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School of Sciences Newsletter
February 2008

By Johnny B. Holmes, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Sciences

Featuring Chemistry and Faculty Research

Note from the Dean News of the Moment Featured Article: Faculty Research Featured Alum Thank you's Featured Department: Chemistry

Dr. Holmes

A Note from the Dean

I hope all of you are enjoying your work, whether it is your job or your school work. With all that is going on this semester in the School of Sciences, I still love teaching my classes and interacting with my students. At CBU, teaching is our primary responsibility, and the one all of our faculty take great pride in and really enjoy. But there are many other things that go into making an effective educational experience for our students. This month, our featured article is on faculty research. As you can see from the article, our faculty are involved in their subject areas. As you can see from the News of the Moment, there are also lots of service activities going on involving both students and faculty.

This semester is an especially busy one for us in the School of Sciences, with all of the new construction that is proceeding pretty much on schedule and the renovations to the present building that have already begun. We are getting ready to leave our present building in April for the major part of its renovation this summer, and we are getting ready to both occupy our new building and reoccupy our present building in August in time for the fall semester. The moving part is not always pleasant, but it can be a great opportunity to clean out the old and better organize the new so that we can become more efficient in what we do. We are all very excited about the great building project and what it will be like in August.

I hope you are enjoying these newsletters, and I look forward to sharing more of our work with you next month. If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may send an e-mail now to jholmes@cbu.edu .

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News of the Moment

new building on Jan. 28

The new building is proceeding on schedule. The image on the right (click on it for a larger view) was taken on Monday, January 28. For up to date pictures of the progress, visit Cooper-Wilson Center for Life Sciences construction pictures.

Volunteers needed. The annual Memphis and Shelby County Science Fair will be held on March 18 at the Fairgrounds. Br. Kevin Ryan is the director and is looking for volunteers to judge the projects. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Br. Kevin at 901-321-3444 or kryan@cbu.edu.

On Thursday, December 6, the CBU chapters of the Student Affiliates of ACS and Beta Beta Beta, the national biology honor society, held their Christmas Party.

Also in December, the artistic ones in Tri Beta painted ornaments and sold them to benefit the Church Health Center. The $100 made by these sales will be combined with money raised in March from our classic volleyball tournament: Youth and Vitality (students) vs. Age and Deceit (faculty). This will be a grudge match for the faculty who have not won since 2005.

In January, three Tri Beta teams entered a Bowl-a-thon sponsored by Birthright of Memphis, an organization dedicated to helping young pregnant women to find alternatives to abortion. The three teams raised ~$450 in sponsorships to benefit Birthright. But that's not all, Tri Beta super star, Antony Eddy (chemistry, 2009) won "highest average" and went home with a bodacious trophy.

On Thursday, January 31st, Beta Beta Beta held a meeting at which Josh Clarke, the Pharmacy Admissions Coordinator from Union University, spoke. Pizza was served at the meeting.

CBU's student section of Beta Beta Beta held its annual Interview Workshop on February 7. Area professionals volunteered their time to come and provide mock interviews for students to provide experience and give guidance to students to prepare them for their interviews for the health professional schools. Here are pictures from last year's workshop. Alums participating as interviewers this year were: fourth year medical student, Sarah Stinnett (Biology, 2003), Jarad Braddy, DDS (Biology, 2000), and Matt Coats, PT (Natural Science, 2001). A veterinarian, a pharmacist and an optometrist also served as interviewers.


Darwin's Birthday Celebration 2007

On Monday, February 11, Br. Edward Salgado, Associate Professor of Biology, gave a talk to the Memphis Fern Society members and guests entitled "Contribution of molecular studies to fern taxonomy." In the image on the rigth, Ashley Prevost, Biochemical Engineering 2007, participates in the coconut shot put contest during the Darwin's Birthday Celebration last year.

On Thursday, February 14, we celebrated Darwin's birthday Here is a link to photos from last year's celebration.

On Saturday, February 16, the West Tennessee Regional Science Olympiad will be held at CBU. Brother John Monzyk (Physics) is serving as West Tennessee Director of the Science Olympiad, and the event will be supervised and scored by CBU faculty members, CBU students, and off-campus volunteers. Eight teams with up to 15 middle school or high school members each will engage in roughly 15 science events. Some are written tests, some are hands-on activities, and some are testing of things which participants have built prior to the Olympiad. Medals are given to participants coming in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd places in each event; plaques are awarded to the top three teams scoring best; and schools receive trophies for the top three placing teams. Winning schools advance to the State Tournament in Knoxville on April 5. The National Tournament is in May.


