Note from the Dean
Plough Courtyard

Plough Courtyard between the Cooper-Wilson Center and
Assisi Hall in the morning.


We are off and running in a new academic year, starting our sixth year in the Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences building. The trees that were planted after the construction in 2008 are now getting big, and we have settled in to our offices and labs. But like the trees, we are continuing to develop. In this issue of the newsletter, we look back at the fruit of our combined efforts - at the success numbers of our recent graduates in the article on Student Success, of the work done by our current students over the past summer in the article on Summer Research, and the accomplishments of our Featured Alum! We are all very proud of our graduates and our students!

In the News of the Moment section, we take a look at some of the many recent activities in and around the School of Sciences and some events coming in the near future. This brings up an important aspect of the college experience - the students' learning and development outside of the formal curriculum. As someone who teaches, I'm very jealous of the time my students have, since I want them to work both in and out of class time on my courses. In science and engineering, we have lots of labs to help students learn the material and develop analytical skills that also put demands on their time. Most of the events in our News of the Moment section relate in some way to their formal curriculum but include important social aspects. There are lots more opportunities for students in the larger CBU environment and in the Memphis community including opportunities for work. It can be quite a challenge for college students to manage their time well. We encourage our students to work with their academic advisors and with their instructors to find the right balance and to find the most efficient ways to study so that their college experience is as effective and enjoyable as possible. Life after CBU continues to be a challenge filled with opportunities. As you can glimpse in our Alumni News section, our graduates appear to be up to the challenges!

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
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald at the ISER conference

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald (right) at the ISER conference.

Free tutoring:
* The Chemistry Help Center has officially opened with 4 Chemistry and Biochemistry tutors; help is now provided 15 hours per week in all Freshman level Chemistry courses and in Organic Chemistry. The Center is in CW 207. Help in Organic Chemistry is available on MWF 9:00 to 9:55 AM and on Thursday afternoons. Help with CHEM 101, 113, and 115 is available
Mondays 9:00-9:55 AM & 2:30-5:30 PM
Tuesdays 8:40-9:25 AM
Wednesdays 9:00-9:55 AM & 11:00-noon
Thursdays 8:40-9:25 AM & 11:00-noon & 2:00-6:00 PM
Fridays 9:00-9:55 AM & 11:00-noon.
* The Math Center tutors can help with Math, Chemistry, and Physics. The Math Center is located in CW 321. Click on the link for the schedule.
* There are tutors available in the LLC classroom that can help with Math, Chemistry, and Physics. The tutors are available Sunday through Thursday evenings from 8 to 10 PM.

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, is the author of the article entitled Resolvents for Weakly Singular Kernels and Fractional Differential Equations, which will appear in the September issue of the research journal Nonlinear Analysis, Volume 75, Issue 13, pp. 4839-4861.


Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, was an invited symposium speaker and symposium moderator at the International Society for Eye Research in Berlin, Germany. She gave a talk entitled Central serotonergic influences on parasympathetic control of choroidal blood flow in rats. Co authors were Nobel Del Mar, Chuyen Li, and Anton Reiner.


Hannah Shakelford

Hannah Shakelford, M.S., Biology 2007 & U of M 2012,
at her lab coat ceremony at the College of
Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State, Starkville MS.



Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, along with Hannah Shakelford, Biology 2007 & M.S. U of Memphis 2012, has a publication funded by MHIRT in Braz J Med Biol Res. 2012 Jul 12. pii: S0100-879X2012007500112. [Epub ahead of print] titled Comparison of the reliability of multifocal visual evoked cortical potentials generated by pattern reversal and pattern pulse stimulation. by Souza GS, Shakelford HB, Moura AL, Gomes BD, Ventura DF, Fitzgerald ME, Silveira LC.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, in collaboration with Dr. Kent Gartner, thesis advisor to Hannah Shakelford at the University of Memphis, has a publication in Platelets, 2012 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print] Platelets, glycoprotein Ib-IX, and von Willebrand factor are required for FeCl(3)-induced occlusive thrombus formation in the inferior vena cava of mice. Joglekar MV, Ware J, Xu J, Fitzgerald ME, Gartner TK.

Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, attended the 26th Annual Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in May 2012 where she attended seven update seminars and two days of workshops. A workshop on Building Muscles in Clay inspired a new set of lab experiences Dr. Ross has developed for CBU's A&P students.

Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, attended the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Portland, Oregon, where he presented a recently published paper entitled Water stress interacts with early arrival to influence inter and intra-specific competition: A test using a greenhouse study. As Vice-Chair of the Vegetation section he also judged student talks at the meeting for the Ton Damman award. While in Portland he went to Mt. Hood where the group was taught how to set up vegetation plots in accordance with the National Vegetation Classification System, which he will incorporate into future Botany and Ecology courses at CBU.


high school math tests

The High School Math Tests at CBU.


Lynda Miller, Science Lab Coordinator, is one of the authors of "Checklist of Medium and Large Mammals at Shelby Farms Park, Memphis, Tennessee" in the Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 87:99-104, authors: Wolcott, D.M., A.C. Grow, A.E. Houston, C.A. Goudie, E. Ozdenerol, B.D. Carver, L.R. Miller, B.A. Simco, and M.L. Kennedy. 2012.

On March 27, Dr. William Peer, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was awarded US patent 8,143,202 , "Methacrylate copolymer pour point depressants". Eugene Scanlon was his co-inventor. Pour point depressants are added to automotive crankcase oils to keep the oil from getting too thick when it gets cold. It has to be compatible with the many additives in motor oils, especially the viscosity index improvers, and it has to be stable in high shear and temperature environments.

The 700+ page report for the Natural Resource Management Plan for Shelby Farms Park has been published. Lynda Miller, CBU Science Lab Coordinator, and several CBU students participated in the project. Justin Hopper, Natural Science 2012, and Meghan Foard, Natural Science 2009, are listed. CBU is listed at other places throughout the document. Lynda Miller and her students conducted the amphibian and reptile portion of the survey, Justin Hopper worked on the forestry crew, and Meghan Foard led the plant survey. Meghan is now a student in the Ph.D. program at Arkansas State. Several of our students were partially funded by this study.

In April, CBU's Math Department hosted the High School Math Competition tests.


paper airplane contest

SPS's paper airplane contest.


On April 24, the CBU chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) held a paper airplane contest in front of the Nolan Engineering building.

This semester, Society of Physics Students (SPS) has elected officers: President: Ecklin Crenshaw, Vice-President: Brent Holmes, Secretary: Tiffany Corkran. Treasurer: Josh Swillum. They have also chosen a design for their tee shirt and have discussed their upcoming events. The T-Shirt design is on this link. Prices have not been confirmed, but tcorkran@cbu.edu is the email students can contact to reserve one!

Dr. Dennis Merat, Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the Memphis-Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair, chaperoned the high school winner of the 2012 science fair to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held May 14-18, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA. The Fair is hosted by CBU with significant volunteer help from the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society and students and faculty from the School of Science. Two of the students who competed in the Middle School Competition were among the 300 semi-finalists at the national level in the Broadcom Masters Science Competition for middle school students. The high school winner of our science fair received the First Place Air Force Award for Biochemistry at the INTEL ISEF.

two contestants at the Chemistry Olympiad

Two of the students who participated in the laboratory
component of the 2012 National Examination for the Chemistry
Olympiad held on the CBU campus on April 21, 2012.


The Annual Memphis Section American Chemical Society luncheon for the top 10 students in both the Memphis-Shelby County Local Chemistry Olympiad Competition and the Memphis Section High School Chemistry Competition was held on the CBU campus on May 1, 2012; parents and teachers accompanied the students to the luncheon. Dr. Dennis Merat served as the MC for the event and is the coordinator for the Chemistry Competition events. The top 10 students in the Memphis-Shelby County Local Olympiad also competed in the 2012 National Exam for the Chemistry Olympiad that was sponsored by the American Chemical Society and hosted by the CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society and the CBU Department of Chemistry.

Eric Joe, Biomedical Science 2013, climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania this August. He made it to Gilman's Peak!

On Thursday, August 23, the Biology Department hosted its Biology Majors Meeting to welcome (back) its majors.

On Thursday, September 6, Sergeant Martell Todd gave a presentation on U.S. Army Healthcare Scholarships to interested students and faculty. If you are interested in a clinical healthcare-related graduate program, this was an excellent way to get information regarding scholarships which pay for your graduate education AND earn a stipend.


Ecological Census Techniques

Field work in the summer course
Biol 292 Ecological Census Techniques
taught by Dr. James Moore.


During the couple weeks after graduation and before the regular summer session started, Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, taught a field course on Ecological Census Techniques. Here is a quote from Dr. Moore: "We are having a blast. Monday was an introduction to ecology and how to design an ecological experiment, with some stats mixed in. Tuesday we were at the Meeman Biological Field Station initiating some removal experiments with the invasive herb Microstegium vimenium. Wednesday we floated the upper Wolf river near Moscow, where we had a 'boot' put on the van (very exciting). Thursday Brother Tom joined us for a float trip down the lower Wolf behind Shelby Farms (glad you were there Brother!!!) Friday was a much needed break for the students as we relaxed in the AC and identified macroinvertebrates collected on our floating trips. The second week consisted of mark/recapture techniques using small mammals at the Meeman Biological Field Station. Agent Jeremy Dennison of the Wildlife Resources Agency helped identify species and show students how to trap small mammals and bats. We applied these data to obtain estimates of population size for these mammals."


