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

Snow on the Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences.

January and February for me are my hardest months - it is cold without much sun and my workload is the largest of the year. This year so far we have had two different storms that caused snow days which is unusual here in Memphis. As hard as these days are, they can be really beautiful as evidenced by the pictures on the CBU facebook pages. Both effective teaching and research can also be very demanding, but the results can be even more beautiful than the snow pictures. I enjoy writing this newsletter because it gives me a chance to show you some of those results - just like posting those beautiful pictures.

This month our newsletter focuses on faculty research. At CBU this research is an integral part of our educational mission as I hope the articles will show. Our featured alum shows research from the physics perspective. Our featured article on faculty research begins with a piece by Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald from her biology perspective.

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 .

News of the Moment
BBB Bowling for Uganda

The image above was taken at the BBB Bowling for Uganda event.
Click on the image for a different view.

Beta Beta Beta thanks all those who supported the 2009 BBB Bowl-a-thon, which was a whopping success! BBB was able to raise an amazing $1790, and are still waiting on a few sponsors to send in their donations. All of the funds will go to Hope North in Uganda. First place winners were the 'CBU Alum Team' — Christina Brown (Biology '06), David Tran (Chemistry '05), Angela Lloyd, Ben Reeves (Chemistry '05), and Matt Morgan (Physics '07). Second place went to 'Honors Kids' really good bowlers' — Joe Alfonso (Biology '12), Jacky Wong (Engineering '10), Nick Watkins (Biology '12), Devlin Smith (Engineering '12), and Justin Gallagher (Chemistry '12). The third place team consisted of Binh Nguyen, Ting Wong, Binoy Shah, Kristen Le, Xiong Lin, Dale Smith, and Russel Salendria. Thanks again and congratulations to the winners!

Beta Beta Beta had its induction ceremony on February 4th. See pictures here.

Chris Fay, the Principal at Christian Brothers High School (CBHS) is looking for a math teacher for the coming academic year, and probably two more math teachers for the year after. If you or anyone you know of who would be a good high school math teacher and is looking for a job, please refer them to him. His e-mail is cfay@cbhs.org .


Alpha Chi Induction

The image above shows Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald and three of the
new Alpha Chi inductees: Natalie Hart, Caitlyn Ashley and
Cheryl Clausel. Two other Science inductees not pictured are
Mary Jane Dickey and Jennifer Cobb.
Click on the image for a larger view.

The Tennessee Theta chapter of Alpha Chi at CBU will receive a Star Chapter Award in March at the National convention in Little Rock. This is the second time in the past 15 years Alpha Chi at CBU has received this honor. In order to be considered for this award, the chapter must do the following: A sponsor and a student must attend the annual convention and have at least one student presentation, submit at least one application for an AX scholarship, perform a service project, have an induction of new members and have a scholarly event. For further information contact Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald at malinda@cbu.edu . The national website for Alpha Chi is http://www.harding.edu/alphachi/.

Congratulations to Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology! She will be named a fellow of ARVO, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, in May of 2010. This is an honor based on several criteria: ARVO Fellows serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research and help further ARVO's vision to facilitate the advancement of vision research and the prevention and cure of disorders of the visual system worldwide, which includes advancing basic and clinical knowledge and serving as the leading international forum for vision research and the primary advocate for vision science worldwide. It is an international organization with 12,500 members.

Billy Simco working with the REAP grant.

The image above shows Billy Simco working
on his research for the REAP grant.

This past summer and fall, two high school students were on the CBU campus as part of a research program funded through the Department of Defense REAP grant. Billy Simco, a Junior from MUS and Patrick Wills, a Junior from CBHS, spent time working in the biology department with Lynda Miller, Science Lab Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor, learning about RNA interference (RNAi) using the nematode C. elegans as a model. The students gained experience in basic lab skills such as using micropipettes, preparing media, and growing bacterial cultures. They also learned how RNA can interfere with the expression of specific genes in the genome. During their time on campus, they were able to apply the technology they learned to silence genes within the worm C. elegans and observe the results. RNAi was the topic of the 2006 Nobel prize in medicine. It is a process in which double stranded RNA inhibits the production of proteins from their DNA instructions. This technique shows much promise in the treatment of some diseases and illnesses.

CBU student Joe Alfonso reports on his experience taking a Marine Biology course at the Gulf Coast Research Lab (with some nice photos too) in this issue of Dr. Stan Eisen's Caduceus Newsletter.

