Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences (left) and Assisi Hall (right)
Welcome back! I hope you had a productive and enjoyable summer. We are almost a month into a new academic year, and things are happening.
We have two featured stories in this issue. The first is our annual feature on our success statistics. We work hard to prepare our students for success in the various professional schools, and we maintain a good reputation for giving those schools good students. The second featured story is on a couple of new courses that were offered last fall in biology.
The featured major this month is our relatively new Biochemistry major. There are two new courses being offered for the first time this fall to support this major: CHEM 342 Physical Biochemistry and CHEM 432 Advanced Topics in Cellular Biochemistry.
Mrs. Sandra Davis, new math instructor
We welcome a new instructor of mathematics, Mrs. Sandra Davis. Sandra has taught with us before as an adjunct, and last year Sandra helped us develop our new ALGebra courses which she taught for the first time in the evening last year. We are now offering them in the regular day semester this year with Sandra as the instructor.
Last April CBU held its 14th Annual Research Poster Session. There were 60 posters presented. Also, the winner of the 2010 Dominic Dunn Award was announced: Caitlin Ashley, Biology 2010.
This summer was a busy one for science majors. The Biology Department had 18 seniors doing research this summer in clinical or basic science labs. The Chemistry Department also had 8 students
working in labs. Below is a list of some CBU students who have worked out of town or have worked under named fellowships.
SURF = Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship
REU = Research Experience for Undergraduates program
UTHSC = University of Tennessee Health Science Center
MHIRT = Minority Health International Research Training
Meagan Lamica, Biology 2011, worked with sea turtles in Clearwater, FL.
Larry Anderson, Biology & Chemistry 2012, worked in the SURF program in pharmacology at UTHSC.
Casey Carr, Chemistry 2011, worked in the SURF program in pharmacology at UTHSC.
Cheryl Clausel, Biology 2011, worked in the SURF program at UTHSC.
Joseph Alfonso, Biology 2012, worked in the Texas A&M SURF program in Corpus Cristi.
Rachel Haag, Biomedical Science 2011, was one of three area students who were awarded the 2010-2011 Merit Fellowships for Undergraduate Neuroscience Research from The University of Tennessee Neuroscience Institute. Rachael worked with Dr. Tonia Rex, Ph.D., in Ophthalmology, who is working to develop safe and effective gene therapies for retinal degenerations at one of the UTHSC labs.
Natalie Hurt, Biology 2011, received an Ophthalmology fellowship.
Jennifer Cobb and Ben Chism, both Biology 2011, worked through the MHIRT program at Emas, Brasil.
Dominique Garcia, Chemistry 2011, worked through the MHIRT program in Sao Paulo, Brasil.
Jenessa Mae Gebers, Psychology 2011, worked through the MHIRT progran in Uganda.
Vanessa Walker, Biology 2011, worked through the MHIRT program in Florinapolis, Brasil.
Brea Bowers, Biology 2011, worked in the Prescience program at UTHSC.
Mary Jane Dickey, Biomedical Science 2011, worked in the Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Brandon Maharrey, Biology 2011, worked in a summer REU program in nanotechnology at the University of Memphis.
Justin Burt, Chemistry 2011, worked in a summer REU program at the University of Southern Mississippi.
CBU students Ting Wong, Victoria Bujalski, Sana Sayani,
and Mary Jane Dickey working this spring at the
neuroscience lab at UTHSC.
Here are some of the other science students who worked in local labs this summer (some with pay and some without):
Madison Cao, Bridgett Sharp, Carrie Lee (all Biology 2011), and Yandira Salinas, Biochemistry 2011, worked at St Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Chris Colanero, Biochemistry 2011, worked at PennAKem (a chemical company in Memphis).
Matthew Charles, Kathleen Nelson, Matt Jackson, Amanda Fitzgerald, R. Kyle Hayes (all Biology 2011), and Cathlyn Chan, Biochemistry 2011, worked at UTHSC.
Chelsea Dunning, Biology 2011, worked at the University of Memphis.
Raymond Wilson, Chemistry 2011, began his research in August at the University of Memphis.
