Note from the Dean
Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences

Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences

In this last newsletter of the academic year, I would like to say thank you. Thanks to our students for working so hard in their courses. The results of that work show up in many places including the senior research that is featured in this newsletter. Thanks to our faculty for working so hard in teaching their courses and for their passion in helping our students achieve. Thanks to our alumni for their many kind comments, for their continued hard work and successes (see alumni news section for examples), and for their continued support of CBU. Thanks to our donors for their help in supporting the excellent education that happens at CBU. I feel very lucky to be able to work with such capable and nice students and with such dedicated and talented faculty.

This month our newsletter focuses on our student research and the Physics Department, but it also includes two special articles, one on a trip to Haiti by two students during the past spring break, and the second on the the experiences of both the MHIRT students and the Alpha Chi students at the Heifer Ranch. I hope you are enjoying these newsletters. Because of graduation and then summer, the next newsletter is scheduled for September. I hope you have a wonderful summer! If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may send an e-mail now to jholmes@cbu.edu .

News of the Moment

Coy Lock, Biomedical Science 2010, presented his senior research at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Academic Surgical Congress on Feb 3-5 in San Antonio, TX. The title of his research was: Atlantooccipital Dissociation A Uniformly Fatal Injury?, by C. Lock, L.J. Magnotti, M.A. Croce. J Surg Res 158(2): 416, 2010. Here is a nice note from Coy's mentor, Dr. Martin Croce: Dr. Fitzgerald, I'm sorry that I won't be able to attend this meeting. I'll be in the trauma center. I don't remember if I told you, but Coy did an outstanding job presenting his study in San Antonio. He did well with the slides, and handled the questions without a hitch. The moderators were more impressed with his performance when they found out he hadn't graduated from college yet. You and your staff should be commended.

On March 17, the CBU Department of Chemistry hosted the March Memphis Section Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The speaker was Dr. Richard Pagni from the University of Tennessee. The title of his talk was True and False Chirality – a 21st Century Perspective on the subject.

MHIRT group for this summer

Group photo of the 2010 MHIRT participants.

This year's MHIRT students traveled to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, for the March 19-21 Heifer retreat. At this retreat students participated in team building events and other challenges. They stayed in the global village.

The Forty-First Annual Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Twenty-Fifth Annual Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad were held at Christian Brothers University on Saturday, March 20, 2010. Students who earn top scores on the Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad will return to CBU to take the National Exam. Top scorers on the National Exam will be invited to join the U.S. team that will compete in the 2010 International Olympiad that will be held in Tokyo, Japan. The Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Chemistry Olympiad Examination are sponsored by the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society, the CBU Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, and the CBU Department of Chemistry. For more information please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at dmerat@cbu.edu.

The Awards Ceremony for the Memphis-Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair was held March 22, 2010 in Spain Auditorium on the Christian Brothers University Campus. This event was jointly hosted by the CBU Department of Chemistry and Christian Brothers University. If you are interested in helping next year or know of a student in grades 6 through 12 who would be interested in entering the fair, please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at (901)-321-4201 or by e-mail: dmerat@cbu.edu.

On March 29, Beta Beta Beta, the National Honor Society for Biology, had a tour of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The annual Youth and Vitality (Students) vs. Old Age & Deceit (Faculty, Alumni, & Staff) Volleyball game was held on Wednesday evening, April 14th. To start off, student team A played student team B for the right to play the faculty team. Team B won the first game, but team A came back and won the next two. The faculty won the first game with team A, but then lost a close second game. Student team A was ahead in the third game when the score reached 15, but the players agreed to continue to 25. The faculty then came from behind to take the 3rd game in a tightly contested struggle 29-27. Donations were collected for the Church Health Center, but the total amount is not known at the time this newsletter is being sent out. See pictures!


Alpha Chi Event

Pictured at the Alpha Chi convention are Mary Jane Dickey,
Dr. Randel Price, Caitlin Ashley, Caroline Mitchel,
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald and Dr. Greg Clemons of Mars Hill College,
past president of Region III.

