Note from the Dean
CW in the spring

Spring in front of the Cooper-Wilson Center.

College is many things to many people, but the central purpose of college is academics where people learn some of the hard won lessons from the past so that they can continue to move society forward while finding satisfaction in life for themselves. This newsletter contains a brief glimpse of the results of the academic progress of some of our students. In the third Featured Article section, the results of our students' presentations at the Tennessee Academy of Sciences and other venues are listed. In the second Featured Article section and the Featured Alum section, you can see the progress of two of our alums. In the Thank You section you can see verification of these results. In the Featured Department you can see a localized view of one of our academic programs and in the first Featured Article section you can see a brand new program starting.

I hope you are enjoying the spring and enjoying your life. This is a challenging time to be alive, but in addition to the dangers there are tremendous opportunities waiting for us. For myself, I constantly pray for the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. In addition I pray for the virtues of patience and wisdom. If you have the patience to observe and the wisdom to look beyond the obvious and see the inter-relationships, I find that you can often solve the immediate problem and move both yourself and society forward.

At the end of this academic year, we have two long-serving faculty members stepping down from full-time teaching: Dr. Bill Busler, Professor of Chemistry, and Br. Edward Salgado, Professor of Biology. We featured Dr. Busler in the November issue of this newsletter since he is also an alum. Br. Edward has been a valuable member of the Biology Department for the past 17 years, serving as Chair of the Biology Department for 16 of those. We will miss seeing them on an everyday basis, but we wish them well in their new pursuits.

I hope you are enjoying these newsletters, and I look forward to sharing more of our work with you next academic year. If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may send an email now to .

News of the Moment
Science Fair Judges

Science Fair Judges getting their instructions.
Click on the image for a bigger view.

The 57th Annual Memphis-Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair was held March 23-March 24 on campus. CBU, Memphis Light Gas and Water Division, and private donors were sponsors of the event which is hosted jointly by the Chemistry Department, the School of Science, and the CBU Chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society. This year more than 200 projects, including 17 team projects, were entered in the Fair representing Middle and High Schools from across Shelby County; more than 240 students from 18 schools participated in this year's Fair. The projects were showcased in Canale Arena, Montesi Conference Room, and the Sabbatini Lounge. The Awards Ceremony for the Science Fair was held April 4 in the University Theatre. Despite the terrible weather that day, approximately 120 people attended the ceremony where awards, ribbons, and monetary prizes were presented to the winners. This year Montana Boone from Germantown Middle School won first place in the Middle School Division. Bowei Deng from White Station High School won first place in the High School Division and an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held May 8-14, 2011. Click here for pictures. For more information, please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at

Students on the Reelfoot field trip.

Students on the field trip to Reelfoot Lake.
Photograph courtesy of Carey Bowen.

Students in Dr. Joy Layton's BIOL 497 Entomology and Dr. Stan Eisen's BIOL 395 Limnology classes took a field trip to Reelfoot Lake. See the picture on the left.

The Forty-Second Annual Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Twenty-Sixth Annual Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad were held at CBU on Saturday, March 26, 2011. Students who earn top scores on the Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad will return to CBU on April 16, 2011, to take the National Exam. This year students from Arlington High School, Bolton High School, Briarcrest Christian School, Germantown High School, Harding Academy, Hutchison School, Lausanne Collegiate School, Memphis University School, Saint Agnes Academy, Saint Mary's Episcopal School, The Bridge Home-School Classes, and The Soulsville Charter School participated in the competition. Top scorers on the National Exam will be invited to join the U.S. team that will compete in the 2011 International Chemistry Olympiad that will be held in Ankara, Turkey. 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

On Wednesday, April 13, we had our annual Youth and Vitality (Students) vs. Old Age & Deceit (Faculty, Alumni, & Staff) Charity Volleyball game. Student team A played student team B for the right to play the faculty team. The faculty won the hard fought third game. Here are pictures from this year's games.

students accepting the Star Chapter award for AX

Mary Jane Dickey and Rachel Haag at the
Alphi Chi convention in SanDiego.
They are holding the Star Chapter Award.

