat.  I will always remember Dr. Merat giving us his home number and telling us if we ever need help out side of class, we could always call his number during certain hours in the evening. Just knowing I could get help anytime was a major comfort.  Granted, I don’t give my numbers to the girls to get help after school, but I do encourage them to meet with me before, during and after school. When I teach, I try to pattern     myself after Dr. Ogilvie and Dr. Burke. I am tough and expect much from my students, but at the same time, I make sure I smile and encourage the girls to improve and to make them know I care. My girls can thank Dr. Busler for my testing style. While I was enrolled in his courses, I hated his test format (of assigning 50 points to old material and 100 points to current material). Now, however, I have come to value what he was trying to teach us. You CAN’T FORGET anything in chemistry. These are among the most influential, but there are so many other CBU teachers who influenced how I teach my students.

Christina Brown

Christina Brown

Not only did I found the place I should be, I am married to the love of my life, Christina Brown Tran, class of 06. Without her support, I could have made a totally different career decision, and I am grateful for her influence. Without my wonderful education at CBU, I know I would not be the same person I am today.

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.


This year’s visit to the Gulf Coast Research Lab (Fall 2013)

by Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology

The GCRL crew

The GCRL crew: (L-R): Dr. Stan Eisen, Natalie Wright, Elizabeth Nguyen, Eisha Thakor, Kevin Pharm, Chawan Rasheed, Elton Banks, Samantha Canizaro, Damien Stevenson, Garrett Burton, Eric Joe

During the Fall semester, the Biology Department plans a weekend trip to the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, located in Ocean Springs, MS, to give students a “taste” of marine biology.  This year, Dr. Stan Eisen took a group of students during the weekend of Friday, November 1, through Sunday, November 3, to go trawling the Bay of Biloxi on Saturday morning, to tour the lower Pascagoula River on Saturday afternoon, and to conduct laboratory studies on the digeanean (fluke) parasites of snails and fish from the area.

Students examining the days catch.

Students examining the days catch.

According to its website,  the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is a marine/ coastal research and education enterprise sited in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and is a unit of The University of Southern Mississippi‘s College of Science and Technology.  GCRL has a workforce of 200 faculty, researchers, graduate students and support staff. Research at GCRL is multidisciplinary and applications-oriented with a focus on sustainable coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens.  Education opportunities span graduate degree programs in coastal sciences, undergraduate field courses in marine biology and hands-on discovery programs for precollege students and teachers.  http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/about_us/index.php

Jessica Schneider photographing specimens in the laboratory

Jessica Schneider photographing specimens in the laboratory

Research and education activities at GCRL are conducted through one academic department, the Department of Coastal Sciences, and three centers.

  • Center for Fisheries Research and Development
  • Marine Education Center
  • Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center
The Titanic Pose (Chawan Rasheed)

The Titanic Pose (Chawan Rasheed)

As part of its mission for marine education, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory maintains a consortium of colleges and universities, which provide a venue for students to take classes at the Laboratory.  Christian Brothers University is a member of that consortium.

Math Center Tutors 11/13

Becky Wauford, Math Center Tutor

Becky Wauford, Math Center Tutor

A sophomore double major in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics, Becky Wauford, is a first year tutor in the Math Center.   She is a graduate of Covington High School, Covington, TN.  Besides her double major she has also chosen a Sustainability minor.  She tutors in all math subjects through Differential Equations and Physics 2.  To keep herself occupied she also is an Honors Program member and on its Board of Directors, a President’s Ambassador, a Packaging Lab assistant, an AmeriCorps worker at  CAC (Tipton County Child Advocacy Center) , a MAA Public Relations officer, a member of ASME and, to add a final touch, a CB Singer.

Justin Joy, Math Center Tutor

Justin Joy, Math Center Tutor

Junior, Justin Joy, is likewise a graduate of Covington High School and has as his major Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.  He tutors Physics 1 and all of the math classes through Numerical Analysis.  He also helps with Scientific Programming (Mat Lab).  Outside of the classroom he is involved with the Inter Fraternity Council (IFC) as Vice President,  SAE Fraternity, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).  When asked why he liked tutoring he said,  “I enjoy tutoring because it allows me to use the skills I’ve obtained in Mathematics at CBU to help people become more confident and successful throughout their college careers.”

Featured Major: Computer Science

CBU offers three related degrees in the broad field of computing with courses taught in three schools. The School of Business offers courses in Management Information Systems (MIS), the School of Engineering has a major in Computer Engineering (ECE), the School of Sciences has a major in Computer Science (CS), and CBU offers a multidisciplinary degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. The MIS courses prepare a graduate to manage software that solves problems in a business environment. The ECE degree prepares a graduate to design hardware and software. The CS degree prepares a graduate to develop software. A computer scientist designs algorithms to solve applied problems efficiently with software in such areas as video games, search engines, bioinformatics and secure communication. For example, one reason why Google is such a widely used tool for web searches is the speed and quality of its search algorithm.

Computer Science lab

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer
Science teaching the CS 234 Data Structures Lab.

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, uses a genetic algorithm to create a final exam schedule each semester that meets the needs of both students and faculty. His algorithm creates a final exam schedule that a) has no conflicts for students; b) has no student taking four exams on any day; c) allows faculty to schedule multiple sections in one time slot for a common final exam; and d) minimizes those students who have three exams on one day. His algorithm represents a significant improvement over the old way where some students had to resolve conflicts of two finals in the same period and common final exams for multiple sections were difficult to accomodate.

Our Computer Science majors take an internship course in their junior year where they help to develop software for local businesses. They next take a capstone course in their senior year in which they complete a software project for industry in order to gain additional experience and use their skills and knowledge bases to solve a real problem. Our best graduates find jobs with companies such as Microsoft, Google and the New York Times. Some of these graduates have been featured in previous issues.

The Computer Science degree requires an option in computer engineering, information technology management, bioinformatics, or forensics. Bioinformatics applies techniques of computer science to solve biological problems at the molecular level. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital uses bioinformatics as one of its research tools to find cures for diseases. A computer scientist in forensics applies techniques of computer science to answer questions in the legal field.

CBU offers the opportunity to obtain dual degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and dual degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. CBU has also developed a degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics that requires several computer science courses.

Note from the Dean 10/13

Cooper-Wilson as fall approaches

Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences as fall approaches.

Little words can make big differences.  In physics, Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion says ∑F = ma.  But are the forces, F, the forces on the object or by the object?  This is an important distinction, and Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion deals with this.  (The answer is on, not by.)  In teaching, we can’t learn things for students; we learn with students.  We are there to help students learn because we can’t learn things for them.  In a similar way, we can’t give students self respect; but we can help them earn it.

In this newsletter, as with all our newsletters, we try to show how well our students do learn and some of the many ways our faculty help them in this process.  We have a featured article on the MHIRT program where students have an opportunity to do summer research in Brazil and other places where the trips are paid for and the students earn a stipend.  We have another article on our new Ecology degree along with an article on an interesting course on the Biology of Zoo Animals.  We also continue to feature an alum and a couple of tutors in our Math Center.

I hope you enjoy reading about our students and faculty and their work.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me at jholmes@cbu.edu.