Upcoming Events

On Thursday, September 20, SPS will host: Demos, Dinner, and a Movie! from 4-7 PM in AH 005. Pizza will be served and a lot of cool experiments will be done (not to students, but for them)!

Liz Booker working during MHIRT

Liz Booker, Psychology 2012, working this summer
during her MHIRT research program.


On Saturday, September 22, the Mid-South Coalition for Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Symposium and Wrap-up for Summer 2012 projects will be held at 9:00 AM - noon in Cooper-Wilson 105. Students who participated in the 2012 projects will present the results from their summer international research experiences in Uganda and Brazil. The symposium is free and open to the public. Breakfast and lunch will be served. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the summer projects for 2013 to meet with students and learn more about the program, and how they can qualify for an all-expense paid research experience. If you plan to attend, RSVP to Julia Hanebrink at jhanebri@cbu.edu by Wednesday Sept. 18. To learn more, visit www.cbu.edu/mhirt .

On Thursday, September 28, CBU's Tri-Beta will be hosting mock interviews for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who plan to attend healthcare related graduate school. The interviews consist of small group sit-down sessions with professionals from the Veterinary, Pediatric, Dental, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Optometry, Physical Therapy, and Pharmacy fields. The date for this event is Thursday, 28 September at 6 p.m. in the student lounge of Cooper-Wilson (2nd floor). Food and drinks will be provided. The group needs to know how many people will attend and which professional field you would like to interview in. To participate you must sign up in advance so we can match you to an interviewer in the healthcare field you request. Please RSVP by Monday, 17 September to Dr. Ogilvie at mogilvie@cbu.edu or to JD Wolfe at jwolfe1@cbu.edu.

On October 26th from 4-7 PM (Location TBA), SPS will host a Trivia Night!, a Jeopardy-style night of fun for all science majors! Not just physics!

The Annual Health Career Opportunities Fair will be Thursday, November 1, at 11:00am-2:00 pm in Sabbatini, Thomas Center.

Return to top


Alumni News
Raelyn Pirtle

Raellyn Pirtle, Biology 2010, at her white coat ceremony
for veterinary school at UT Knoxville with her mother.

Weddings and Engagements

Larry Anderson, Chemistry and Biology 2012, and Annie Ostrow have announced their engagement. Both are attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Dr. Justin Carmichael, Biology 2007 & Logan 2009, and Jessica Brooks announced their engagement.

Stephanie Johnson, Biology 2009 & SCO 2016, and Daniel Darnell, Biology 2009 & UTHSC 2015, have announced their engagement.

Dr. Jordon Klein, Biology 2006 & MHIRT 2005 & Pharm.D. UTHSC 2012, is engaged to Jenna Cherry. Jordon is currently doing a Pharmacy residency in pediatrics at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ashley Miller, Biology 2006 & UTHSC 2011, and Joshie Dohman were married in June of 2012. Ashley is currently working at the Urban Child Institute.

Hanna Orendorff, Natural Science 2010, announced her engagement to Zach Orcutt. Hanna is currently working at Lake Sammamish PT in Washington state.

Mallori Ann (Poff) Loughridge, Biology 2009 & BMH 2011, and Scott T Loughridge were married in February. Mallori is currently a nurse working at LeBonheur in the ICU.

Rachael Reese, Biology 2012, and Michael Covington, Business 2012, have announced their engagement.


Babies

Shay Bennett Carter, Biology 2002, and her husband, Bryan Carter, had a baby girl. Her name is Evangeline Grace Carter and she was born on May 10, 2012, at 7 lbs 8oz and 20.5 inches long. Her big brothers, Thatcher and Weller, are so excited.

Dr. Minoli Perera, Biology 1997 & Pharm.D. & Ph.D., and her husband, Eric Gengler, had a baby boy: Wolfgang Augustus Gengler (their second boy) born on Jan 3rd, 2012, at 6lbs 9.5 oz. Everyone is doing well. Minoli is still at her Faculty position at the University of Chicago (genetic medicine). Her husband is an engineer at Caterpillar.