Mary Jane Dickey, Biology 2011, and Rachel Haag, Biology 2011, attended the Alpha Chi National Convention in San Diego. They both presented in the Molecular/Cellular Biology Division. Rachel's presentation was entitled Determination of Therapeutic Transgene Dose and Mary Jane's presentation was entitled Effect of a Functional PB1-F2 Protein on Viral RNA Expressions of the 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Virus. They also accepted the Star Chapter Award for the CBU Alpha Chi Chapter. This Award is given to chapters that fulfilled requirements: induction of new members, scholarship applicants, an annual scholarly event, and student participation in regional and national events. This is the third year in a row for the CBU chapter to get a Star Chapter Award. The Tennessee Theta Chapter of Alpha Chi is an interdisciplinary honor society. Students are chosen for admission based on their rank within each school. The CBU Student Research Poster Session is one of the scholarly events the chapter sponsors. Faculty sponsors are Dr. Malinda E.C. Fitzgerald and Dr. Randal Price.

Robert Scott Parker, Biology 2011, and Rachel Reese, 2012 Biomedical Science, were awarded the Ophthalmology Fellowships for research this summer.

Catherine Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, was awarded the Neuroscience Merit Fellowship from the Neuroscience Institute for research this summer.

Austin Johnson, Biology 2012, has been accepted to the University of Nebraska Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This is an enrichment program: SMDEP is a six-week summer academic enrichment program that offers freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation.

Thomas Schill, Physics & Mathematics 2012, has been selected to participate in the REU program at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech University in the summer of 2011. This year's program focuses on mathematical modeling of mammalian iron metabolism.

Flying a Kite

Go fly a kite! SPS members did!

CBU's section of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) had a kite flying day at Shelby Farms on Saturday, April 2. It was a beautiful day with enough wind to make it a successful event! The group also gave demonstrations including the "loop of death" and the "bed of nails" at the Engineering Competitions held on April 14.

CBU students and faculty attended the 90th annual meeting of the Mathematical Associaion of America (MAA) Southeastern Section on March 31st thru April 2nd. The meeting was held at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The students were entertained with a variety of activities from a math treasure hunt to competing in math Jeopardy! Brittany Course, Mathematics 2011, presented her poster on "Folding Math Together: An Exploration of Modular Origami". The diverse sessions on mathematical subjects and research such as The Art of Cryptography to Counting Reinhardt polygons kept all of us hungering for more. We are looking forward to next year's MAA conference in Georgia.

Upcoming Events:

New Living & Learning Community (LLC) forming: In addition to the Honors and Sustainability LLC’s, CBU will be launching a Biomedical LLC. The Biomedical LLC is a residential program designed to studies and ancillary programming for students interested in clinical health-related careers. This program has several components:
1) Residential: The students interested in participating in the Biomedical LLC will be housed in the new dormitory, which is due for completion by the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year;
2) Shadowing: During the Fall semester of the Sophomore year, students will participate in Medical Shadowing, a course during which they will have the opportunity to shadow trained professionals in various departments at Delta Medical Center;
3) Interning: During the Spring semester of their Sophomore year, or possibly starting during their Junior year, they will participate in a Research Associate Program, directed by Dr. Keith Bradley, MD;
4) Students can live in the LLC for 3 years.

CBU alum math teachers

CBU Math alums at last year's TMTA tests.

The Math Department will be hosting part of the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association (TMTA) High School Math Tests on April 19. Last year there were 430 high school students taking the various tests at CBU, and we expect a similar number this year. The four in the picture on the left are CBU alums who are math teachers who brought their students to the test last year, from left to right:
Dustin Perry, Mathematics 2010;
Austin King, Physics 2006;
Shawn Morgan, Mathematics 2006; and
JP Masterson, Mathematics 2007.

The Fifteenth Annual CBU Student Research Poster Session will be Tuesday, April 19, 2011, in the Sabbatini Lounge of the Thomas Center. Titles of Posters were due by April 13 via email to Dr. Randel Price at Here are pictures from last year's session.