CBU's Tennessee Theta chapter of Alpha Chi received a Star Chapter Award this month at the Supraregional meeting in Little Rock. Mary Jane Dickey presented a paper entitled The Importance of Chloride Ions: Cystic Fibrosis. Caitlin Ashley presented a paper entitled Comparing the Amplification of White Spot Syndrome Virus Genes with Different Primers. Caroline Mitchel presented a paper entitled The Price of Civic Pride: The Legacy of the Great American Pyramid. The chapter collected children's books that were donated to the Arkansas Children's Hospital as part of the national service project Reading is Fundamental. Over 2,500 books were donated by the chapters attending the conference. In addition to the book donations a trivia night was organized to benefit Heifer International where $2,500.00 was raised. The chapter will also host a fund raiser to fill the pipe with quarters. These funds will be used to donate an animal through the passing the gift at Heifer International. Students that attended the meeting had a variety of wonderful speakers: Carlotta Wells Lanier, one of the "Little Rock Nine"; Carol H. Rasco, director of RIF and domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton; Janis F. Kearney, one of her many duities in the Clinton administration was the first ever presidential personal diarist; and last but certainly not least, James L. (Skip) Rutherford who was a longtime informal adviser to Mr. Clinton and chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation and now the Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Needless to say it was a busy and informative weekend.

The West Tennessee Collegiate Division of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences rotates its spring meeting through colleges and universities in West Tennessee. It was CBU’s turn to host the meeting this spring on Saturday, April 10, 2010. Students presented either a poster or an oral presentation. Congratulations to all the students who presented papers at Saturday's meeting. There were three Best Paper Awards in each session (15 awards in all):

CBU President, Dr. John Smarrelli, gave the opening address
at the TAS meeting on Saturday, April 11. Dr. Smarrelli is a
biochemist by training.

* Session 1 Engineering Best Paper Awards. First Place: Binh Nguyen and Russel Saliendra, CBU: Wireless charging station for low-powered electronic devices. Second Place: Patrick Louie, CBU. Blind spot and rear end detection system for vehicles. Second Place: Harshit R. Shroff, Anthony Bownes and James Brown, CBU. Use of green energy in autonomous vehicles.
* Session 2 Behavior Best Paper Awards. First Place: Stephanie N. Cassel, Rhodes College. Stop and smell the roses: How olfactory enrichment affects the behavior of captive Jaguars (Panthera onca) at the Memphis Zoo. Second Place: Kristi A. Prevost, CBU. Identifying and evaluating social, dominant, and aggressive behaviors among three Bottlenose Dolphins in Key Largo, Florida. Third Place: Wallace Coy Lock, CBU. Atlantooccipital dissociation: A uniformly fatal injury?
* Session 3 Molecular/Cell Biology Best Paper Awards. First Place: Terence Netzel, CBU. Polycystic kidney disease-1 protein expression in murine chochlea using EGFP reporter. Second Place: Caitlin Ashley, CBU. Comparing the amplification of white spot syndrome virus genes with different primers. Third Place: Jessica Hines, CBU. Dose dependent regulation of transgene expression in vivo.
* Session 4 Chemistry/Biochemistry Best Paper Awards. First Place: Xiong B. Lin, CBU. Dermacentor variabilis: the alteration of the wound healing mechanism. Second Place: Supriya Ponnapula, CBU. Effect of high-cholesterol diet on cholesterol levels in arterial smooth muscle. Third Place: Daniel Eastlack, Rhodes College. A novel, NIRS based approach to Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) detection in the toad Anaxyrus fowleri.
* Posters Chemistry and Animal Behavior Best Paper Awards. First Place: Allison W. Graham, Rhodes College. Development of non-invasive reproductive monitoring techniques for endangered snow leopards and amur leopards. Second Place: Elizabeth Calabretta, CBU. Assembly of copper and palladium supramolecules using two different bifunctional ligands. Third Place: Jeremey Branch, LeMoyne-Owen College. Iron glycine hydroxo complexes in aqueous solutions..

