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

Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences

We've started another semester - this time without snow. If you remember, last year we were snowed out on the first day. Already things are happening this semester: Lynda Miller found the right weather to take her Herpetology lab class out to look for salamanders (see image below). Br. Kevin Ryan found a break in the winter clouds to show his students Jupiter and its four Gallilean moons the other night. From down on the ground to way out in space, science is absolutely fascinating!

In this issue we have several featured articles. One is on the professional work that faculty do in addition to their actual teaching. Besides teaching and professional development, the third major responsibility of faculty is service, and you can see from our News of the Moment section, that our faculty are very busy in that area. Our second featured article is on a new agreement CBU has with the Southern College of Optometry to help students proceed in an efficient manner to become optometrists. Our third article continues what we began last issue: a look at a couple of our Math Center tutors.

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

The Chemistry Department hosted the November 15, 2011 meeting of the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society. The meeting included a dinner followed by the presentation The History and Science of Money – Real and Counterfeit by Dr. Ariel Fenster from McGill University.

Beta Beta Beta held its annual Bowlathon on Friday, November 18th at Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes to support Hope North in Uganda. CBU4VC members were also in attendance in efforts to raise money for Uganda via Arudo Yat jewelry with handmade pieces from Africa! There were 25 teams that participated in bowling including an alumni and a faculty team! The winners were:
* 1st = Team SWAGG (Vu Cao, Thanh Nguyen, Bao Nguyen, Jeffrey Nguyen)
* 2nd = Honors Kids is Good Bowlers (Joe Alfonso, Lauren Harrell, William Norman, Justin Gallagher)
* 3rd = 2A3W (David Kim, Riley Pace, Velita Thornton, Eric Joe, Kyle Smith)
* Individual with highest average: Joe Alfonso (248 high score).
Amount collected to date is over $1,200. All proceeds go to benefit The Ugandan refugees. Tri Beta thanks everyone who came to Billy Hardwick's to support Bowling for Uganda! A special thanks to the Bowling for Uganda chairman, Sam Bownes, and committee members Nick Watkins, Kelsey Coolican and the other planners and support staff: Jessica Dunn, Christian Bahniuk, Ashia Rallings, Kristi Prevost (Biology '10), David Tran (Chemistry '05), Grace Hutchinson, Madeline Reynolds and Catherine Gluszek. A good time was had by all! See pictures on Facebook.

On Friday, January 27, the School of Sciences had a 90th birthday party for one of our faculty icons, Br. Robert Staub, Professor Emeritus of Biology. We also celebrated the birthday of another of our faculty icons, Dr. Lyle Wescott, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.

On Tuesday, February 7, Beta Beta Beta held its induction of new members. Photos from the Induction are posted in an Album on the Tri Beta Facebook page. If you want a full-sized copy of any of the photos… they are located here.

The CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemistry Society were notified during the Fall 2011 semester that they received 2 national awards, an Honorable Mention Award for activities conducted during the 2010-2011 school year and a Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award. Award winning chapters will be honored during a Special Recognition ceremony at the 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, California on March 23, 2012.


cover for Don't Get Sick, Stan!

Cover for "Don't Get Sick, Stan!

Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, and his BIOL 413 Parasitology class from the fall, are THRILLED to announce that Don’t Get Sick, Stan!, a children’s picture book written by the students, is available online through Amazon.com! The URL is: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Sick-Stan-Alfredo-Colon/dp/1469944618/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328223052&sr=1-1 . Here’s the storyline: Stan, a 3rd grader, goes to school and encounters a virus, a bacterium, a protozoan, and a parasitic worm, all of which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. By taking simple precautions, he can avoid getting sick from these diseases. This book is appropriate for children in grades 3 through 6. By the way, naming the character “Stan” was the students' idea, not Dr. Eisen's.