Erik Scott, Biochemistry and Chemistry 2011, began his research this summer in the Department of Chemistry at Christian Brothers University.
Jack Land, Biochemistry 2011, is beginning his senior research project this month at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
This past spring, the School of Sciences was pleased to learn that a science organization, a science faculty member, and a science major all won awards from Student Life:
* Kristi Prevost, Biology 2010, won the Sadie Lisenby Achievement Award. Here is the award description: For over 20 years, Ms. Sadie has been an important fixture of the CBU campus community. Throughout her tenure, she has used her talents to create impactful programming opportunities for CBU, fostered a caring environment for all students, and has been a beacon of light for lay people across the world. the recipient of this award has too embellish the qualities of Ms. Sadie Lisenby through their efforts on campus, the Memphis community, or the world.
* Dr. Mary Ogilvie, Professor of Biology, won the Advisor of the Year Award. The award description reads: Advisors continually assume integral roles of being a friend, mentor, and advocate for students and student organizations. This award recognizes the advisor who has unselfishly given their time and talent to assist a CBU campus organization.
* Beta Beta Beta, the CBU chapter of the Biology Student Honor Society, won the Organization of the Year Award. The award description reads: This award highlights the organization that has positively aligned itself with the mission of its own organization and the university. Ultimately, this organization has proved to be an outstanding asset to the university and is the ideal student organization.
Group photo of the 2010 MHIRT participants.
CBU faculty members Dr. Teri Mason, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences, and Julia Hanebrink, MHIRT Program Director, and MHIRT students Lanie Smith, CBU 2002 & Institute
Pratt 2011, and Joy Nolte, U.T. at Knoxville 2009 & Boston U. 2011, made a presentation at the 19th Annual Africa/Diaspora Conference on Health, Peace, Security, and Development in Africa/Diaspora at California State
University in Sacramento on April 29 - May 1, 2010. The Panel Title was New Choices for Health Care Delivery: A Multi-Faceted Approach to Reducing Health Disparities. The presentations were:
* Pluralistic Medicine in Southwest Uganda: Health-Seeking Behaviors and Healthcare Perspectives by Hanebrink, J.; Alexander, T.; Miller, K.; Nolte J.; Kronenwetter, V.
* Testing Psychosocial Intervention through Art with Ugandan Child Soldiers and Abductees by Mason, T.; Smith, A.; Hanebrink, J.; Kulenic, T.; Harmon-Gross, L.; McClain, L.; Moore, J.
Dr. William Peer, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been awarded two patents:
* US patent 7,732,525 B2 Polymers for Paper and Paperboard Coatings to Randy Branston, William Peer, Tamal Ghosh, Howard Roger Dungworth, published June 8, 2010;
* EP 2186845 A1 (A1 means it's an application that has not been examined) Ammonium Functionalized Polymers as Antistatic Additives to Fabien Jean Brand, Balint Koroskenyi, William Joseph Peer, Published May 19, 2010.
Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology and Director of CBU's Pre-Health Programs, presented a poster at the 2010 biennial meeting of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) held in Atlanta, June 16-20. The title: Communicating with Pre-Health Students While Conserving Electrons: The Caduceus Newsletter. The poster is on display on the Preprofessional Health Programs bulletin board on the first floor of Assisi Hall.
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald at the ARVO fellows reception
with two MHIRT students, Mya Santos and Lindsey Holloman.
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, attended the Association for Research in Vision and
Ophthamology (ARVO) meeting in FT Lauderdale Florida. She was an author on four presentations:
* Pattern Reversal Visual Evoked Potential From Glaucomatous Patients by M.F. Santos, L.N. Holloman, E.M.C.B. Lacerda, G.S. Souza B.M.P. Silva, B.D. Gomes, M.E.C. Fitzgerald, and L.C.L. Silveira.
* Visual Electrophysiology and Visual Psychophysics Impairment After Cryptococcosis Infection: Two Case Reports by L.N. Holloman, M.F. Santos, E.M.C.B. Lacerda G.S. Souza, B.D. Gomes, A.A.M. Rosa, R.C.M. Sousa, M.E.C. Fitzgerald, and L.C.L. Silveira.
