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School of Sciences Newsletter
February 2009

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 notes Featured Department: Chemistry


A Note from the Dean

Yes, it does occasionally snow in Memphis. The image on the left (click on it for a larger view) shows some snow on January 29 that was left over from the previous morning. While it is often cold (by Memphis standards) and dreary outside, we try to keep things warm and lively inside. This issue shows some of the highlights of our faculty's research efforts. This past year that effort was curtailed somewhat by the time and effort it took to move into our new and refurbished buildings, but as you can see we still found time to "play" in our disciplines. As you can see from our News of the Moment section, we remain busy on the service front. It is nice to extend our teaching through these service activities.

This is the first semester in a while that we will have a normal semester that does not have the hassles of working around the construction we have had the past year. All that effort was really worthwhile as we now enjoy the benefits as we teach in our wonderful new facilities!

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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Bowling for Uganda

News of the Moment

The image on the right is from the Bowling for Uganda event in November.

The Beta Beta Beta Bowl-A-Thon was a huge success this year, and we would like to thank everyone that participated and assisted with the Bowl-A-Thon this year. On Friday, November 14, 121 bowlers came to assist Hope North, which serves refugees of Uganda's long-waging civil war, by participating in the event. This was a record turnout and we were able to raise an all-time high total of $2, 600. We had 24 teams from various on-campus organizations participate. Three of those teams were venerated alum teams (last year an alum team won second place). Any future alum teams that may form will always be welcome. Much thanks goes to the many teams collecting pledges from sponsors, especially the Biochemical Engineering teams. They single handedly raised over $400, the greatest amount of money collected through sponsorships. Other teams worthy of note for their superior fundraising abilities were the Honors teams (I and II), and teams from Kappa Sigma fraternity. The bowling winners were as follows:
* 1st Place: Yelvington Team - (Phil Yelvington, Jack Hargett, Clinton Yelivingston, and Jay Yelvington) with 161.5 (average) points
* 2nd Place: Honors Team Guys - (Jacky Wong, Joe Alfonso, Justin Gallagher, and Delvin Smith) with 159.6 (average) points
* 3rd Place: Cross Country Team - (Kyle Smith, Alex Newman, Kristi Prevost, Spencer Ridenour, and Ryan Blakenship) with 121.5 (average) points.
* Highest Individual Score - Joe Alfonso with 209 points in one game!
Any alums who think they might beat that (or not) should keep their bowling bowls oiled and their pocketbooks open in the fall of 2009. We'd love to have you join us. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Ecology field trip

The image on the left shows Br. Edward Salgado with his Ecology class on a field trip this fall. Click on the picture for a larger but different view

On November 14, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald was a co-author on a poster presentation in Washington D.C. at the Society for Neuroscience. This was an international meeting with more than 31,000 scientists in attendance. The title of the presentation was: Central neuronal cell groups involved in parasympathetic regulation of choroidal blood flow in the eye via the pterygopalatine ganglion and their interconnections, by C. Li, M.E.C. Fitzgerald, M.S. LeDoux and A.J. Reiner.

Dr. Stan Eisen and Christy Harwell Mostert, Natural Science 2006, had their article entitled Gender Differences in licit and Illicit Substance Abuse Reported by Incoming Freshman College Students appear in the November 2008 issue of Tennessee Medicine. It can be accessed online and then follow the link to the November issue.

On December 4, Ted Clarke, new Assistant Professor of Physics, gave a talk on Fractional Calculus with some applications at a combined Society of Physics and Mathematical Association of American studeng groups meeting.

On November 22, the Pink Palace had a celebration to start the Clyde Parke Circus Parade, a project that involved Dr. Ted Clarke. The project lasted for over two years. Dr. Clarke was responsible for replacing much of the old wiring and controls. He designed and built a modern control system for the circus. The circus now runs automatically four times per day.

Kathryn Fields Seely, Biology 2003, visited Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald's Biocareers class, BIOL 275, at the end of January. She is completing her PhD in toxicology at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock Campus. She hopes to go into technical writing.

In the image below on the right shows Julia Hanebrink and Lanie Smith presenting their poster at the NIH meeting.

Julia and Lanie presenting their poster at the NIH meeting

Julia Hanebrink (MHIRT Assistant), Lanie Smith (MHIRT 2008), and Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald (MHIRT Director) attended a meeting in Washington DC in December 2008. The meeting consisted of a directors meeting for all NIH grantees from the Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHIRT grant). There was also a NIH Summitt for elimination of health disparities. At the meeting, Lanie presented a poster on "The Efficacy of Art Therapy as a Psychosocial Intervention for Former Child Soldiers in Northern Uganda" by Lanie Smith, Teri Mason, Mohamed Kanu, Tai Kulenic, Manny Patel and Joanna Moore. Julia presented a poster on "Traditional and Modern Health Practitioners: Facilitating a Cooperation to Improve Healthcare in Southwest Uganda" by Julia Hanebrink, Tesfa Alexander and Victoria Kronenwetter.

