Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tri -Beta Members Present Reseach

The Bloomsburg University Chapter of the Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society was well represented at the Annual Northeast District 2 Convention at Cabrini College on Saturday, March 28. Attending were Adam Kulp, Brendon Juengst, Alan Belles, Jessica Willis, Dr. William Coleman and Dr. Cindy Surmacz. The chapter received awards for the largest delegation and for traveling the most miles! The convention is a forum for Tri-Beta Chapters from throughout the district to meet for a day of poster and oral research presentations, a key note lecture,  and opportunities to engage with fellow members. BAHS student presenters, their mentors,, and the titles of their presentations are listed below.

Brendon Juengst and George Davis. An investigation of the putative Fe3+ transporter from oats.

Adam Kulp, William Coleman, and Jennifer Venditti. Synapsin I is enriched at the equatorial segment of capacitated human sperm.

Jessica Willis and William Coleman. Evaluation of the calcium dependence of synapsin I in the mourse diaphragm neuromuscular junction. 
Adam Kulp and mentor Dr. William Coleman

Brendon Juengst presents poster on a putative iron transporter from oats.

Dr. Coleman, Jessica Willis, and some beautiful motor endplates!

Members of the BU Tri-Beta chapter enjoy lunch!

Biology and Allied Health Club joins in the Big Event

The Biology and Allied Health Club joined hundreds of fellow Huskies (and Roongo) in The Big Event on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The Big Event is a day of service where BU students give back to the Bloomsburg community by engaging in activities ranging from raking to painting. The Community Government Association organizes this annual event.  Thank you Biology and Allied Health Club members for your service despite the chilly weather!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Outstanding Women of BU

Jessica Willis
Two members of the BAHS family were recognized recently as 2015 Outstanding Women of Bloomsburg University, Jessica Willis and Dr. Amber Pitt. Jessica, a graduate student in the biology masters' program was praised for her outstanding scholarship and her service to the department as a graduate assistant. Jessica uses immunofluorescent staining procedures to study the proteins involved in the trafficking of synaptic vesicles in axon terminals under the supervision of Dr. William Coleman.  As a graduate assistant, Jessica supports the laboratory courses  Cell Biology and Integrated Physiology Laboratory, mentors an undergraduate researcher, and tutors undergraduate students in biology each week. She was nominated by Dr. Kris Brubaker who describes Jessica as "very organized and a pleasure to work with." Jessica plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neurophysiology.  

Dr. Amber Pitt
Dr. Amber Pitt, assistant professor, was recognized for Outstanding Scholarship. Dr. Pitt earned a BA in zoology from the University of Vermont and MS and Ph.D degrees in interdisciplinary ecology.from the University of Florida. She conducted postdoctoral research at Clemson University. Dr. Pitt's conservation-driven ecological research focuses on amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic ecosystems. She has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles, delivered numerous invited and contributed conference presentations,  and serves as an editor or reviewer for eight scientific journals. Dr. Pitt has been featured in numerous media outlets for her conservation efforts and has engaged in educational outreach programs. Her work has been supported by a number of grants totaling approximately $460,000. She recently received a Wild Resource Conservation Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to examine the effect of land use regimes on hellbender habitat and population persistence in Pennsylvania. Dr. Pitt was nominated for this award by Dr. Clay Corbin.
Congratulations Jessica and Dr. Pitt!



Dr. Surmacz goes back to school!

Dr. Cindy Surmacz completed the Life Science Teaching Resource Community Vision and Change Scholars Program. The goal of this 8-week online program sponsored by the American Physiological Society and the National Science Foundation is to introduce undergraduate biology faculty to new initiatives in biology education. Program participants explore the core concepts and competencies set forth in the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Education Report developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation and learn how these principles may be applied in the classroom. The program provides access to thousands of peer-reviewed digital teaching resources from the Life Science Teaching Resource Community that focus on active and applied learning. Look out for some new ideas  in Concepts in Biology 1!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dr. Schwindinger attends Sonography Conference

The Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences is fortunate to own three high quality clinical ultrasound machines that could used to enrich the educational experience in our anatomy and physiology laboratories. To explore this possibility Dr. William Schwindinger attended a conference “The Ultrasound Curriculum in Medical Education” at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, in Hempstead, NY on March 6 and 7, 2015. The conference brought together medical educators, medical students, ultrasound experts, and education experts to discuss the use of ultrasound in medical education. The conference provided opportunities for hands-on experience with ultrasound imaging on both phantoms and volunteer patients in sessions on echocardiography, musculoskeletal, ob/gyn, physical diagnosis, shock/trauma, and vascular imaging. The products of the conference were learning objectives for using ultrasound to improve medical education in the following areas: anatomy of the knee, anatomy of the shoulder, the basic structure of the heart, anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive tract, identifying subcutaneous structures, assessing intravascular volume, and assessing the patient in shock. Although these learning objectives were designed for a medical school curriculum, department faculty will be working to adapt and incorporate some of these applications for use in our anatomy and physiology laboratories. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BAHS Club introduces area children to the microscopic world!