Jennifer Johnson, Thang Pham, Binoy Shah, and Shirag Shah presented the results of their senior research projects in chemistry on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the 33rd Annual Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society Area College Chemistry Meeting held at the University of Tennessee at Martin. They were accompanied by Dr. Dennis Merat, chair of the Department of Chemistry. The titles, authors, and affiliations of their projects are: Determination of the Conditions for the Production of 6-methyl-2-ethyl-3-hydroxypyridine that Give an Assay in the Range of 99 to 100.5% by Chirag Shah of Christian Brothers University and Penn A Kem, LLC; Method Development and Validation for the Measurement of Vandetanib (ZD6474) in Human Plasma by Liquid Chromatograph Tandem Mass Spectrometry by Jennifer Johnson of Christian Brothers University and Dr. Feng Bai and Dr. Clinton Stewart of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Computational Dynamics to Map Putative Alcohol Binding Sites in the Potassium Channel Protein of the BK Type by Binoy Shah of Christian Brothers University and Dr. Alejandro Dopico and Dr. Anna Bukiya of the Pharmacology Department, University of Tennessee Health Science Center; and Calcium Binding Properties of CaBP 130, by Thang Pham and Dr. Dennis Merat of the Chemistry Department, Christian Brothers University.

On Sunday, April 11, the President hosted a Reception for Accepted Students. Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, has created a web page with pictures from the event.

The Fourteenth Annual CBU Student Research Poster Session will be Tuesday April 20, 2010 in the Sabbatini Lounge of the Thomas Center. Titles of Posters are due by April 14th via e-mail to Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald at malinda@cbu.edu. As of this morning, 44 students have registered. Here are pictures from last year's session.


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Alumni News

Here are some alumni comments from their positions in med school / vet school on neuroscience:
Adam Luka, Biology 2009: I should've taken Neuro. Big mistake.
Michelle Paul, Biology 2009: I agree with Adam.
Whitney Heath Vickery, Biology 2008: 100 on the neurology exam! wooohoo!!!!! Dr. Fitz, all that hard work of pounding physiology and neuroscience into my tiny little brain must have worked. I won the find the lesion game :).

Kanika Townsend Robinson, Biology 2007, has been accepted to Pharmacy School at Union University. Congratulations, Kanika!

Kim Williams, Biology 2008, published the results of her CBU senior research: Maintenance of beta-adrenergic receptor signaling can reduce fas signaling in human retinal endothelial cells, Kimberly P. Williams and Jena J. Steinle, Exp Eye (89) 448-495, 2009. Kim is currently working with Dr. Steinle at UTHSC on her Ph.D.

Dr. Toya Kimble, Biology 1993, has recently been granted two patents.
1. Drug Depot Implantable Within a Joint, US Pat. 12174007: Methods and compositions for treating a tissue within a synovial joint in a patient in need of such treatment are provided. The methods and compositions involve inserting a drug depot through the synovial joint and attaching the drug depot to the inside of the synovial joint capsule so that the... . Inventors: Toya D. Kimble, Susan J. Drapeau, William F. McKay, John Myers Zanella, Erica Tenbroek. Assignees: Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc.
2. Biological Markers and Response to Treatment for Pain, Inflammation ... , US Pat. 12105666: The invention provides methods and kits for treatment of pain, inflammation, neuronal or vascular injury and the use of biomarkers for the assessment of the biological activity or disease state. In one embodiment, the kit comprises a biomembrane sealing agent, such as PEG, a bioactive agent, such... . Inventors: Josee Roy, Toya D. Kimble. Assignees: Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc.
Toya now works at Medtronics.

Chemetra Patrick, Natural Science 2008, a third year Physical Therapy student at UTHSC, was just awarded the Outstanding Allied Health Student Award by the Black Student Association at UTHSC.

Gautham Ghandi, M.D, Ph.D., Biology 2001, is doing a residency in neurosurgery. He and his wife, Cindy, just had a baby as did his sister, Rhada Ghandi Rishi, M.D., Biology 1997, and her husband, Rahul. Gautham has been awarded The Editors' Award by the Journal of Neurochemistry for work conducted for his Ph.D. dissertation with Dr. Gerry Dienel. There was a special ceremony to recognize him at the Graduate School Spring Reception, April 12. His paper, titled Astrocytes are poised for lactate trafficking and release from activated brain and for supply of glucose to neurons, was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry 111:522-536, 2009. His paper was selected by the Chief and Deputy Chief Ediors from more than 150 eligible manuscripts.

Reena Patel, Biology 2007, and Chirag Patel were married on December 28, 2009 in Gujarat, India. Reena is currently in Atlanta doing 3rd year rotations. She has completed her Ob rotations at Emory Hospital and is now doing a dermatology rotation while Chirag is working in Memphis. Reena is attending the American University of Antigua Medical School.