Dr. Marguerite Cooper

The image on the left shows Dr. Marguerite Cooper back at her desk. (Click on it for a larger view.)

Last summer, Dr. Marguerite Cooper, Associate Professor of Chemistry, had to undergo surgery, and so was not able to teach this fall. She has recovered and is back teaching this spring. Welcome back, Dr. "Mom" Cooper.

Dr. Mary Oglivie, Professor of Biology, also had surgery this past summer and due to unexpected complications, was out for most of the fall semester. "Dr. O" is back in high gear this spring.

Dr. Mike Condren, Professor of Chemistry, had a mild heart attack last month, but he is back teaching via an internet connection that features a two way camera system from his home to the classroom so he can see the students and they can see him. We wish Mike a speedy and full recovery.

The Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society has been awarding a medal and honorarium for the past 55 years to the top chemical researcher in the South. This year's award ceremony was held at CBU on December 11. This year's recipient was Dr. Naresh Dalal, Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Florida State University. The write-up concerning Dr. Dalal receiving the Southern Chemist's award is on the FSU server. This award is one of the leading awards made in chemistry for researchers in the South and is very much sought after by the leading chemists. A committee of the members of the Memphis Section make the selection each year. Dr. Dennis Merat CBU Associate Professor of Chemistry, served on the committee that made the decision this year.


Sheharyar Minhas at his white coat ceremony Alumni News

Sheharyar Minhas (CBU Biology, 2007) has begun his medical studies at St. George's University School of Medicine Global Scholars Program in Newcastle, United Kingdom. In the image on the right, Sheharyar (on the left) is shown at his white coat ceremony.

Andrew Michael (CBU Biology, 2006) and Reena Patel (CBU Biology, 2006) are both in medical school at American University of Antigua. Andrew e-mailed: "We just finished up our first round of tests for our second semester. As a matter of fact, Reena and I did quite well. That CBU education is paying off big time!" Reena e-mailed: "Guess what ...I'm taking neuro now...break was good....TOO SHORT! school is really hard...just had our first set of block exams....3 exams back to back...but i did really well on them! how is CBU? i miss it a lot...hope everything is good"

Mrs. Analice Sowell (chemistry, 2002 and MAT 2005 - she is our featured alum this month) is the new Chair of the Memphis Local Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Congratulations, Analice!

Mary Carole Taylor Jackson (biology, 2000) stopped by for a visit. She is working for Abbott Labs as a Pharmacy Rep.

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Featured Story: Faculty Research

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

Some of us are able to find the time to devote to the traditional form of faculty development: publishing our research. Listed below are some areas of active interest and some of the papers that were published by the Sciences faculty in 2007.

Dr. Leigh Becker, Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Leigh C. Becker (Professor of Mathematics) pictured on the left is involved in research on differential equations. He presented a paper entitled Asymptotic Stability for Scalar Linear Volterra Integro-Differential Equations at the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section Meeting on March 16, which was held at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. He is also the author of the research article " Function bounds for solutions of Volterra equations and exponential asymptotic stability", which is published in a recent issue of the journal Nonlinear Analysis (67, No. 2 (July 2007), pp. 382-397.) He has been invited to give a 45 minute talk next July in Orlando, Florida on his current research at the Fifth World Congress of Nonlinear Analysts, which is sponsored by the International Federation of Nonlinear Analysts.

Dr. Mike Condren (Professor of Chemistry) is doing research in chemistry education. Besides his position at CBU, Mike is the Webmaster and Visiting Scientist - Professor of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. He has also been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the new Journal of Nano Education. During fall break, Dr. Condren visited the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He met a couple of their faculty involved in engineering education while he was attending the National Science Foundation sponsored Nanoscale Science and Engineering Education workshop at Arlington, VA last January. Three UIUC Engineering Education Center faculty visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison Material Research Science and Engineering Center this past summer (where he was on sabbatical) at his invitation. Collaboration between the two centers is the result.

Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, has continued his work on a manuscript for a textbook for his vry popular BIOL 103 Biology of Addiction, and he used this as his text for his section this year. The text is under review by Lippincott. Dr Eisen also has submitted a manuscript, co-written by a CBU alum, that was accepted by Tennessee Medicine and should be in print in the next few months.