The CBU Regional for the National Science Olympiad will be held on the CBU campus Saturday, February 28. Opening ceremonies are being held from 8-8:30am in the arena and the awards ceremonies will be held in Spain Auditorium beginning at 2pm. Any and all volunteers are welcome. For more information see http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/science_olympiad/somain.asp or send an e-mail do adiener@cbu.edu.

The 55th Annual Memphis & Shelby County Science Fair will be held from Monday, March 23, to Thursday, March 26, 2009, at the Fairgrounds (across from CBU) in the Pipkin Building. CBU will again be one of the major sponsors of this event. The fair is for middle school and senior high students from all schools in Shelby County including Home Schools. Volunteers to help and to judge can contact Brother Kevin Ryan, FSC, at CBU Phone: 321-3444, e-mail: kryan@cbu.edu .

Michael Beebe and wife Kelly Alumni News

Michael Beebe, Chemistry 2005, and Kelly Nichole Swingholm were married in California on Nov 22, 2008. Michael is currently an M4 at UTCHS. See a wedding picture on the left.

Gloria Bird, Natural Science 2008, and Indre Augustinaite, Biology 2008, will be attending Union's nursing program.

Jason Porter, Biology 2008, has been accepted to the UT school of Medicine.

The image below on the right shows Jennifer Hendrick, Biology 2006, after her white coat ceremony at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine- Bradenton Campus (Florida).

Jennifer Hendrick with new white coat

Reena Patel, Biology 2006, had her white coat ceremony at the American University of Antigua School of Medicine.

Dr. Vaishali Patel, Biology 2005, graduated this past semester from Logan University with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C), B.S. in Life Science.

Dayan (Dave) Perera, Biology 2002, completed his M.S. at the University of Memphis in December 2008 and has begun a graduate program at USDA/North Auburn Fisheries as a research associate.

Patrick Shirley, Biology 2005, married Ashley Espinoza Shirley January 17, 2009. Patrick started farming the last semester he was at CBU and has been doing that ever since.

Mary Carole Taylor Jackson, Biology 2000, and her husband Brandon just had their second child, Lelia, December 19, 2008. Everyone is doing fine.

Nichole Walker, Biology 2000, and her husband Jason moved to Franklin TN and had their second child, Ethan, in October. Nichole is currently working at Walgreens.

Ashley Wise, Biology 2004, and Bryan Paul Jett have announced their engagement and will be married May 23. Ashley graduated from Pharmacy school in May, 2008, and is currently working in Oakland at the Wal-Mart Pharmacy.

Christopher Sage, Biology 2005, and Carrie Elizabeth Lodge of Paris, TN were married in June 2008. Chris is finishing his pharmacy degree at UT and Carrie is an elementary special ed teacher in Covington.

Corta Thompson, Biology 2004, is engaged to Bo Ronnie Nilsson.

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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.  Photo courtesy of Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, pictured on the left is involved in research on differential equations. On page 34 of a book published in 2008 entitled Liapunov Functionals for Integral Equations by T.A. Burton ( http://www.trafford.com/08-1365), there is the following historical note:
"The remainder of this section will display work of Leigh C. Becker (1979) concerning the resolvent for integrodifferential equations. Most of that work was part of his doctoral dissertation written in 1979 and available for many years only in the dissertation form. Nevertheless it became widely known and was recognized as one of the most fundamental pieces of work on the subject, forming the basis of a large number of papers by other investigators. In 2005 it was scanned and a pdf file became available on his website. In 2006 it was updated and rewritten for publication in the free Electronic Journal of Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations journal as Becker (2006). We present it here mainly in the form of that paper and is included with permission of both the journal and Becker. That paper contains much more detail and several references not included here. The results are fundamental for the rest of the work in this book."

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.

Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, has continued his work on a manuscript for a textbook for his very 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 was published this month - see News of the Moment above.

