Retirement reception for CST development director Gail Moore
Thursday, May 30 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.,
ET Building, 2nd floor balcony
May 22, 2013 - Please join us in wishing Gail Moore a happy retirement after 17 years of service to the university, eight of which have been with development and alumni relations and the past nine years as the director of development with the College of Science and Technology.
An informal open house will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 in the Engineering and Technology Building, second floor balcony.
We invite everyone to come join us in wishing Gail all the best on her well-deserved retirement.
Science is Fun! mentoring program connects with the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum
May 17, 2013 - Recently, CMU science majors and teacher education students Elizabeth Moore, Amber Millis, Chrissy Wills and Natasha Gabara connected with local elementary school children from the Mount Pleasant community at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum.
As members of the Science is Fun! mentoring program - and under the guidance of chemistry lecturer Angela McGuirk and Heather Frisch, MPDM administrator and co-founder - the students developed and delivered a seven-week series of learning about science. The first three weeks were composed of fun, educational lessons with hands-on demonstrations that focused on biology, chemistry and physics topics.
CMU teacher education students gained valuable experience in a real classroom setting, while the children who participated gained an appreciation for the sciences.
During the last four weeks of the program, the mentors paired up with the children and spent time working on creating a science fair project of their choice. On April 11, the children's parents and guardians, along with CMU students and interested members of the Mount Pleasant community, visited the MPDM to view a showcase about what the children learned.
Nicole Simon, CMU senior, biomedical sciences major and creator of the Science is Fun! mentoring program, said that one of the parents told her that "...the program was a blessing for their child." The school children were enthusiastic about the program as well.
The CMU-MPDM partnership and workshop was such a success that MPDM co-founder Heather Frisch has already asked CMU teacher education students to run the program again.
The Science is Fun! mentoring program was initiated by Portland, Mich. native Nicole Simon, in response to a requirement for her LDR 402: Application of Leadership class.
Located at 5093 E. Remus Road in Mount Pleasant, the Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum is a 12,000 square foot, eco-friendly facility that celebrates child-centric, play-based education. Offering a variety of exhibits that appeal to a range of developmental levels - covering subjects from math and sciences to world culture, literacy, regional history and the arts - the museum invites children of all ages to come explore, learn, create and grow.
Visit mpdiscoverymuseum.org for museum hours and admission information.
American Chemical Society brings regional meeting to CMU
Chemists gather to discuss sustainability; special exhibits open to the public
May 17, 2013 - About 600 chemists gathered at Central Michigan University for the Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society May 15 through 17. CERM was held at CMU for the first time in the meeting's 44-year history and was hosted by the Midland Section of ACS.
Chemists attending the conference represented university and college chemistry faculty, chemists from business and industry, and undergraduate and graduate chemistry students from across the Great Lakes and northeastern U.S., according to Philip Squattrito, chairman of the 2013 CERM and CMU chemistry professor.
The theme of the 2013 CERM was "Building Blocks for a Sustainable World," with presentations given on topics such as chemistry and global health, water quality and biogeochemistry. A Thursday symposium observed the 150th anniversary of the discovery of organosilicon compounds, as well as the 70th anniversary of Dow Corning Corp., which manufactures them into products. Organosilicon compounds have many uses in household compounds, such as caulk, and industrial applications including as surfactants in agriculture.
Open to the Public
While the conference was a paid, pre-registered event, three chemistry-related art and history special exhibits are open to the public in the Park Library and the Clarke Historical Library.
On display in Park Library's Baber Room is "Images of The Dow Chemical Company from the Brush of Arthur Knighton-Hammond," a commissioned exhibit on loan from the Dow Foundation. The paintings (circa 1920-21) depict the early years of the Dow plant in Midland.
The Clarke Historical Library features special exhibits on "Drilling for Brine: The Dow Chemical Plant in Mount Pleasant, 1903-1930" and the history of the Midland Section of ACS. The discovery of brine relatively rich in bromine in Mount Pleasant and Midland, convinced Herbert H. Dow to establish chemical processing plants in both locations.
Summer hours of the Clarke Historical Library are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Park Library's summer hours are 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Team Chippewa Performance places 2nd best in state and 29th in world at Baja SAE 2013 Collegiate Design Series competition
May 13, 2013 - CMU's Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) team recently placed second best in the state at the Baja SAE 2013 Collegiate Design Series competition held at Tennessee Tech University from April 18-21 in Cookeville, Tenn.
One hundred teams from across the globe gathered at TTU's 300-acre Shipley Farm - where courses and events were set up over woods, creeks, hillsides and other obstacles - to challenge each team's best design.
Team Chippewa Performance - consisting of recent CMU graduate Tony Bolek, seniors Ryan Brew, Travis Bussell, Michael Grundner, Derek Hoffman, Megan Leonard, Garrett Mancillas and Daniel Matash, and sophomores Derek Donovan, Michael Gollin, Nicholas Nelson and Jesse Smith - placed second best in the state (just over 200 points behind the University of Michigan) and 29th in the world.
Baja SAE consists of three regional competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and related challenges. Engineering technology students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of races that cover rough terrain and sometimes water.
The object of the competitions is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to design, build, test, promote and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules. They also must generate financial support for their project.
Justin Mendoza receives service award and heads to Yale University this fall
May 7, 2013 - New CMU graduate Justin Mendoza recently received a CMU Commitment to Service Award from the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center.
A biomedical sciences major, Justin spent some time doing undergraduate research in associate professor of biology Michelle Steinhilb's lab, investigating Alzheimer's disease using fruit flies as models - research he presented at the 2011 Posters at the Capitol in Lansing.
Justin is attending Yale University this fall to begin work on Epidemiology of Microbial Disease master's degree in Public Health, with concentration in Global Health.
Chemistry major and Science of Advanced Materials student Phillip Medina receives a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship
May 6, 2013 - Senior and chemistry major Phillip Medina recently
received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
This highly competitive, multi-year award will provide him with $30,000
per year to help cover his graduate school expenses.