MHIRT group for 2007

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, pictured on the right (far left in the image) with her 2007 MHIRT group, is the director of the MHIRT program at CBU. Dr. Fitzgerald also holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Here is her UT web page. Her research involves investigating the nature, basis and consequences of vascular abnormalities in the eye. In February, she attended the 16th annual Global Health Education Consortium: Beyond Borders: Global Health and Migrating Populations, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and had a Poster Presentation on: Minority Health International Research Training Grants. In March she attended the Alpha Chi National Convention with three CBU students in San Antonio, TX. Two students presented papers and she served as a judge for three scientific sessions. In April/May, she attended ARVO, which is an international vision meeting in Ft. Lauderdale FL. where she was a co-author of a poster presentation entitled: Neural Regulation of Choroidal Blood Flow May Involve a Paraventricular Nucleus Projection to the Superior Salivatory Nucleus, gave a presentation on Involvement of the Paramedian Pontine Raphe Cell Groups in Circuitry Mediating Parasympathetic Control of Choroidal Blood Flow via the Superior Salivatory Nucleus, and served as moderator for a session.

Dr. Peacher-Ryan, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is an expert on statistics and works with Dr. Doug Imig of the Political Science Department of the University of Memphis.

Br. Edward Salgado, Associate Professor of Biology, is an expert on ferms. He presented a paper entitled “Asplenium caudatum and ferns confused with it”, at the 4th "Symposium On Asian Pteridology and Garden Show", November 12-18, 2007, at Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Bukidnon, Philippines. The symposium was organized by the Central Mindanao University (CMU), Philippine Horticultural Society (Fern Group), Japan Pteridological Society and the Los Angeles International Fern Society in cooperation with National Committee for DIVERSITAS. Br. Edward is an advisor to Mary Helen Butler of the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Br. Edward helps with the selection of ferns and conifers to put in the Hyde and Seek Prehistoric Plant Trail. Br. Edward is also a member of the Panel of Foreign Examiners for the doctoral candidate Gautam Ganguly, University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India, on “Studies in the Pteridophyte Diversity of south Sikkim and its Conservation.”

Br. Walter Schreiner, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has developed statistics manuals for the calculators we use and for SPSS that are regularly used by other schools. He has also developed several Maple worksheet including a new set for Calculus III.

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Featured Alum: Analice Hosey Sowell, B.S. Chemistry (minors math, physics), 2002; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2005

Analice and Michael Sowell The picture on the left shows this month's featured alum, Analice Sowell, and her husband, Michael. (click on it for a larger view)

Teaching is 1% grading papers and 99% being interested in your students and subject you teach. The CBU science professors definitely love the science they teach, and always tried to express that in everything they did. This enjoyment of teaching and working with students has remained with me as I teach my own chemistry students at MUS. When I teach, I always try to think back to the first time I learned something new. I continually remind myself that at one time, I was in my students’ shoes … barely knowing what a chemical compound was, how to balance an equation, or even how to spell “stoichiometry” much less complete a problem. But, I always try to pattern my teaching after the great teachers I had in the School of Sciences. Many times, during my lectures, I’ll pause and chuckle to myself, knowing I just did something or said something just like a science professor I had at CBU. I’m proud to be a teacher, and I’m proud to say I’m a CBU graduate. After all, people see a science degree from CBU and immediately know the outstanding reputation of the School.

But, how did I decide to become a teacher? I worked at CBU after graduating with my Chemistry degree and attended graduate school at night to earn my M.A.T. I definitely had an interest in science and at the time was involved in many education outreach programs, so pursuing graduate work in education was a perfect fit. Once I finished my M.A.T, I took at job with Buckeye Technologies in the Product & Market Development Division as a Chemist. I enjoyed my work, and learned a great deal of real world applications of chemistry. However, I really wanted to go back into the classroom, and I had my chance. Through networking at ACS events like the High School Chemistry Competition (which CBU and ACS sponsor) I met many high school teachers. MUS had an opening for a chemistry instructor, and I readily accepted the chance to teach at a wonderful school like MUS. I will never regret pursuing a career in industry, because I learned so much during that time. However, teaching is definitely my calling. I have great students, and I love going down the halls and hearing “Hey Mrs. Sowell!” My students definitely know my classes are not easy. But, they also know that I will help them when they need me – just like all of my CBU science professors helped me. For some people, teaching high school might seem easy. I beg to differ! Anyone who says a high school teacher has a boring, effortless job evidently has never taught school. It’s a dream come true to teach at MUS, but I infinitely stay in running mode -- keeping up with teenagers definitely keeps you on your toes!

chemistry students of Analice at MUS

The image on the right shows Analice's chemistry students at MUS. (Click on the picture for a larger view.)