The Biological and Allied Health Sciences Club presented a microscopy workshop at the Children’s Museum on Saturday, March 21. During the workshop children learned how to use a monocular compound microscope to view pond water, euglena, hydra, vinegar eels, and planeria. They also made wet mounts of their cheek cells. Members of the BAHS club that participated in the event were Dana Frobese, Emily Kossifos, and Leah Miller along with their faculty advisors Dr. Jennifer Venditti and Dr. Angela Hess.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Two Current Topics in Biology courses offered Fall Semester 2015

Two new Current Topics in Biology courses are offered as electives for Fall 2015, Animal Behavior and Type 2 Diabetes. Both courses may be used as a health science or a biology elective. Up to two current topics courses may be counted towards electives for the major.

Biology 489.01 or 589.01, Current Topics in Biology: Animal Behavior

Instructor: Dr. Klingerman

This Current Topics in Biology course will focus on behavioral neuroendocrinology, i.e. the regulation of behavior output by the endocrine and central nervous systems.  Topics include a description of hormones and the central nervous system, differences in hormones and brain morphology between males and females, parental behavior, social behavior, energy homeostasis, biological rhythms, and stress.  This course is targeted toward students interested in human or animal behavior, the brain, and/or hormone production and regulation.  Students with career interest in the health sciences or graduate school will learn valuable tools that will enable them to evaluate scientific literature and develop critical thinking skills.  The format of this course involves traditional classroom lectures, group discussions, and student presentations of journal articles.  Journal articles will be historical neuroendocrinology papers retrieved from peer-reviewed journals. Prerequisite: Biology 271, Cell Biology

Biology 489.02 or 589.02, Current Topics in Biology: Type 2 Diabetes

Instructor: Dr. Surmacz

This Current Topics in Biology course will focus on Type 2 Diabetes, a global public health challenge that affects more than 347 million people worldwide (World Health Organization, 2014). This epidemic is fueled by the increasing prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. It is estimated that one in three children in American will develop type 2 diabetes if current trends continue.  Topics discussed will include history and epidemiology, public health implications, diagnosis and classification, risk factors and screening, genetic and environmental factors, normal physiology of plasma glucose control, islet function and insulin action, pathogenesis of insulin resistance, complications, medical management through diet, exercise, and pharmacological intervention, treatment, behavior change strategies, and future directions. These topics will be explored in a lecture/seminar format through group discussions, analysis of scientific papers, student presentations, class projects, preparation of a research paper, and interactions with guest speakers. Prerequisite: Biology 271, Cell Biology

Image result for autumn free clip artBAHS Elective Offerings-Fall 2015

Biology 200         Dendrology                        Dr. Chamuris

Biology 233         Human Genetics               Dr. Hansen

Biology 332         Genetics                              Dr. Ardizzi

Biology 333         Molecular Biology             Dr. Schwindinger

Biology 343         Immunology                       Dr. Brubaker

Biology 364         Vertebrate Histology        Dr. Corbin

Biology 445         Pharmacology for the      Dr. Schwindinger

  Health Sciences               

Biology 474         Human Physiology            Dr. Hansen

Biology 489.01. Current Topics in Biology       Dr. Klingerman

 (Animal Behavior)  

Biology 489.02   Current Topics in Biology     Dr. Surmacz

(Type 2 Diabetes)

Biology 571.01   Endocrinology                   Dr. Venditti
 All of the above courses count as electives for both biology and health science majors with the exception of Dendrology. Dendrology may be used as an elective course for students enrolled in B.S. or B.A. Biology, B.S. Biology, environmental biology, and B.A. Biology, natural history.

 *Undergraduate seniors needing less than 18 credits to graduate can apply to take Endocrinology as a biology or health science elective (PRP 3449 Interested students should pick up an application from the Biology Department office. Completed applications must be returned to the Biology Department office by May 1. Please meet with your advisor prior to completing an application. Minimum pre-requisites include completion of Cell Biology (Biology 271). Endocrinology is scheduled for  Monday and Wednesday from 6-7:15 pm, so make sure to leave room in your schedule. If you have any questions about the course, please contact Dr. Venditti.