Dr. William Busler, Professor of Chemistry, will present this year's Last Lecture sponsored by the Honors Program. His lecture will be on Tuesday, April 26, from 12:30 to 2:00 PM in Spain Auditorium. All are invited.

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Alumni News

Rebekah Meadows Dedwylder, Biology 2002, and her husband, Ben, announced the birth of their son, Max. He arrived on March 25, 2011, at 7 lbs 2 oz and 20 1/4 inches long.

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Featured Story:
New RN to BSN Program

CBU is proud to announce the opening of a new nursing program on campus that will provide registered nurses with a path to obtain a full Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) within 18 months. The new program starts in August, and the curriculum is a "flexible one, which is affordable and convenient for many hard-working nurses seeking to further their careers in the field of nursing," said Dr. Peggy Veeser, Director of the inaugural Nursing Program.

The BSN degree will offer new learning opportunities to registered nurses through an 18-month plan that blends face-to-face teaching with a web centered approach, in an evening studies schedule. This new program follows an American Nurses Association (ANA) mandate that every nurse licensed in 2008 and beyond, obtain a BSN degree within ten years. "This mandate is important, because nurses are the front line in patient care, and therefore they should be well-equipped to handle the myriad of needs that arise," Dr. Veeser said. "With a long history of outstanding undergraduate education, CBU is in an ideal position to add a health science major such as nursing."

Admissions are twice a year, and applications are currently being accepted for the fall term. For more information, please contact the CBU Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at (901) 321-3291, or email to:

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Featured Story:
My Village Experience and the Impact It's Had on My Future
by Samantha Bownes, Biology 2012
Chickencoop at the Heifer Ranch

Chickencoop at the Heifer Ranch.

When I applied for the MHIRT 2010 program, I was set on wanting to do research at Emas National park in the Pantanal. Ever since I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian because I knew that I loved biology and was good at it. I never wanted to be a doctor, who lost interest in their career and passion for helping others, because of ungrateful patients. Veterinary medicine just seemed to fit. I also love travel and had recently gained an interest in animal conservation. So, when I saw that MHIRT offered a research site to work on jaguar conservation, I jumped at the opportunity and was ecstatic to be received into the program, even with an alternate position.

One of the major processes for all finalists in the MHIRT program is a weekend at Heifer International Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. There I met all the other finalists for the program, participated in group dynamic exercises and had an opportunity to bond with others who had similar interests. Before the trip, I expected all of this to take place. What I did not expect is to be so affected by a portion of the weekend in which we stayed in the Global Village. The Global Village at Heifer is basically a collection “housing sites” used to portray types of communities and living standards from different parts of the world. Groups going through the Global Village program spend 24 hours in their representative “countries” including Zambia, Guatemala, Thailand, Appalachia, refugee camp, Tibet, and the urban slums. While taking a tour of the Global Village before the 24 hours began, I merely thought of the village as creative. I had seen structures such as these in the media and I was aware of the poor standards of living that a large proportion of the world experience, but I am now convinced that walking through these replications for the first time I was desensitized to what they meant and what they represented. Actually living for 24 hours in the village was a far more intense experience than I had expected.

Chickencoop closeup

Close up of the chickencoop at the Heifer Ranch.

After the tour I knew that I did not want to spend the night in the Urban Slums, which basically consisted of four small structures made out of scrap wood and metal. So, naturally, I was chosen to stay in the Urban Slums with 5 other individuals. It seemed that as soon as we were given our village assignments, the clouds opened up and it began pouring down rain. Our supply baskets consisted of 3 cups of rice, some salt, matches and a few assorted pots and pans. We were not given wood to start a fire to heat the rice, nor the water “rights” to use the water spout located in Guatemala to cook the rice in. On top of that, all of the global “countries” were given two obstacles. 1) A pregnant woman and a water balloon baby to take care of once the “mother” had given birth and 2) a crisis. In general, the crisis consisted of making a choice between keeping your resources and one of your group members becoming ill or sustaining an injury, or selling your resources in exchange for medicine. We tried to think of how someone in our situation would react. Would a family in the slums give up the last bit of rice they have with no sure sign of food or work in the future? We decided that in a real life situation, a family would not seek medicine over food in times of starvation and poverty. This meant that Jen, one of our group members, had to bandage up her arm and refrain from using it for the next 24 hours so that we may keep 3 cups of rice. In other villages, worse crisis were given. One student was “blind” while another group had to give up over half of their resources in order that one of the students wouldn’t remain bedridden and unable to move from her village at all. Although at times it was funny to see how my peers reacted to their “injury”, the reality was far more serious.