Medina will continue his education at CMU and has already enrolled as a graduate student in the Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) program, where he plans to continue his research on lithium-ion batteries with chemistry professor and SAM researcher Bradley Fahlman,
searching for methods to increase the potential capacity of the
batteries through the use of porous silicon and vertically aligned
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and
engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The
program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in
NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics
disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral
degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.
received over 13,000 submitted applications for the 2013 competition.
Medina was one of only 2,000 recipients who received an award.
Phelps recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Professors in Michigan
May 2, 2013 - Assistant professor of mathematics Christine Phelps was recently recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Professors in Michigan by Online Schools of Michigan. The goal of the top professors list is to highlight post-secondary educators who have been awarded recently for excellence in the classroom, on campus, and/or in the community.
The recipient of the 2012 CST Outstanding Teaching Award, Phelps has been a remarkable teacher since coming to CMU in 2009. She mostly teaches elementary-education mathematics courses and continually strives to improve learning, which is appreciated by her students. Phelps is also active in curriculum revision and mentoring doctoral students conducting projects in mathematics education research.
"I am honored to be recognized," Phelps said. "It is always my goal to be the best instructor I can be for my students."
Online Schools of Michigan exists to challenge the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to education and promotes the quest for learning styles that work best for unique individuals.
Her Light Shines On: Danielle Rose Gucciardo (1989-2013)
May 1, 2013 - It is with deep sadness that CST has learned of the passing of one of its own young alumni, Danielle Gucciardo, a biology and environmental studies major and member of CMU's December 2011 graduating class.
Danielle, 23, died on April 27 from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle in Gulu, Uganda.
"Danielle was a committed and dedicated Peace Corps volunteer who was thrilled to be a teacher in her Gulu community," said Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. "This is a tragic loss for the entire Peace Corps, including her fellow volunteers in Uganda."
A graduate of Huron High School and native of Woodhaven, Mich., Gucciardo arrived in Uganda on November 13, 2012 for pre-service training and was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer on January 17, 2013. Since that time, she had been serving as an education volunteer, teaching chemistry and biology at a secondary school in Gulu, a city in northern Uganda.
Danielle's former teachers in CMU's Department of Biology remember her well. CST assistant professor of biology Daelyn Woolnough wrote, "Danielle was in my very first BIO 240 [Conservation of Natural Resources] class in 2009. She was a great leader and cared so much about the environment and those around her."
According to Peace Corps officials, in the short time that she was in Gulu, Danielle was already well integrated into the community and known as "Lamara," which translates into "Loved one" in Acholi. She was praised by her colleagues for her professionalism, responsibility and teaching abilities.
"Danielle took my BIO 351 [Biological Science for Elementary Teachers] even though she was not planning to be a teacher," remembers Debra Linton, assistant professor of biology. "She wanted to be able to educate people about the environment. I'm glad she ended up teaching anyway and had the opportunity to influence many young people in Uganda with her compassion and commitment. Super young woman... great loss."
During her time at CMU, Danielle was a fixture in community service circles through her work with Alternative Breaks, which helps place students who want to spend their breaks from school doing community service work, and Take Back the Tap, which advocates for the university to stop selling bottled water. She was also an activity coordinator for the CMU chapter of Best Buddies, a mentoring organization for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Shawna Ross, director of the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center at CMU, said that Danielle spent a tremendous amount of time as a student volunteer organizing the Alternative Breaks weekend program, where she coordinated community service outreach efforts ranging from helping local senior citizens to conservation efforts with sea turtles in Florida.
"She had the heart of a citizen, I don't know how else to say it," Ross said. "She knew it was important for us to take care of our world and committed herself to that. That was the more serious side of her, but there was also an extremely fun-loving side of Danielle in that she knew how to get other people excited about volunteering."
Prior to her Peace Corps service, Danielle served as an AmeriCorps member and worked at the American Conservation Experience, where she engaged with both American and international volunteers on conservation projects to help break down cultural barriers while advocating ecological awareness. She also worked as a naturalist intern for the U.S. Forest Service in Deer River, Minn., where she was recognized with an AmeriCorps Education Award for organizing programs with the public to inform and educate them about conservation and environmental issues.
In her Peace Corps application, Danielle said that she looked forward to keeping an open mind by trying new things and listening to new ideas during her service. She had hoped to use the new perspective from her time in the Peace Corps to influence and inspire others to educate themselves on social issues, and to get involved and give back to communities on a local, national and global scale.
Danielle is survived by her parents and two sisters - CMU alumna Samantha (2010) and Angela, currently a junior majoring in psychology and a member of CMU's class of 2015.
Angela wrote that one of Danielle's favorite quotes by Albert Pike that she made sure to live by was, "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains immortal."
Danielle has truly lived her life for others and her legacy will shine on forever.
A candlelight vigil, hosted by the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center at CMU, was held Wednesday evening, May 1 at 9:00 p.m.
The family has scheduled memorial services for Sunday, May 5 at Molnar Funeral Home in Brownstown, Mich. from 12:00-9:00 p.m., with 4:00-6:00 being the designated hours when Danielle's friends and families will be able to share stories about her remarkable life.
Danielle's funeral will be held on Monday, May 6 at St. Stephen's Catholic Parish in New Boston, Mich. at 11:00 a.m., followed by a 1:00 p.m. luncheon at St. Stephen's Hall to celebrate her life. All are welcome.
Mechanical engineering technology major Eric Fisher makes history in the 2013 NFL Draft, picked No. 1 overall by Kansas City Chiefs
April 25, 2013 - CMU offensive tackle and mechanical engineering technology major Eric Fisher was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 National Football League Draft, selected by the Kansas City Chiefs.
A native of Rochester, Mich., Fisher was among a trio of offensive linemen - including Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel and Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson - that were projected to go within the top 10 picks. Fisher was a first team all-MAC selection as a senior and was a part of two bowl wins at CMU - the 2010 GMAC Bowl and the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
In December 2012, Fisher was considered one of the top-32 players available in the 2013 NFL Draft. He joins Joe Staley (selected at No. 28 in 2007) as the only Chippewa ever to be picked in the first round of an NFL Draft. With his No. 1 status, Fisher becomes the highest selection in CMU and Mid-American Conference history.
