Note from the Dean
flowering tree with AH in background

Flowering tree with Assisi Hall in the background.



We're back from spring break, ready for the last half of the semester. Spring is in the air, and the sun is shining more with the days growing longer. Just as spring brings some uncertain weather, so too does this time of year bring some uncertainties to our seniors, especially the question about what life will be like after graduation. I hope that we can anticipate the future with a sense of hope while we enjoy the present with all of its springtime beauty.

In this issue, we feature the four student groups in the School of Sciences. All four groups have been active this year carrying on a great tradition. As you can see from the article, the groups provide a great way for students to socialize among themselves and to interact with their field in a more relaxed, informal way. We also feature the Mathematics Department and its efforts to show the real beauty of the field while it helps students master the skills and concepts that make it so useful. We also feature a new agreement with the Union University School of Pharmacy as well as a couple more of our Math 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 email now to jholmes@cbu.edu .


News of the Moment
Brent Holmes at the SPS meeting

Brent Holmes making his presentation
at the SPS Zone meeting.


Samantha Bownes, Biology 2012, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Vanderhaar Student Peace Award, in recognition of her work with CBU Visible Campus and Arudo Yat benefitting schools and children in Uganda. With Beta Beta Beta, the Biology Honor Society, she has helped organized the annual Bowlathon for Uganda, a benefit for the Ugandan non-profit organization Hope North. She is also helping to form a new program to encourage first- and second-year students involved in community service and humanitarian work. Samantha became involved with the Ugandan effort from her experiences as a participant in the MHIRT program.

Brent Holmes, Mathematics and Physics 2013, gave a presentation based on his work during his summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Montana State University at the Society of Physics Zone 10 meeting at Henderson State University (Arkansas) on March 10.

Dana Pabalate, Biology 2012, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis) Clinical Nurse Leader program.

Stephen Riley Pace, Chemistry 2013, has been accepted into the 2012 Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Fellows summer research program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Tripods

The Tripods!

On Tuesday, February 14, Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, was joined by 3 current students, an alumna, and Mr. Steve Ritter, to form The Tripods, which played a Lunchtime Benefit Concert for LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in the Alfonso Dining Hall. The members of the band, left to right, included: Mr. Steve Ritter (drums), Philip Loewenberg (sax), Amanda Fitzgerald (keyboard), Larry Anderson (electric bass), and Matthew Vincent (vocals and cowbell). The event netted almost $400 for LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center.

MHIRT group for 2012

The MHIRT group for this year.


The Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) program had its annual weekend retreat at the Heifer ranch at the end of February. There are two CBU students in this year's group, Liz Booker and Justin King. In addition to these two students, Dustin James, MHIRT Assistant Coordinator; Julia Hanebrink, MHIRT Program Coordinator; Dr. Sandra Thompson Jaeger, Associate Professor of Biology; and Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald Professor of Biology and MHIRT Director; are in the picture with the other MHIRT participants. Students this year were also accepted from two local universities: Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. Several others are from outside the Midsouth area. Ben Chism Biology 2011, and Amanda Fitzgerald Biology 2011, acted as student facilitators at the retreat.


bottle rocket event

SPS members Ecklin Crenshaw (left) and Brent Holmes (right)
supervise as a competitor pressurizes her bottle rocket in the
Science Olympiad. The soda bottle rocket uses a combination of
water and pressurized air to propel the rocket skyward.
The longest time of flight earns the winners a gold medal.
This photo is courtesy of the Memphis School of Excellence.

The CBU School of Sciences had another successful production of the Science Olympiad. The Olympiad was held on campus on Saturday, February 25, with 86 students participating. Memphis School of Excellence, coached by Murat Atakov, won the B (Junior High) Division after competing in 23 events. Two teams from Arlington High School, Bartlett, Collierville, and two teams from White Station High competed in 23 events in the C Division. White Station High School won the C Division with Arlington High School placing second. All three teams advance to the State tournament. From the Science Olympiad Website: Teams of 15 students develop their teamwork and problem solving throughout the year in preparation for each of the events. Middle and high school teams initially compete in one-day regional tournaments that are held at several locations throughout Tennessee. The top 18 teams advance to the state tournament held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the spring. This year, the Science Olympiad National Tournament will be hosted on May 18-19, 2012, by the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The Director for the West Tennessee Science Olympiad is Dr. Andrew Diener, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. For more photos from the event by the Memphis School of Excellence, click here.