Bob Dalsania, Biology 2006, announced his engagement to Chandni Patel this past weekend at the Memphis Botanical Gardens.

Jennie Nguyen, Natural Science 2007, is getting married to David Tran. David is from San Diego, CA, where he works for Hewlett Packard. Jennie has one more year at Life in Atlanta until she finishes chiropractic school.

Gloria Bird, Biology 2008, is getting married to Rick Jordan on May 21 in Uruguay.

Elizabeth Graham, D.D.S., Biology 1999, and Charles Mitchell were married March 20, 2010.

These medical student alumni will graduate in May, and here are their matches:
Michael Beebe, Chemistry 2006, is doing orthopedic surgery in Utah,
Emily Defur, Biology 2006, is doing radiology at Baptist in Memphis,
Melissa Hines, Biology 2006, is doing pediatrics at LeBonheur in Memphis.

Also graduating this May are:
Cynthia Caceres, Biology 2005, and Bob Dalsania, Biology 2006, from UT Dental School,
Whitney Appling, Biology 2006, from the University of Mississippi Dental School and she will get married next Saturday to Ryan Talbert,
Paula Cerrito, Biology 2006, and Sarah Wright, Chemistry 2006, will graduate from Pharmacy school,
Katrina Thompson, Biology 2006, will graduate from Logan with a Doctorate in Chiropractic, and
Nick Chantara, Biology 2007, Rebecca Bastnagel, Biology 2008, Kyle Markaway, Natural Science 2007, and Jarad Schultz, Biology 2006, will graduate from Physical Therapy school.

The following alumni judged at the TAS meeting last weekend: David Tran, Chemistry 2005, Ben Reves, Chemical Engineering 2005, Jeremy Armstrong, Biology 2008, and Sheharyar Minhas, Biology 2007.

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Featured Story: Student Research

The power of our technological civilization is built upon science. How could we come so far in our understanding and utilization of nature that we could build such a complex and life sustaining society? A fundamental answer to that question is that science, for all its mystique, is a very human activity. It is based on human curiosity coupled with our ability to communicate with each other and with our posterity. In the CBU School of Sciences we try to foster that curiosity, and we try to make as efficient as possible that communication. Having our students actually do research is a very important component in that effort. To do research is to put in context what you have learned.

Last year's Research Poster Session

Last year's Research Poster Session.

Students are prepared for their research by their work in the lab components of their courses. Most of our science courses have labs attached: 20 of the 25 biology courses have labs, and 12 of the 16 chemistry courses have labs. In the labs they not only get hands on experience with the theories and concepts discussed in the courses, they also get experience with state of the art lab equipment. This experience with the equipment makes our students attractive and valuable to the researchers who become their research mentors. Click here to see pictures from some of the labs..

We provide many different opportunities for students to do scientific research. The Minority Health International Research Training Grant (MHIRT) is an opportunity to go to Brazil or Uganda to do research. In addition to paying all of the expenses, the grant provides a stipend to the students to do the research.

The MHIRT participants this spring attended a weekend retreat from March 19 to 21 at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. During the weekend they participated in team building events and stayed in the Global Village that is a model for how people live around the world. These students are from CBU and from several other universities in the MidSouth and the Southeast region of the U.S. They will be going to Uganda, Brazil and Thailand. See the special article later in this newsletter.

Neuroscience lab

Students in Neuroscience Lab.

We also provide opportunities closer to home for our students to do research. In the junior year, our biology majors through their BIOL 362 Biology Seminar and our chemistry majors through their CHEM 330 Research Seminar I are exposed to research being carried on in the area including work done at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, the University of Memphis, and the Memphis Zoo. We try to find each student a mentor in an area that appears interesting to the student. Sometimes the research that our own faculty do opens possibilities for student research.

The senior research of this year's BIOLOGY majors is detailed on the Tennessee Academy of Sciences Collegiate Division, Western Regional Meeting web page. The senior research of this year's CHEMISTRY majors is detailed earlier in the newsletter in the News of the Moment section. In the MATH senior seminar this year, Andrew Fayne is studying the existence and uniqueness of continuous solutions of Volterra integral equations; Dustin Perry is focusing on periodic solutions of such equations; and Dennis Guy is studying a certain type of population model that is a delay differential equation. In the PHYSICS senior research, Nathan Melton is investigating if the leakage of thin film capacitors can be modeled using fractional calculus.