Hear more about Fisher's academic career from CMU engineering and technology associate professor Dru Wilson - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnKOxDCl0Ro
Senior and biology major Thomas McVay receives a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
April 25, 2013 - Senior and biology major Thomas McVay recently received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This highly competitive, multi-year award will provide him with $30,000 per year to help cover his graduate school expenses.
McVay will be attending the University of Florida in Fall 2013 to begin work on a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology and continue his research on the Ozark Cavefish, Amblyopsis rosae, which is a small (<65mm), blind fish found in cave streams, and usually the top predator in the ecosystem. It is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and vulnerable by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
The Ozark cavefish's range is limited to 32 caves spread across Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and current population estimates range from 222-515 individuals. McVay aims to determine the genetic population structure and health of these fish, taking samples from preserved specimens in museums and using genetic techniques to discover their historic population structure. He also wants to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect new populations of cavefish, since there hasn't been much research on the species, and hopes that his efforts can facilitate a recovery.
McVay said two things have prepared him well for graduate school - taking classes at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island the summer after his freshman year, which made him realize the career potential of a biology degree beyond the standard option of medical school, and doing undergraduate research with biology professor Brad Swanson, working on a dragonfly population genetics project during Summer 2011 through the Undergraduate Research Grants for the Environment (URGE) program at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings, Mich. This experience is when he realized that population and genetics research was his calling.
"Tom being awarded the NSF fellowship highlights one of the best aspects of CMU, which is the high level of interaction between undergraduates and faculty mentors and the opportunities for research," said Swanson. "One of the aspects noted in the reviews of Tom's proposal was the breadth and depth of research experience he obtained while at CMU."
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.
NSF received over 13,000 submitted applications for the 2013 competition. McVay was one of only 2,000 recipients who received an award.
Howell receives international award for work in thermal analysis
April 22, 2013 - Central Michigan University professor of chemistry and polymer science Bob Howell has received the 2012 North American Thermal Analysis Society Award for Outstanding Achievement in thermal analysis research.
"Thermal analysis has to do with just the response of materials to a
change in temperature," Howell said. "You can learn about the structure
of the material based on the way it responds, and so that's the
Howell applies his research in a number of ways, focusing primarily
on studying polymer degradation at different temperature ranges. For
example, his research to address the issue of foul taste and brown
streaking in milk jugs - and his proposed solution - helped reduce the
cost of milk production and was considered particularly noteworthy by
The solution to issues with milk containers linked back to Howell's research with The Dow Chemical Co., where in the mid-1980s
he was asked by Dow to experiment with using polymeric materials in
food packaging, and successfully adapted the materials to stop the
Most containers are made with different layers of various polymer
materials, each with a different composition. The elimination of the
streaking allows the milk to be stored at room temperature. "Because no
oxygen gets in, the milk doesn't spoil," Howell said.
Howell has also worked to remove odors from degrading polystyrene,
the plastic material used in packaging food, such as cookies and
The Outstanding Achievement award from NATAS is unique to a
university of CMU's size. Given annually, it recognizes distinguished
achievement in the field of thermal analysis, including but not
restricted to thermogravimetry, differential thermal methods and
effluent gas analysis. The award recipient must have performed
outstanding work in the utilization, creation or refinement of thermal
techniques of generally wide interest and impact.
Howell is the 44th recipient of this award, which represents the highest honor bestowed by the Society.
Mathematics major Karleigh Cameron receives Goldwater Honorable Mention
April 18, 2013 - Karleigh Cameron has received a Goldwater Honorable Mention. Cameron is a junior Honors student from South Boardman majoring in applied mathematics and minoring in environmental studies.
About 150 Honorable Mentions are given to exceptional students each year who are not selected as Goldwater Scholars. According to the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program's website, 271 scholarships were awarded to sophomores and juniors from institutions across the United States. Scholars and Honorable Mentions were chosen from a field of 1,107 applicants.
"I feel lucky to have gotten it," Cameron said. "It's really nice to know all my hard work has paid off, and it's nice to be recognized outside of my university."
Cameron said she hopes that being awarded an Honorable Mention will help her in the future when she applies to graduate schools and to jobs.
"Karleigh is very deserving of this recognition of an Honorable Mention from the Goldwater program," Dr. Lisa DeMeyer, one of Cameron's former professors, wrote in an email. "Karleigh enjoys a challenge and is doing everything she can to make the most of the opportunities she has at CMU. I have known Karleigh since her first semester at CMU and I am so happy that she is receiving this recognition for her outstanding academic work in mathematics."
After returning from Singapore, where she is spending the semester studying at Nanyang Technological University, Cameron will do research for her senior Honors research project, modeling growth using dynamical models. She will be working with Dr. Leela Rakesh in the Department of Mathematics.
"I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have been nominated in the first place, and to actually have gotten an Honorable Mention is great," Cameron said, "and I'm thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way."
Cameron's Goldwater Honorable Mention is CMU's first in five years.
Teresa Judge recognized as the 2013 CFX/MFCU Working Woman of the Year
April 17, 2013 - Teresa Judge,
administrative clerk for grants and contracts in CMU's College of Science and Technology, brought home the title of 2013 CFX/MFCU Working Woman of the Year at the 24th annual CFX Salute to Working Women on April 11. Sponsored by CFX 95.3 radio station and Members First Credit Union, the event recognizes the contribution of women to the community, workplace and those around her.
Teresa was nominated for the award by her sister, Tia, who said that Teresa, a mother of five children - 11-year-old triplet boys and 8-year-old twin girls - deserved to be recognized because she works full time and is an active member of the Winn Elementary Parents Club, Winn Area Activity Center, Girl Scouts of America and Sacred Heart Church.