CPR

BIOL 218 students working for CPR certification.



The students in Biol 218, Human Anatomy & Physiology II, were certified in AHA (American Heart Association) Healthcare Providers CPR Monday evening, 27 Feb. 2012. For images, click here.

On February 28, Dr. William Busler, Professor Emeritus, Christian Brothers University, was the invited speaker for the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Lecture Series 2012 seminar. He presented his seminar titled Environmental Organohalogens: Friend or Foe to an enthusiastic crowd that filled the Science Auditorium. This year the lecture was co-hosted by CBU SMACS, CBU Tri-Beta, the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Biology.



Upcoming Events


The CBU Department of Chemistry Seminar will feature Dr. Xiaohua Huang, Department of Chemistry, University of Memphis, who will present a seminar titled Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Detection and Treatment on March 15 at 1 pm in AH153 of Assisi Hall. This seminar is co-hosted by the CBU Department of Chemistry and the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS). Everyone is welcome.

There will be a Tri Beta Meeting on Tuesday, March 20, at 12:30pm in CW 105.

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.

On Saturday, March 24th, the Student Chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) will be heading out to Shelby Farms to fly home made kites! So build your own kite and come out for airborne fun. The group will be starting at 10:30 AM and will stay as long as people are interested.

The Forty-Third Annual Competitive Examination in High School Chemistry and the Twenty-Seventh Annual Local Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad will be held at Christian Brothers University (CBU) on Saturday, March 31, 2012. 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 43th 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 ( SMACS) and the CBU Department of Chemistry. For more information please contact Dr. Dennis Merat at dmerat@cbu.edu.

Rachel Haag at the Poster Session last year

Rachel Haag at the Research Poster Session last year.


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, 2012. 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 Senior Chemistry and Biochemistry majors will present the results of their undergraduate research at the 34th Annual Student Members of the American Chemical Society Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting held at The University of Tennessee at Martin in Martin, Tennessee on Saturday, April 14, 2012. A highlight of the event is the opportunity the students will have to meet and talk with Dr. Marinda Wu, President-elect of the American Chemical Society.

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.

The Math Department will be hosting part of the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association (TMTA) High School Math Tests on Tuesday, April 17. Last year there were 430 high school students taking the various tests at CBU, and we expect a similar number this year.

The city of Memphis has been officially chosen as the site of the 2015 Combined Southeast Regional Meeting/Southwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Christian Brothers University will serve as one of the co-host institutions and the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society plan to be actively involved organizing undergraduate activities at the meeting. For more information, please contact Dr. Dennis Merat, General Chair for the meeting, at dmerat@cbu.edu .


Alumni News

Caitlin Clay, Natural Science 2010, and Rodney Riding were married on October 7th 2011. Rodney graduated from the University of Memphis and is a Memphis police officer. Caitlin is working as a dental assistant at an oral surgeon's office: Sexton-Sharp Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Jennifer Hiltonsmith, Natural Science 2011, has been accepted into the M.S. program in Biology at the University of Southern Maine.

Bobby Lawrence, Biology 2007, has been elected President of the SGA at Lincoln Memorial University Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine for the 2012/2013 year.

Maegan Lytle, Biology 2010, has been accepted into the accelerated 2nd degree nursing program at East Tenneessee State University.

Brent Prentiss, Biology 2006, is now in Physical Therapy School at Tennessee State University.

Hannah Shackelford, Biology 2007 and MHIRT 2006, is finishing up her Masters in Biology at the University of Memphis this May (With Dr. Kent Gartner), and starting Veterinary School at Mississippi State this fall.

Four MHIRT students from summer, 2011, attended a XULA (Xavier University Fifth Health Disparities Conference) at Xavier University in New Orleans on March 6-8, 2012. The students were Crystal West (LeMoyne University 2011, currently Howard Univ. D.C.), Anne France Pierre (Americor, NYC), Lacey Andrews (Rochester Institute of Technology 2012) and Dominique Garcia Robles, CBU Chemistry 2011. The conference centered on research concerning health disparities. In addition to presenting their work from summer, 2011, the students attended workshops. The titles of their presentations are: Evaluating the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease using protein -specific analysis by L.A. Andrews, A.F. Ferreira, L.R. Britto; Adrenergic receptor expression in brainstem cells of wistar rats by D. Garcia-Robles, SM da Silva; MR Costa; MC Almeida; JP Matsumoto; DR Fior-Chadi; Brazilian normative database for the multifocal VEP and the use of this technique to improve the study of optic neuropathies by A.F. Pierre, ALA Moura; GS Souza; MTS Barboni; TL Costa; LC de Lima Silveira; MEC Fitzgerald; DF Ventura; Cross-cultural influences on healthcare in Uganda by C.R. West, J.R. Hanebrink, TN Alexander.