Dr. Rusty Rodriguez, Biology 2000, completed his medical school and residency training at L.S.U. in New Orleans in internal medicine and pediatrics in 2008. He completed a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital / Texas Heart Institute and a supplemental year of training in adult congenital heart disease in 2012. He has recently joined the Sibley Heart Center Cardiology group at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine where he will be an assistant professor in internal medicine and pediatrics. His specialties are adult congenital heart disease and pediatric cardiology. He and his wife Krystin recently became new parents of a baby girl named Claire in August.


Nick Watkins

Nick Watkins, Biology 2012, at his white coat ceremony
for medical school at the University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.
with his girlfriend Minna Zhao.


New Graduate Admissions

Caitlin Ashley, Biomedical Science 2010 & MHIRT 2009, is in the School of Community Medicine in the Physician Assistant Program at Oklahoma University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jessica Hinds Beard, Biology 2010, has been accepted into the Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt. She will be working with Dr. Tonia Rex.

Justin Edwards, Biochemistry 2012, was accepted into the CBU M.A.T. program. He plans to teach chemistry and biology at either the Middle School or High School level.

Johnny Timmerman, Biology 2012, was accepted into the Baptist FEAP Scholarship program for Physical Therapy school. The scholarship covers tuition.

Kelley Ward, Biology 2005, has begun training as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Union University.


Achievements

Melody Allensworth-James, Biology 2009 & UAMS 2014, received the prestigious presidential poster competition award at the Endocrine Society Meeting. She also received an Outstanding Abstract Award at a reception in Houston, Texas.

Shanandria Jackson, Biology 2012, has recently been employed by United Allergy Services as a certified clinical allergist. In this position she conducts tests for the 48 most common airborne allergens. The corporate headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas.

Jennifer Johnson, Chemistry 2010, received a Master's degree in Biomedical Science from Midwestern University in Spring 2012.

Justin King, Biology 2012, conducted research with MHIRT at the University of Sao Paulo with Dr. Christina Joselevitch in the department of experimental psychology. He investigated the effect of intravitreal injection of acyclovir to control herpes simplex retinitis.

Keara Moore, Chemistry 2012, began a formal Internship this summer at Buckman International in Memphis Tennessee. She is working with Dr. Marilyn Whittemore in the Chemical Technologies Group.

Dr. Jerad Schulz, Biology 2006 & UTHSC 2010, completed the National Alliance of Wound Care's wound care certification (WCC). It is nationally accredited and required passing a national board exam. He and his wife are expecting their first child any day now.

Xinyu von Buttlar, Biochemistry 2012, was awarded a Pediatric Oncology Fellowship award from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She worked with Dr. Junmin Peng in the Department of Structural Biology.


Analice Hosey Sowell

Analice Hosey Sowell, Chemistry 2002 & MAT 2005, with the
mascot for the American Chemical Society.

Jennifer Paxson Saputra, Biology 2006, has published a paper: Histopathological and Postoperative Behavioral Comparison of Rodent Oral Tongue Resection: Fiber-Enabled CO2 Laser versus Electrocautery, by Shires CB, Saputra JM, King L, Thompson JW, Heck DH, Sebelik ME, Boughter JD Jr.; Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Dr. Felix Vasquez Chona, Biology 1998 & UTHSC 2005, presented a paper and moderated a session of glial cells at the International Society for Eye Research in Berlin, Germany. The paper's title is Metabolic profiling of reactive Muller glia: Friend or Foe. Coauthors are Robert Marc and Ed Levine and their Laboratory members at the University of Utah Moran Eye Center. Here are awards that Felix has won since his graduation from UTHSC in 2005:
* 2012 ISER Young Investigator Travel Award, July
* 2011 Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowship (CSURM), GRC Travel Award, March
* 2010 International Symposium on Retinal Degenerations Young Investigator Travel Award, July
* 2010 National Eye Institute ARVO Travel Award (NEI 7340-70), May 2010
* 2009-2010 Knights Templar Eye Foundation Award (fellowship)
* 2007-2009 NIH Developmental Biology Training Grant fellowship (5T32 HD07491)
* 2007-2009 Charles D. Kelman, MD Postdoctoral Scholar Award, The International Retinal Research Foundation (Research)
* 2007-2008 Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (Research)
* 2006 NEI fellowship for the MBL's "Fundamental issues in vision research" course
* 2006 Travel Award, Vanderbilt Eye Institute symposium

Return to top



Featured Story: Student Success

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. Other times, 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 2008 to 2012):

  • We had 32 of our graduates accepted into medical school (82%* acceptance rate)
  • We had 25 of our graduates accepted into pharmacy school (96% acceptance rate)
  • We had 14 of our graduates accepted into physical therapy school (88% acceptance rate)
  • We had 14 of our graduates accepted into nursing school (93% acceptance rate)
  • We had an additional 20 students accepted into various other health professional schools such as dentistry, veterinary, optometry, occupational therapy and chiropractic.
  • We also had 27 of our graduates accepted into graduate (M.S. or Ph.D.) programs in the 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.