Chosen as the winner - from among five finalists - by CFX and MFCU personnel, Teresa received a commemorative clock from JNR Engraving in Mount Pleasant, 10 seconds in the MFCU cash machine, a floral bouquet from Elliot's Greenhouse, a year's worth of services from Level 7 Salon, and most importantly, a sash that she proudly wears in the office and lets everyone around her know that she is the 2013 CFX/MFCU Working Woman of the Year.
Join us for the 20th annual Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition on April 17
April 16, 2013 - Join us on Wednesday, April 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Finch Fieldhouse for the 20th annual Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition. Over 380 exhibits produced by more than 750 undergraduate and graduate students representing 40+ departments across the university will be on display. Come see the outstanding scholarly work our students are doing!
Students present their research to Michigan legislators
Tuesday, April 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the State Capitol
Rotunda in Lansing, talented science and technology undergraduate students were among those that hung up their lab coats and took their research on the road to present to Michigan's political leaders.
During the thirteenth annual Posters at the
Capitol, visitors and legislators viewed 28 exhibits by 31 students
on topics including tornado forecasts, optical angular momentum in free
space laser beams, and how antioxidants and fatty acids are being
investigated as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
The College of Science and Technology, the Development and External
Relations Office and the Development & Alumni Relations Office
sponsor this annual event. http://snack.to/fhcfb889
CMU Trustees give Biosciences Building green light
April 12, 2013 - Yesterday
the CMU Board of Trustees approved construction of a new Biosciences
Building - the largest capital project ever for the university. The new,
four-story, 158,000-square-foot facility will dramatically improve the
quality and quantity of instructional learning and scientific research
space, house about 40 research-active faculty, their students and
support staff, and provide space for classrooms, laboratories and an
The building will enhance current research space in
Brooks Hall that is inadequate for existing and anticipated growth and
research. Over the last decade, undergraduate degrees in biology have
increased 210 percent, tenure-track faculty have increased 71 percent
and external grant funding increased nearly 10-fold.
Biosciences Building will be located between the Engineering and
Technology Building and the Education and Human Services Building, and
will replace the remaining four Washington Court Apartment buildings.
Site preparation will begin in the summer of 2014. The $89.4 million facility will open in fall 2017.
Click here for more specific information about the building project.
Fahlman selected to be Contributing Editor for InterNano
April 11, 2013 - Professor of chemistry andScience of Advanced Materials researcher Bradley Fahlman has been selected to be a Contributing Editor for InterNano, a project of the National Nanomanufacturing Network. Fahlman will generate original content about topics in nanomanufacturing and write expert reviews based on relevant and recent news in the industry.
Nanomanufacturing is the controllable manipulation of materials structures, components, devices and systems at the nanoscale (1 to 100 nanometers) in one, two and three dimensions for large-scale reproducibility of value-added components and devices. It remains the essential bridge between the discoveries of the nanosciences and real-world nanotechnology products.
The National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN) is an alliance of academic, government and industry partners that cooperate to advance nanomanufacturing strength in the U.S. and serves as a catalyst for progress by facilitating and promoting workshops, roadmapping, inter-institutional collaborations, technology transition, test beds and information exchange services.
Chappaz publishes article in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
April 11, 2013 - Assistant professor of geochemistry and Institute for Great Lakes Research scientist Anthony Chappaz, along with co-principal investigator Dr. Jennifer Glass from the California Institute of Technology, recently published in the recognized geochemistry journal, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Their article is entitled "Molybdenum geochemistry in a seasonally dysoxic Mo-limited lacustrine ecosystem."
Molybenum (Mo) and nitrogen biogeochemistry are intrinsically associated, with Mo being required for the nitrogenase process to occur. The research site, Castle Lake in northern California, had previously been widely studied regarding nitrogen biogeochemistry, however Chappaz's research is the first of its kind to focus specifically on Mo, and sheds new light on the Mo sources influencing this lake. It also is the first to provide Mo isotopes' measurement for a dysoxic environment.More details about this article and Dr. Chappaz's research can be found by visiting his GEM Lab website.
Biology major recognized with Young Botanist Award
April 8, 2013 - Let’s
give her a big two thumbs-up! Junior and biology major Hillary Karbowski was
just awarded the Young Botanist Award, Special Certificate of Achievement, from
the Botanical Society of America!
by associate professor of biology Anna Monfils, Hillary is among 25 students in
the United States and Canada selected for the award, which recognizes
excellence and outstanding scholarship for the advancement of knowledge in the
U.S. Senator Carl Levin stops by to discuss Great Lakes research
April 8, 2013 - U.S. Senator for Michigan,
Carl Levin, recently sat down with Institute for Great
Lakes Research director Donald Uzarski, CMU President George Ross, CST dean Ian
Davison and assistant professor of biology Andrew Mahon to discuss current
issues being investigated here in Michigan throughout the Great Lakes basin and
new global, collaborative efforts with Jiangxi Normal University in China to address watershed health issues in Poyang Lake, China’s
largest freshwater lake. Research being done by IGLR scientists continues to be
groundbreaking, with Mahon’s most recent research showing that at least some
Asian carp have found their way into the Great Lakes – but they are not as
widespread as previously thought – disputing previous studies.
Senator Levin was thanked for his support for the
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Stop Invasive Species Act. With a
$10M federal grant and support from Levin and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, the IGLR team is taking the lead to protect and preserve surrounding
coastal wetlands – critical to enhancing water quality in the Great Lakes,
which represent 21% of the world’s surface freshwater supply.
Mahon and research team find that Asian carp DNA is not widespread in the Great Lakes as previously thought
April 5, 2013 - Assistant professor of biology and Institute for Great Lakes Research scientist Andrew Mahon, along with scientists from the University of Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy, recently published their research on Asian carp DNA throughout the Great Lakes in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
Silver and bighead carp - which gorge on plankton that all fish consume - are of particular concern to the Great Lakes ecosystem, since they are large fish that can quickly reproduce and unravel the food chain that supports a $7 billion fishing industry. In their latest study, the research team found that at least some Asian carp have found their way into the Great Lakes, but there is no evidence that they are as widespread in the Great Lakes basin as previously thought.