Physiology offerings:

Biology 474         Human Physiology.         Dr. Hansen

Biology 479         Integrated Physiology.   Drs. Williams and Coleman

Graduate Courses:

HealthSci   545   Pharmacology for the      Dr. Schwindinger

  Health Sciences            
Biology 589.01   Current Topics in Biology    Dr. Klingerman

(Animal Behavior) 
Biology 589.02   Current Topics in Biology    Dr. Surmacz

(Type 2 Diabetes)

Biology 571.01   Endocrinology                   Dr. Venditti

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Biology and Allied Health Club brings the joy of science to area children

The Biology and Allied Health Club led a workshop for 22 eager young scientists at the Children's Museum in Bloomsburg recently. During the workshop, the children explored the structure and function of the heart.  Workshop participants learned about heart anatomy, blood flow through the heart, and heart sounds.  Members of the BAHS club, along with Drs. Angela Hess and Jennifer Venditti, helped participants examine models, color a diagram, and complete a cross-word puzzle. A highlight of the workshop was dissecting a pig heart and tracing blood flow using plastic tubing.  The children were also able to listen to their heart sounds using a stethoscope.  Thanks to the following members of the BAHS club for making this event a huge success: Mikala Britt, Justin VanDerMolen, Tonya Copella, Natalie Mayo, and Kahli Castagnera . The BAHS Club has another workshop planned for
March 21 on microscopy.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Scenes from our new course: Introduction to Health Care Practice

Biology 301, Introduction to Health Care, is a new health science elective that offers students background preparation, training, and practical skills to work in a health care setting. This innovative course developed and taught by Dr. Jennifer Venditti has a unique design, combining classroom learning at Bloomsburg University with a 400-hour clinical experience as a nursing assistant at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.  While on campus, students learn about professionalism in health care, roles of the members of the health care team, patient confidentiality and HIPAA regulations, health assessment techniques, electronic medical records, prevention of infection, integumentary system and skin disorders, body mechanics and ambulation, CPR, and patient interactions. This will provide the foundation for experiences with patients during the clinical component at Geisinger this summer.  Pictured at top right, Dr. Venditti offers tips on blood pressure measurement to Mikala Britt, a pre-physician assistant major.Bottom right: Christopher Bastardi, pre-physician assistant major, measures blood pressure in a volunteer during Biology 301, Introduction to Health Care.

CoST Students take a Husky Career Road Trip!

Biology and chemistry students and faculty at Sanofi-Pasteur.
Students and faculty from the Departments of Biological and Allied Health Sciences and Chemistry and Biochemistry took to the road on February 27 to the Sanofi Pasteur facility in Swiftwater, PA.  Sanofi Pasteur, a global company with headquarters in Lyon France, specializes in the research, development, and production of vaccines. The company manufactures vaccines that protect against 20 different infectious diseases, among them influenza and polio. The students had the opportunity to learn about the company, hear a presentation by their Human Resources staff, receive information on the internship-to-hire program, tour the formulation, filling, inspection and packaging facility, and network with BU alumni and professionals who work there. Among the BU alumni who met with students were Melissa Miller (2004) Joni Lavelle (1984) and Adrianna Rogers. 

Students found the experience to be both fascinating and inspiring.  Natalie Mayo, a health science major, shared that her favorite part of the trip was “exploring the formulation, filling, inspection, and packaging building and learning about their aseptic procedures.” Biology major David Strawn was also “impressed with the measures that are taken on a daily basis to prevent contamination.” Natalie adds that “it was amazing to hear and speak to some Bloomsburg alumni who currently work at the facility.” Adam Kulp, a senior biology manor reports that “the experience was a great opportunity to realize the potential a biology or chemistry student has in the growing field of medicine and vaccines.” Elaine McCauley, a health sciences major, sums up the experience best noting that  the trip “gave me great information about how to apply for jobs there in the future. I really loved it!” 