We are very proud of the research that our students have performed. We have reported in the issues of this newsletter throughout the year including this issue (see News of the Moment section above) some of the conferences that our students have attended to present the results of their research. For a more detailed look over the past several years, see our research web page. One of the marks of the success of our students is seen in the articles that our students have helped write. Over the past 10 years, our students have co-authored with their research mentors 28 articles that were published in peer-reivewed scientific journals. A listing is available on our student publications web page.


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Special Story: Our Trip to Haiti
by CBU students Caitlin Ashley and Terry Netzel

Here is a special story about two students' Spring Break trip to Haiti with Br. Edward Salgado to help with the Haiti Medical Mission of Memphis.

We had a quick introduction to the destruction as we drove from the airport to St. Charles Seminary; collapsed buildings and huge, expansive tent camps dominated the scenery. St. Charles Seminary and the Holy Spirit Clinic were luckily not extensively harmed. We toured the grounds, going to see the farm animals, various plants and trees, the seminary itself, the elementary school on the property and the clinic. After the earthquake and the destruction of the cathedral, the Archbishop was buried at the compound, and we got to visit his burial site.

In the mornings, bright and early, we headed out to the front gates with Margo, an American nurse working at the clinic, and the four Chilean doctors who work in the clinic. There, we watched as the five of them conducted triage — trying to sort through and give numbers to set an order for patients to be seen. This veritable mass of people, all talking in unison about their illnesses and injuries, were intimidating to see on the first day of work. As we became more comfortable with the process, we got to help out with triage, quickly assessing their ailments.

Once the numbers were distributed and the people were shown into the canopied waiting area (the original waiting room was damaged in the earthquake), we proceeded to the clinic to start seeing patients. Each doctor, as well as the nurses tending to injuries, worked out of his or her “box” — a cubicle with a curtain closing off the front. Bringing in the next patient could be a bit overwhelming as we had to go out to the large group of patients and call out the patient number we were looking for in our basic and often incorrectly pronounced Haitian Kreyol. During the day, we each worked with one of the two Chilean primary care doctors, helping to see and treat the patients, observing the doctors, and even taking blood pressures and checking glucose levels. Many of the cases we saw involved an infection of some kind. We did see many interesting cases, including a large tumor and some parasitic infections. We got to put our education to good use in the clinic, recalling information that had been stored from years prior to the trip.

On Friday we took a driving tour of the city in order to see the devastation first-hand. It was shocking to see so many homes and buildings in ruins, including the Presidential Palace and main Cathedral, and so many people living in tents on the sides of the street. We passed the port, where people were packed onto a boat, leaving for another city, hoping to find better circumstances than those in Port au Prince.

The afternoons were very relaxing. Despite the devastation of the main city, the beautiful architecture and extensive plantation remained intact. We were able to sit under mango trees and rest, a complete opposite of the morning’s events. Before we knew it, we had to leave to go home. The week was very exciting, and we learned a great deal both medically and culturally.


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Special Story: Heifer International: MHIRT and Alpha Chi Experiences March 2010
Thailand Hut

Thailand Hut at Heifer Ranch.

For the past eight years the Minority Health International Research Training Program has used the Heifer Ranch as the first “get together” retreat. It has served to be a major life changing event for many and has assisted in the bonding of the students prior to their travel to a foreign country. For those of you unfamiliar with Heifer International, let me give you a bit of background. Heifer International became a passion of Dan West during the Spanish Civil War. He saw children going hungry and in need of milk, and when he returned to the US he founded Heifer International to try and end World Hunger. He obtained heifers, female cows that had not given birth, to ship to Spain. However, war had broken out in Europe and he shipped the cows to Puerto Rico in 1944. Since then over 8.5 million people in 125 countries have been helped by Heifer International. One of the cornerstones of Heifer is “passing on the gift”. Once an individual learns how to care for an animal, they must pass on an offspring to another village member. Through this method several individuals have been helped. MHIRT uses the leadership training facilities and the global village during the retreat. The global village allows individuals to obtain a controlled view of what living conditions are like in other countries. Representative housing from Thailand, Africa, Guatemala, Appalachia and Urban Slums have been built and students are assigned housing based on the percentage of individuals that live there. Over the course of two days students experience what people have to go through every day to cook, and gather limited resources with various handicaps besides the elements. While this is only a representative of what it might be like, without indoor plumbing, running water and electricity, students quickly see how lucky we are to live where we live in the world.