Between September 2009 and October 2011, Mahon and his colleagues collected more than 2,800 water samples from parts of the Great Lakes and tributary rivers. Laboratory analysis yielded 58 positive hits for bighead or silver carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System, a network of rivers and canals linked directly to Lake Michigan, and 6 in western Lake Erie. Some of the Chicago eDNA was found in Lake Calumet, where a live bighead carp was caught in 2010 and three others were snagged in 1995 and 2000.
The results of their research contradict earlier government studies that have said many of the positive water samples detecting Asian carp DNA in or near the lakes in recent years could have come from other sources, such as excrement from birds that fed on the carp in distant rivers, or via boats and other pathways. While these previous studies acknowledged the presence of eDNA, government researchers disagreed that the findings signaled the presence of live fish.
Dr. Christopher Jerde, lead investigator on the latest study and a scientist at the University of Notre Dame, said, "Looking at the overall patterns of detections, we remain convinced that the most likely source of Asian carp DNA is live fish."
Conducted by experts who pioneered the use of genetic data to search for the aggressive fish, Mahon and his colleagues' investigation builds upon a growing area of research to find invasive species when they are at low abundance and when they can be potentially managed.
The paper's co-author, Mahon, said, "When we first discovered DNA from Asian carp at the Calumet Harbor and Port of Chicago, we were concerned that Asian carp may already be widespread in the Great Lakes, but because of our collaborations with state and federal partners, we now have a better picture of the Asian carp distribution. We are optimistic that with continued vigilance, it will be possible to prevent Asian carp becoming established in the Great Lakes."
Click here to read the full research article, "Detection of Asian carp DNA as part of a Great Lakes basin-wide surveillance program."
Chemistry professor Brad Fahlman selected as a 2013 IUPAC Young Observer
March 20, 2013 - Chemistry professor Brad Fahlman has been selected as a 2013 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Young Observer.
The National Academy of Sciences is the U.S. National Committee (USNC) for the IUPAC. The committee selects outstanding U.S. chemists under the age of 45 with interests and expertise related to the work of IUPAC to become involved in the work of the union, develop and international network of scientists and engineers, and represent U.S. colleagues in the chemical sciences. To date, the program has supported over 200 scientists, many of whom have continued to serve on IUPAC activities and contribute at the international level.
As a selected Young Observer, Fahlman will attend the 44th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and 47th IUPAC General Assembly from August 8-16 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The IUPAC Young Observer program is extremely competitive and held once every two years. Less than a dozen U.S. chemists are chosen to participate.
Biology graduate student earns honors at international symposium
March 20, 2013 - Biology graduate student Jennifer Bergner recently received Honorable Mention for best student presentation at the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society symposium for her talk, "Spatially explicit genetic structure of two unionid species, Lampsilis cardium and Lasmigona costata, in the central Great Lakes." This international symposium was held March 10-14 at Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Alabama.
Advised by assistant professors of biology Daelyn Woolnough and David Zanatta, Bergner was one of four CMU students who attended the symposium and presented four posters and three oral presentations to the 250+ attendees.
The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS)
is dedicated to the conservation of and advocacy of freshwater mollusks,
North America's most imperiled animals. The society
organizes international symposiums each year, holds workshops on alternating years and produces a newsletter three times
CMU's Antarctica research team returns
March 15, 2013 - A Central Michigan University research team recently returned from their voyage to Antarctica to collect invertebrates in areas of water that have never been explored.
Assistant professor of biology Andrew Mahon, along with December 2012 CMU graduate Carlos Coronado and CMU senior Abigail Hollingsworth, joined scientists from Auburn University of Alabama for a six-week
journey gathering and analyzing small invertebrate animals in one of the
most remote regions of the world.
crew boarded the Nathaniel B. Palmer, a National Science Foundation
research vessel, Jan. 1 in Punta Arenas, Chile. During the grant-funded
research trip, the scientists collected invertebrate samples by
dropping nets of up to 1,000 feet.
Biology undergraduate Jaime Coon is CMU's 2013 Udall Scholarship nominee
March 14, 2013 - Jaime Coon
, a Centralis Scholar, Honors student and junior from Hamilton majoring in biology and minoring in global justice, is CMU's 2013 Udall Scholarship nominee.
The Morris K. Udall Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to honor Morris Udall's 30 years of service in Congress. The name was amended in 2009 to include his older brother, Stewart L. Udall, also a career civil servant.
The foundation will award approximately 50 scholarships of up to $5,000 to outstanding sophomore and junior college students committed to careers in environmental or Native American policy. Additionally, scholars gain access to a vast network of like-minded individuals at seminars offered in Tucson, Arizona.
Coon was CMU's Udall nominee last year. Since then, Coon says she has strengthened her application by expanding her research in the biology department and her environmental public service.
After 200 hours of volunteering with the Wildlife Recovery Association, a nonprofit birds of prey rehabilitation organization, she became an intern there and lived on-site during the summer.
Coon has worked in associate professor of biology Kirsten Nicholson's phylogenetics lab for over two years studying a tropical lizard species complex. Discovering the cause of the species' divergence and confirming potential new species is vital - "If a species doesn't have a name, you can't write a law protecting it," she says.
Growing up on a farm instilled in Coon a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. But she says she did not make the connection between biology and environmentalism until she was in college. "Now I have this major in biology, and I'm going to be a biologist with an environmental value behind every question I ask, and I think that's really important," she says.
Coon emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking - as a global justice minor she has taken courses in sociology and political science, and her capstone project focused on advocating replacing the magnolia trees that once grew in front of Anspach Hall. "We're just trying to understand how we can help the world be more sustainable - and issues of poverty and environmental issues are so interrelated sometimes you can't even separate them," she says.
As an active member of the CMU College 101 program, Coon gives several "Passion for Wildlife" presentations a year. The goal of these speeches, which incorporate live wildlife, is to inspire at-risk students to make positive life choices and live sustainably with wildlife.
Additionally, Coon has been involved in CMU's New Venture competition with a nonprofit project called "Energize Education," which focuses on better energy efficiency in public schools.