The impact of the Global Village did not fully set in until nighttime. It was still pouring down rain and the temperature had dropped. In fact, it was so cold that around 5:00am, snow flurries began to fall. On top of that, it was extremely windy. The 6 of us slept in what I can only describe as a slightly taller chicken coup, wire netting walls included. The wind against my spine was almost too painful to bear and I found myself only being able to sleep in 10 minute intervals. It was during these long hours that I felt the reality of poverty. If I was bending and shaking in my North Face jacket, layers of clothes and sleeping bag, what were others doing in this type of climate without the resources I had? What would it feel like to wake up in the morning and know that I would have to go through this experience again, and again every single day of my life. Where and how do the communities who live like this find relief? Do they find relief at all? How am I suppose to go back home to Memphis and act and pretend as if I didn’t just go through this experience and feel this pain? This was the most important question to me. What can I do as a student at CBU in Memphis, Tennessee to help those in need?

It was shortly after this trip to Heifer that my whole perspective on Health Care changed. I knew that I wanted to use my interests and my skills to make an impact on the quality of life for others. It is then that I started looking into humanitarian aid and global medicine. I owe a huge part of this change in my life to my night in the global village. I cannot simply forget everything Heifer and that entire weekend taught me. When I think about the cold wind against my spine and the stories we heard of starvation and stomachs like empty skies, I know that my purpose goes far beyond travel and biology. I have now directed my life towards global health and am planning to apply to medical schools with programs that focus on this aspect of healthcare. I never ended up going to the Pantanal, Brazil with MHIRT 2010, however I think it was for the best. I am now in the MHIRT 2011 program and will be in Uganda for the summer. There we will perform qualitative research in Gulu around NGOs and displacement camps. I hope to see firsthand the impact healthcare and lack of health care has on communities as torn apart as the ones found in these types of camps in a war-torn country. I am also looking forward to experiencing the living standard and quality of life for these people and hope that it will only serve to feed the fire and push me towards the future I want for myself. What I have learned over the past year is that it is easy to be heartbroken over the suffering in the world. It is not so easy to do something about the suffering in the world. The path less taken is not always easy, or scenic; often it is cruel and ugly. But, it is the only path worth taking. I cannot live forever in discomfort, wishing I hadn’t heard, seen, or learned of the unjust.

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Featured Story:
Student Research
TAS meeting

CBU group at the TAS meeting.

Congratulations to all the students who presented papers at the Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS) meeting hosted by UT Health Science Center on Saturday, April 9.
Photos along with a link to the complete program be found on CBU's TAS 2011 web page.
Twenty six of the 31 oral presentations were by CBU students. CBU students received 15 of the 18 Best Oral Paper Awards. CBU's Best Paper Award recipients for each session are listed below.