Heifer Peace Pipe

The Heifer peace pipe.

Alpha Chi Students who attended the Supra-regional meeting a few weeks ago visited the Heifer International headquarters in Little Rock. At that visit there were interactive displays and information about the organization and its mission to end hunger. The corporate headquarters is a totally “green” building. Students raised $2,500.00 for Heifer in their trivia contest. We also brought home a “peace pipe” to fill with quarters. (see image) This pipe holds $120.00 worth of quarters. Once it is filled we will donate the money to purchase an animal. (see: www.heifer.org) The pipe is currently in CW 118 and will migrate around the campus.

Here are some comments from the most recent retreat that was in March by MHIRT 2010 students:
* “Staying overnight in the global village had a huge impact on me. Some of the countries like Guatemala were nicer than the others, but some like the slums were worse than the others. We drew names to see who would stay in which country. This made me realize that people do not choose their place of birth or living conditions. At the Heifer weekend, I was selected to stay in Zambia. It was rainy and miserably cold, and I slept on a concrete floor in a round, cinder-block hut. That experience made me realize that in real life I have been fortunate enough to live in America. I did not do anything to deserve the things I have, just as other people in the world do not deserve to live in poverty and hunger.” (VR, Vanderbilt)

Urban Slum

Urban Slum at Heifer Ranch.

* “Prior to the retreat, I was expecting to go camping and participating in challenging activities that would help me get familiarized with the group; however, it was more than that. The Heifer Ranch retreat not only did it help me make long time friends, but it also taught me real life challenges like world hunger and poverty based on first hand experiences. Also, I was challenged to make ethical decisions, trust my peers, and use critical thinking to benefit my group. Thanks to this experience, I have learned to appreciate the most simple things like water because there are others around the world that do not have this so called "liquid gold" on a daily basis. I have also learned to appreciate leadership from a different perspective. Leaders are not only those that hold positions but also those that from "nothing" can bring happiness to a community.” (MJR, CBU)
* “At Heifer International I was reminded of the way in which I continually take the earth's resources, such as water and food, for granted. I was also made aware about the way in which my living habits have an impact on the rest of the world's inhabitants. However, I was constantly reminded that I can do something to change this. I can work to ensure that I purchase goods from companies that pay their workers fair wages. I can curb my consumption of natural resources. Most of all, I was reminded that I must be the change and not wait for the world to change instead.” (CC, Rhodes)
* "To me, Heifer was a change in perspective. You read about poverty in textbooks and see grief and suffering in 3 minute commercials and it's just easy to be sympathetic. There is plenty of sympathy in the world, not enough education. After coming back from Heifer and my day in the global village, I was left with a new outlook that is encouraging me to stay strong and work towards a vocation in which I can bless others through the education many take for granted. The uneasiness that settled after my exposure to the things we don't enjoy talking about at parties, in a way, filled the "what do I do now?" gap in my life." (SSB, CBU)
* “After my weekend at Heifer Ranch, I returned home excited to tell everyone important in my life about the experience I had just lived. Instead, I was unusually speechless. It is one of the most amazing feelings to have when the experiences in your life further validate and more specifically guide you to what you are going to do with your life. A new type of motivation has arisen in me in knowing that there are indeed many others like myself and there are other people who also want to be a part of something greater than them. This is how we will end world hunger.” (VW, CBU)

Help spread the word! Pass the Gift and Help end world Hunger!

Dr. M.E.C.Fitzgerald

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Featured Alum: Dina Strickland

Hi! My name is Dina Strickland and I attended CBU from 1987 to 1990. CBU was an easy pick for me, as I wanted a school close to home and one with smaller class sizes. It didn’t hurt that CBU had a great reputation, too! I was planning to apply to Physical Therapy school after fulfilling pre-requisite requirements and wanted a school that would challenge me academically and prepare me for my future endeavors. This is exactly what CBU provided! I had great professors that took interest in each of their students. They made themselves available to us and were very helpful in guiding us in the right direction. I left CBU after my junior year, as that is when I applied, and was accepted, to Physical Therapy school. The study habits that I learned and the work that I performed while at CBU certainly prepared me for what I faced in P.T. school.