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Featured Story: Student Groups
Scene from last year's volleyball game

Action during last year's volleyball game.

As usual, Tri Beta, CBU's biology group, has been busy. It has been blessed with a team of bright and energetic officers and committee chairs who have worked well together. The president this year, Catherine Gluszek, has done a great job of leading the board. Other officers are Nick Watkins, Vice President; Grace Hutchison, V.P. Membership; Kelly Jeu, Treasurer; David Kim, Secretary; and James Dowdy, Historian. Committee Chairs are Madeline Reynolds and Lauryn Murphy, Social; Asia Rallings, Pre-Health; Jessica Dunn, Publicity; Kelsey Coolican, Fundraising; Christian Bahniuk and Anna Birg, Volleyball; Sam Bownes, Bowl-a-thon; and Cameron Volpe, Philanthropy.
• In September, the group held a Welcome Reception for new faculty members Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Dr. Anthony Trimboli, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. The group also volunteered their help for and walked in the Tour d'Spirit for Haiti Medical Missions.
• In October the group held Mock Interviews which included alumni in the health professions as interviewers.
• In November the group held its annual Bowling for Hope North in Uganda which raised around $1,500. It also went on a behind the scenes tour of the Memphis Zoo's Aquarium facility.
• In December they had a joint Christmas party with the chemistry group, the Student Members of the American Chemical Society.
• In Februay they held a bake sale for Haiti Medical Missions and raised about $100 for school supplies. The group also held its induction ceremony and reception for new members and parents.
Future events:
• In March the group will participate in a food drive for the Memphis Food Bank. The group will also begin weekly classes for MCAT preparation which was the brainchild of officers of the group who have already taken the MCAT.
• In April the group will hold its annual Volleyball for Church Health Center (a.k.a., the Youth and Vitality vs. Old Age and Deceit contest). For pictures from last year's event, click here. It also will hold a behind the scenes tour of a second zoo exhibit. It will also sponsor a tour of ST. Jude Childrens Research Hospital and of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.


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 will be presented with an Honorable Mention Award for chapter activities and the Green Chemistry Chapter Award for environmental awareness activities at the San Diego meeting of the American Chemical Society in March. Anyone with an interest in chemistry or biochemistry is encouraged to join the club; membership includes students from the School of Arts, the School of Engineering, and most majors in the School of Sciences. Justin Edwards is the current President of the CBU SMACS chapter. Other 2011-2012 officers in the club include Yusef Akbik, Vice President; Catherine Gluszek, Treasurer; David Kim, Secretary; Justin Gallagher, Senator; Alvin Siow, Photographer/Historian; Christopher Brack, Chemistry Olympiad Chair; Brent Holmes, Social Chair; and Corey Haughey, National Chemistry Week Chair.


SMACS first meeting

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


• During the month of October, 2011, SMACS celebrated National Chemistry Week and Mole Day. Since 2011 was the International Year of Chemistry, this year’s celebrations took on added significance. The festivities began with its version of the Elephant Toothpaste demonstration in the lobby of Assisi Hall. On October 23, the club celebrated Mole Day with its annual dinner at The Spaghetti Warehouse, beginning around 6:02 pm in honor of Avogadro’s Number 6.02 x 10^23 . The festivities continued after fall break with more public demonstrations, including The Blazing Gummy Bear on October 24, Diet Coke and Mentos in front of the Cooper-Wilson Science Center on October 25, and Foaming Pumpkins on October 26. The Diet Coke and Mentos experiment was a group participation event involving 10 volunteers. A curious crowd of about 35 to 40 gathered to watch the demonstration. All of the events this year were well attended. Their celebration concluded with a Special Session of Chemical Demonstrations presented by Dr. Harmon Dunathan. Dr. Dunathan is a Visiting Chemist in the Department of Chemistry who runs an innovative outreach program to assist chemistry teachers and promote chemical education in the Memphis City Schools. Be sure to join them in the fall when they celebrate the 2012 National Chemistry Week during the month of October.