Best Paper Awards Session 1 (Animal Behavior/ Ecology):
* First Place (tie): Joseph V. Alfonso, CBU TESTING THE DETECTION RANGE OF VEMCO VR2W ACOUSTIC RECEIVERS USED TO STUDY LARGE SCALE MOVEMENTS OF SPOTTED SEATROUT (CYNOSCION NEBULOSUS) IN SOUTH TEXAS ESTUARIES. Joseph V. Alfonso*, Gregory W. Stunz, and Laura Bivins. Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas.
* First Place (tie): Meagan E. Lamica, CBU THE HUMAN IMPACT ON SEA TURTLES IN THE GULF. Meagan E. Lamica*, and Danielle O'Neil, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater, Florida.
* Second Place: Jennifer Cobb, CBU THE IMPORTANCE OF MANED-WOLF FRUIT (SOLANUM LYCOCARPUM) FOR MAMMALS OF THE BRAZILIAN CERRADO. Jennifer Cobb*, Marina Zanin, Natalia M. Torres and Leandro Silveira, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee. Jaguar Conservation Fund, Emas, Brasil.
* Third Place: Ben Chism, CBU THE EFFECTS OF LAND FRAGMENTATION ON MAMMAL POPULATION DENSITIES AT THE SOURCE OF THE ARAGUAIA RIVER. Ben Chism*, Marina Zanin, Natalia M. Torres and Leandro Silveira, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee, Jaguar Conservation Fund, Emas, Brasil.

Best Paper Awards Session 2 (Genetics/ Cell & Molecular Biology):
* First Place: Larry J. Anderson, CBU CYTOCHROME P450 1B1 GENE DISRUPTION PROTECTS AGAINST RENAL DYSHOMEOSTASIS AND DAMAGE ASSOCIATED WITH ANGIOTENSIN II INFUSION IN MICE. Larry J. Anderson*, Brett L. Jennings, Jason Porter, Anne M. Estes and Kafait U. Mailk. Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee (LA) and University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee (BJ, JP, AE, KM).
* Second Place: Natalie E. Hurt, CBU USING GLAUCOMA-RELATED PHENOTYPES OF MICE TO IDENTIFY GENES THAT CONTROL THE SEVERITY OF GLAUCOMA. Natalie E. Hurt* and Monica Jablonski Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee and University of Tennessee Health Science Center Hamilton Eye Institute, Memphis, Tennessee
* Third Place (tie): Rachel E. Haag, CBU DETERMINATION OF THERAPEUTIC TRANSGENE DOSE. Rachel E. Haag*, Jessica Hines-Beard, Anand Patel, Siddarth Desai, Tonia Rex, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee and University of Tennessee Health Science Center Hamilton Eye Institute, Memphis, Tennessee.
* Third Place (tie): Bridgett R. Sharp, CBU PREVALENCE STUDY OF AVIAN VIRUSES IN BENIN AND TOGO, WEST AFRICA. Bridgett R. Sharp*, Mariette Ducatez, and Richard Webby, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee (BS), St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (MD, RW).

TAS meeting

Presenters at the TAS meeting.
from left to right: Domonique Garcia Robles Chemistry 2011,
Bridgett Sharp Biology 2011, Larry Anderson Chemistry and Biology 2012,
Joe Alfonso Biology 2012, and Amanda Fitzgerald Biology 2011.

Best Paper Awards Session 3-A (Clinically Related Investigations):
First Place: Kathleen Nelson, CBU "DETERMINATION OF VITAMIN-D ANALOGS FOR TREATMENT OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES WITHOUT CALCEMIC SIDE EFFECTS". Kathleen Nelson* , and Richard Smith, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee, and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee.
* Second Place: Matt Jackson, CBU "THE ROLE OF ARTERIAL MYOCYTE MEMBRANE CHOLESTEROL IN ETHANOL-INDUCED CEREBROVASCUALR CONSTRICTION". Matt Jackson*, Anna Bukiya, and Alex Dopico Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee (MJ) and Department of Pharmacology at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee (AB, AD).

Best Paper Awards Session 3-B (Cell & Molecular Biology 2):
* First Place (tie): Cathlyn Chan, CBU "IL-6 PRODUCTION BY AIRWAY SMOOTH MUSCLE". Cathlyn Chan* and Rennolds Ostrom. Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee and University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee
* Second Place: Amanda Fitzgerald, CBU "EFFECTS OF HIGH CHOLESTEROL DIET ON CHOLESTEROL LEVELS IN RAT SMOOTH MUSCLE ARTERIES OF VARIANT DIAMETER". Amanda Fitzgerald*, Maria Asuncion-Chin, Anna N. Bukiya, and Alex M. Dopico, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee(AF); and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee (MAC, AB, AD).
* Third Place: Casey Carr, CBU "EXPRESSION ANALYSIS OF GENES USING REAL-TIME PCR". Casey Carr*, and Burt Sharp, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee, and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee.

