Note From the Dean 2/15

Early morning at CBU

Early morning at CBU. Even in February, nature provides color and beauty! Science finds many ways to “see” that beauty.

Balance!  We all have competing demands on our time and attention: family, friends, society, work, exercise, relaxation.  Even in each of these areas, there are competing demands: which work job (e.g.,course for students and faculty) do I work on first or longest.

Faculty have to find a balance also between helping students succeed and maintaining high standards.  What good are high standards if few, if any, students reach them?  What good is helping students if they have nothing to reach for.  Do we really help students if we simply do the work for them?  But if we only offer opportunities but few, if any, take advantage of those opportunities, have we really helped students?

For me in my teaching, the real challenge is getting biology oriented students to see that the physics I teach is real and applicable to their interests in biology, but it is also very interesting in and of itself.  The single most effective way that I have found is to show my own fascination with physics.  The second is to show them explicitly how this physics applies to their interest in biology.  In reading many student evaluations for many different faculty members (as dean that is part of my job), I have noticed that the really good student evaluations generally refer to the enthusiasm that the instructor has for the subject.

I hope you see some of the results of students and faculty reaching a reasonable balance in the stories in this newsletter.

News of the Moment 2/15

Students make good use of the Student Lounge in CW

Students make good use of the Student Lounge in CW

Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, has been elevated to a gold level fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). The gold level fellowship is the highest ARVO designation. Fitzgerald was made a silver fellow in 2010 and is one of only 22 individuals inducted internationally as a gold fellow this year.  The ARVO membership is approximately 45% foreign and consists of about 12,000 individuals. The title of ARVO Fellow is an honor established to recognize current ARVO members for their individual accomplishments, leadership and contributions to the Association.  ARVO Fellows serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research and help further ARVO’s vision ”… to facilitate the advancement of vision research and the prevention and cure of disorders of the visual system worldwide,” which includes advancing basic and clinical knowledge and serving as the leading international forum for vision research and the primary advocate for vision science worldwide.

CBU’s chapter of Alpha Chi, a multidisciplinary honor society, has made star chapter again. Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, and Dr. Randel Price, Professor of Chemical Engineering, are the co-moderators.  There are over 300 AX chapters. Dr. Fitzgerald is currently President of Region 3 which is the Southeast Region.  In our region there are around 90 chapters.  Each year there are over 12,000 student inducted into this multidisciplinary society.  CBU only accepts the top 10% from the senior and junior class from each of our four schools.

Iman (Emi) Abutineh , Biology 2015, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Sarah Langsdon, Natural Science 2015, has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Upcoming Events 2/15

Contestants at the Science Olympiad.

Contestants at the Science Olympiad last year (2014)

February 28, Saturday:  The Regional Science Olympiad will be held at CBU on Saturday Feb. 28 this year.  We have 9 teams registered at the High School level and 4 teams at the middle school level.  If all of them show and all of them bring the maximum allowed number of students there will be 145 students plus coaches and parents.  Dr. Andrew Diener, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is the Regional Director and he is always looking for Judges, This year, he is particularly interested in people who might be able to do Meteorology or Entomology.  You can contact Dr. Diener at adiener@cbu.edu .

March 7-15  Spring Break!

Middle School Students presented posters of their Science Fair projects in Canale Arena (shown above). Additional Middle School and High School projects were presented in Sabbatini Lounge and the Montesi Conference Room.

Middle School Students presented posters of their Science Fair projects in Canale Arena (shown above) last spring (2014). Additional Middle School and High School projects were presented in Sabbatini Lounge and the Montesi Conference Room.

March 23-24, Monday & Tuesday, The annual Memphis Shelby County Science Fair will again be held at CBU this spring.  Set up will begin on Monday, 3/23, with judging on Tuesday, 3/24.  Dr. Dennis Merat, Associate Professor of Chemistry, is the Director.  If you would like to be a judge, contact Dr. Merat at dmerat@cbu.edu .

Students at the Student Research Poster Session last spring (2014).

Students at the Student Research Poster Session last spring (2014).

March 24, Tuesday, the CBU chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) is hosting its annual Science Trivia contest.  More details will be forthcoming later.

April 21, Tuesday, The annual CBU Student Research Poster session will be held.

May 6  Final Exams start.

Alumni News 2/15

Scott Berry presenting at the ASHP meeting.

Scott Berry presenting at the ASHP meeting.

Scott Berry, Biology 2009, Stephanie Parker, Biology 2009, and Ting Wong, Biology 2010, attended the national meeting for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist in Anaheim, CA on Dec 7-11.  Scott presented a paper at the meeting entitled  ”Dose Response Effect of Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) Therapy Upon  25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Concentration During Critical Illness”   Scott C. Berry, Melinda C. Stanton, Joseph M. Swanson, Rex O. Brown, Roland N. Dickerson Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Regional One Health, Memphis, TN.