Alpha Chi (AX) is a multidisciplinary honor society in which several of the School of Science students are members. The CBU chapter of Alpha Chi is an award winning chapter having received the Star Chapter Award the last three years. AX sponsors the Student Research Poster Session in April. The students are currently collecting new or gently used books for the national service project. The AX members have boxes placed around campus to collect the books during the month of February. If you have trouble finding a place to leave your donations, contact either Larry Anderson, president, or Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, faculty moderator, to donate.

Vanessa Walker, Biology 2012, was pictured on the front page of the UTHSC Record with other members of Dr. Jablonski's laboratory. A post-doctoral fellow in the lab received $40,000 from the Knights Templar. Vanessa is a research assistant in the laboratory.

Xinyu Wang Biochemistry 2012, has been awarded a 2012 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Pediatric Oncology Education Fellowship for summer research.


Alpha Chi members at work.

Alpha Chi members working on their current
project of collecting books.

Several current students and alumni are interviewing to finalize their graduate school plans. As they finalize we will share their good news. Below are several that have:

Caitlin Ashley, Biology 2010, has been accepted to the Physician Assistant program at Oklahoma University – Tulsa.

Elizabeth Calabretta, Natural Science 2010, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Pharmacy.

Cathlyn Chan, Biochemistry 2011, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Pharmacy.

Mary Jane Dickey, Biomedical Science 2011, has been accepted to the M.D. program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Medicine.

Catherine Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Medicine.

Michael Hankins, Natural Science 2012, has been accepted to the Trinity School of Medicine, located on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean.

Cory Haughey, Biology 2012, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee School of Denistry.

Brandon Maharry, Biology 2011, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Medicine.

Bhavyata Parag, Biomedical Science 2012, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Pharmacy.

Nick Watkins, Biology 2012, has been accepted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson) School of Medicine.

Justin King, Biology 2012, and Elizabeth Booker, Psychology, have been selected to participate in the Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) program this year.

Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Vegetation Science, which is an internationally ranked Ecology journal. It ranks 2/54 in Forestry, 39/187 in Plant Sciences, and 49/129 in Ecology. The full citation is: Moore, J.E. and S.B. Franklin. In Press. Water stress interacts with early arrival to influence inter and intra-specific priority competition: A test using a greenhouse study.

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, was recently notified that a paper written jointly with T.A. Burton (Northwest Research Institute) and I.K. Purnaras (University of Ioannina, Greece) entitled Singular integral equations, Liapunov functionals, and resolvents has been accepted for publication in the journal: Nonlinear Analysis–Theory, Methods & Applications.

On January 17, Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, gave a presentation on “What a Freshman-level University Biology Class Looks Like”, with an emphasis on evolution, at Evangelical Christian School, 7600 Macon Road, as part of their Worldview course.

In preparation for his teaching a course entitled All Rivers Flow to the Sea: A Survey of Aquatic Ecosystems, the University of Southern Mississippi Graduate Council has granted Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, associate graduate faculty status at the A1 level.


Upcoming Events

CBU students at TAS in 2011

CBU students at the 2011 TAS meeting.

The Nursing Program is going on a trip to Haiti, and their supplier for the hygiene kits is unable to provide them with kits. They need 250 of the kits for the children and 100 for the adults that work at St. Vincent. Therefore, they desperately need the following supplies by Feb 28th:
* toothbrushes (infant to adult size)
* toothpaste (large tubes)
* Combs
* Large bar of soap
* Washcloths
* Also, yarn, crayons, paper, coloring books, beads, string, paint and brushes.
If you can help, bring any of these items to the Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences. We will have a marked box for the donations close to the main entrance.

The Science Olympiad is scheduled for Saturday Feb. 25. The event table for this year can be found here. The Director for the CBU site 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 58th Memphis-Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 21-22 on the campus of Christian Brothers University (CBU). Project judging begins at 12 noon on March 22. 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 Monday, April 2, in the CBU Theatre 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.