* Stimulation of Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus, Lateral Parabrachial Nucleus or Nucleus of the Solitary Tract Increases Choroidal Blood Flow in Rats by M.E.C. Fitzgerald, C. Li, N. del Mar, and A.J. Reiner
* Effects on Rat Retina of Disrupted Parasympathetic Choroidal Blood Flow Regulation by Superior Salivatory Nucleus Lesions by A. Reiner, M.E.C. Fitzgerald, C. Li, and N. Del Mar.
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, gave an invited talk on Establishing US-Brazil connections through undergraduate research summer students: A ten year relationship at the XXV Annual Meeting of FeSBE meeting in Aguas de Lindoia, Brazil, in August. This is the Brazilian federation meeting and Dr. Fitzgerald was a specific invitee of the BRAVO organization which is the Brazilian chapter of ARVO.
Upcoming event: Saturday, Sept. 18. The Mid-South Coalition for Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Projects Symposium and Wrap-up for Summer 2010 projects will be held Saturday, Sept. 18 from 9:00 a.m.-noon, in Cooper Wilson 105. Students who participated in the 2010 projects will be presenting the results from their summer international research experiences in Uganda, Brazil, and Thailand. The symposium is free and open to the public.
Upcoming event: Tuesday, Sept. 28. Beta Beta Beta, the Biology Student Group, will be hosting Mock Interviews for any CBU student or alum interested in a Health Care Career. These interviews will consist of one on one interactions with a Physician, Dentist, Pharmacist, etc. Juniors and seniors will receive first preference, however sophomores are also welcome. When: September 28, 2010, 7:00 pm; Where: Conference Room on the third floor of CW. To learn more about this event please contact Ashia Rallings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming event: Friday, October 1. Fr. George Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory (retired) will give a talk on The Dance of the Fertile Universe: Chance and Destiny Embrace at 7 PM at the CBU University Theater. This is free and open to the public. For more information contact Br. Kevin Ryan, F.S.C., at email@example.com or at 901-321-3444. FYI - The Vatican Observatory has locations in Italy and Arizona. Father Coyne resides in Tucson, Arizona.
Ashley Miller with her prize winning poster.
Ashley Miller, Natural Science 2008, won first place for the second year graduate student research posters at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is a second year student in epidemology at UTHSC. She is also the proud recipient of the June E. McCarthy Scholarship. This scholarship with her tuition waiver means school is a 100% paid for this year.
Xiong Lin, Biology 2010, has been accepted to graduate school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Emily Wong, Biology 2010, has been accepted to graduate school at Emory University.
Andrew Asbury, Biology 2003, graduated with his Osteopathic Medicine degreee in May from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (Kansas City, MO). Andy is heading to Akron, Ohio, for his residency in Family Medicine at Summa Akron General Hospital.
Indre Augustinaite, Biology 2008, graduated from Union Nursing School in December, 2009, and is working nights at Baptist Desoto in the ICU. She says she loves it! She has also announced that she is engaged to Gene Gerlach.
Christina Martinez, Biology 2005, graduated with a D.D.S. degree from the University of Puerto Rico. She will do an Endodontist speciality.
Trent Gullett, Biology 1998, has decided to go to Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, MS. this fall.
Lyndsay Woodward Eisermann, Biology 1998, and her husband, Lukas, had a baby on July 3rd. Her name is Ella Cassidy.
Jennifer Tzefekas Feldman, Biology 2002, and her husband Jonathan had a baby girl named Abigail Catherine Feldman at 7:23 AM on June 6, 2010, 8 lbs 6 oz and 21 inches. Jennifer is currently working for Ventana Medical Systems in Raleigh NC as an applications specialist.
David Arrington, Biology 2001, and his wife, Debbie, had a baby girl, Evie Brooke Arrington, on July 18, 2010, 6lb 15 oz. Everyone is doing fine. David is still working at Baptist Memorial Hospital as a nurse and loves it. They have one other child, Sam, who is 1 year old.