Mentos and coke demonstration

After addition of Mentos – Photo by Alvin Siow

• The club has already had three 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.
• The CBU SMACS club participates in a variety of community service activities. 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 Days, and Alumni Weekend.


MAA receiving award

Above: Members of the MAA and faculty receiving the CBU
Organization of the Year plaque. Pictured from left to right
are Steven Menezes, Rebekah Herrman, Brittany Course,
Professor Grilli, Chasity Adams, and Eyrial Hearns.


The Student Chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) was named Christian Brothers University’s Organization of the Year last year! The chapter under President Rebekah Herrman continues to work hard and remains active this academic year. Highlights for the year include:
• Fractional Calculus Talk: In September, the MAA had the privilege of listening to Dr. Leigh Becker as he presented a talk on his research in differential equations and, specifically, the role of fractional calculus in his research.
• Annual Dress like a Mathematician Halloween Party and Pumpkin Carving Contests: The MAA celebrated Halloween by decorating the third floor of Cooper Wilson with spider webs, streamers, and other decorations and by hosting their annual Halloween Party. The winning pumpkin had dancing people on it, and their dance moves represented functions including the sine function, cosine function, and the quadratic function.
• Annual Chess Tournament: The Chess Tournament was held in November in order to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Everyone enjoyed hotdogs and card games on the side, and no winner has been declared for the Chess Tournament because there was not enough time to finish it.
• Number Theory Talk: Dr. Andrew Diener graciously presented a talk on Number Theory to the MAA in January of this year. We learned some interesting tricks that help determine the factors of any number.


MAA Pumpkin carving contest

Above: Members of the MAA posing with the pumpkins after the
Halloween Party. Pictured above are (front row, l-r) Sesha Shah,
Rebekah Herrman, Catherine DelBove, Sheleinia Henderson,
Chasity Adams, Eyrial Hearns, Martin Tribo;
(back row) Kevin Pham, Chris Brack, Alvin Siow,
Brent Holmes, Matt Hetherington and Aaron Lewis.


• Math and Music: In conjunction with the Society of Physics Students, the MAA hosted a talk on Math and Music in February. The group graphed different music notes as functions on graphing calculators and determined their frequency. SPS then demonstrated instruments that they had made and talked about the physics and math behind them.
• Pi Day: On March 14th, the MAA hosted a party for Pi day, which included eating pie and participating in activities that are related to pi.
• MAA Sectional Conference: In late March, several faculty members and students will travel to Arkadelphia, Arkansas to attend the Oklahoma and Arkansas MAA Sectional Meeting. The MAA will have two teams competing in the math Jeopardy contest, and members of the teams are Eddie Gallarno, Rebekah Herrman, Steven Menezes, and Josh Swillum. Other activities include an Integration Bee and a student seminar on the book Flatland.
• Math Awareness Month: In April, the MAA will celebrate Math Awareness Month by implementing several events. They plan to host a talk on math anxiety, have a session on birthday probability, elect new officers, make bubble shapes and balloon figures in the Quad, help with the annual TMTA Contest, and host their annual Ice cream Social.


The CBU Chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has been very active this year under the leadership of President Brent Holmes, Vice President Thomas Schill, and Secratary Ecklin Crenshaw. The activities this year include:
• In October, Dr. Johnny Holmes, Professor of Physics, gave a talk on elementary particles at the SPS meeting. SPS members also worked with Dr. Ted Clarke, Assistant Professor of Physics, to make a Resonating Cart demonstration.
• In November, Dr. Ted Clarke gave a talk at a joint CBU/Rhodes College SPS meeting.
• In February, SPS members ran six events at the Regional Science Olympiad (see News of the Moment above). The events were: Optics, Tower Event, Thermodynamics, Bottle Rockets, Experimental Design, and Storm the Castle. The members also built a musical instrument and showcased it at the MAA chapter meeting (see above). At that MAA meeting, Thomas Schill and Brent Holmes gave a talk on the physics of music.
• In March, Dr. Ted Clarke, Ecklin Crenshaw and Brent Holmes attended the Zone 10 meeting of SPS at Henderson State University in Arkansas, and Brent Holmes gave a talk on the work he did during his REU last summer at Montana State (see news of the moment section). Last year in March, the SPS held a kite building and flying competition, and the second annual kite event is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, this year. On Tuesday, March 27, Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, will give a talk and a demonstration about 3-D glasses.
• In April last year, SPS was invited to be part of the Engineering Competition and had several demonstrations including hands-on physics fun. The SPS group also plans on doing this again this year. The group also will hold a Paper Airplane Contest on April 17, and is planning on a Science Trivia Competition during the month with a time yet to be determined.