Dr. Tiffany Baldi Rabe, Biology 2002 and UTHSC 2007, conducted a radiology residency in Dallas and then an abdominal imaging fellowship completed in 2013.  Her husband works for Raymond James in equity research.  Tiffany and her husband, Derek Rabe, just had their second child, Ms Caroline, who arrived Feb 3.  Everyone is doing fine and Big sis, Juilette, is happy to have a new sister.  They currently live in Dallas TX.

Dani Frazier, Biology 2013, has been accepted and started a bridge program at Hampton University in Hampton, VA.  It accepts 20 students/year and she will have a M.S. in Medical Science when she completes the program.

Drs. Alan Fredericks, Biology 2009, and Ying Wong, Biology 2009, graduated from Life University Chiropractic School in Atlanta.

John Archer and Allison Frymark

John Archer and Allison Frymark

Allison Frymark , Natural Science 2013, graduated from ULAR Nursing School in December 2014.  She has passed her NCLEX exam to be a Registered Nurse (RN).   Also, Allyson and John Archer, Engineering Management 2013, announced their engagement on December 31, 2014, with the wedding to be in October, 2015.

Jennifer Longo Allen, MHIRT 2004 & Biology 2005, JD 2008, and her husband, Lee, CBU Enigneering 2005, daughter in law and son of Leah Allen, former Administrative assistant to the School of Sciences, just welcomes their second boy, Eric James Allen, on Feb 13 (Friday the 13th by 14 min).  Everyone is doing fine.  They are currently in Huntsville, AL, where Lee is a Materials Engineer at the Marshal Space Center.  Jennifer works at the Waldrop and Associates PC law office and is currently on FMLA. 

Dr. Carter Nazor, Biology 2008, M.D. Medical College of Georgia, 2013, is a Neurology Resident (3rd year) at UTHSC.  She has announced her engagement to Dr. Evan Paul, an Internal Medicine Resident at UTHSC.

Dr. Manny Patel, Biology 2005 and MHIRT program, finished his residency in international radiology at UAB and has joined a private practice group in Nashville Premier Radiology .  He said even during his interview for a “real job” he was asked about MHIRT and his time in Brasil and Uganda!  He looks forward to being closer to Memphis.  (Manny is our featured alum this month!)

Alicia Scarborough, Biology 2009, announced her engagement to Clayton Ciarloni.  Alicia is currently an RN at BMH and is in school to get her DNP at UTHSC.

Cameron Volpe , Biology 2013, announced her engagement to Jonathan Fili, Physics 2013.   Wedding to be in June, 2015

Ashley Wise Jett, Biology 2004 and Pharm. D. 2008, and husband, Bryan Paul, and big sister, Bryley Jett, announce the birth of Presley Rose Jett who was born on 12/13/14 at 5:19 pm weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 in. long.  They are currently living in Arlington and Ashley is currently a pharmacist at Walmart, and Bryan is a clinical pharmacist at the VA in Jackson, TN.

Emily Wong , Biology 2009 and MPH from Emory in 2012, is working as a data coordinator at Methodist Transplant Institute in Memphis, TN.

Ting Wong with her poster.

Ting Wong with her poster.

Ting Wong, Biology 2009,  was a co author on a journal article from her time working at UTCHS:  Y. P.Deng, T. Wong, J.Y. Wang, and A. Reiner.  Differential loss of thalamostriatal and corticostriatal input to striatal projection neuron types prior to overt motor symptoms in the Q140 knock-in mouse model of Huntington’s disease. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 10/2014; 8:198. DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00198.

Featured Alum: Manish Patel, M.D., Biology 2005

Dr. Manny Patel

Dr. Manny Patel

I could remember as if it were yesterday,  my eyes transfixed upon a screen where many slides were flashing across my face.  The first slide would be something about the glomeruler filtration rate and the next about the loop of Henle.  These were one of many memories forged into my brain from my time at Christian Brothers University.  I graduated from the University in 2005 with a degree in Biology and entered into medical school at the University of Tennessee.  I came to an early realization on how much my education at CBU prepared me for the next step of my career.  Whether it was tutoring my medical student classmates about the intricacies of Histology taught to me by Dr. Ross, or relaying the highlights of the citric acid cycle, I have come to appreciate the dedication and effort each faculty member at CBU took to plan their lectures.

I would be re-missed if I did not mention the many activities and research opportunities I participated outside of CBU.  I was blessed and fortunate to spend a summer abroad researching the pharmacological effects of an anxiolytic drug on rats in an elevated plus maze while enjoying the beautiful weather in Florianopolis, Brazil through the MHIRT program.  The next summer, I participated in the pediatric oncology program (POE) at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  However, the most rewarding experience I had at CBU was my summer abroad in Uganda again with MHIRT investigating the health disparities of individuals in a war torn region in Northern Uganda.