MHIRT group for 2008

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, pictured on the right (center in the image with red shirt and blue vest) with her 2008 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. Here is a list of her recent publications:
* Minisymposium and moderator: Potential Role of Serotonin in the Parasympathetic Regulation of Choroidal Blood Flow via the Superior Salivatory Nucleus in the Rodent M.E.C. Fitzgerald1A,2, C. Li1A, M. LeDoux1B, A. Reiner1A. (A)Anatomy & Neurobiology; (B)Neurology; 1 Univ of Tennessee Health Sci Ctr, Memphis, TN; 2 Biology, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN.
* Oral presentaion: Ocular Blood Flow Potentiation of Parasympathetic Evoked Vasodilation of the Pigeon Choroid via the Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor, Trusopt® M.E. Fitzgerald1,2, C. Li1, A.J. Reiner1. 1 Anat & Neurobiol, UTCHS, Memphis, TN; 2 Biol, CBU, Memphis, TN.
* Poster Presentation: Central Neuronal Cell Groups Involved in Parasympathetic Control of Choroidal Blood Flow Respond to Reduction in Systemic Blood Pressure C. Li1A, M.E.C. Fitzgerald1A,2, M.S. LeDoux1B, A.J. Reiner1A. (A)Anatomy & Neurobiology, (B)Neurology; 1 Univ of Tennessee Hlth Sci Ctr, Memphis, TN; 2 Biology, Christian Brothers University,, Memphis, TN.
* Attended the 18th International Congress of Eye Research in Beijing, China. The congress meets every two years, and there were 853 total attendees. She organized and moderated a session on ocular blood flow. She gave a paper in that session titled Differing roles of oculomotor and facial parasympathetic circuits in regulation of choroidal blood flow. Her co-authors were Chunyan Li, Anton Reiner, and Mark S. LeDoux.

Asplenium polyodon - Br. Edward is preparing a paper on this species from New Zealand and Australia to clarify the delimitation of the species.

Asplenium polyodon

Br. Edward Salgado, Professor of Biology, is an expert on ferns. He is an advisor to Mary Helen Butler of the Memphis Botanic Gardens. He 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.” He continues to research the taxonomy of Southeast Asian and Polynesian ferns. He worked for three weeks this past summer at the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium, Kew Gardens and Natural History Museum, London. He has started to write the rough draft of an article that he hopes to submit for publication in 2009.

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

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Jami Gattuso

Featured Alum: Jami Gattuso, Natural Science 1983

The image on the left shows our featured alum, Jami Gattuso.

I graduated from CBU in 1983 with a B.S. in Natural Science and then went to Nursing School at the University of Tennessee, Memphis where I got both a B.S.N. and an M.S.N. I am on the Board of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses and am a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. I have worked at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital since January, 1986, in a variety of roles: staff nurse, discharge planning coordinator, clinical nurse specialist and nursing research specialist (my current role). In the Division of Nursing Research we conduct collaborative nurse-driven research studies on topics such a sleep and fatigue, quality of life, and end-of-life issues. I am the coordinator for the studies of quality of life in children with osteosarcoma and melanoma and for the recently completed study of the effects of dexamethasone on the sleep and fatigue of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I also coordinate an in-house fellowship program for staff in our Patient Care Services Department to help them learn more about the research process and about evidence-based practice. Through this program staff members implement unit-specific projects such as improving understanding and treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, the usefulness of bronchoalveolar lavage, and an improved tool for assessing symptoms. In all of these research and evidence-based practice projects, the goal is to improve the care for children with catastrophic illnesses and their families.

I have always said that there is one thing that can't be taken away from me and that is my education from CBU. The small class sizes, the individualized attention, and the incredibly talented faculty gave me a top-rate education that made nursing school a breeze. The many leadership opportunities I had at CBU made stepping into positions of leadership in my career easy as well. I consider the campus of CBU a holy place--one that helped solidify the foundation for my ongoing spiritual journey. CBU is probably the most important "place" in my life and I am ever grateful for all that "place" has given and continues to give me.

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Thank You Notes to Science Faculty

This thank you came to Dr. Merat, but it concerns Dr. Marguerite Cooper:

Dear Dr. Merat,

Thank you and Christian Brother s University for the kind invitation to the dedication of the Cooper-Wilson Building. Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend. However, I wish to congratulate you and your department on this new facility and we hope to be in Memphis in the near future to see it.

Dr. Marguerite Cooper and I were in the same freshman chemistry class in 1962. I was 18 and she was re-doing her BS degree, but I did not get to know her until later, probably my junior or senior year. We became good friends when we were both working in the same lab at Memphis State with Dr. William Spell as our major Professor. Marguerite was a blessing and encouragement to me and to others in the new Ph.D. program in Chemistry. Over the years we have had numerous conversations about teaching chemistry and its influence on our lives and the lives of our students. We have both been fortunate to have helped others achieve their dreams while achieving ours. Marguerite is a true servant and many have seen Christ in her sparking eyes. I have been fortunate to have had some of her students in my medical biochemistry classes here at East Tennessee State University and they have all told me about her wonderful teaching, mentoring and caring for them.

May God continue to bless Christian Brother s University and your Chemistry Department as you move into the new Cooper-Wilson Building.

Sincerely yours,
David A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
College of Medicine
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614-0581

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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 with students working under the hoods in the newly renovated Organic Chemistry lab. Click on the picture for a bigger view of a different Organic Lab picture.

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

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

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.

Principles of Chemistry lab

The picture on the left shows students working in the CHEM 113L Principles of Chemistry I lab.

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. See our statistics for the past five years for acceptance into medical, pharmacy, and other health professional schools.

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