Outside of the classroom, my husband Michael and I enjoy attending MUS sporting events together. I’m also involved in the local section of the American Chemical Society, where I currently serve as Chair. Also, I serve on a national committee for ACS where we (the committee) develop K-8 science outreach activities for National Chemistry Week and Chemists Celebrate Earth Day programs. Additionally, I serve as a member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Graduate Education Programs at CBU. My days are busy, but thankfully my loving husband and family support my volunteer efforts and my dedication to teaching. I work with wonderful people at MUS, and I can honestly say I really am having the time of my life teaching here! I know that I do not have 65 aspiring chemists in my classes, but as long as they walk away from their year of Chemistry with an appreciation of all that it has to offer, and what it has given us, I can most assuredly say I have done my job.

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Thank You's to Science Faculty

This thank you came to me, but is really a "thank you" to Br. Dominic Dunn who was one of the "founding brothers" of the biology department. The annual award for the outstanding Science graduate is named in his honor.

From: "Ellen Mitchell"  
To:  
Subject: Newsletter 
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 12:32:29 -0600 
 Dr. Holmes,
 
Just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed the School of Sciences newsletter.  
I am excited about the growth in degree programs and am glad to see the strong guidance 
for those interested in healthcare. Even after 23 years, I find myself reaching into 
the deep recesses of my brain and pulling out knowledge I learned in Br. Dominic Dunn’s 
Embryology and Anat/Phys classes! I really felt like I had an advantage when I graduated 
from CBU and started in Nursing at UT because of the foundation I received from the 
faculty in the science department. 
 
I’m looking forward to a tour of the new and improved science buildings next summer!
 
Sincerely, 
 
Ellen Romer Mitchell
Natural Science, 1984

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Dr. Dawson helping a student in Organic Chemistry lab

Featured Department: Chemistry
(In each issue we feature a different department or major.)

The picture on the right shows Dr. David Dawson helping Coy Lock, biomedical science 2010, in the Organic Chemistry lab. Click on the picture for a bigger view.

The Chemistry Department at CBU is very successful in getting its graduates into medical schools, pharmacy schools, graduate programs, and directly into the workforce upon graduation.

The department offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and starting this fall (2008) a degree in Biochemistry. Four paradigm options are available with the chemistry degree: a traditional paradigm designed for students interested in graduate school or working in a chemistry lab, a paradigm designed for pre-med students, a paradigm for pre-pharmacy students, and a paradigm for pre-forensic science students. The biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy school, medical school, or dental school. The program places emphasis on development of a wide range of laboratory skills that are needed in today’s biomedical laboratories, whether they are found in industry or academia.

The Department also offers, in conjunction with the Department of Education, a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science with teaching licensure in chemistry or chemistry and biology for grades 7 through 12. The Chemistry program provides students with an understanding of chemical principles in the areas of analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Students gain laboratory skills and the ability to select and utilize appropriate instrumentation to investigate and solve specified problems.

One of the main aspects of our chemistry program that contributes to its success is the number and quality of the labs that support the lectures. Labs are a place where students get to know the subject by working with the subject and working closely with the chemistry faculty. The CBU lab instructors are usually the same professors that teach the lecture component of the course. The Chemistry Department regularly offers 16 different courses and 12 of those 16 have labs attached. The labs have excellent equipment thanks to some large grants from the Assisi Foundation as well as others. The department has a web page showing and explaining their major instruments.


Analytical Chemistry lab

The picture on the left shows Antony Eddy, Chemistry 2009, in the Analytical Chemistry lab with two flasks with FedEx colors. The plastic in the background is due to the renovations that have started in the building this semester. Click on the picture for a bigger view.

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

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

A quality education is a team effort, and at CBU that team comprises not only the fauculty but also the students. We have a section of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society at CBU that has won national recognition.

The results of a CBU chemistry degree, and with any of the CBU science degrees, is quite impressive. The statistics for the past five years for acceptance into medical, pharmacy, and other health professional schools were highlighted in the September newsletter.

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