Heather Gosnell, Biology 2009, and Stephen Hill, Chemical Engineering 2009, were married on July 3rd.
Jennie Nguyen Tran, Biology 2007, was married on June 26th in San Diego CA. Her husband is David Tran (not the one that graduated from CBU). Jennie is currently in her last year of school at Life university.
Sue Nguyen, Chemistry 2002, got engaged on a recent trip to Niagara Falls, Canada. The wedding will be set in Memphis in the next year or so. Her fiance, William Merbs, is currently an anatomy instructor at St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Sue is working at a compounding pharmacy in Grand Rapids, MI.
Michelle Paul Tubinis, Biology 2009, married Zach Tubinis on July 31,2010. Michelle is in her second year of medical school at the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock.
Our own Julia Hanabrink, Psychology 2000, married Dave Lewis on July 31, 2010. Julia has served as the program coordinator for MHIRT. She is leaving the full time position to pursue her Ph.D. in Knoxville beginning this fall.
At CBU, we strive to give each and every student the best opportunity for success. Sometimes that means helping students get into professional or graduate school to further pursue their ambitions. Sometimes that means helping students determine a "Plan B" if their initial plan was not really suited to their talents and/or initial expectations. Othertimes, it means helping a student determine what are the possibilities out there that match up with their interests and talents.
In the last five years (classes of 2006 to 2010):
- We had 24 of our graduates accepted into medical school (67%* acceptance rate)
- We had 17 of our graduates accepted into pharmacy school (81% acceptance rate)
- We had 16 of our graduates accepted into physical therapy school (84% acceptance rate)
- We had 11 of our graduates accepted into nursing school (100% acceptance rate)
- We had an additional 22 students accepted into various other health professional schools such as dentistry, veterinary, optometry, occupational therapy and chiropractic.
- We also had 19 of our graduates accepted into graduate programs in the health sciences (100% acceptance rate).
* In reviewing these percentages, please note that we do not pre-screen our applicants to the various professional or graduate schools as some institutions do. Some of our students were initially rejected but were accepted in a following year. If a student was accepted in one area and rejected in another, we only count the acceptance and not the rejection since we concentrate on student success.
For comparison purposes with medical school acceptances at UT, East Tennessee, U of Arkansas and nationwide (data for 2009, see
data from aamc):
- UT-Memphis accepted 165 out of 1,352 applications (12% acceptance rate).
- East Tennessee Quillen accepted 66 out of 1,445 applications (5% acceptance rate).
- University of Arkansas accepted 165 out of 1,701 applications (10% acceptance rate).
- nationwide, 18,390 are accepted out of 42,269 applicants (43% acceptance rate).
For pharmacy schools, the average acceptance rate is about 12% for each school, but since students often apply to more than one school, we obtained information that 50.2% of all PharmCAS applicants received at least one acceptance.
Michelle Paul, Biology 2009, at her white coat ceremony
at the start of medical school at the University of Arkansas Medical
School College of Medicine in Little Rock. The white coat ceremony
marks the transition from pre-clinical into clinical studies.
In some instances where clinical studies are integrated into all
the years, it can happen during the first year of the program.
To get into competitive professional (e.g., medical, pharmacy, dental) schools, there are five things that are important:
1. Grades At CBU, most of our science courses have labs associated with them, and the instructor for the lecture is usually the instructor for the lab. Our professors have at least 10 office hours each week to help students both with their coursework and with advising for their career plans.
2. Entrance tests (e.g., MCAT, PCAT, DAT) The excellent courses supported by well equipped labs prepare our students for these tests. In addition, the CBU Career Center offers practice tests to try to help prepare our students.
3. Experience in the field At CBU, we provide our students with many opportunities to gain experience in their chosen field. In the freshmen Principles of Biology courses, we have a discussion section that spends some time talking about what it takes to get into various fields. In the sophomore year we have a Biology Careers course that has students shadow a couple of professionals and hear many more make presentations about their fields. In the junior year we have a Junior Seminar course that brings researchers onto campus to talk about their research. All of our majors have a senior capstone research or internship course. This experience is viewed very positively by the various health professional schools.