Dr. Holmes with Dominic Dunn award winners in 2011

Dr. Holmes with the 2011 Br. Dominic Dunn award winners
Brittany Course, Mathematics 2011, and Rachel Haag, Biology 2011,
at the 2011 CBU Research Poster Session last April.


The Forty-Fourth Annual Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Twenty-Eighth Annual Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad will be held at Christian Brothers University (CBU) on Saturday, March 31, 2011. Students who earn top scores on the Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad will return to CBU on April 21 to take the National Exam. The top scorers on the National Exam may be invited to become part of the team that will represent the United States at the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad to be held in Washington, D. C. July 21-30, 2012. The Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Chemistry Olympiad Examination are sponsored by the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society and co-hosted by the CBU Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society and the CBU Department of Chemistry. For more information please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at dmerat@cbu.edu.

The West Tennessee Collegiate Division of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences rotates its spring meeting through colleges and universities in West Tennessee. It is the turn of LeMoyne Owen College to host the event this spring. The meeting will occur on Saturday, March 31, 2011. The abstract deadline is March 13, 2012. Send your abstracts in Microsoft Word by an e-mail attachment to: Dr. Sherry Painter at Painter_TAS@loc.edu .

The Sixteenth Annual CBU Student Research Poster Session will be Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in the Sabbatini Lounge of the Thomas Center. Here are pictures and information from last year's session.


Alumni News
Chase, Amanda, and Dom

Chase de Saint Felix, Amanda Fitzgerald,
and Dominique Garcia Robles.

At the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., on November 12-17, two CBU alums, Amanda Fitzgerald, Biology 2011, and Dominique Garcia Robles, MHIRT 2011 and Biochemistry 2011, presented their posters at a special undergraduate session for Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience on Monday evening November 14th. The society for Neuroscience had 31,000 attendees this year! The undergraduate session had 130 posters and 700 attendees! Dominique presentated the results of her MHIRT project from the summer 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Adrenergic Receptor Expressiom in Medulla Oblongata Cell Culture of Newborn Rats. Co authors were Sergio M. deSilva, Maisa Costa, Marina Almeida and Debora R. Fior-Chadi. Amanda and Scott Heldt presented a paper on Effects of hippocampal injections of zolpidem on conditioned fear retrieval. While the group was there, they also met with CBU alum Chase de Saint Felix, Philosophy 2011, who is currently working on a M.S. degree in D.C.

Jennifer Paxson Saputra, Biology 2006, Dr Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, and Dr. John Boughter had an abstract accepted to the annual Association for Chemoreception Sciences Meeting that will be held in April 2012. Jennifer also received a travel award from the society to attend the meeting. Jennifer is presenting some of her Ph.D. thesis on Neuroanatomical maps of sweet and umami taste stimuli in the mouse parabrachial nucleus.

Robert (Bobby) Lawrence, Biology 2007,has been named a Student D.O. for the month of January at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) in Harrogate, Tenn. Lawrence is a first-year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM.

Dr. Dino Basic, Biology 2003 and KSU 2007, and his wife, Meena, welcomed a new little bundle in 2011. Her name is Ena. Dino completed his nephrology fellowship at Inghamin, and they still live in Detroit but travel to Memphis so the grandparents can spoil Ena.

Dr. Elizabeth Graham Mitchell, Biology 1999 and UTHSC D.D.S. 2009, and her husband, Charles Mitchell, had a baby boy, Graham Scott Mitchell, on Nov 5, 2011. Both mom and baby are healthy. He weighed 8 lbs 4 ozs.

Natalie Hurt, Biology 2011, and Joe Birch, Jr., Business 2011, were married on Dec 30. Joe Birch, Senior, is on CBU's Board of Trustees.

Mallory Poff, Biology 2009, just finished Baptist Nursing School (2011) and passed her boards. She is working in ICU at LeBonheur. She is engaged to Scott Loughridge and they will be married in a couple of months.

Erik Scott, Chemistry 2011, was elected President of the First Year Pharmacy Class at Union University.