Coon plans to pursue a Ph.D. in conservation biology.
Three CST faculty among those to receive university honors at Faculty Excellence Exhibition
March 14, 2013 - Central Michigan University will honor several outstanding faculty at the 2013 Faculty Excellence Exhibition at 3 p.m. March 20 in the Park Library Auditorium. President's and Provost's Awards, Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Lorrie Ryan Memorial Teaching Award will be given to 11 faculty members.
Among the recipients are three CST faculty members - two receiving top honors for their outstanding research and creative activity and one for her excellence in teaching.
President's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity
Created for peers to select and recognize outstanding senior faculty members for scholarship of national and international merit.
Provost's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity
- Donald Uzarski, associate professor of biology, has been a principal investigator on 15 funded external grants for a total of $11.7 million
Created for peers to select and recognize less experienced faculty members for scholarship of national and international merit.
Excellence in Teaching Award
- Andrew Mahon, assistant professor of biology, widely recognized for his work identifying invasive species in freshwater and research in Antarctica
Created by the Academic Senate to provide special recognition to faculty members who exceed the usual standards and expectations.
- Kathy Blystone, chemistry, shows her enthusiasm for the subject using real-life examples to demonstrate how chemistry impacts students' lives every day.
CMU biology faculty and research team introduce new screening method to detect abundance of invasive species in water
March 6, 2013 - Central Michigan University assistant professor of biology Andrew Mahon and a group of researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy have identified a genetic method of surveillance to detect the abundance of invasive species in water.
The study is the first to utilize the common genetic technique known as PCR screening to detect the relative abundance of a particular Asian carp species by testing for residual environmental DNA in water samples.
The findings of their recent study have been published in PLOS ONE, the electronic journal of the Public Library of Science, an open-access publisher of research from all areas of science. Access the article here.
"Our study shows the percentage of DNA positive samplings we find is directly related to the number of that particular species of fish in the water," said Mahon, lead scientist on the study. "This validates the use of eDNA surveillance sensitivity for the detection of multiple species of Asian carps in water systems."
Researchers compared genetic material found in water samples to the number of fish found in a 2.6-mile stretch of river in the Chicago canal system after it was treated with retenone and the fish carcasses were collected.
"Our results showed a positive correlation between the number of genetic samples and the abundance of fish after the canal was treated," said Mahon.
This testing provides for another tool for environmental management agencies to use in determining whether invasive species are present in the water.
"This genetic testing method, along with other traditional options currently being used such as netting, electro fishing, and hook and line sampling, offers an additional tool for detecting invasive species and one more option in the battle against these species getting into our waterways," said Mahon.
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center scientists Margaret Hunter and Leo Nico are co-authors on the study, providing expertise, genetic samples and information on black carp.
Media Contact: Kathy Backus
CMU engineering students harvesting pedestrian energy to produce electricity
Electrical panel to provide renewable energy to power temperature display
March 4, 2013 - Central Michigan University engineering students are constructing an electrical panel that will serve as a vibrational energy harvester to create renewable energy for powering a temperature display. The panel, which will be located in the entrance of CMU's Engineering and Technology building, will generate electricity by using the vibrations of pedestrian footsteps as they walk in and out of the facility.
Assistant professor of engineering Tolga Kaya says the student-led project could lead to the development of self-sustainable electric systems to be used in settings highly populated by pedestrians like subway stations or settings that experience heavy vehicle traffic like highways.
"This project is about generating energy through human steps and using that energy to sustain a system without batteries," Kaya said. "This is a small prototype. If this works, similar panels could be installed in train stations and other high traffic areas so that these facilities can be self-sustainable and generate their own energy."
The panel is being constructed as part of a senior design project for engineering students with a budget of $1,500.
The panel is scheduled for completion in April. If the project is a success and the panel is self-sustainable, Kaya imagines it will remain at the entrance of the building in the future.
The project began in the fall with four students conducting the research that would make the second-semester design phase successful. For the students who created the project, there's a genuine interest in the technology that goes beyond the requirements of the course work.
"I have always had an interest in energy harvesters like wind turbines and power dams," said White Lake senior Robert Balma. "It's fun to see something being powered from nothing."
Canton senior Justin Scaparo says the project has been challenging, but the experience he's getting has been very valuable.
"We've had to use a lot of our own research to be innovative in what we're trying to do," Scaparo said. "We're working together, bringing together pieces of our own expertise, to develop new applications using the technology that is out there. It gives me the opportunity to bring what I learn in class to life."
Media Contact: Danny Goodwin Jr., 989-774-1072
Four CST students named CMU's 2013 Goldwater Scholarship nominees
February 27, 2013 - Karleigh Cameron, Amanda Clark, David Hicks and Randall Hoyle are CMU's 2013 Goldwater Scholarship nominees.
Each is one of the nearly 1,100 college and university students across the nation to be nominated.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986, and is the namesake of Barry M. Goldwater, who served in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. The award is given annually to approximately 300 college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate excellence in their fields and are committed to pursuing a career in mathematics, engineering or natural sciences. Each institution is permitted to nominate up to four candidates each year.
Karleigh Cameron is a junior Honors student and Centralis Scholar from South Boardman, majoring in applied mathematics with a minor in environmental studies. She is spending the spring 2013 semester studying at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Cameron participated in CMU's Long-term Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE) program in the summer of 2011, and conducted research on second generation wavelets with three other students and a faculty advisor.
She presented her work with LURE at a national and an international conference - MathFest in Lexington, Ky. and Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston, Mass. The research was later published in the International Journal of Applied Mathematics.
Cameron entered the Summer Undergraduate Research in Experimental Mathematics (SURIEM) program at Michigan State University in May 2012. She worked with one other student and used bifurcation analyses to develop a more effective estimation technique for dynamical systems. She presented her work with SURIEM at MathFest 2012 in Madison, Wisc.
Cameron has also served as a mentor for HON 100: Introduction to Honors and as treasurer of Larzelere Hall, has been a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, and plays on several intramural sports teams. She has worked as a tutor at the Mathematics Assistance Center, as a grader for the CMU Department of Mathematics, and as a desk receptionist in Larzelere Hall.
