Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mastodon Excavation Update

Dr. Nigel Brush, Associate Professor of Geology, has been leading a mastodon excavation in a field near Bellville, Ohio.  He was featured in a Columbus Dispatch Science section article and video on October 19th.  Dr. Brush and a team of AU students and volunteers are spending their Saturdays at the site digging for the remains of the Mastodon.  Archaeology Magazine, a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America, also ran a feature about Dr. Brush and the excavation of the mastodon.  This work was also publicized on the Ashland University website.   
AU students participate in mastodon excavation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ashland Biology graduates pursuing degrees in Occupational Therapy

We are seeing growing interest among Ashland science students in the field of occupational therapy.  Practitioners in this field "treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities", according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which forecasts above average job growth in the field.  Graduate OT programs typically take 2-3 years and lead to the Masters or Doctoral degree.

Chelsea in Quito, Ecuador
Ashland Biology graduate Chelsea Kaminski ('13) is in the Master of OT program at Chatham University near Pittsburgh and has completed field work at the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech.  This January she will begin another clinical experience at the Cleveland Clinic followed by a rotation at the University Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.  This past summer Chelsea volunteered with fellow Chatham students to provide OT services in Ecuador.

Chelsea writes: “Both occupational and physical therapy students from Chatham University spent 10 days in Ecuador providing free services. Some of the places we provided therapy included a free clinic, an orphanage, nursing home and homeless shelter."

“I am also working with some other students in my class to adapt restaurants in the Pittsburgh area to create a sensory-friendly dining experience for children with ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorder),” she said. “This involves adjusting the environment, training the staff and creating sensory rooms that the children can go to with their family if they need a break for some sensory input. We hope to improve community awareness and acceptance of families with children with ASDs.”

Another Ashland Biology grad, Elizabeth Mantkowski ('13), is currently in the OT program at Cleveland State University.

You can read more about preparation for graduate programs in occupational therapy on our pre-health profession advising pages.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Summer internship season is starting

The upcoming holiday break is the best time to be putting together application materials for 2015 summer internships.  Many of these opportunities are already posted and accepting applications, while National Science Foundation-funded university research internships often have January due dates.  Keep checking back to read about specific opportunities, or how to search for ones that interest you.

We recently heard about a summer scholars program at Akron Children's Hospital involving both research and clinical experience for those interested in health care careers.  Applications for this program are due by November 14th.

Some other great resources for locating internships are:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Recent Headlines from AU Sciences

Construction at the Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center
Summer 2014 has been eventful for the sciences at Ashland University.  Several activities are highlighted below. 

The Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center is the largest of Ashland University's five environmental preserves.  Construction of an indoor/outdoor classroom building is underway.  Also, check out the new promotional video for the Environmental Science Program.

Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer's recently completed a five-month research experience in Australia.  Find more details in this AU News article.

Mackenzie Reece (Senior Biology & Biochemistry major), Alison Biro (Senior Toxicology major and Choose Ohio First Scholar), Zach Bernhard (Junior Biochemistry major) were selected for participation in the Business Concept Competition of this year's Entrepreneurship Immersion Week.  Stay tuned for more posts about our students' summer experiences.

Dr. Nigel Brush, Associate Professor of Geology, is leading a Mastodon excavation in Morrow County.  Ten AU students and volunteers throughout Ohio are contributing to the work that was recently featured in this article and video by the Mansfield News Journal.  Dr. Brush's activity on a different project was recently featured in by the Columbus Dispatch.  This article highlights the efforts to identify an interesting rock that was found in an Ashland County stream bed.

Involvement in professional conferences over the summer includes:  Michael Clement, Chemistry Laboratory Supervisor, attended the National Association of Scientific Materials Managers Conference in Indianapolis, IN.  Dr. Paul Hyman, Associate Professor of Biology, presented research at the Viruses of Microbes Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.  Dr. Brian Mohney, Associate Professor of Chemistry, gave an invited presentation at the International Society of Chemical Ecology Meeting in Champaign, IL.  Dr. Patricia Saunders, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Environmental Science Program, gave presented research at the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Portland, OR.  Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, Trustees' Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, presented his research and received an award at the Seventh World Congress on Allelopathy in Vigo, Spain.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ashland University Involved in Research Showing Lead Released from African Cookware Contaminates Food

Lead levels in foods prepared in aluminum pots from Cameroon exceed U.S. guidelines for lead consumption according to a new study published this month in Science of the Total Environment.  Significant levels of aluminum and cadmium were also found to be leached from the cookware.  

Chemistry professors Jeff Weidenhamer and Rebecca Corbin as well as senior biochemistry major and Choose Ohio First scholar Peter Kobunski were involved in the research, which included testing 29 samples of cookware.  The study was conducted in partnership with Occupational Knowledge International in San Francisco and the Cameroonian NGO Research and Education Centre for Development (CREPD). 
More details about this work is available through EurekAlert!, a global news service for science, medicine, and technology.  An audio slide presentation as well as the journal article may be accessed here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ashland science grads heading off to diverse careers

Cassie Nix, Alicia Myatt and Ainsley Moore
We recently posted a number of photos from this year's commencement ceremonies on our Facebook page.  Looking through some additional photos taken by Dr. Brauner I found one that really demonstrates the diverse types of careers that our graduates are pursuing after finishing their science degrees at Ashland University.

Cassie Nix earned her bachelor's degree as a triple major in Biology, Toxicology and Environmental Science.  She earned the Department of Biology/Toxicology's outstanding senior award and will now be pursuing a PhD in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University.

Alicia Myatt earned her degree in Biology and was a member of the University's honors program and a Choose Ohio First Scholar.  She successfully defended her honors thesis research on the use of different scents to enrich the behavior of cats housed at a cat shelter in the City of Ashland, were she served as a volunteer.  Alicia will be starting veterinary school at The Ohio State University this Fall.