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Featured Story: Research in the Classroom
Joe Fong presenting his research.

Joe Fong presenting his research.

By Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology

Do women lie better then men? What is the effect of exercise on short term memory? Sound interesting? These are just two of the projects students in Human Physiology (Biol. 312) investigated last semester. In these newsletters you have heard about the successes of our students in summer programs conducting research at: St Jude, UTHSC, U of M, the Memphis Zoo, Brazil and other great undergraduate research programs. How do students get in these research labs? Student success is in part persistence, applying early to the programs and taking what they have learned in classes at CBU to the next level.

While many of our classes are didactic and centered on learning terms, memorizing pathways and phylogeny, several integrate primary literature, presentations and small research projects that test a hypothesis. All of these skills are practiced in the classroom prior to venturing out into the “real world”. The capstone research classes in the School of Science are internships in laboratories or clinical settings which allow students to experience real world situations in preparation for the next stage in their education. This next stage in a student’s life might be acceptance into graduate school or obtaining their first job, and the internships help prepare them for either.


Scott Parker presenting his research.

Scott Parker presenting his research.

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 and 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. In the human physiology class each year students develop a testable hypothesis and collect data with the other students in the class as test subjects. Last semester students found that:
* Body temperature and reaction time seemed to be correlated;
* Red Bull increased blood pressure and had a negative effect on reaction time for men but not women (the reaction time was based on an auditory response test);
* Visual images seemed to cause alterations in physiological responses in females more than males (using a biofeedback monitor);
* Exercise seemed to improve short term memory;
* Men showed less of a response when they told a lie than women in the study conducted by the students using a polygraph test;
* A preexisting condition of ADHD resulted in higher EEG waves during times of mental math with music as a distracter.


Anthony Ford presenting his research.

Anthony Ford presenting his research.

In addition to projects presented by students in Physiology, three students presented talks (see November 2011 newsletter) and posters to fellow students in December from the Independent Research class. This class is designed for students that are unable to complete the three semester Mentored Research, due to scheduling or other events. The students and their projects were:
* Joe Fong, Biology 2011, Clinical and molecular characterization of CFTR mutants delta F 508 and R347P. Mentor Dr. Naren, Department of Physiology UTHSC.
* Anthony Ford, Natural Science 2012, The effect of bracing for impact on patient recovery time. Mentor Dr. Bobby Meyers, Biology, 1998.
* Scott Parker, Biology 2012, Therapeutic intraocular erythropoietin gene therapy in a mouse model of retinal degeneration. Mentor Dr. Tonia Rex, Hamilton Eye Institute, UTHSC.

In addition to research in class or mentored research, this year we have three students conducting small independent projects at CBU. They have worked with several faculty over the past few months (Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Ms. Lynda Miller, Dr. Sandra Thompson-Jaeger and Dr. Mary Olgivie). In addition to faculty mentors, they also have senior student mentors. Shandria Jackson is trying to determine if the stage in which C. elegans is exposed to a SiRNA would improve the transfection percentage. Shandria is currently working with Larry Anderson as a student mentor, and preliminary data show that L2 have a higher transfection percentage than L4s. Justin King and Brittney Wilburn are trying to identify soil virus phages that infect soil bacteria. They are working with Joe Alphonso as a senior student mentor. They have gotten viral plaques, however they are still working on the final identification of the virus.


Junior Biology Seminar

Students presenting at the Junior Biology Seminar, BIOL 362.

As part of the preparation for their senior research the students who are majoring in some aspect of biology enroll in Junior Seminar. During this course students attend seminars from local researchers and try to decide what type of research they would like to conduct. They also prepare to present their research by having a poster session where they present the results of a peer reviewed paper. This poster session this year was on Tuesday, February 21, and it was attended by the senior research students and several faculty.

