Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ashland University Receives $650,000 NSF Grant for Scholarships

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Ashland University $650,000 in S-STEM grant funding.  This five-year project will provide scholarship money to create a Science Scholars program for students pursuing a major in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, environmental science, geology, physics, and toxicology.  Check out this article for more details.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

AU Biochemist Honored at Sugar Bowl


AU biochemistry grad and linebacker Zach Bernhard was honored on the field during halftime of this week's Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans for being one of 25 member's on the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team!  

 While Zach is completing his MBA this spring he is finishing up a research project on the cadmium content of protein drinks.  In October, he presented a poster on this research at the meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Boston.  This poster was co-authored by toxicology alumna Megan Kracker ('16) and faculty mentors David Vanata (Dietetics) and Jeff Weidenhamer (Chemistry).

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

AU Sciences mourn Michael Hudson’s passing

The Ashland University community and Kettering science faculty and students in particular are mourning the unexpected death of Michael Hudson, longtime faculty member in Geology.  Dr. Hudson passed away shortly before Thanksgiving after a brief illness.  Professor Hudson – “Doc” – was a beloved teacher, mentor to dozens of research students, and will be deeply missed by his faculty colleagues.  The Ashland University Collegian recently published an article on Professor Hudson’s legacy and impact here at AU.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

This is the time to find a summer internship

The holiday break is the perfect time to identify and apply for summer research internships.  Application deadlines will begin in February and stretch through the Spring, but now is a great time to line up faculty letters of support (you usually need two of them) and the time off during break can be used to put together your applications.

Biology graduates Caitlin Duncan and
Emily Lundquist at Stone Labs on Lake
Erie in the summer of 2014
Summer research internships are competitive, but our students have a great track record of taking part in these great opportunities.  Use the Summer Research Internship tag on this blog to see examples of where our students have gone in the past.  It is best to apply to multiple opportunities to increase your chance of getting one.  Most University-based research internships last 10-weeks and cover travel costs, room and board and pay a stipend.  Science-related internships with companies also usually pay a salary.

So how do you find internship opportunities to apply to?  University-based internships are usually funded by the National Science Foundation and can be searched on this site.  This site from Texas A&M University is excellent for searching wildlife and fisheries related internships.  We also post opportunities on this Blog, as well as on our Facebook page and Twitter feed using #auinternships.  All of our social media is auto-posted to Twitter, so that is the best single location to find all opportunities we post.

Be sure to ask your academic advisor if you have questions about the internship search process and good luck!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ashland Biology Major Spends Summer as a Dolphin Care Intern

Senior Biology major Cortney Kourie had the unique opportunity to spend this past summer in Key
Largo, Florida taking care of and training Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.  Cortney's experience as a researcher at Ashland University with faculty mentor Dr. Dolly Crawford helped her secure this opportunity, along with her strong application materials.  We will let her describe her amazing summer:
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be an animal care and training intern at Dolphins Plus Oceanside in Key Largo, Florida. As an intern, my responsibilities were to assist in animal husbandry of the 14 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at my facility as well as 2 California sea lions for a couple of days at Dolphins Plus Bayside, Oceanside’s sister facility. In my day-to-day routine, I was in charge of preparing hydrations, nebulizer treatments, vitamins, and husbandry coolers. In addition to preparing all of these husbandry items, I also was in charge of knowing when they needed to occur during different sessions and making sure everything was ready and on the docks. I also assisted in the 3-5 sessions per day on the docks with the animals, which consisted of both swim sessions with the public and husbandry sessions. Additionally, there was a lot of scrubbing of buckets, fridges, and any other item we used in our daily care routine as there is in any animal care position. As for my interest in research, I was also able to assist in data collection by recording respiration rates and blowhole durations daily. My favorite part of the internship, however, was the privilege of finally getting to be a b-point, a secondary trainer who keeps an uncooperative dolphin occupied so that another trainer can finish a husbandry or swim session with a different dolphin. The internship was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. I was surrounded by amazing people including the trainers and the other interns, some of whom I lived with. This internship has taught me better time management and organization, and I have grown a greater respect for and understanding of the animal care field. I have definitely decided on my career path, and I hope to work with dolphins and many other animals in my future.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ashland Biology major interns with physicians in Florida

Junior Biology major Justin Dowell plans to attend medical school after graduation from Ashland
University to become a surgeon.  He spent this summer in Jupiter, Florida taking part in an internship at the Jupiter Medical Center that allowed him to shadow a number of doctors.  Justin writes about his experience below.  In addition to being an active member of our American Student Medical Association, Justin is supported by Ashland's state-funded Choose Ohio First Scholarship program.

I had the opportunity to shadow multiple physicians at the Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida, this summer. For this internship, I had to contact doctors from a given list of different specialties I found interesting. I shadowed a neurologist, pulmonologist, plastic surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, and multiple invasive radiologists as well as an infectious disease specialist. For the neurologist, pulmonologist, and infectious disease doctor, I was primarily in the office seeing patients. Although, I did observe a few bronchoscopies while I was shadowing the pulmonologist. I initially thought a radiologist only read X-rays, but I was proven wrong. I had the chance to watch two spinal surgeries performed by radiologists. These were noninvasive but none the less surgeries. As for the orthopedic surgeon, I observed a couple rotator cuff surgeries. Again, these were not very invasive. I did, however, see an elbow repair where the elbow was fully exposed. Lastly, the plastic surgeon performed multiple breast surgeries, a tummy tuck, and a few smaller surgeries. These were the more invasive surgeries of the summer. I found each of the specialties interesting and informative, but I also found out that I won’t be happy unless I’m in the operating room.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ashland professor and alumni take part in outdoor education workshop

Professor Tawse in the field with
workshop participants
Project WILD is a national environmental education organization that trains educators and teaches the public about wildlife and the environment.  AU Biology alumna Amanda Kriner recently facilitated a Project WILD workshop on insects with Jamey Emmert from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Amanda is a graduate of our Environmental Science Program and the volunteer coordinator for the Richland County Park District, which manages the Gorman Nature Center in Mansfield, Ohio.

Biology professor Merrill Tawse, who teaches the Entomology course at Ashland University, led the training at the workshop.  Attendees included another Environmental Science alumna, Karie Wheaton (Charlton) '11, who works as a Naturalist for the Geauga County Park District.
AU Environmental Science graduates
Amanda Kriner and Karie Wheaton