Best Paper Awards Session 4 (Chemistry):
* First Place: Madison T. Cao, CBU THE EFFECTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC CHEMICALS ON THE AMPHIBIAN CHYTRID FUNGUS (BATRACHOCHYTRIUM DENDROBATIDIS) IN CULTURE. Madison T. Cao*, and Matthew Parris, Christian Brothers University and University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee.
* Second Place: Brandon, Maharrey, CBU FUNCTIONAL pH-SENSITIVE INDICATOR DYES. Brandon Maharrey*, Eugene Pinkhassik, and William Ganus, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee (BM) and University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee (EP, WG).

Congratulations to all the CBU Presenters!

Research is an important component of our Chemistry and Biochemistry degree programs. Students perform their research in a variety of locations, both in the United States and abroad; and many have received prestigious fellowships and grants. Recent recipients of these awards include:
1.Dominique Garcia-Robles, Chemistry 2011, received a Minority Health International Research Training grant for the summer of 2010 to conduct research at the Universidade de Săo Paulo in Săo Paulo, Brazil.
2. Justin Burt, Chemistry 2011, was awarded a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grant to conduct polymer research at the University of Southern Mississippi during the Summer 2010.
3. Larry Anderson, Chemistry and Biology 2012, was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center here in Memphis to work with Dr. Malik in the Department of Pharmacology during the Summer 2010.
4. Casy Carr, Chemistry 2011, was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center here in Memphis to work with Dr. Sharp in the Department of Pharmacology during the Summer 2010.
5. Larry Anderson, Chemistry and Biology 2012, was awarded a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grant to conduct research at Virginia Commonwealth University during the Summer 2011.
6. Catherine Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, received the 2011-2012 University of Tennessee Neuroscience Fellowship to study protein and mRNA levels in fear-conditioned mice in the laboratory of Dr. Scott Heldt at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, TN.

Chemistry and Biochemistry students also complete their research as part of internship programs, either in industry or local research institutions such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. In recognition of this fact, the Department of Chemistry began offering a new course this year titled Internship in Chemistry. The following students are currently performing internships in the Memphis area:
1. Chris Colanero, Biochemistry 2011, at Penn A Kem, LLC.
2. Jack Land, Biochemistry 2011, and Xinyu Wang, Biochemistry 2012, in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Yandira Salinas, Biochemistry 2011, in the Department of Chemical Biology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
3. Cathlyn Chan, Biochemistry 2012, in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center.

Majors also perform their senior research projects under the direction of CBU Department of Chemistry faculty. This year, Erik Scott, Chemistry 2011, worked with Dr. John Young, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and Demario Smith, Biochemistry 2011, worked with Dr. Dennis Merat, Professor of Chemistry.

Chemistry and Biochemistry majors present their research in a variety of forums. Graduation requirements include a formal oral presentation of their senior research project at a meeting, such as the Tennessee Academy of Sciences West Tennessee meeting or the Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting at either the University of Tennessee at Martin or Murray State University. Students are also selected by their research mentors to present at national and international meetings. During the past year:
Larry Anderson, Chemistry and Biology 2011, presented 2 posters at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Conference 2010 conducted on October 13-16, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The Title of the first poster was Cytochrome P450 1B1 is required for increased thirst and changes in renal function associated with angiotensin II-induced hypertension in mice, with authors BL Jennings, LJ Anderson, J Porter, AM Estes, and KU Malik. The second poster was titled Inhibition of cytochrome P450 1B1 activity with 2,3',4,5'-tetramethoxystilbene prevents renal dysfunction associated with angiotensin II-induced hypertension in rats, with authors BL Jennings, LJ Anderson, AM Estes, and KU Malik.
Dominique Garcia-Robles, Chemistry 2011, presented the results of her MHIRT research in the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Poster Session at the November 2010 Society for Neuroscience Convention (SFN).
Larry Anderson, Chemistry and Biology 2012, Justin Burt, Chemistry 2011, Casey Carr, Chemistry 2011, Cathlyn Chan, Biochemistry 2011, Chris Colanero, Chemistry 2011, Dominique Garcia-Robles, Chemistry 2011, and Erik Scott Chemistry 2011, gave oral presentations at the Tennessee Academy of Sciences' West Tennessee Collegiate Meeting on April 9, 2011. Jack Land, Biochemistry 2011, Yandira Salinas, Biochemistry 2011, and DeMario Smith will give oral presentations of their senior research at the Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting of the American Chemical Society at Murray State University on April 16, 2011.