Kristi Prevost, Biology 2010, is now a trainer
at Dolphin Cove in Key Largo Fla.
4. Recommendations from your professors and the supervisors of your work in the field At CBU, you are encouraged to really get to know your professors. If you take advantage of this, the professors will be able to write very specific letters of recommendation for you.
5. Interviews As part of the admissions process for professional schools, students are required to attend an interview. At CBU, we help students prepare for this opportunity by holding mock interviews staffed by our alumni and other health professionals. For more information and pictures from the 2006 event, click here. [Due to lack of a photographer, pictures are not available for the 2009 event.]
To help and guide you in your preparation for pursuing any of the health careers, we have a Pre-Professional Heath Director, Dr. Stan Eisen. He has a very extensive set of web pages on the various health careers and what it takes to get into these professional schools.
The photo shows Kyle Moats (Natural Science), Bob Moats
(Engineering Staff), Justin Hopper (Natural Science), and
Jessica Wright (Natural Science and Liberal Arts) while they
were flipping logs looking for salamanders.
During the spring, 2010, semester, students had the opportunity to take two special topics courses in addition to the regularly scheduled biology classes. Zoo Biology and Herpetology each gave students an opportunity for “hands on” learning in the area of organismal biology.
Zoo Biology focused on exotic animals that are often found in zoo collections. Each of the classes of vertebrates was covered and topics such as nutrition, animal husbandry, diseases, and general biology of the animal were discussed. The students spent their lab time at the zoo, learning from the keepers who work there. It was a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and gain experience that will be helpful when applying to veterinary school and/or zoo keeper positions.
Herpetology focused on identification of mid-south amphibians and reptiles. The majority of the class was conducted in the field, learning the animals first hand. Much of the time was spent at Shelby Farms and the data collected by the class will be part of a larger survey effort to catalogue the plants and animals of this large urban park. Additional field trips were conducted in Shelby Forest.
Dr. Laura Haskins
Laura Haskins, Natural Sciences, 2000, is now practicing at Memphis Mid-South OB/GYN Alliance, P.C. Below is her story in her own words.
Picture this: a 30-something-year-old mother of three, working as an ICU nurse, content with her life. Settled and not keen on change in general, she feels a new “call” on her life. At first, she tries to ignore this call, but over time it becomes overwhelming and unignorable (if that’s a word). The call? Go to medical school and become a doctor. A doctor! But wait! First, she must complete her degree. And that means taking stuff like Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Embryology. Ouch! So after recovering from this realization, she steps out in faith and enrolls in a large university in the Memphis area, returning to college after many years. The students have gotten much younger since the last time she was here, and the material is daunting. One day, as she sits in a huge auditorium with hundreds of students, brow furrowed, struggling to grasp some chemistry concept, she overhears this whispered exchange:
“Man, there’s a lot of people in this class.”
“About half will drop out after the first exam.”
“Yeah, I’m repeating this class.”
New voice, “I’m taking it for the third time.”
Alarmed, she thinks, “I’m too old to be taking classes three times!” Driving home afterward, she phones her husband, frantic. Good naturedly, he suggests she transfer to his alma mater, Christian Brothers University. Ironically, he graduated from the Business College some twenty years earlier, when it was still known as “Christian Brothers College”. What great advice that turned out to be!
The story you have just read is true. And, as you may have guessed, I was that 30-something –year- old woman. Thankfully, I did take my husband’s suggestion and transfer to CBU. I can honestly say if I had not done that, it is likely I would not have become a physician after all. Of course, I received an outstanding education at CBU. That goes without saying. The instructors were very knowledgeable, approachable and interested in their students. I immediately appreciated things like the small class sizes and the professors teaching their own labs; but, over time I recognized the value of being treated as an individual with a unique set of talents and needs. I sincerely believe this is what allowed me to press on when things were difficult, to hang in there when I wanted to tuck tail and run back to my “settled” life.