She said that CMU associate professor of mathematics Lisa DeMeyer, having had Cameron in her class and seen some of her work, first encouraged her to apply. "I'm so thankful to Central for all the support they've given me," Cameron says. "I know that if I hadn't gone to CMU, I wouldn't have had the same opportunities. All of my advisors have been a huge help in getting me to where I am today."
Cameron plans to go to graduate school for engineering or applied mathematics and work for government or industry.
Amanda Clark is a sophomore from Three Oaks majoring in biochemistry. She is vice president of the CMU Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society and a CMU McNair Scholar.
Clark has been working under CMU associate professor of chemistry Choon Lee for about a year. Dr. Lee's lab is working on the organic synthesis of antioxidant dendrimers, with the goal of creating a new antioxidant dendrimer which will be more effective against free radicals than those naturally occurring, helping to prevent cancer and other diseases.
Another professor noticed Clark's interest in being involved in research on the synthesis of new medicines, and suggested that she contact Dr. Lee. She started off in Lee's lab cleaning beakers and shadowing graduate students, and was gradually assigned more responsibility in the lab, such as learning how to run column chromatography to purify the antioxidant dendrimers being made.
Clark says the money from the Goldwater Scholarship would help ease some of the financial burdens of school. With both of her parents deceased, she bears the full responsibility of financing her education. Winning a scholarship would allow her to give up her part-time job and spend more time on her research and studies.
Clark plans to earn a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry or pharmacology and pursue as career as a researcher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - or another cancer institute - and work to develop better treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
David Hicks is a junior Honors student from Farmington Hills majoring in physics with a minor in mathematics. He is a member of the Society of Physics Students and the American Physics Society.
Hicks is currently conducting research with CMU assistant professors of physics Veronica Barone and Matthew Redshaw.
Since January 2012, Hicks has been working with Dr. Barone doing computational and experimental battery research. He applied for a summer research grant to continue his work in the lab during the summer of 2012 and presented his research at an undergraduate poster session during the 2012 American Chemical Society Conference held in July in Dearborn, Mich. The research results are expected to be published sometime this year.
In January 2013, Hicks began working with Dr. Redshaw, a nuclear physicist. Their work involves a collaborative effort with Michigan State University to build a Penning trap for atomic nuclei, which will allow physicists to gather more accurate data on the masses of fast-decaying radioactive isotopes.
Outside of his studies and research, Hicks is involved in music, serving as a vocalist for CMU's Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Chamber Singers, and Central Harmony - an a cappella group.
He plans to earn a Ph.D. in physics and pursue a career at NASA.
Randall Hoyle is a junior Honors student from Midland majoring in biochemistry, and a member of the CMU Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society.
Hoyle has been working with CMU associate professor of chemistry Minghui Chai since the end of his freshman year and the summer of 2011. His research focuses on using dendrimers - commercially available hyper-branched polymers - with commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to improve their efficiency and reduce side effects.
It was Dr. Chai who encouraged Hoyle to apply for the scholarship, after hearing from a college at another university who recently had two students win the award. During her time at CMU she had been searching for a student qualified enough to compete, and found one in Hoyle.
Winning the Goldwater Scholarship would enable Hoyle to live in Mount Pleasant during the summer and focus exclusively on his research. "It's expensive living here in the summer," Hoyle said. "I tried working as a painter last summer and spent all of my time and energy on my job and not on my research."
Outside the lab, Hoyle is an active musician. He has played the trumpet in the CMU Marching Band for 3 years and is currently a rank captain. He is also a member of the CMU basketball band, and for the past 5 years or so, has been in the rock band, Archana, with his sister, brother and two other close friends.
Despite the long application process, Hoyle says he is thankful for the opportunity and remains optimistic, hoping to be the first CMU student to earn the scholarship. "I've had a lot of support from my family and friends, from Dr. Chai, and from the university, and I appreciate it all," Hoyle says. "Fingers crossed. I think this is going to be our year."
Hoyle plans to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry and work in the private sector to develop new medicines.
Rebeccah Woodke has been named the 2013 CMU Truman Scholarship nominee
February 21, 2013 - Rebeccah Woodke, a junior Honors student and Centralis Scholar from Flushing with a major in biomedical sciences, has been named the 2013 CMU Truman Scholarship nominee.
Created by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation's purpose is to recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service and provide them with financial support, leadership training and a network of like-minded individuals committed to the greater good.
Each applicant must be nominated by his or her university. In their applications, candidates complete a series of essays, including a proposed solution to a major public policy issue. The foundation reviews over 600 applicants each year and awards between 60 and 65 scholarships.
Woodke plans to pursue a career in public health, specifically in the areas of health behavior and health education. She intends to earn her Masters of Public Health and then her Ph.D., with the hopes of attaining a university faculty position where she will be able to prepare future public health workers, conduct research, and advocate for policies that will help erase current racial and ethnic health disparities.
In her policy proposal, Woodke addressed these disparities by suggesting greater fiscal support for a program whose focus is to implement evidence-based public health improvement initiatives at the community level. She proposed using the increased funding to give more communities access to the program, promoting greater equity in public health.
Woodke is a student leader for the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. She has spent time abroad doing service work in Oaxaca, Mexico and in Belize, which she says helped to "reaffirm how much I want to be involved in public health and in improving the health of communities." This passion for health equity led to volunteer service at the McLaren Free Health Clinic in Mount Pleasant. Additionally, she has been a participant and site leader for the Alternative Breaks program.
Woodke is currently working in biology professor Elizabeth Alm's laboratory on an EPA-funded study evaluating the effectiveness of a public health intervention which used border collies on beaches to deter gulls, which may carry pathogens potentially harmful to humans.
Although Woodke acknowledges that it might be awhile until she makes significant contributions to public health, she confidently reports that, "All of my service and background education is preparing me to make the change I hope for in the world - to ultimately improve the health of communities and realize health equity for all."