Curiosity is inherent to humans and this quality blossoms with nurturing. Mentors and teachers try to rekindle this curiosity and focus it into a disciplined knowledge of the research process. This logical development aids in any discipline and future job our students may be involved in.


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Featured Story: Pharmacy Agreement

CBU now has a Guaranteed Interview Agreement (GIA) with the Union University School of Pharmacy (UUSOP) that allows the possibility for CBU students to be accepted into the Union University School of Pharmacy after their third year at CBU, and to earn a B.S. in Natural Science from CBU as they earn their Pharmacy degree from Union University. This GIA allows highly qualified CBU students to sit for an Admissions Interview for UUSOP's next entering class up to a year earlier than the typical undergraduate student. This may result in acceptance to UUSOP 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 GER's, and who subsequently obtain their pharmacy degree at UUSOP, may be awarded the Bachelor of Science in Natural Science degree by CBU.

Details and conditions of the program are on the School of Sciences web page.


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Featured Story: Math Tutors III

by Br. Joel Baumeyer, Math Center Director

Evan Boulanger

Evan Boulanger in the Math Center


This is the third installment in a series that introduces the student tutors in the Math Center. The first installment was in the November issue, and the second in the February issue.

Evan Boulanger is a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, and a senior Civil Engineering student at CBU. He has been a tutor in the Math Center since the summer of 2010 and has been the secretary and webmaster of the American Society of Civil Engineers, CBU Chapter, for several years. He has been active in various School of Engineering undertakings over his years as a student. His outgoing personality and friendly attitude contributes to his abilities as a math tutor. He takes pride in working with underclassmen in the center.

Brent Holmes.

Brent Holmes in the Math Center

Brent Holmes is also a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, and is a junior double majoring in Math and Physics at CBU. He has been a tutor in the Math Center since the summer before his freshman year. He tutors in Math courses from the 100’s to the 400’s and all levels of Physics. He has a positive and very encouraging attitude while tutoring students which makes him a sought after tutor. Brent is the president of the Society of Physics Students, a member of the Mathematical Association of America, CBU Student Chapter and is a participant in the CBU honors program.


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Featured Alum: Ting Wong, Biology 2010

The note below is from Ting Wong, Biology 2010, writing to Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald. Ting is currently in Pharmacy School in Florida.

Ting Wong at her whitecoat ceremony

Ting Wong at her whitecoat ceremony.
Image courtesy of Don Pham.

I miss you dearly! I won't be able to come back home this Thanksgiving since the ticket price to fly back home is very expensive. I will be back for Christmas. I don't know when, but the cheapest flight will probably be to Atlanta and then I'll ride back home with my sister.

Pharmacy school is very interesting and I enjoy every day and every single minute of it being in West Palm Beach, FL. I am super involved in organizations and am an advocate in fund-raisier ideas for a professional pharmacy fraternity, Phi Delta Chi. Proceeds of the fundraiser and events that we do as a group are donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I found that the world of science is very integrated, and I realize that there are several people who have common interests with me. Also, I met a faculty member at NOVA that we were involved with in research at UTHSC. I love going back to school and getting to meet students and professors. The classes are going really fast, and there is a lot of material to learn in all the pharmacy core courses. But the quality of education from Christian Brothers University really did prepare me well for these graduate courses. So far, moving to West Palm Beach was a journey that I am glad I made. I am becoming more independent and learning how to manage time wisely. I am also becoming an advocate for several great ideas for the University and building up my leadership skills, something that I have always shied away from. My activity in school organizations in the College of Pharmacy is enhancing my networking skills and refining my professional behavior here at Nova Southeastern University as I commute back and forth to the main campus in Davie or in Fort Lauderdale. The faculty and staff here at the satellite campus in Palm Beach really make sure students practice professionalism and are present in class with our white coats on at all times. Faculty members on site are really helpful and communicative even though we are a satellite campus. All class lectures are broadcast via the main campus. We have a brand new building this year that is situated at a great spot by the highway and very close to a luxury mall, fine restaurants, and shopping centers in downtown Palm Beach Gardens.

I also love the sunny weather here in Florida. Right now, the weather is on average in the 78-80's and always sunny! I live just 7 minutes from the beach, so at times, I can go surfing or just watch the sunrise and sunset on the weekends when I am free. I am also just 1 hour away from Fort Lauderdale and an extra 30 minutes more from Miami. This is a wonderful spot to go to school. I am making a new group of friends and they are very helpful and supportive since we are along on this long journey together. I am actually looking forward to upper level clinical courses and doing my rotations in the next years to come.