Patrick Shirley, Biology 2000, and his wife, Ashley, have a two year old little girl, Isabelle, and just welcomed a little boy in 2011. Patrick says he keeps busy farming around 4500 acres!

Kimberly Williams Guy, Biology 2008, graduated from UT Department of Ophthalmology with a Master of Science degree in December, 2011. She was recently hired at St Jude as a Research Technician in the Department of Surgery.

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Featured Story: Faculty Development
Student doing research.

John D. (JD) Wolfe, Biology major, doing research
under the direction of Dr. James Moore.

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, Dr. Stan Eisen, and now our newest biology faculty member, Dr. James Moore, have worked with students in biology, Ms. Lynda Miller has worked with natural science students, Dr. Dennis Merat has worked with chemistry students, Professor Cathy Carter 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.

Dr. Fitzgerald at the neuroscience meeting

Dr. Fitzgerald at the Neuroscience meeting in D.C.

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 recently.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, attended the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C. on November 12-17. She presented two posters in a special session on teaching neuroscience. Both were in memory of Claudio A.B. Toledo, who died in May 2011. The two posters were entitled: The advantage of collaborations in the development of a neuroscience international summer research program in Brazil by M.E.C. Fitzgerald, and The Edinger-Westphal nucleus: A Historical, structural and functional perspective on a dichotomous terminology with coauthors on this presentation of T.L Kozic, J.C. Bittencourt, P.J. May, A. Reiner, P.D.R. Gamlin, M.E.C. Fitzgerald, M. Palkovits, A.K.E. Horn, A.E. Ryabinin and C.A.B. Toledo.

As mentioned earlier in the News of the Moment section, Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology and Dr. Leigh Becker, Professor of Mathematics, had papers accepted for publication recently.

Dr. Johnny Holmes, Professor of Physics, and Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, worked this fall to update the physics computer assisted homework problem sets that they created. These 48 programs worked fine on the Windows XP and older windows operating systems, but the recent versions of Vista and Windows 7 required the use of a third-party DOSBOX routine. The updated programs now run directly on all of the windows operating systems.


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Featured Story: New Agreement with S.C.O.

CBU has entered into a new agreement with the Southern College of Optometry (SCO). In the past, some CBU students have been accepted into the Southern College of Optometry before graduating from CBU. Our featured alum in this issue (see next article) is one of those students. This new Guaranteed Interview Agreement (GIA) formalizes this opportunity for CBU students and extends it to CBU awarding a bachelor's degree in Natural Science to these students. Below is a quote from the agreement:

This GIA allows highly qualified CBU students to sit for an Admissions Interview for SCO's next entering class up to a year earlier than the typcial undergraduate student. This may result in acceptance to SCO following their junior year, reducing their total undergraduate and professional education by one full year. Students who have successfully completed their junior year at CBU, including all GERs and who subsequently obtain their Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree at SCO may be awarded the Bachelor of Science in Natural Science degree by CBU.

For further information, contact our Admissions Department, the Academic Affairs Office, or the Dean of the School of Sciences.


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Featured Story: Math Center Tutors II

by Br. Joel Baumeyer, Math Center Director

Phuc Phan, Math Center Tutor

Phuc Phan

The Math Center is directed by Br. Joel Baumeyer who recruits and oversees student math tutors. In the previous (November) issue of the newsletter we featured two of the student tutors. Here we feature two more.

Phuc Phan is a senior chemical engineering major with a minor in mathematics. He is from Viet Nam. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Chi. He became a tutor in the Math Center this year and has done a fine job. He has enjoyed the work and says: I can help a lot of students with their homework and strengthen my math skills. In my opinion, the best way to make sure you understand math is trying to teach it.