Brandon Maharrey at his white coat ceremony.

Brandon Maharrey, Biology 2011, at his white coat ceremony
for medical school at UTHSC
with his girlfriend Mary Clifton.

CBU's Steps for Success

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. Our student groups, particularly the Biology group, Beta Beta Beta, and the Chemistry group, Student Members of the American Chemical Society, provide opportunities to see and interact with institutions and people in the local health community. 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 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.


Mary Jane Dickey Gibbs at her white coat ceremony

Mary Jane Dickey Gibbs, Biology 2011, at her white coat
ceremony for medical school at UTHSC
with her mother, Mitzi Dickey.

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.

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.


Return to top

Summer Research

Again this year many of our students did research this summer at various locations around the city and around the country. Here is a list of those students, who they worked for, and the title of their research.

Acronyms commonly referred to:
REU = Research Experience for Undergraduates program;
UTHSC = University of Tennessee Health Science Center;
MHIRT = Minority Health International Research Training;
SURF = Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Christian Bahniuk, Biology 2014, worked under Dr. Richard Smith, Orthopedics at UTHSC, The Role of Interleukin-6 as a Diagnostic Tool and Marker of Treatment Response in Pediatric Septic Arthritis and Osteomyelitis
Raymond Bedrossian, Computer Science & Mathematics & Electical and Computer Engineering 2013, worked in a summer internship at FedEx Services. He worked on writing efficient algorithms that make use of GPS data collected on the PowerPad (Handheld devices). He also wrote SQL scripts to generate reports that give a team information about how efficiently they are fixing day-to-day issues that come up with various systems across the world.

Lee Curbo

Lee Curbo at work this summer.

Anna Birg, Biochemistry 2014, was awarded a SURF fellowship to work on asthma research in the Department of Pharmacology laboratory of Dr. Rennolds Ostrom at UTHSC.
Krystyna Clark, Biology 2013, was awarded a SURF fellowship and worked with Dr. Alex Dopico, Pharmacology at UTHSC, Molecular cloning and expression of cDNA encoding tof the Ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2) from Rattus norvegicus cerebral artery smooth muscle.
Lee Curbo, Biology 2014, worked under Erin Brown, Memphis Zoo, Overview of Departments at the zoo with emphasis on Penguin care.
Lauren D'Surney, Biomedical Science 2013, worked under a national Fight for Sight grant with Dr. Tonia Rex, Ophthalmology at UTHSC, Neuroprotective treatment for blast-induced vision loss.
James Dowdy, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Michael Kennedy, University of Memphis, Distribution of Meleagris gallopavo in Shelby County.
Michael Drake, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Antheunis Versluis, Department of Dental Research at UTSC, Hygroscopic expansion of glass-ionomers.
Jessica Dunn, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Alex Dopico, Pharmacology at UTHSC, Cerebralvascular effects of ethanol and caffeine on a rat cerebral artery.
Christini Fernando, Biology 2014, worked under Dr. Daranee Tantbirojn, Department of Dental Research at UTHSC, The effect of surface treatment and novel adhesive on strength of composite repair.
Jessica Ferrell, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Tony Reiner, Anatomy and Neurobiology (Neuroscience Institute) at UTHSC, Motor dysfunction accompanies corticospinal tract damage following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in mice: 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone treatment may diminish some adverse effects.
Danielle Frazier, Biology 2013, worked under Dr Kristen Hamre, Neuroscience at UTHSC, Effects of developmental alcohol exposure on sleep: wake parameters and related behaviors in mice.

James Dowdy

James Dowdy at work.