For the first time, since the day I received my white coat, I am actually proud to be a student pharmacist advancing the science of pharmacy and its allied interests. I am also proud of the decision I made and the road I have chosen. I will make the best of it! This profession is necessary to help communities and patients understand the most safe, efficient, and proper ways of drug consumption. I am becoming more attentive and aware and caring. I keep myself busy at all times by volunteering and participating in community events (e.g., walks, car washes, diabetes operation screenings). I haven't left my art side either, as I am also making jewelry, designing, and taking photos. Keep me updated and tell everyone in the UT lab I miss them too, and I appreciate your help in getting me into pharmacy school.

Since I did research throughout my undergraduate years at Christian Brothers University, it motivated me to practice good independent study skills. Since my first research experience was done at Meharry Medical and then at Vanderbilt the following summer, I was able to work on a project that I became engaged in with a mentor. By being engaged as a student researcher I learned several techniques that expanded what I learned in my courses at CBU. Most importantly I was able to interact and socialize with different minority groups, and I learned about different cultures. When I went to Brazil the next summer through MHIRT, I was excited to build my research experiences up to an international level in a foreign country. It was my first time to travel outside the country and away from my family. I learned to adapt quickly to the new culture, a new mentor, a new language and people in Brazil, and I became less of an introvert. From these experiences, I continued to be involved with and engaged in biomedical sciences and work at UTHSC. All of these experiences in laboratory research helped me interact with different professions with the same interests for sciences. I also expanded my social skills and communication skills as I presented my research projects at various conferences and symposiums. After entering pharmacy school, I continue to search for research experiences with other health divisions at the main campus in Fort Lauderdale. Overall, my education and research experiences after graduating from CBU definitely improved my leadership skills, and I became engaged both in graduate school and in community outreach programs and volunteer opportunities.

I really want to say thank you, Dr. Fitz!!, to you and all those who have been such a great help to get me to where I am now. I wouldn't have been able to get here without your support and help in keeping me motivated and feeling loved.

love you much,
see you soon!

Ting

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Thank You Notes to Sciences Faculty
EcoTrek

top: Staci Long and Justin Edwards at the EcoTrek event.
Bottom: A participant showing how seeds
can be dispersed by clinging to clothing.

This month we have a thank you note from Jim Duncan, Executive Director of the Memphis Botanic Garden, in appreciation of Dr. Eisen's Parasitology students assisting as instructors at their Eco Trek program this fall. Dr. Stan Eisen is a Professor of Biology and CBU's Pre-Health Advisor.


Dear CBU Students,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your important contribution of time and energy. The volunteer service your provided for the ECO Trek event proved to be a tremendous help. Your willingness to provide knowledge benefitted the school groups that participated. Positive activities like this encourage children to appreciate the environment that they live in.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is a non-profit organization and we rely heavily on the support of our community and this event would not have been quite the success it was without your dedication to be here. Thank you again for donating your time, it's greatly appreciated.

Memphis Botanic Garden
Jim Duncan

Please keep in mind that we are always in need of people with a spirit of volunteerism.



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Featured Department: Mathematics

The Mathematics Department serves essentially every CBU student and is probably the biggest service department at CBU. It provides courses for Arts majors, courses for Business majors and many courses for Engineering and Science majors. It offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics, a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a dual degree in Math and Computer Science. There are options in the math degree in bioinformatics with a minor in biology or chemistry, and an option in forensics with a minor in biology. Most people recognize that you can teach with a math degree, and we do have a program for teacher licensure in Math. There are lots of other career options with a Math degree.

Math for some students is a fascinating and wonderful subject. For others it is something initially feared and dreaded. This wide range in attitudes and backgrounds in mathematics provides quite a challenge for the department. To handle this challenge, the departmental faculty have tried many different teaching techniques and use a wide array of tools.

Math Center

Math Center being used.

It all starts with trying to place students at the appropriate level. The initial placement is based on ACT scores, but the department offers placement tests for those who think their ACT results do not really indicate their level of skill and knowledge.