Chemistry and Biochemistry majors also have their work published in scientific journals. A sample publication from a recent graduate based on work they began while still an undergraduate at CBU include the following paper that included Edward Derrick, Chemistry 2009, as coauthor: Feng Bai, Fangyi Zhu, Michael Tagen, Laura Miller, Thandranese S. Owens, Jeremy Mallari, Edward Derrick, Fan Zhang, and Clinton F. Stewart, Determination of Nutlin-3a in Murine Plasma by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS), J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 2010 March 11; 51(4): 915.

Mathematics Research was reported in the March newsletter.

Physics Research is reported in this issue in the Feature Department section.

Computer Science students work in an internship in their senior year to provide direct experience with their major.

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Featured Alum: Luke Rawlings, Mathematics 1996
Luke holding up his latest art work.

Luke Rawlings holding up his latest
piece of art that he is working on.

My name is Luke Rawlings and I graduated from CBU in 1996. Immediately after graduation, I was hired to teach high school mathematics at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis. After two thoroughly enjoyable years teaching algebra, I finally decided that I had better pursue my dreams in New York City, dreams which had nothing to do with mathematics. I left Memphis on the first of September, 1998, with the blessing and support of my wonderful parents. And about a week later in NYC, with nothing but a huge black suitcase, clothes, and a big pillow, I began auditioning for Broadway shows, taking jazz, ballet, and modern dance classes, and essentially learned what it took to succeed in the world of musical theatre. In the summer before 9/11, I was cast in Damn Yankees. From there, a musical theatre career took off. I performed in dozens of shows, my favorites being Chicago, Barnum, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and I enjoyed being the tumbling carpet in Beauty and the Beast. Five of these shows were national tours, and I was grateful and so proud to have toured through Memphis with three of them, one of them being Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where I got to watch from stage my parents and family sitting in the front row of Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre.

However, I never left mathematics. When someone asked me who I was, my first response was always “I am a math teacher.” I was often discovered hiding in rehearsals and backstage with a calculus book and a notebook, working problems, creating problems, and dreaming of returning to teaching.

In October of 2007, my family and I helped my father pass away. For me, it was a major turning point in my life. For the first time, and for a brief moment, I was selfless, and found myself taking care of my father and my mother without thinking of how I looked or what I needed to do to keep up with my career in musical theatre. I knew that it was time to begin a new chapter. So I wondered if it was possible to enter a masters program in mathematics. Though I had many other interests, one of them being writing, I knew that I loved teaching math and wanted to return to the classroom. I was accepted at The City College of New York and am finishing up my degree. I am currently working as an adjunct professor teaching Calculus III and Differential Equations. And now I dream of teaching college mathematics, making up tests, writing, and doing art.

I have fond memories of CBU and, for me, looking back on my undergraduate career, I wish I would have worked harder as a student and applied myself. I did fairly well in my classes but could have done better. I have learned that every professor I had in mathematics was extraordinarily dedicated to the subject and teaching. Cathy Carter encouraged my art which I continue to do in the spirit of M. C. Escher (regular division of the plane drawings), Brother Joel Baumeyer made differential equations my first love as a topic to explore in mathematics, Dr. Becker’s lectures were crystal clear in both Math Modeling and Complex Variables, and I will never forget the hard work that Dr. Yanushka elicited from the class when I had him for Probability. In education, Dr. Davis continues to inspire me and I have kept in touch with my favorite teacher, Dr. Miller, who has encouraged me, for years, to write. I have kept a journal for almost ten years with her spirit wrapped around every page.