CBU student Coy Lock presented his senior research at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Academic Surgical Congress in San Antonio Texas. His presentation dealt with alantooccipital dissociation (AOD). AOD is a rare cervical injury, usually induced by trauma (car wreck), that frequently ended in death. Coy's paper dealt with survival after this trauma and what indicators promoted the individuals survival. The paper was co-authored by his mentor Dr. Croce.

Melissa McDonald, Natural Science 2010, has been accepted to the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Lorna Wilks, Biology 2009, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Medicine.

Suzy Ponnapula, Biology 2010, has been accepted to the Pharm.D. program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Science Center.

Julia Hanebrink, Adjunct Lecturer and MHIRT Program Coordinator, is now engaged to David P. Lewis. They actually met at CBU in 1997 (Dave attended CBU as a civil engineering major for 2 years before he joined the Marine Corps) and were good friends for 9 years before they started dating in Fall 2006 - right after Julia returned from her first trip to Uganda and started teaching at CBU. He proposed to her atop the Indian Mounds at Chickasaw Heritage Park overlooking the Mississippi River. No specific date has been set yet.

SGA speaker series

The image above shows left to right: Ting Wong, Christina Brown,
Manny Patel, Dr. Fitzgerald and Melody Allensworth.

The Student Government Association (SGA) this year began a speaker series organized by Caroline Watson (VP, Programming) and Chase de Saint-Felix (VP senate and Ex VP). The first in this series was in Spain auditorium in November 2009. Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald talked about the value of international travel and the benefits of the MHIRT program. In addition to Dr. Fitzgerald, previous MHIRT participants from CBU led a panel discussion about their personal experiences with MHIRT. The panelists were Christina Brown, Biology 2006, Manny Patel, Biology 2005, Melody Allensworth, Biology 2009, and Ting Wong, Biology 2010. The MHIRT program not only allows students to conduct research in an international setting, but also allows the students to become more globally aware in their outlook. For further information visit the MHIRT website.

The Science Olympiad is scheduled for Saturday Feb. 20. The Director is Dr. Andrew Diener, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. You can contact Dr. Diener by e-mail at adiener@cbu.edu and by phone at 901-321-3452.

The 56th Memphis-Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 10-12 on the campus of Christian Brothers University (CBU). Project judging begins at 12 noon on March 11. There will be 2 judging divisions this year: one for grades 6 through 8 and one for grades 9 through 12. The Awards Ceremony will be held on March 17 in Spain Auditorium of Buckman Hall on the CBU campus. If you are interested in participating in project judging or if you know of a student who would like to enter the fair, please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at dmerat@cbu.edu. The 2011 Fair will also be held at CBU on January 6 and 7.

The Forty-First Annual Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Twenty-Fifth Annual Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad will be 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.

TAS in 2009

The image above shows Br. Edward Salgado with three of the CBU award
winners at the 2009 TAS meeting;left to right:
Erica McMorise, Michelle Paul, and Stephanie Johnson.

The West Tennessee Collegiate Division of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences rotates its spring meeting through colleges and universities in West Tennessee. It is CBU’s turn to host the event this spring. The meeting will occur on Saturday, April 10, 2010. Registration will begin at 8:30 AM. The meeting will run from 9 AM till 2 PM. Students may present in either a poster or power-point format, but are encouraged to do an oral presentation. Abstracts are due by March 19, 2010 via e-mail to Dr. Fitzgerald. These abstracts should not exceed 150 words. More specific instructions are available on the website. Abstracts can be submitted in any discipline of science, engineering and behavioral science. Student papers will be judged in each session and best paper awards will be given. Registration will be $10.00 per attendee to help defray costs and lunch will be served. For further information please contact Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald at malinda@cbu.edu.

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. Here are pictures from last year's session.


Alumni News

Melody Allensworth, Biology 2009, and David James, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering 2009, just announced their engagement. They will be married on December 11, 2010.

Michelle Paul, Biology 2009, and Zach Tubinis, Marketing 2009, announced their engagement. The date for the wedding is July 31, 2010.

Paula Cerrito, Biology 2006, and John Paul, who met at UT Pharmacy School and will graduate together this May, have announced their engagement. They plan on getting married sometime in Sept. or Oct. of 2010.

Heather Gosnell, Biology 2009, and Stephen Hill, Engineering 2009, announced their engagement. They will be married July 3, 2010.

Christina Brown, Biology 2006, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Medical School.