Patrick Graham, Bilogy 2013, worked under Dr. James Franks, Gulf Coast Research Lab, Utilization of Otoliths to estimate the age of wahoo fish specimens.
Sherita Granderson, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Mitch Watsky, Physiology at UTHSC, Is 24R,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 an active form of vitamin D3?.
Brent Holmes, Physics & Mathematics 2013, was awarded an REU and worked with Dr. Peter Johnson and Dr. Overtoun Jenda at Auburn University on Graph Theory and Abstract Algebra.
Kaitlin Howle, Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering 2013, was awarded an REU at the University of Central Arkansas. She worked on a project called The Object Oriented Method for Interoperability pertaining to health information technology. The project director was Dr. Paul Young. The main objective of the project was to create a program that would help with the interoperability between health systems.
Lydia Hyatt, Biology 2013, was awarded a Neuroscience Merit Fellowship (Local) and worked with Dr. Max Fletcher, Anatomy and Neurobiology (Neuroscience Institute) at UTHSC, Measuring and manipulating odor sensitivity thresholds in C57/BL6 mice.
Austin Johnson, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. James Moore and Dr. Sandra Thompson-Jaeger, Biology at CBU, Demographic variation of Ailanthus altissima.
Jeremiah Mooney, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Jeff Stekete, Department of Pharmacology (Neuroscience Institute) at UTHSC, Halting effects of cocaine via micro-injection of a dopamine-1 receptor antagonist.
Lauryn Murphy, Biology 2013, was awarded an Ophthalmology Merit Fellowship (Local) and worked with Dr. Eldon Geisert, Ophthalmology at UTHSC, Utilization of microbeads in the anterior chamber as a model for glaucoma.
Stephen (Riley) Pace, Chemistry 2013, was awarded a Pediatric Oncology Fellowship award from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He worked with Dr. Clinton Stewart in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Indiana Soliman

Indiana Soliman at work this summer.

Ashia Rallings, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Bobby Meyers, James Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Effect of bracing for a whiplash injury on patient recovery time.
Mario Sauceda, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Jian Zuo and Dr. Wanda Layman, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Epigenetic regulation in the mouse inner ear.
Jessica Schneider, Biomedical Science 2013, worked under Dr. Mike McDonald, Neurology (Neuroscience Institute) at UTHSC, Behavioral, cognitive and motor deficits in DJ-1 knockout mice.
Indiana Soliman, Biomedical Science 2013, worked under Dr. Monica Jablonski, Ophthalmology at UTHSC, Tryp1- and Gpnmb: Are these two gene loci the only loci affecting glaucoma?
Daniel Stewart, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. James Moore, Biology at CBU, The facilitative effects of allelopathic compounds on invasive species nodulation.
Ebony Talbert, Biology 2013, was awarded an Ophthalmology Merit Fellowship (Local) and worked with Dr. Monica Jablonski, Ophthalmology at UTHSC, Tryp1- and Gpnmb: Are these two gene loci the only loci affecting glaucoma?
Velita Thornton, Biology 2013, worked under Ms. Sharon Frase, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Electron microscopic analysis of nitroblue tetrazolium staining of mouse retinal neurons at the electron microscopic level.
Martin Tribo, Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering 2013, Worked in a summer internship at FedEx Services. He worked on collecting data from PowerPad log files and efficiently aggregating it in an Oracle database. He also researched different Business Intelligence software such as SAP Business Objects and Tableau Server in order to find meaningful information.
Colleen Valdez, Biology 2013, was awarded a Neuroscience Merit Fellowship (Local) with worked with Dr. Larry Reiter, Neurology (Neuroscience Institute) at UTHSC, Angelman Syndrome: Effects of Dube3a expression in Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction.

Cameron Volpe

Cameron Volpe at work this summer.

Cameron Volpe, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. David Hamilton, Department of Comparative Medicine at UTHSC, Thermography: A noninvasive measure of mouse and rat body temperature.
Angela Williams, Biology 2013, worked under Dr. Marc Taub, Southern College of Optometry, Vergence facility:Test performance variability.

MHIRT Students This was the 11th summer of the MHIRT grant first awarded in December 2000. Students from ten different universities participated, The local universities and number of participants were: two from CBU (see below), two from Rhodes College, one from University of Memphis and one from UTHSC. There were also a student from: Meharry Medical School, Washington University; Oakwood University, Coppin State University, University of Puerto Rico and UT Knoxville. Students from CBU:
Liz Booker, Psychology 2012, was awarded a MHIRT fellowship and worked at the University of Santa Catarina in Florinapolis, Brasil, with Enzyme Detection in Callosobruchus maculatus: Protocol and Methodology Development. with Dr .Carlos Peres.
Justin King, Biology 2012, was awarded a MHIRT fellowship and worked at the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Brasil, with Dr. Christina Joselevitch in the department of experimental psychology. He investigated the effect of intravitreal injection of acyclovir to control herpes simplex retinitis.



Return to top

Math Center Tutors

The Math Center is a place for free one-on-one tutoring in math. It is also a place to do your math homework by yourself or in a study group with others in the center. The Math Center tutors will help any CBU student with a math question or problem. They provide assistance in a warm and congenial atmosphere. They can get you through the toughest homework problem. They're here to help you learn math. Location: Cooper-Wilson 321, phone: 901-321-3245. Below are profiles of a couple of the tutors.