The Mathematics Department continues to explore ways to increase student success. To meet the needs of students who require a review of algebra before attempting other mathematics courses, the department has recently created three new ALG courses, ALG 110, ALG 115 and ALG 120. The department offers these in the fall in the day program and in the professional program in the evening. They are designed to prepare the student for Finite Math, MATH 105. The department hired Mrs. Sandra Davis last year to help with the new ALG courses. The Math 103 course was designed as a prerequisite for those that will take Precalculus and Calculus. Both the ALG courses and the MATH 103 course use computer tutorials to supplement instruction by the professor. These tutorials allow students to spend more time concentrating on individual weaknesses.

This is the seventh year of a special course, Math 129, that was designed to improve success for engineering students. The math department calls it MIFE (Mathematics Immersion for Freshman Engineers). Dr. Pascal Bedrossian and Professor Cathy Grilli have been team-teaching Math 129 in the fall semester. In it, students meet for nine contact hours each week and cover the topics of Pre-calculus and Calculus I. The students who succeed in the course are pleasantly surprised in Calculus II when the lectures are less than an hour!

Br. Joel Baumeyer continues to serve as Director of the Math Center which offers free assistance in mathematics, physics and computer science to CBU students. Tutors are typically CBU students majoring in mathematics, engineering or the sciences. These tutors take pride in offering their services to their fellow students. Since moving into the new Math Center room in Cooper-Wilson, student visits have increased from about 1,000 per semester to above 2,100 per semester.

In the upper level courses, the department uses the MAPLE programs to help make the material as visual as possible. Br. Walter Schreiner spent many hours of the past couple summers revising and updating MAPLE worksheets and aligning them with our new calculus text. Dr. Leigh Becker continues to use MAPLE in his manuscript Ordinary Differential Equations: Concepts, Methods, and Models. CBU uses this manuscript as the text for MATH 231 Differential Equations. Dr. Holmes Peacher-Ryan is doing research on the robustness of maximum likelihood factor analysis using five-valued Likert data. As an example of five-valued Likert data, consider the sort of questionnaire we have all seen in which we answer "1" for "strongly agree", "2" for "agree", "3" "neutral" or "don't know", "4" for "disagree", and "5" for "strongly disagree". Maximum likelihood factor analysis is a statistical technique which finds underlying factors or "causes" of the pattern of responses to a group of questions.

Five seniors, Brenda Withrow, Kelci Pearce, Jamie Frommelt, Andrew Greenop and Thomas Schill, will graduate this year with B.A. or B.S. degrees in mathematics. Besides the usual array of mathematics courses, math majors must also take two semesters of seminar (Math 481-482) in their senior year. Brenda Withrow’s project is on Statistical Meta-analysis which refers to statistical procedures in which the results of a set of research studies focusing on similar hypotheses are combined to resolve differences between them and to address research hypotheses related to the set of studies viewed as one large study. Kelci Pearce’s project is analyzing different algorithms for ranking and scheduling sports teams using graph theory and linear algebra. Jamie Frommelt’s project is on actuarial applications of epidemiological models, comparing insurance models under normal circumstances versus during some epidemic. Andrew Greenop’s project is in Graph Theory, in particular calculating the average degree of separation between the vertices in a graph. It has applications to the Small-World Phenomenon and social network analysis. Thomas Schill’s project is an investigation of a variational method, using Mittag-Leffler functions, to calculate upper bounds on ground state energy for certain potentials of the Schrödinger equation. The Mittag-Leffler function is a generalized exponential function, and arises as a solution to fractional differential equations. Andrew Greenop is a double major in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering. Thomas Schill is a double major in Mathematics and Physics.

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, co-authored a research paper with T. A. Burton (Northwest Research Institute) and I. K. Purnaras (University of Ioannina, Greece), which is entitled Singular integral equations, Liapunov functionals, and resolvents. It will appear in the May issue of Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications, 75 (2012), pp. 3277-3291. Since last summer he has also been asked by the editors of the journals Applied Mathematics and Computation, Journal of Integral Equations and Applications, and Nonlinear Analysis to review four papers.

The Math Department also provides service to the university and community through the Student Section of the Mathematical Association of America which is part of our featured article on Student Groups earlier in this newsletter. In addition, Dr. Andrew Diener, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is the CBU site director for the West Tennessee section of the Science Olympiad (see News of the Moment section earlier in this newsletter). The Math Department also provides support so that CBU can be a test site for the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association high school tests in the spring.