Dr. Manny Patel at work.

Dr. Manny Patel at work.

I spent several weeks traveling the Ugandan landscape, working amid the perils of a long drawn war that ravaged and laid waist to a country once known as the “Pearl of Africa.”  I worked long hours speaking with many individuals who were affected first hand by the war.  Accepted in many “homes” of many Acholi families, I learned first hand about their culture and way of life.  My time in Uganda did not end in Africa.  When I came back, I met with the officers of Beta Beta Beta,  and with the help of Dr. Ogilvie, started the annual “Bowling for Uganda” fundraiser for a non profit organization called Hope North which continues each November supporting various non-profits.

After completing my four years of medical school, I entered into a Diagnostic Radiology residency at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  Five years later, I find myself typing this letter near completion of my musculoskeletal/sports radiology fellowship at UAB.   I have accepted a position with a Radiology practice in Nashville, where I will start the next chapter of my life.

However, my story could not have been written without the experiences I had at CBU.  Whether if it was studying countless hours for Dr. Fitzgerald’s Neuroscience course or working in a round house in Uganda, my experiences have taught me many things.  I’ve learned to live each day of my life by the simplistic notion that the content of a person’s character and beliefs are manifest during each waking moment, including those moments on even the best and worst days.  My appreciation for life and passion for patient care was fortified by my time at CBU.  I will never forget the opportunities afforded to me by the University to work with talented people and make both lifelong, personal relationships and personal friendships.

Manny -

Featured Article: Alumni Research

Research Presentations and School of Science Alumni

by Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology

What is Research?  Research is according to the dictionary can be a noun or a verb:  n. noun  1.  Careful study of a given subject, field, or problem, undertaken to discover facts or principles.    v. verb  1.  To engage in or perform research.  Or 2. To study (something) thoroughly so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner.

Students in the School of Science conduct research in both classes and in their capstone course.  Each year we have an Alpha Chi sponsored student research poster day (this year April 21) as well as presentations at the Tennessee Academy of Science regional collegiate division and other meetings.  In biology the students take a research class that can span two or three semesters, as do other majors.  In these classes students conduct clinical or basic science research at local institutions or at other institutions domestic or abroad.  Even those students that do not continue to conduct research have found that the organization skills and presentations skills have served then well in future careers.

In this newsletter several of our alumni presented posters at the American Society of Health System Pharmacist Meeting in Anaheim, CA.  The background for their research began here at CBU.

Stephanie Parker (right) with her poster.

Stephanie Parker (right) with her poster.

Stephanie Parker (Biology 2009) will graduate from UTHSC Pharmacy School in 2015 and is currently working as a Pharmacy Intern at Kroger.  The title of her research was “A case report:  Hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile in a trauma patient with a history of Crohn’s disease.”  This infection can cause diarrhea and other GI symptoms.  If an individual has a compromised immune system, has been in the hospital for a long time, or has recently been on antibiotics for a prolonged period of time they can acquire this infection.  Overuse of antibiotics has been implicated in this type of infection as well as certain antibiotics commonly used like amoxicillin, something than many clinicians are concerned about.

Scott Berry (Biology 2009) will also graduate in 2015 from UTHSC Pharmacy School.  He presented a poster on “Dose Response Effect of Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) Therapy Upon 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Concentration During Critical Illness”. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestine.  It also seems to have a role in helping the immune system and controlling inflammation.  There are several types of vitamin D.  D3 is obtained from the sun and animal sources, while D2 is from plants, milk and additives in foods.  Many people over 50 are said to be vitamin D deficient especially if they have any inflammatory disease (IBD, Crohns, or Colitis).  The kidney is responsible for activating vitamin D to  1-25- dihydroxyvitamin D by hydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D by 1-alpha-hydroxylase..   Without this activated vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous can not be absorbed in the GI system.  Other cells have been found to also have the activating enzyme.    Patients with chronic kidney disease and hyperparathyroidism among other chronic disease suffer from vitamin D deficiency.  Ergocalciferol has been recommended to increase 25-hydroxy Vitamin D, particularly with chronic renal disease.  This is a major area of clinical research.  (See his image in the Alumni News section).

Ting Wong (Biology 2010) also attended the meeting and will graduate in 2015 from NOVA school of Pharmacy.  Her presentation was titled “Drug induced Vitamin Deficiency, a Literature evaluation.”  While Ting was preparing to enter Pharmacy school she worked at UTHSC Department of Anatomy with Dr. Anton Reiner.  Results of her contribution to the research are just now being published as seen in the recent publication in the Frontiers in System Neuroscience.  Ting began conducting research early on with a summer research program at Vanderbilt. In 2007and the MHIRT program in Florinapolis, BR in 2009.   Se has been a co-author on several publications and presented posters a several national and international meeting.   Ting’s research presentation dove tails nicely with what Scott presented.  (See her image in the Alumni News section.)

