Monday, April 2, 2018

Ashland Science students heading to summer internships

We are starting to get news from our students about the exciting internships they will take part in this summer.  These opportunities range from internships in animal rehabilitation at the Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in North Carolina, to more local internships in toxicology at the Lubrizol Corporation, in entomology at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and with the Gorman Nature Center.

A student will also be heading to Central Michigan University to take part in a National Science Foundation funded research internship in Great Lakes ecosystem ecology while two others will be staying right here in the Kettering Science Center working on research using the zebrafish to study lens cataracts and blindness.

Stay tuned for more student internships news, and reports back from students at the end of the summer.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Ashland University students and faculty launch water quality monitoring program

The Black Fork of the Mohican River and the Black Fork Wetlands have been receiving a monthly
“check-up” since July 2017. This month marks the first check-up in 2018, as water quality data continues to be collected, analyzed, and used to shape our understanding of local water health. Six current students are involved in Ashland University’s Water Quality (AUWQua) Monitoring Program: Natalie Kracker ’18, Alexis Lough ’19, Maria Kern ’19, Shelby Reutter ’19, Alexis Flagg ’19, and Elizabeth Takacs ’20. Student-led field teams collect water from pre-determined sampling sites for nutrient analysis in the lab and use a multiprobe to measure water temperature, pH, salinity, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen.

These measurements are important in determining the current health of the water and enhance our understanding of the organisms that can live there. This type of project is especially informative in agricultural areas, as nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, which can contribute to algal blooms, are tracked. Large quantities of algae have caused concern in other nearby aquatic systems. In recent years, harmful algal blooms (HABs), caused by toxin-producing algae, have occurred in Lake Erie, Buckeye Lake, and even the Ohio River. Armed with the baseline data being collected by the AUWQua Monitoring Program, we can begin to coordinate efforts to maintain or improve best practices to protect our water quality.

Several AU Sciences faculty (Patty Saunders, Mason Posner, Dolly Crawford, Robert Bergosh, and Jenna Dolhi) are spearheading this project with funding provided from the University’s Provost Innovation Grant and Biology Department.

Coming soon! Ashland University Computer Science students, mentored by Iyad Ajwa, are developing a web application for public dissemination of the local water quality data.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Forensic Biology major interns in two Beijing, China hospitals

Forensic Biology major Stefanie Fockler was selected as the University's Intern of the Month for January.  Stefanie spent her summer in Beijing, China as a doctor assistant at two hospitals.  Stefanie speaks Mandarin and is active in our University's ACCESS program for international students.  Her goal after graduating from Ashland is to earn her combined MD/PhD and conduct medical research.

Stefanie writes: “I loved interning abroad. I would advise people to pick a broad internship that allows them to experience many different areas. This helped me to pick what I wanted to study after graduating from Ashland University. Maybe you will find that you love something you never considered before.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ashland Biology major spends summer health internship in Croatia

Hannah Wiles is a senior majoring in Biology and Health and Risk Communication planning to become a physicians assistant after graduating this Spring.  This past summer Hannah interned for two weeks in a hospital in Pula, Croatia as part of a program called Gap Medics. In her first week she worked in the Ear, Nose and Throat Medicine Department where she observed several procedures and had the chance to assist with sutures.  During week two Hannah worked in General and Abdominal Surgery where she observed the removal of pancreatic and stomach tumors and hip repair and replacement surgeries.

Hannah writes that the experience allowed her to see the differences in health care in another country.
"In Pula, Croatia the surgeons only put patients under general anesthesia for the more extreme procedures, so the majority of patients remain awake for their procedures with only spinal anesthesia. They also cannot afford air conditioning in the hospitals so only emergency surgeries are performed during the summer due to the heat and increased risk of infection. Not only was I able to see how Croatia’s healthcare operated, but was able to talk to students from all around the world who I was living with for two weeks about how their healthcare system operates as well. This was a great experience to not only get to travel abroad, but also a great chance to observe many medical procedures in a short amount of time."
If you would like help in finding international internship experiences in health care and the sciences contact Ashland University's Global Education Office.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ashland alumna is Postdoctoral Fellow in Regulatory Science

Following her graduation from Ashland, Daphne Guinn (Toxicology '11) earned a PhD in biomedical sciences from The Ohio State University, working in the chronic lymphocytic leukemia laboratory  of Dr. John Byrd and Dr. Amy Johnson.  Currrently she works as a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University in the Program for Regulatory Science and Medicine.  Daphne has written a blog about her postdoctoral work that explains her current role.   Daphne is working on a research project focused on using real world data collected with electronic health records to inform research studies that can improve efficacy and reduce the cost of clinical development for drugs benefitting patients with rare diseases.

Her mentor, Dr. Ira Shoulson, writes that “In Daphne’s relatively brief tenure as a fellow, she has launched a novel research project to advance experimental therapeutics for rare diseases. Using real-world data and rigorous statistical approaches, Dr. Guinn and her mentors are conducting research to facilitate the development, regulatory review, and approval of innovative treatments for diseases that share common molecular profiles.”
Dr. Daphne Guinn ('11) and her mentor Dr. Ira Shoulson

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Geology alumna studies lead corrosion

AU Geology alumna Jennifer Miller Tully ('11) is conducting research to understand lead pipe corrosion to help reduce problems such as occurred recently in Flint, Michigan due to the corrosion of lead water supply lines.  Her lab was featured in a recent NOVA PBS special on the problems in Flint, and Jennifer appears in the video shortly after the 51 minute mark. After moving on from Ashland, Jennifer received a Master's degree in Geology from Miami University and served as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) research participant with the EPA Office of Water and Office of Research and Development located in Cincinnati before taking her current position.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Choose Ohio First Scholars complete summer research internships

One of the strengths of our Choose Ohio First Scholarship (COF) program is the large proportion of our COF scholars involved in mentored undergraduate research projects.  Each summer we provide stipends, room and board for several COF scholars to continue that work through the summer.  Over the past few months we hosted four scholars along with two other students taking part in research projects with four faculty members.

Biology major Kelly Murray began her research project at Ashland while still a Choose Ohio First scholar at North Central State College, a community college in Mansfield, Ohio.  Kelly did an internship with Dr. Mason Posner at AU before joining our COF program, and then joined his research lab.  Kelly just graduated this spring and will be entering the Molecular and Cell Biology PhD program at Cornell University in the Fall.

Chemistry major Corey Turpin continued his synthetic organic chemistry research with Dr. Nick Johnson this summer.  The photo to the right shows Corey analyzing purified compounds using our 400 mhz NMR.  Corey plans to attend graduate school to become a University Chemistry Professor after his upcoming senior year.

Two rising COF sophomores had the opportunity to spend their first summers at AU in the lab.  Biology major Julia Owens worked with Dr. Paul Hyman to purify and identify bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria.  Forensic Biology/Toxicology double major Maria Kern worked with Dr. Jenna Dolhi to collect and identify microscopic protists living in the waters of our Black Fork Wetlands environmental preserve.  Julia, Maria and Corey are pictured below, along with another summer research student, Forensic Biology major Matt McDonald, after giving presentations on their work.

Ashland University has hosted a Choose Ohio First Program since 2009.  These scholarship dollars are given by the State of Ohio to support Ohio high school students entering STEM college programs.  Our program has 28 graduates and will support 32 additional students this coming Fall.