Josh Swillum

Josh Swillum, Math Tutor


Junior Josh Swillum is a graduate of Catholic High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been a tutor in the math center since his sophomore year. Josh is an Electrical/Computer Engineering major with a minor in math and can tutor anything in computer science and anything in math from elementary algebra to Numerical Analysis. Outside of class he finds time to be a member of the MAA (Mathematical Association of America), SPS (Society of Physics Students), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) and the CBU Honors Program.


Aaron Lewis

Aaron Lewis, Math Tutor


Aaron Lewis is a senior majoring in Civil Engineering/Mathematics. He was home schooled and considers himself as self-taught. As a result he really enjoys tutoring at CBU ". . . because I love to see others' little light bulb turn on when they begin to understand new concepts." This is his second year of tutoring in the Math Center. He likes to listen to and compose music, swim and be spontaneous. To say that he is outgoing and vivacious is an understatement! Someday he would like to start his own school with a high focus on Math and Science.


Return to top

Featured Alum: Vaskin Kissoyan, Computer Science 1996
Vaskin Kissoyan

Vaskin Kissoyan.


Hi, I'm Vaskin Kissoyan. I graduated from Christian Brothers University in 1996 with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Psychology. I'm currently the CEO of Lokion Interactive, and I'd like to tell you the story of the very first CBU web site (http://www.cbu.edu.)

In 1993, I had my first introduction to the Internet. I was at the CBU computer center using the VAX VMS system. Up until that time I had been working with pre-Internet networks such as the BBS-based Fidonet. That first glimpse of direct access to the Internet was a watershed moment for me. I was hooked. I had dreamt of a world that was interconnected, and, suddenly, what had seemed like science fiction became real possibility.

Part of my fortune was timing--it was a great time for nerds--but my classroom experiences at CBU allowed me and encouraged me to apply lessons to this new public network we now know as the Internet. During a junior year semester project, I was able to research and develop using the latest Internet technologies, which were just beginning to flourish. Under the direction of Dr. Yanushka and armed with a Dec Alpha machine and a T1 line, I researched the new software needed to make websites. It was a software package provided by CERN, the famous physics lab where Web technologies were invented. These days that same software lives on - more or less - it is best known as "Apache."

My curiosity about the web resulted in CBU's first website. I proceeded to evangelize the technology by surreptitiously installing the Mosaic browser (predecessor to Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) on every computer in every lab on campus. I literally went computer to computer installing it, setting it to auto-start and making www.cbu.edu the start page. In its earliest iteration, the CBU website consisted of a few very basic items, such as contact info and a picture of the bell tower. Realizing the potential of the web site as a marketing and communications tool, I lobbied the head of the admissions office to use the website for recruiting. Eventually, faculty and staff got interested and once a new system administrator was hired, he took over the care and feeding of website, which is now hosting this article. I am very proud to have been involved with CBU and web technology at such a historic moment in time.

As graduation approached, I looked for ways to apply my skills and start a career in the industry I loved. Together with my friends Marcus Stafford and Mike O'Hearn, I built Quest Interactive Media, which produced web applications for FedEx, Harrah's and International Paper. We created some of the best technology that Internet software of that time could offer. This type of work caught the eye of USWeb, a firm that was building a national network of Internet-focused teams.

When Quest Interactive Media was merged into USWeb/CKS (later known as marchFIRST) in 1998, I moved to the Washington, D.C.-area to join a large eCommerce group. There I further refined my experience in various fields, building sites for National Geographic, Tower Records, Dick's Sporting Goods, and many other big brands. Ever since that time, I've been involved heavily with eCommerce, specifically enterprise-level eCommerce systems.

Twelve years ago, I helped found Lokion Interactive, a Memphis-based interactive agency, that picked up where Quest left off in its pioneering role in the high-tech web services market. Today, we have an excellent roster of Internet experts, and we work with many prominent clients, helping them with digital strategy, design, and software development. We can execute on the entire array of services required to deliver a great customer experience on the web, mobile phones, kiosks, or other devices.

I've always been very vocal about the outstanding education that I received at Christian Brothers University and am especially proud to have been taught by Drs. Yanushka and Bedrossian in the Computer Science department. During my time at CBU, I was also very lucky to have attended a couple of Electronic Engineering (EE) classes taught by Dr. Olabi. One particular class covered everything from the basic logic of "AND and OR" gates to burning a 4 bit microprocessor as a final project. I've held onto the final project report from that class. I never delved any further into EE, but the mere fact of understanding CPU interaction on that level has helped me with problem solving and has given me a very unique perspective when it comes to software design and coding.