I have discovered that I am truly a teacher at heart. It is an identity. I am not fond of the quote ‘those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” For me, teaching is an art and a job that energizes me. It is a profession that I find that all of my talents can be utilized. I now look forward to settling down with an exciting past in theatre tucked behind me, a reminder of how important it is to explore your dreams and the things that make you happy.

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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, concerning a couple of our graduates.

August 27, 2010

Dear Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald,

Thank you for recommending Melody Allensworth and Xiong Lin to the Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Graduate School. They began their studies this Fall. Graduate students like Melody and Xiong play a critical role in the research mission of UAMS. We rely on faculty like you to recommend the best and brightest to our programs and appreciate your efforts. UAMS and its affiliates have seen a tremendous growth in research, with funding currently approaching $100 million a year. Our scientists are national and international leaders in many fields, including aging, cancer, drug and alcohol abuse, infection disease, neuroscie3ncde, obesity, and pulmonary research.

If you have any other students who are interested in summer research, biomedical science graduate programs, or the M.D./Ph.D. program, we would love to hear from them. In addition, we have a new online GRE introduction course that is available for free to interested students. If you know any students who may be interested in this course, please have them contact me.


Kristen Sterba, Ph.D.

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Featured Department: Physics
working on the kites

The image above shows SPS members
working on their kites.

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. The chapter has been active this year sponsoring various talks and helping out with the Science Olympiad and the Science Fair. They recently went to Shelby Farms to try out their kites (see News of the Moment section above).

Students working in lab

The image above shows students working
in the PHYS 251 lab.

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.

PHYSICS LABS: We have many lab courses to accompany our lecture courses (PHYS 150L, 251L, 252L, 201L, 202L, 415L, 452) so students get to investigate in a hands-on way the theories that are discussed in class. The photo shows two students in the electricity and magnetism lab building and testing an ac circuit. These students are sophomore engineering students enrolled in Physics II. 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.

Physics research project

The image above shows Daniel Benson working
with Ms. Lynda Miller on his senior project.

RESEARCH Our physics majors are required to perform a senior research project as a capstone to their undergraduate studies. Some students are able to participate in summer research at other universities through funding by the National Science Foundation. This Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program provides travel expenses and a stipend for the student.
Thomas Schill, Physics & Mathematics 2012, has been selected to participate in the REU program at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech University in the summer of 2011. This year's program focuses on mathematical modeling of mammalian iron metabolism.
Brent Holmes, Physics & Mathematics 2013, has been selected to participate in the REU program at Montana State University in the summer of 2011. Brent will be working in the area of solar physics.
Other students perform their research on campus with a CBU faculty member.

Specturm from a research project

The image above shows the reflection spectrum from
one of the snake's orange scales.

Daniel Benson, Physics 2011, is completing his project that involves designing and testing an apparatus that can be used in the field to quickly measure the reflection spectra of outdoor flora and fauna. Ms. Lynda Miller (Biology) plans to use the device to measure the reflection spectra from the scales of king snakes from two different geographic areas to determine morphological variations between populations. The apparatus consists of an Ocean Optics Red Tide spectrometer connected to a rechargeable LabQuest data collection device made by Vernier. An optical fiber collects some of the light that reflects from the sample. This light travels along the fiber to the spectrometer where a diffraction grating spreads out the different colors that then are detected by a charge-coupled device (ccd) array, similar to an array used in a digital camera. Because the spectrometer uses a ccd array, the entire spectrometer can fit into one’s hand while still having a resolution of about two nanometers. The LabQuest device controls the operation of the spectrometer and stores the recorded spectra. In the photo, Ms. Miller is holding one of her pets, Mike, a Honduran milk snake, while Daniel is recording the reflection spectrum from one Mike’s orange scales. Mike was a willing test subject and received a delicious extra large mouse for his services. The recorded light spectrum from the scale is also shown.