Ainsley Moore earned her bachelor's degree in Biology and has been hired by the entomology department at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio, to assist graduate students with their research.  Ainsley would like to eventually earn her master's degree in either entomology or zoology.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Faculty and Student Recognition at the 2014 Academic Honors Convocation

Professor Merrill Tawse, Professional Instructor of Biology, was recognized as the recipient of the 2014 Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award during the recent Academic Honors Convocation.  Professor Tawse joined the Ashland University faculty in 2010 from the MedCentral College of Nursing and is currently teaching human anatomy and physiology, entomology, as well as a core ecology course for the Department of Biology/Toxicology.  Following presentation of the award, Professor Tawse spoke on his teaching philosophy for motivating students in an address titled “Let’s Catch Stuff!”
A resident of Mansfield, Professor Tawse has more than 30 years in outdoor education and research at the Gorman Nature Center and his areas of expertise include the distribution and foraging behaviors of the insectivorous bats found within the four-state region through the utilization of mist netting, acoustic monitoring, radio-telemetry and fecal pellet analysis.

Professor Tawse is the third AU Science faculty member selected for this award.  Dr. MasonPosner, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology/Toxicology, received this honor in 2009.  Dr. Perry Corbin, Associate Professor of Chemistry, was the recipient in 2012.

The following AU Science students were recognized with Department Awards during the Academic Honors Convocation.

Department of Biology/Toxicology
Sophomore Award:  Krista Lewis
Junior Award:  Mallory Balmert
Senior Award:  Cassie Nix

Department of Chemistry/Geology/Physics
Sophomore Award:  Alex Kaple
Junior Award:  William Horn
Senior Award:  David Hogue

Monday, March 31, 2014

AU Chemistry Research is Recognized at the National ACS Meeting

Dr. Perry Corbin, Associate Professor of Chemistry, recently attended the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas with junior chemistry major William Horn.  William presented the results of the collaborative laboratory research he has carried out with Dr. Corbin during the past year and a half.  The title of the poster presentation was “Synthesis of Resorcinarene-Core Polylactide/Polyethylene Glycol Star Block Copolymers Using Click Chemistry:  Optimizing Polymer Coupling Reactions Using No-D NMR Spectroscopy.”  This presentation was recognized as the first place winner of the POLYED Undergraduate Research Award.  Senior biochemistry major Aaron Tipton and recent biochemistry graduate Anna Falls were also co-authors.  Their work was supported, in part, from a grant from the National Science Foundation.  Dr. Corbin also gave a presentation (“From a Non-Majors Course to Undergraduate Research: Integration of NMR Spectroscopy Across the Chemistry Curriculum at Ashland University”) in which he described innovative uses of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy in the courses he teaches and in the research studies he carries out with students.
William Horn and Dr. Perry Corbin at the ACS Meeting in Dallas

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ashland Choose Ohio First Scholars volunteer at science entrepreneurship event

For the past five years students in Ashland University's Choose Ohio First Scholarship program have volunteered to register high school students, teachers and guest speakers at an annual science commercialization and entrepreneurship event held at Hudson High School.  A couple of weekends ago 10 of our current COF students and program director Mason Posner were on hand to help out and hear speakers from BioEnterprise, NASA, the Cleveland Clinic, WIL Research Laboratories and other companies making an impact in STEM across our region.  One of the goals of our COF program is to let our students know about the opportunities in the biosciences right here in Ohio

Our COF program provides scholarships to Ohio residents majoring in Biochemistry, Biology,
Environmental Science and Toxicology at Ashland University.  We have supported 24 students so far and plan to provide additional scholarships for our incoming Fall 2014 class.  Graduates from our program have been past valedictorians and salutatorians at the University, and are earning their PhDs, working in the biotech industry or preparing to attend medical and physician assistant programs.

You can read more about our COF scholarship program here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ashland middle schoolers spend a morning in our microbiology lab

A group of middle schoolers from the City of Ashland recently spent the morning with microbiology professor Paul Hyman staining and observing bacteria they collected at their school.  They also had the chance to look at their own cheek cells, bacteria from their mouths as well as some amoeba, paramecia and vinegar eels.  The students were accompanied by their teacher Lance Etzwiler and worked with a number of our science students: Ashley Franks, Hannah Baumann, Elizabeth Marinescu, Eryn Hobbs, Paul Honigford, Anthony Martella, Alayna Anderson and Nate Green.

Ashland Biology, Toxicology and Chemistry faculty invite Ashland middle schoolers to our Science Center for a variety of lab activities each semester.

Ashland middle schoolers working with our students

Dr. Paul Hyman (in the white lab coat), one of our programs microbiologists

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ashland forensic biology alumna heading to pharmacy school

We just received the good news that Lynette Vana (Forensic Biology '12) has been accepted to the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Cincinnati.  During the past year Lynette has been working as an analytical chemist at Ben Venue Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company near Cleveland.  During the year she decided that she wanted to pursue a degree in pharmacy, and with some guidance from past AU graduates in pharmacy careers selected schools, prepared for her pharmacy entrance exams and will now be starting at Cincinnati in the Fall.

While a student at Ashland University Lynette conducted summer research at WIL Research Laboratories, a pharmaceutical testing firm in the city of Ashland.  She continued this work with a faculty member in the Department of Biology/Toxicology and presented her research at an annual meeting of the Ohio Academy of Sciences.  She was also selected by the Society of Toxicology (SOT) for an undergraduate travel award that paid her way to the annual 2012 SOT meeting in San Francisco.  The picture above was taken during that meeting.