Dr.Minoli Perera Gengler

Dr.Minoli Perera Gengler

Four years seems like forever but is a short time when one thinks about the careers and graduate programs students have ahead of them.  Minoli Perera Gengler (Biology, 1997) is a prime example of CBU School of Science journies.  She obtained a PharmD and then continued to get a PhD.  While in Chicago a few weeks ago Dr. Fitzgerald caught up with her and visited her lab.  She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago.  She has just obtained an NIH grant and says much of her research in genetics requires bioinformatics.  She likes Chicago where she lives with her husband Eric and two sons. She like so many other students started on her research path and interest during her capstone experience at CBU.

Dr. Fitzgerald with Ashley Miller and David Tran.

Dr. Fitzgerald with Ashley Miller and David Tran.

In addition to research and presentation, Alumni continue to be involved with CBU.  Not only in assisting with BBB Mock interviews but recently Ashley Miller and David Tran gave up their weekends to interview future CBU students for Trustee Scholarships.  Research, interviews, publications, presentations all part of the foundation students obtain in the School of Sciences.

Math Center Tutor: Ethan Hunter 2/15

Ethan Hunter, Math Center Tutor

Ethan Hunter, Math Center Tutor

Senior Ethan Hunter, a graduate of Faith Heritage Christian Academy, is a tutor in the CBU Math Center for the fall 2014-spring 2015 school year. He is studying Electrical Engineering with a double minor in Mathematics and Physics and can tutor in most math and physics courses. Ethan also is an active member in Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, The Honors Program, IEEE, and many more organizations. He has been a CBU Advising and Registration Leader (CARL) for the past three summers and very much believes in working hard and being involved on campus.

Thank You Notes to Faculty 2/15

Here is one thank you note to Dr. Arthur Yanushka, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science.

From: Sameer Parekh
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 6:40 AM
To: Arthur Yanushka
Subject: Hello from Sameer

Hello Dr Yanushka,

Dont know if you remember me, but this is Sameer Parekh from class of 2001. Just wanted to check in and say hello.

Hope everything is fine with you. I have been back home in India since 2005. I am a broker into stock trading in equities markets handling sales. Visit my company’s website www.greshma.com if you get a chance.

Fundamentals in computer science that you taught us have helped me all along in all my endeavours and I want to thank you for that.

Hope your health is doing fine.

Say hello to all other faculty at CBU from me.

Thanks and regards

Sameer Parekh

Featured Department: Chemistry

Students working under individual hoods in the Organic Lab

Students working under individual hoods in the Organic Lab

The CBU Chemistry Department offers four-year programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and in Biochemistry.   The
Chemistry degree has four paradigm options, including ones designed for graduate school, Forensic Chemistry, and preparation for Medical and Pharmacy schools.  The Biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy school, medical school, or dental school.  Both the Chemistry and Biochemistry degree programs place emphasis on the development of a wide range of laboratory skills that will prove useful, whether students will be going directly into the workforce after graduation or going on to post-graduate studies.

Students working in the biochemistry lab

Students working in the biochemistry lab

The Chemistry Department has adopted a philosophy that the best way to learn chemistry is to do it in real world settings.  In addition to the research requirement in the department, we offer a number of opportunities through either work-study or direct employment in the department for students to begin working in the laboratories throughout their entire course of study with us.  Students begin as Laboratory Assistants; juniors and seniors have the opportunity to be selected as Laboratory Specialists.  One or two students who have been in our work-study program for at least two years have the opportunity  to be selected as Associate Lab Coordinators.  The Laboratory Specialist and Associate Lab Coordinator positions include supervisory responsibilities, giving students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience.  Janice Nguyen, Biochemistry 2015, Jimmy Nguyen, Biochemistry 2015, and , Rhemrose Joy Sabio, Cyber Security & Digital Forensics 2019, are currently  Chemistry Assistants; and Duy Nguyen, Chemistry 2015, is the Chemistry Laboratory Specialist.

Tiffany Corkran

Tiffany Corkran, a Chemistry Center tutor, is shown in the Chemistry Help Center.

The Chemistry Department wants to help students succeed in our courses and now offers 19 hours per week of free tutoring in the Chemistry Help Center located in CW 207; current hours and tutor schedules are posted by the door of CW 207.  Tutors this semester include: Tiffany Corkran , Chemistry 2015; Dustin Higgens, Biomedical Science 2016; and Thomas Summers, Biochemistry 2015.