BAHS students attending were Tri-Beta members Kahli Castagnera, Bryce Foster, Michael Hardler, Katherine Hawkins, Adam Kulp, Natalie Mayo, Elaine McCauley, and David Strawn. Attendees from Chemistry and Biochemistry were Shelby Coleman, Sawyer Davis, Blake Durante, Olivia Fry, James Gamler, Amanda Lacerte, Jocelyn Legere and Chris Rosengrant. Accompanying the group were faculty members Dr. Barry Nolt, Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences and Dr. Eric Hawrelak, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Nathan Conroy, Assistant Director, Alumni and Professional Engagement. Thank you to Professional U and the Office of Alumni and Professional Engagement for arranging this Husky Career Road Trip and to Sanofi Pasteur for hosting us! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dr. Rier and collaborators receive President's Strategic Planning Grant to establsh a monitoring station on Fishing Creek

Drs. Rier in collaboration with Drs. Venn (EGGS), Hallen (Chemistry), Wimmer (Business Education and Information & Technology Management), Beyer (EGGS), Whisner (EGGS) and the Columbia County Conservation District will be establishing a real-time monitoring station on Fishing Creek at or near Kocher Park, north of Bloomsburg. Funding for the station is provided by a $50,000 President’s Strategic Planning Grant. This station will measure stream depth, pH, temperature, conductivity (dissolved material in water), dissolved oxygen, turbidity (suspended material in water), dissolved organic matter, phosphorus concentration, the amount of light striking the surface of the water and meteorological data.  These data will be collected automatically every 15 minutes and then uploaded to a server via cell phone modem and made available on the web in real-time.

One of the main goals of this project will be to provide an education and research tool for environmental classes and student-centered research at Bloomsburg University.  It will provide a unique resource for training students outside the traditional classroom by having them directly use the latest technology available for monitoring water quality. Environmental monitoring is quickly becoming a science that is centered on networks of autonomous sensors and the “big” datasets that are generated by these sensors (see National Ecological Observatory website for an example,  Therefore, experience working with “big data” from autonomous sensors will give our students an advantage in the job market and when applying to graduate schools.

Potential student projects include using oxygen data to understand patterns of photosynthesis, investigating the effects of storm runoff on the export of contaminants to the Susquehanna River and modeling the effects of climate change on the ability of streams in this region to sustain trout populations. One exciting aspect of this station is that it will be the first of their kind to combine all of the parameters necessary (oxygen, depth, temperature and light) to estimate, in real-time, the collective metabolic activity of all organisms in the immediate upstream reach and the factors that influence their metabolic rates (light, dissolved organic matter, phosphorus concentration and temperature).  There is considerable interest throughout the world in using “ecosystem metabolism” as a means of evaluating the health of streams and rivers.  With this station, our students will have the resources to perform some of the most comprehensive studies of stream ecosystem metabolism and how it relates to water quality that have ever been performed.

We also hope to increase the profile of the Bloomsburg University’s Environmental Science programs and provide a means by which Bloomsburg University can more effectively engage with the surrounding community, including high schools and watershed organizations, on water quality issues and the overall health of this region’s freshwater resources.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2014-15 Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the BAHS scholarships for the current 2014-15 academic year! Applications for the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year are currently under review.

Biology and Allied Health Scholarship

Kahli Castagnera is from Macungie, PA. On campus, Kahli has been active in the group Developing Ambitious Student Leaders, where she has participated in several events to benefit the community. She is a member of the Biology Club and is the current historian of Tri-Beta, the biology honor society. Kahli is a Community Assistant and has achieved Level 1 Leadership Certification. Kahli plans to earn a doctorate in physical therapy and work in an outpatient setting.

James E. Parsons Scholarship
Carly Gillotti, a medical laboratory science major, hails from Montgomery, PA. Carly has volunteered in the community during BU's Big Event. She will enter the clinical  program in medical laboratory science at Reading Hospital.

James E. Cole Scholarship
Ashley Ferstermann, currently a pre-physician assistant major, is from Spring Grove PA. Ashley's activities include participation in Developing Ambitious Student Leaders and the Ultimate Frisbee Club. Ashley is a resident of the Science and Health Science Living and Learning Community and a member of the Board of Governors program. She has completed a Medical Imaging Internship at Geisinger Medical Center and has volunteered at the Animal Resource Center.

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 scholarship recipients. The 2015-2016 scholarship winners will be announced soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dr. Pitt publishes wetlands research

Dr. Amber Pitt was a co-author, along with colleagues from Clemson University, of a paper entitled, “Water quality of small, seasonal wetlands in the Piedmont ecoregion, South Carolina, USA: effects of land-use and hydrology” that was published in the peer-reviewed, internationally recognized journal Water Research. The paper evaluates how land use and hydrology affect water quality of small, seasonal wetlands (e.g., vernal pools) in the Piedmont ecoregion of South Carolina

Check out this research:
Yu, X., J. Hawley-Howard, A.L. Pitt, J. Wang, R.F. Baldwin, and A.T. Chow. 2015. Water quality of small, seasonal wetlands in the Piedmont ecoregion, South Carolina, USA: effects of land-use and hydrology. Water Research 73:98-108. Doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.01.007.