I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. degree in Physical Therapy in 1992. This has been a great field for me to be in and I thoroughly enjoy what I do! Physical Therapy has given me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds….I am able to work full time, but also have flexibility, which allows me to spend quality time with my family! I have been fortunate to work in a variety of settings, however, have found my niche in outpatient orthopedics. I currently work for Rehab Etc. in the Bartlett office of Tabor Orthopedics. I work with an awesome group of physicians and therapists, which certainly makes my job easier!

In looking back, CBU was a great choice for me. I received an excellent education while I was there, and it was the stepping stone I needed to be accepted into the P.T. program. I will always be grateful to the professors at CBU who influenced me in such a positive way!

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Thank You Notes to Sciences Faculty

This month we have a thank you note to Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology.

Dr. Fitzgerald,

Thank you so much for the recommendation you wrote me for graduate school! I know how busy you are, and I really do appreciate that you were able to do it with such short notice. Whatever you wrote worked because I was accepted (yay!). I will be working with Dr. Gartner, so I'm sure we'll be in touch. You have been so hellpful to me through college and after, and I'm very thankful that you have been my advisor!

Happy Holidays!

Hanna Shackelford

Editor's note: Hanna has been accepted into the graduate biology program at the University of Memphis.

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Featured Department: Physics
Nathan's senior research equipment

The image above shows equipment being used by Nathan
Melton
, Physics 2010, in the new Advanced Physics/Optics
Laboratory. Nathan, under the advisement of Dr. Ted Clarke,
is investigating if the leakage of thin film capacitors can be
modeled using fractional calculus for his senior research project.

The Physics Department serves essentially every Science and Engineering student at CBU. In addition to its service courses, the department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and in Engineering Physics. Most people recognize that you can teach with a physics degree, and we do have a program for teacher licensure in physics. There are lots of other career options with a physics degree. Our recent majors have entered graduate programs in physics and other related disciplines at institutions including Harvard, Tufts, Vanderbilt, University of Tennessee, University of Arizona, and University of Memphis.

As with other Sciences' departments, the Physics Department has a student organization on campus. The CBU chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) is open to all students with an interest in physics. Dr. Ted Clarke serves as the faculty moderator.

physics research project equipment

The image above shows an experimental set-up on the optics
table in the new Advanced Physics/Optics Laboratory.

Like the other science disciplines at CBU, many of the physics courses at CBU have labs associated with them. The department has designed the lab experiments to directly support the lectures, and the faculty have written their own lab manuals (10 of them!). The manuals are very efficient since they are custom made for our experiments and our equipment. The manuals are posted on-line for students to download free of charge. As part of the renovation of the old Science Building into Assisi Hall, three original lab rooms were redone and two new lab rooms were constructed. There is a new Natural Science Lab room for our service courses. This additional lab space has made easier the scheduling of labs and allows the department to accommodate more students. Equipment was purchased for the new room using the generous donations of Analice Hosey Sowell (B.S. Chemistry, 2002 & M.A.T., 2005), her husband Michael, and her parents Nancy and Jim Hosey. There is also a new Advanced Physics/Optics Lab room for our upper level students. Like all CBU labs, these new spaces are devoted strictly to undergraduate education.

AH 013 lab with new equipment

The image above shows the new Natural Science Lab
with some of the equipment purchased using donations
from alum Analice Hosey Sowell and her family.

The department members are continuing their efforts of incorporating computer-aided instruction into physics education. Dr Johnny Holmes and Dr. John Varriano have worked on a project called Computer-Assisted Homework for Physics (CAHP) that consists of 48 individual programs that provide physics homework problems for students in which the computer immediately grades and provides feedback to the students. These programs are available to the public for free, and so far over 750 people world-wide have downloaded these programs. CBU students have consistently indicated on student evaluations of courses that these programs are a valuable learning tool. Dr. Varriano recently prepared video presentations of solutions to over 90 practice problems for his Physics I class. The videos show the solutions being worked out by hand with audio commentary. They are posted on-line and can be played from any browser. Dr. Varriano reports that many of his students found the videos to be very helpful. Dr. Ted Clarke will be investigating this summer in his Physics II course the possible advantages of using an on-line text book with ancillaries including assigned problems.