Journal article by Sirbescu is one of the most downloaded
February 5, 2013 - A 2008 journal article by associate professor of geology Mona Sirbescu, Emily Hartwick, a former CMU geology major and faculty member Jim Student had the highest number of weekly downloads during the first week of January 2013, according to the Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology journal's website.
Click here to download a PDF of their article
titled, "Rapid crystallization of the Animikie Red Ace Pegmatite,
Florence County, Northeastern Wisconsin: Inclusion microthermometry and
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology is an international journal
that accepts high quality research papers in the fields of igneous and
metamorphic petrology, geochemistry and mineralogy. With a five-year
impact factor of 3.900, the journal ranks second highest in the category
of 26 mineralogy journals.
Balancing Act: From books to beam, gymnast Shaila Segal excels in academics and athletics, and chooses CMU
January 15, 2013 - Shaila Segal, the 2012 New England All-Around Girls Gymnastics Champion, has chosen Central Michigan University for her collegiate studies and intends to double-major in mathematics and statistics.
She will also be joining the CMU gymnastics team, having signed a national letter of intent to compete on scholarship, starting in the summer of 2013.
Segal's journey from China to Central Michigan by way of Connecticut - where she is currently wrapping up her senior year at Woodstock Academy in Woodstock, Conn. - is incredible. Found abandoned in a rice paddy in China at the age of two, she was taken to a Chinese orphanage, where her future remained in doubt until her parents, Gary and Pam Segal, stepped in and adopted her, bringing her home to America.
With the support of her parents, coaches and teammates, Segal excels both in her studies and her gymnastic routines, and is an excellent addition to the CMU Chippewas family - where athletes are serious about competition and their education.
CMU research team sets off to discover new species in Antarctica
Study of invertebrate animals living in one of the most remote regions of the world
January 3, 2013 - A Central Michigan University research team is on a voyage to Antarctica to collect invertebrates in areas of water that have never been explored. On previous research trips to Antartica, assistant professor of biology Andrew Mahon uncovered four new species.
"Because there have been so few people who have been to Antarctica to conduct research, we find new things," said Mahon. "Whether it's a new area where we didn't think a particular species lived or a species that's new to science completely, every time we go we find new things."
Mahon, as well as December 2012 CMU graduate Carlos Coronado and CMU senior Abigail Hollingsworth have joined scientists from Auburn University of Alabama for a six-week journey gathering and analyzing small invertebrate animals in one of the most remote regions of the world.
"From my experience, these trips are life-changing," said Mahon. "You get to see things that nobody has ever seen. You get to go places where nobody else has ever been."
The crew boarded the Nathaniel B. Palmer, a National Science Foundation research vessel, Jan. 1 in Punta Arenas, Chile. During the grant-funded research trip, the scientists will collect invertebrate samples by dropping nets of up to 1,000 feet.
They will be studying DNA and other genetic information from the small animals they gather. Each species will be documented, and samples will be sent to biology labs at CMU for research.
Coronado of Hazel Park is most excited for what they will discover in the nets and the opportunity to see the world.
"We're studying in Antarctica because it's a very unique system," said Coronado. "Not a lot of people get to go there. Particularly this spot where we're going, pretty much no one else has been there."
Hollingsworth of Lexington says she is lucky to have this opportunity as an undergraduate student.
"The kind of opportunities this trip will open up for me and the work experience it will give me... I feel very grateful," said Hollingsworth.
Mahon and his team will be communicating with several K-12 classes throughout Michigan during their trip via email messages, social media and blog posts. Follow their voyage at these links:www.facebook.com/cmich; https://twitter.com/CMUniversity; andhttp://people.cst.cmich.edu/mahon2a/MahonLab/Antarctica/Antarctica.html
Media Contact: Kathy Backus, 989-774-1702
Graduate student Harris receives 2012 IEEE-DEIS Fellowship
November 27, 2012 - Graduate student Scott Harris
has been awarded a $5,000 fellowship from the Dielectrics and Electrical
Insulation Society (DEIS) of the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The fellowship is awarded to students
pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the area of insulating materials, breakdown,
charge transport, electrostatic phenomena, high voltage effects and
Harris, who is doing his research with assistant professor of physics Axel Mellinger,
received the award for his innovative project on studying dielectric
barrier discharges in micrometer-sized voids. The data will help to
improve so-called ferroelectrets, i.e. polymer foams where electric
charges have been embedded into the internal voids. These piezoelectric
materials have a wide range of applications as pressure sensors,
actuators and energy harvesters. Unlike many of the currently used
ceramic materials, they are flexible, can be manufactured in large sizes
and do not contain toxic metals.
Harris is currently a Ph.D. student in CMU's Science of Advanced
Materials program. He earned an M.S. degree in physics from CMU and a
B.S. in mathematics and physics from Old Dominion University in Norfolk,
Part of this award is reserved for travel support and will be used to
present his research at the 2013 Conference on Electrical Insulation
and Dielectric Phenomena in Shenzhen, China.
Meteorology student places first at National Weather Association annual meeting
November 9, 2012 - CMU senior and meteorology major William A. LaForce
recently won the best undergraduate student poster award at the 2012
National Weather Association annual meeting held from October 6-11 in
Madison, Wisc. Second and third place awards went to students from the
University of Missouri at Columbia and the University of Miami.
LaForce's project was entitled, "Comparison of Two Forecasts for
Tornadoes Associated with Cold-Core 500-mb Lows: Surprise and Bust."
Associate professor of meteorology Martin A. Baxter served as LaForce's faculty advisor.
In 2005, the NWA Weather Analysis and Forecasting (WAF) Committee
initiated the addition of Best Student Presentations to the annual NWA
Awards Program. At each yearly meeting, students (undergraduate and
graduate) submit their abstracts to be considered for these awards.
Members of the WAF Committee review each presentation and recommend
their choices of the best to the NWA President for approval, who awards
the students with a congratulatory letter, a cash stipend and
complimentary NWA membership for the following year.
This is the third year in a row that a CMU student has won first place at this event.