Kim Williams, Biology 2008, is engaged to Andre V. Guy. He is an Senior Account Service Representative for Cellular South Inc. in Southaven, MS. He is also a part-time student at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Southaven, MS. He was born and raised in Olive Branch, MS. They met in June of 2006 and he proposed on Christmas 2009. Their wedding ceremony will take place July 23, 2011 at Brown Baptist Church in Southaven, MS. They will reside in their home in Southaven post the marriage ceremony.

Trent Gullett, Biology 1998, married Elizabeth Gordan Gullett on May 23, 2009.

Dr. Greg Meriwether, Biology 1998, just became board certified in cardiology. Dr. Meriwether graduated from UT in 2002 and since 2009 has practiced in Louisville, KY.

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Featured Story: Faculty Research
Figure 1 - Dr. TJ participating in the music and relaxation study

Picture 1: Dr. Thompson-Jaeger participating in
the music and relaxation study


Below is an article by Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, on research at CBU with a biology flavor. Below that is a report on some of the details of faculty research at CBU.



Curiosity is inherent to humans and this quality blossoms with nurturing. As children we don’t know “rules” and merrily go on our way discovering things in our world. As individuals mature, they are either encouraged or discouraged to continue asking questions and seeking answers. Mentors and teachers try to rekindle this curiosity and focus it into a disciplined knowledge of the research process.

Figure 2 - Dr. O as the experimental subject with Mary Jane Dickey investigator

Picture 2: Dr. Ogilvie as the experimental subject with Mary Jane Dickey investigator

Research is a search for knowledge. This broad definition encompasses several different types of research. In science we utilize the scientific method in which we develop a hypothesis, gather and analyze the data that may or may not support the hypothesis. Research is not restricted to a specific discipline; however, the methods are different historical, empirical, basic, clinical, qualitative, and quantitative.

Each of the science majors requires a capstone course that consists of research. These courses are managed differently and taught by several different faculty. The purpose remains the same, to instill knowledge of the research process. This does not happen over night and in each of our science classes, professors build on experiences that reinforce research methodology. Students are required to read primary literature and summarize it in either an essay, a power-point presentation, or in a poster format depending on the class. Students involved in microbiology, cell biology, animal behavior and parasitology have all had these experiences.

Figure 3 - Dr. Eisen as the experimental subject in the taste/ olfaction study

Picture 3: Dr. Eisen as the experimental
subject in the taste/ olfaction study

In other science classes the students are required to develop a testable hypothesis, collect data, and present the results of their study to the class. Recently the human physiology class involved some of the biology faculty as research subjects. One of the studies tested the effect of music on EEG alpha brain wave activity, while another tested the effect smell and sight had on taste. The subjects who participated in the music and relaxation study, were requested to lie down and relax while the electrical brain activity was recorded. The participants’ favorite music was played and the alpha brain wave activity with and without music was compared (see pictures 1 & 2). The subjects participating in the taste and smell study were blindfolded, their noses were pinched closed and foods of similar texture were placed in their mouths. The subjects were asked to identify the food without the benefit of sight or smell (see pictures 3 & 4). While these short-term experimental studies can be completed in one semester, they assist in setting the stage for the capstone courses. In the capstone course in biology, students spend three semesters collecting data, writing a journal style article and preparing a power point presentation for the collegiate division of TN Academy of Science. The students also prepare a poster for the student research poster session at CBU.

Figure 4:  Natalie Hart and Cameron Kasmai preparing the food.

The function of this process is to take inherent curiosity, rekindle it to full potential within the interests of the student, using the guidelines of the research process unique to a family of sciences. These two tools, inherent curiosity and the methodology of the research process are not about going to the laboratory, but rather going into life prepared to with the tools to solve problems.


Picture 4: Natalie Hart and Cameron Kasmai preparing the food.


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Featured Story, part 2: Details of Faculty Research
2009 Student Research Session

The image above shows Dr. Leigh Becker and John Legge
by John's research poster at the 2009 Session.

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, Ms. Lynda Miller has worked with natural science students, Dr. Dennis Merat has 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.

Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, has worked to develop some web based resources for some of his physics courses, and was recently asked by the Educational Technology division of the Ministry of Education in Singapore to allow them to link to some of his on-line resources. Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, has also created impressive resources for the web and has received numerous requests for permission to use those resources. 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.

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 2009.