Catherine DelBove, Math Center Tutor

Catherine Del Bove

Junior Catherine Del Bove graduated from Westminster Academy and has been a tutor in the Math Center for over two years. She is an accounting major with a minor in finance. In the center she specializes in tutoring the business math and algebra students. She is in the Honors Program, a Peer Counselor a member of the Delta Sigma Pi (professional business fraternity) and a member of the President’s Ambassadors group.


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Featured Alum: Dr. David Parker

Editors note: the text below was supplied by the Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA).

Dr. David Parker of Olive Branch Named Optometrist of the Year by MOA

Dr. David L. Parker of Olive Branch Eyecare has been named the James Brownlee Optometrist of the Year by the Mississippi Optometric Association. MOA presents the award annually to recognize significant contributions to the profession of optometry and the general public. The winner was announced at the MOA’s Annual Fall Conference and Vision Exposition, held in November in Jackson. Dr. Parker will now be nominated for the American Optometric Association’s Optometrist of the Year award and the Southeastern Council of Optometrists’ Optometrist of the South award.

Dr. Parker receiving the MOA award

Dr. Philip Marler of Carthage (right), immediate past
president of MOA and chair of the awards committee,
presents the Optometrist of the Year Award
to Dr. David Parker.

Dr. Parker graduated with honors from Southaven High School in 1987 and completed his undergraduate studies at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn. He graduated magna cum laude from the Southern College of Optometry of Memphis in 1995. While at SCO, he served as a teaching assistant, was a member of the Contact Lens Society and received the first year Outstanding Clinician Award from the faculty. Upon graduation, Dr. Parker founded Olive Branch Eyecare. He worked part-time and on weekends in underserved areas of Memphis for two years before devoting all of his time to the new practice, which now has a staff of four optometrists, two ophthalmologists and ten full-time technicians and opticians.

He has served the MOA as a board member, secretary, treasurer, vice president, president-elect, president, and past president. He remains active in the MOA and serves on several MOA committees including the Finance Committee. As president of MOA, Dr. Parker testified before the Senate Public Health Committee regarding scope expansion, which helped lead to program enhancement the following year. He was also president at the time board certification was being considered nationally and was one of the first Mississippi optometrists to take the American Board of Optometry examination. He was among the first 400 in the nation to pass the examination and be conveyed the distinction of Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.

He currently chairs Optometry for Progress, the optometry political action committee for the state, and is the founding member and co-chair of the MOA Past-Presidents’ Council. He also is a member of the American Optometric Association and Northwest Mississippi Society of Optometrists and serves on the AOA’s Student and New Graduate Committee. Dr Parker represented Mississippi on the National Optometric 20/20 Summit and has served as a delegate to the AOA House of Delegates. He is a current member and past chairman of the Southern Eye Associates Advisory Board. He has served as an adjunct faculty instructor for the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Optometry and continues to serve as an adjunct faculty instructor for the Southern College of Optometry. To date, more than 22 student doctors have seen patients under his care and are now practicing in Mississippi and throughout the country.

Dr. Parker travels on behalf of advocacy to Washington, D.C. each year and serves as a key liaison on optometry-related issues to federal and state legislators.

Dr. Parker’s greatest passion has been mentoring students pursuing optometry, and he continues to host high school and college students who are considering optometry as a career. He and his staff provide vision screenings at multiple elementary schools each year, and he is also an InfantSEE provider. In addition, Dr. Parker supports frequent medical mission trips to Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Parker and his wife Ashleigh were married in 1993 and have four children: Allie, Jack, Luke and Jude. Dr. Parker enjoys coaching baseball and basketball and is an avid golfer. He and his family are members of Getwell Road United Methodist Church in Southaven.

The Mississippi Optometric Association, founded in 1947, represents more than 500 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians in more than 80 communities across the state. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. The mission of the profession of optometry is to fulfill the vision and eye care needs of the public through clinical care, research and education, all of which enhance the quality of life of patients.

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Thank You Note to Sciences Faculty

This month we have a thank you note to Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, from a parent of a student.