My bottom-line advice to young students and alumni alike is that education is not solely about facts and grades. Learning to enjoy the journey of discovery and be comfortable with a constant flow of change is much more valuable in the long term. Dive into the industry you're most likely to be involved with and just read about it. Listen to a niche podcast. The more time you invest in that, the more comfortable you will feel making the important decisions that affect your future.

Vaskin Kissoyan
CBU Class of '96

Return to top

Thank You Notes to Sciences Faculty

This month we have a thank you note to Br. Joel Baumeyer, Professor Emeritus and Math Center Director.

Brother Joel,

Wanted to take a few minutes to say a big Thank You to you for the years of teaching you gave me back in 1987-1990. Sorry for the long delay but if you would have ever heard me talk about the one teacher I had at CBU that made a big impression on me it was you. I graduated in 1990 and went on to work in various operations as an engineer or manager until 2000 when the company I was working for laid us all off. I decided to do something a lot more service oriented at that time and had been working as a volunteer with an emergency medical services group (EMS) prior to the layoff. I went back and got my certification as a paramedic and have done EMS work at various levels for 15 years now. I currently work full-time medical response at a chemical weapons demilitarization site that has completed our mission and it is in the process of shutting down. The company allowed me to go back and get my Master's in Emergency and Disaster Management so I can continue to use my skills to aid my fellow man.

One of the things that always impressed me is you ability to teach an reach students with complex ideas. During my early years I worked in training a lot of my clients and tried to use some of the same skills I had observed with all of my teachers at CBU. I was not a stellar performer at CBU due to personal issues my last two years there but have since recovered my abilities and finished first in my paramedic class and now am graduating with a 4.0 with my Master's. This is not to brag but I always felt I let myself and my teachers down back at CBU by not reaching my full potential. Letting myself be overwhelmed and I know you and I talked once or twice about my situation way back when. I know you don't remember it with all of the students you have had over many years but you did help me a lot and the thank you seems woefully insufficient. Your work has helped a lot of students over the years and I hope more than a few do remember to say thank you now and then.

Keep up the good work and thank you again Brother Joel. Hope the music collection has grown over the years. You still had a wall that was unadorned with albums and CD's the last time I saw you. Am sure it is completely full by now. God bless and I hope things are well back in Memphis at CBU.

Guy (Trey) Cain
NREMT-Paramedic

Return to top

Featured Department: Biochemistry
Catherine Gluszak

Catherine Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, at her white coat ceremony
for medical school at UTHSC with Kelly Jeu, Biology 2012,
and Madeline Reynolds, Biology 2012. Catherine received the
Neuroscience Merit Fellowship in the summer of 2011 and continued
working in Dr. Scott Heldt's laboratory until she entered medical school

The Biochemistry degree program celebrated a milestone this year with the completion of the first 4 full years. To date, 11 students have graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry. These students have gone on to a wide range of career choices, including medical school, pharmacy school, and biomedical research.

The Biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy, medical and dental schools. 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. For this reason the major places a heavy emphasis on requiring laboratory courses to accompany most of the lecture courses required for completion of the degree. Of the 16 biology and chemistry courses required in the program, 14 of them have companion laboratory courses.


Biochemistry lab

Melanie Saunders, Mathew Skelton, Jessica Schneider, and
Kevin Liao are checking the pH of their freshly prepared
buffers in the Biochemistry laboratory.

Research is an important component of the B.S. Biochemistry degree program. In recognition of this fact, several new courses are being offered. The 2 semester Research Seminar series has been expanded to a 4 semester sequence, including CHEM 330 Research Seminar I, CHEM 331 Research Seminar II, CHEM 428 Research Seminar III, and CHEM 429 Research Seminar IV. An important component of the research program is the development of effective communication skills. Students are required to present the results of their work in a variety of formats, including: (a) a poster at the University Poster session in April; (b) oral presentations at a SMACS Area Collegiate Meeting and at the Annual Department of Chemistry Research Conference; and (c) a written senior thesis in the style of a major scientific journal.



A related new course is CHEM 490, Internship in Chemistry, where students majoring in Chemistry or Biochemistry are placed in area companies or research facilities. A total of five Biochemistry majors have completed or are currently taking this course.



In the image on the right, Luanzo Lung'aho is shown presenting the results of his research at the Department of Chemistry Senior Research Conference on April 28, 2012. Mr. Lung'aho performed his research at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas, under the direction of Dr. Mohammed M. Moursi.