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, is currently investigating and writing a paper about systems of Volterra integral equations with weakly singular kernels. A paper about the behavior of solutions of integro-differential equations entitled Uniformly Continuous L1 Solutions of Volterra Equations and Global Asymptotic Stability appeared this past August in CUBO, A Mathematical Journal and can be accessed online by clicking here and selecting the Volume 11, No. 3, 2009 file. Last June, the Maplesoft Application Center published his computer program Constant Delay Equations and the Method of Steps and it can be assessed by clicking here. On November 7, 2009, he gave a talk at the Differential Equations Weekend Conference hosted by the University of Memphis. A recently published paper by Dr. M. Adivar (Izmir University of Economics, Turkey) entitled Function bounds for solutions of Volterra integro dynamic equations on time scales extends the results of Dr. Becker’s paper Function bounds for solutions of Volterra equations and exponential asymptotic stability, Nonlinear Analysis 67, No. 2 (July 2007), pp. 382–397.

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, will be named a fellow of ARVO, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, in May. She is an active researcher in the field of vision and vascular research, and holds an adjunct professor appointment with the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Tennessee at Memphis. She has submitted three articles for publication this year (see her web site at UT for the titles).

Dr. Ted Clarke, Assistant Professor of Physics, successfully defended his dissertation in April. He also gave an invited talk entitled Evolution Equations and Mathematical Models in the Applied Sciences at an international conference in Taranto, Italy during the summer. In October he gave a talk at the University of Memphis entitled Physics and the Fractional Calculus.

Ms. Julia Hanebrink, Adjunct Lecturer and MHIRT Program Director, and Dr. Miles Richardson from Louisiana State University have had their manuscript, You, Me, and the Neandertals, accepted for publication by Qualitative Inquiry. The article is scheduled for the June 2010 publication of Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 16:6.

Br. Edward Salgado, Professor of Biology and Chair of the Biology Department, is doing research on ferns. He is preparing several publications on ferns and he has given some talks on ferns this past year.


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Featured Alum:
David Stegall, Ph.D., Physics 1994
Dr. David Stegall

Dr. David Stegall

When Professor Becker contacted me to request an essay for the CBU Newsletter, my first thought was to look for any fine print on the diploma regarding future homework assignments. To my great disappointment, no such homework clause exists, but that has not stopped me! I always found the faculty at CBU to be personable and engaging so I feel honored to be remembered in this manner. Actually, writing this article has offered me the opportunity to reminisce about my life and how persistent progress, accidental fortunes, and singular moments led to my current circumstances.

I believe that my parents would tell you that I was like every other rowdy boy in the neighborhood -sunburned from play during the summer and flinging snowballs at every opportunity that the winter in Memphis could provide. Old toys were not to be merely thrown away, but were subjected to total dissection. Batteries, speakers, or anything else worthy of extraction from an old radio were mine to eventually take to show and tell. I don’t think my parents were aware of everything that got disassembled but at least I never burnt the house down. Maybe I scorched a sink or two. If I could pinpoint a seminal moment, it would be the age of 13. Halley’s Comet was going to swing by that year. I was eminently aware that the next time it came, I probably would not be around to see it. Mark Twain had been born on one of the comet’s prior rendezvous with Earth and he managed to live just long enough to see it come around again. Although the thought was morbid, it placed a sense of urgency in me. I appreciated that there’s no moment to delay in learning and understanding the natural world around us. We may not get a second chance to not only witness, but participate in such rare cosmic spectacles. My destiny was sealed. I was not only going to see that comet with my naked eyes, but I was going to photograph it! From that moment, I became familiar with telescopes, astrophotography, and the requisite understanding in optics (at least as much as I understood with my middle school science). Astronomy and astrophotography were to become a launching pad into my career as an optical physicist.

When I first set foot into CBU in 1992, I was put at ease by the tone set by the CBU faculty. We had small classes and the professors were so much more accessible than at some of the larger schools that I previously attended. CBU was also unusual since it offered several upper level physics courses dedicated to the field of optics. Professors like Dr. Holmes and Dr. Varriano were fantastic at teaching me the skills that I would need to become an independent researcher. I can still recall the tedious hours of time spent in the optics and dark labs, exposing and developing optical filters for my senior project. It was this kind of discipline and experience that served me well when I began my PhD at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester in 1994. However, I was certainly less prepared for the ten feet of snow per year that Rochester typically receives!