At CBU, face-to-face interactions with faculty were commonplace, both prearranged and impromptu. I fondly remember Dr. Westcott’s Organic Chemistry study sessions. Every Friday afternoon at 4 o’clock, when the building was like ghost town, he met us in the classroom and tirelessly worked problems on the board. Week after week, he would stay until the last question from the last student was answered. Often it was just a few of us regulars there, but he didn’t seem to mind. (Funny, we regulars had a lot of company around exam time.) I’m sure he had better things to do with his Friday evenings, but I am genuinely grateful for the hours upon hours he devoted to us. Not only was I able to pass, he helped me to excel in dreaded Organic Chemistry.
When it came time to apply to medical school, Dr. Eisen was instrumental. Not only did he understand the lengthy process, but he coached me through it step by step. He assembled my paperwork and even wrote a letter of recommendation himself. Above and beyond the call of duty, he proofread and re-read my personal statement offering excellent critique. And like a great coach, he commiserated with me when I was placed on the waiting list, and cheered with me when I was accepted. It’s no wonder he was one of the first people I phoned when I launched my new practice.
Because the teachers knew me as an individual, they were able to write letters of recommendation that truly depicted Laura Haskins. During my last two years at UT medical school, I had the very great privilege of serving on the admissions committee. The letters written by professors who knew students personally carried much more weight than ones that sounded like a form letter.
Even after graduating, CBU was there for me. Preparing for my first set of med school exams, I felt so overwhelmed and just couldn’t understand the cell biology material. Dr. Ogilvie met me at the CBU library, explaining it in a way that made sense. “CBU is like the Hotel California,” we joked. “You can check out but you can never leave.” Truthfully, that’s a comforting feeling. So, now I am a 40-something-year-old mother of three, grandmother of two, and a doctor. A doctor! Had I not found CBU when I did, I might not be able to say that. Isn’t my husband wise? Must be that CBU education of his.
Subject: A little teacher appreciation
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 07:49:42 -0500
Thread-Topic: A little teacher appreciation
From: "Trouy, James Matthew"
This is Matt Trouy. I'm sending you this e-mail to tell you thanks. I am currently in the Physical Therapy program at UT and this semester we are taking Kinesiology. I was told that this class is one of the hardest classes we would ever take and I have seen my fellow classmates struggle with the material, but I on the other hand find that the material comes very easy. I know this is because of the Physics classes I took with you as an instructor.
The image above shows Dr. Merat with students in the
Our relatively new degree in Biochemistry is turning out to be a very popular degree here at CBU. This degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy, medical and dental school. The degree places a strong emphasis on the development of a wide range of skills at the molecular level that are needed in medical and biochemical research laboratories. As noted in the News of the Moment section above, three biochemistry majors worked in area labs this summer.
Because pharmacy schools are starting to require more biology courses without taking away the required chemistry courses, this biochemistry degree will serve students interested in pharmacy very well. Of course, we still continue to offer our traditional Biology and Chemistry degrees and our Biomedical Science and Natural Science degrees.
The image below shows students working
in the Organic Chemistry lab.
The Biochemistry degree has 32 hours in biology and 39 hours in chemistry. This compares to the Biology degree which has 49 hours in biology and 19 hours in chemistry and the Chemistry degree which has 45 hours in chemistry and no required hours in biology.
This major is heavy on science labs. Of the 17 biology and chemistry courses, 14 of them have labs. This heavy emphasis on labs not only supports the lecture classes, but it also provides a wide range of laboratory skills that are needed in today’s biomedical laboratories.
Several courses have been added this year that will be of interest to students majoring in Biochemistry. These include CHEM 342 Physical Biochemistry, which emphasizes the physical properties of biological molecules, and CHEM 410 Advanced Biochemistry, which focuses on aspects of cellular biochemistry not discussed in other courses.
The new Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences, which opened in the fall of 2008, contains a brand new Biochemistry Lab and a new Microbiology/Molecular Biology Lab. The other chemistry and biology labs in Assisi Hall (formerly Science Center) were renovated. This included a complete renovation of the Organic Chemistry lab that now contains 18 hoods, enough for each person in lab to have his or her own hood for the organic chemistry experiments.