Dear Dr. Anna Ross,

I just wanted to thank you and your class for allowing me to sit in on your class on Friday October 7th. I found the experience very impressive. I was amazed at the amount of information these young people have to absorb. I was equally impressed with your ability present the information in a very visual way. I believe that these young adults have a much better chance of retaining important facts by relating the information with the visuals you use in your class. I even found myself retaining some of the information. A couple of days after that class while sitting with Stephanie at Starbucks while she studied, I started to show her some of the things I retained by pointing out neural folds, neural groove, neural tube, and the neural crest and so on, and I'm nothing but an Electrical Inspector. So your teaching talents where impressed even upon my simple mind. I am very happy to have witnessed how intelligent these young adults really are. It's a great feeling knowing that I am trusting my daughters education with such wonderfully gifted professors and that she shares the campus with such promising young adults. Thank you again Dr. Ross for the generosity you showed by allowing me to get a small slice of my daughters CBU life.

God Bless you and your students.

Sincerely
James Allen
Proud father of Stephanie Allen

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Featured Major: Chemistry
Students in the Quantative Analysis Chemistry lab

Luanzo Lung’aho, Biochemistry 2012, and Erika Yates, Chemistry 2014
are hard at work in the Quantitative Analysis laboratory.
Quantitative Analysis is a required course for both Chemistry
and Biochemistry majors.

The CBU Chemistry 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 2011 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.


Chemistry Lab Assistants

The picture above shows Chemistry student workers
Anna Birg, Justin Edwards, and Yusef Akbik.

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.

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.


Chemistry Lab Assistant

The picture above shows Riley Price,
Chemistry student worker.

The Chemistry Department has adopted a philosophy that the best way to learn to do chemistry is to do it in real world settings. In addition to the research requirement in the department, we offer a variety of opportunities through either work-study or direct employment in the department for students to begin working in the laboratories throughout their entire course of study with us. Students begin as Laboratory Assistants; juniors and seniors have the opportunity to be selected as Laboratory Specialists. Two students who have been in our work-study program for at least two years have the opportunity to be selected each year as Associate Lab Coordinators. The Laboratory Specialist and Associate Lab Coordinator positions include supervisory responsibilities, giving students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience. Riley Pace and Justin Edwards have been chosen as the department’s first Associate Lab Coordinators. Yusef Akbik has been named as the department’s third Laboratory Specialist.


SMACS officers

The picture above shows Justin Edwards, Yusef Akbik, and
Catherine Gluszek who are President, Vice-President, and Treasurer,
respectively, of the CBU SMACS chapter.

We are very fortunate to have a very active chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society, SMACS, associated with the Chemistry Department. The club was recently notified that the CBU SMACS Chapter received two national awards for their work from the American Chemical Society (see News of the Moment section). Three of the officers in the club are shown in the picture on the left. Other 2011-2012 officers in the club include David Kim, Justin Gallagher, Alvin Siow, Christopher Brack, Brent Holmes, and Corey Haughey. The club is one of the sponsors of the Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair. Members of the club serve important roles in the Fair handling registration, judging middle school projects, helping with general set-up, and serving as courtesy guides. The CBU chapter of SMACS is co-host for the Greater Shelby County High School Chemistry Olympiad and Local High School Chemistry Competitions which are sponsored by the American Chemical Society. The club participates in a wide range of additional service activities including chemical demonstrations for middle school and high school students, participation in the Science Olympiad, participation in activities that promote environmental awareness, and presenting demos for National Chemistry Week, Science and Engineering Day, and Alumni Weekend. The club has already had two meetings since the first of the year and held a competition to select a new T-Shirt design. The members voted at the February 9 meeting to select the “Caution ….. We’re Dangerous!” design submitted by Shannon McDonald. The CBU SMACS plan to make the design competition an annual event.

SMACS meeting

The picture above was taken at the first SMACS meeting in 2012.

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.

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. The department is also successful in getting is graduates into graduate programs and directly into the workforce.