I wrapped up my dissertation in the fall of 2000. Under the tutelage of Professor Turan Erdogan, my dissertation delved into the topic of optical fiber Bragg gratings. You might recall that we were experiencing the arrival of the internet and the juggernaut of the .com industry. The optical fiber telecommunications industry was rapidly growing in the euphoria of the internet age and it led to my career in corporate research. In order to sustain the demand for high-speed internet bandwidth, there was a widely held belief that optical fiber communication systems were going to need to improve. I joined the laboratories at 3M, where they were developing optical fiber grating filters to serve a variety of functions – chromatic dispersion compensation, erbium-doped fiber amplifier filters, add/drop filters, etc. These were exciting times in my field. Of course, the optical telecommunications bubble burst very soon after the .com bubble’s demise and the mission of the 3M lab had to evolve.

lattice

A scanning electron micrograph of a square lattice
photonic crystal fabricated with a 500 nm period

When handed a lemon, one should make lemonade. Thus, the lab adapted. The leading-edge technology that had been developed for make fiber gratings was not abandoned. For example, we had learned how to stitch together a modulation to the refractive index along the length of the fiber core such that errors were less than one part in a million. If the grating was to have a period of about one micron, then that period was accurate to within 10’s of nanometers over a length of a meter. Some fiber gratings were even longer than a meter – a cutting-edge achievement at the time. What could be done along one-dimension, we learned, could also be done along two. Consequently, the lab developed a method to fabricate two-dimensional sub-micron periodic structures over large areas. In some cases, such structures are referred to as photonic crystals. An example of such a structure is shown in the figure on the right. Photonic crystals naturally occur in nature and can be found on the wings of butterflies, the outer shells of diatoms ( a kind of plankton), and even in the hairs found on the leaves of plants, like the edelweiss. They have even been found in fossilized remains dating back hundreds of millions of years. A photonic crystal has the ability to manipulate light due to its periodic refractive index modulation. At 3M, I lead a project that is developing methods to mass-produce photonic crystals that will be used in organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). OLEDs are a developing technology that provide advantages over more traditional sources of light. They are made of organic materials, akin to plastics, and thus do not require nearly as complicated fabrication equipment as traditional inorganic semiconductor LEDs. They are dramatically more efficient than fluorescent lights and thus will be entering into the general lighting markets in a few years. Compared to LCD displays found in televisions, monitors, and cell phones, OLEDs are more efficient , more colorful, and ultimately simpler in construction. As a matter of fact, Samsung and LG are already selling cell phones using small OLED screens. 3M is in a unique position to mass produce a technology that permits OLEDs to emit light more efficiently by using photonic crystal films. We refer to these products as light extraction films. Without a light extraction film, most of the light generated within the OLED remains trapped due to internal reflections. Light extraction films provide a very fundamental modification to the internal geometry of an OLED that permits much more light to be emitted in directions that can escape the device. The benefit to a consumer would be longer battery usage time, a longer OLED display or lighting lifetime, and even a more satisfying distribution of the emitted light. Currently, we are still in the development stages of the product, but we have been getting very encouraging feedback from our prototypes to potential customers.

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Thank You Notes to Sciences Faculty
Forensic presentation

The image above shows Ms. Julia Hanebrink demonstrating
differences between male and female skulls.

This month we have a thank you note to Ms. Julia Hanebrink, Adjunct Lecturer and MHIRT Program Coordinator.

From: Mary Cerniway
Subject: Re: FW: Final exam
To: Julia Hanebrink

I just wanted to tell you a funny story about your class--just after the final. You would have died laughing at us out in the hallway . . . and proud too. I had a terrific time and loved your teaching style.

First the proud part: You made us care, Julia; we cared about Forensic Anthropology. We loved it because we enjoyed watching you love it! I think that makes you a "real" teacher. Most classes walk out of their finals and dump their materials in the trash as they exit.

Not your class: We gathered out in the hall saying "AQUATICS, WHAT THE CRAP?" "NO ONE" studied the SHARK page. Hours and hours of studying but every time we came to the shark page we would say, "No, she's not going to ask us about this page." Not only did you ask, you asked us to list! We started laughing at the pathetic answers we had listed. I almost peed my pants saying that I put down "carnivorous fish" but the remark that pushed us over the edge was someone said they put down "Octopuses."

Then there was the debate over whether the skeleton was a year old or a decade old. We sat out in the hall parsing the words from our notes with the question from the test. Those of us who chose the yr. old skeleton believed you would have mentioned the crackling of the skeletal bone (like an old oil painting) and all the plant life if it was a decade old. The "decade people" pointed out the "severe" rodent gnawed bones.

The test was over so who cared? The point was . . . we cared.

Thanks, M

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Featured Major: Chemistry
Dr. Dawson helping a student in Organic Chemistry lab

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 a degree in Biochemistry that we featured in our September 2008 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 obtained software to help with this visualization.

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, the department 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.