Thursday, May 23, 2019

Polinski awarded 2019 Provost's Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarly Activity

Dr. Matthew Polinski

Dr. Matthew Polinski, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was presented with the 2019 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarly Activity. The award was established in 2006 to recognize and encourage continuing scholarly achievements of probationary Bloomsburg University faculty.

Dr. Polinski’s research is in the areas of nuclear and synthetic solid-state inorganic chemistry, which bridges between inorganic, physical, engineering, and materials science. His primary focus is to expand upon the fundamental chemistry deep within the periodic table on some of the heaviest known elements. These f-block elements, such as Berkelium (Bk), Californium (Cf), and Einsteinium (Es), all must be prepared and obtained from nuclear reactors, often times requiring Congressional approval. Very little chemical information is known regarding these elements due to their intense radioactivity, short half-lives, and zero natural abundance. The ability to predict and understand the chemical and physical properties of these exotic elements depends on a better understanding of their fundamental chemistry, much of which is currently unknown and what little is known is often in opposition to what is observed elsewhere on the periodic table.

Dr. Polinski, his research students, and his collaborators from other major research institutions and National Laboratories, seek to probe the electronic structure by preparing and studying materials containing these scarce elements. The overall goal is a better understanding of the complex and esoteric chemistry observed at the end of the periodic table so that materials with tailor and designed properties can be produced. This work has marked the beginning of one of the largest studies on all these elements in the many decades since their original discoveries. His work has been published in well-respected journals including Science, Nature Chemistry, and a recent article in Inorganic Chemistry that featured a BU graduate as first author.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

TALE Award Winners

Dr. Jeff Brunskill
On April 29th, Dr. James Krause, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President, hosted the Provost's Awards Dinner which included Teaching and Learning Enhancement Center (TALE) awards.  At that dinner, Dr. Jeff Brunskill was awarded one of three "Tale Outstanding Teacher Awards". Dr. Jeff Brunskill is an associate professor of Meteorology and GIS in the College of Science and Technology.  The faculty were nominated by graduating seniors and selected by a committee of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Center for 2018-2019.

Dr. Jeff Brunskill’s nominees describe him as “knowledgeable,” “meticulous,” “with a reputation as difficult but great.” One nominee credited Dr. Brunskill for acquiring a skill set proving essential for their first job in the field that encouraged inquisitiveness. The rigor that Dr. Brunskill maintains in all of his classes is a theme repeated across nominations, and his ability to push them to improve leads him to tailor his teaching to students’ needs. Dr. Brunskill’s demanding nature is softened by his wit, respect for his students, availability, and willingness to mentor students. He demands no less from himself by seeking feedback from students on his teaching effectiveness and ensuring that he is up-to date on the evolving technology in GPS and mapping. Finally, Dr. Brunskill is applauded for the career advice that he gives students.

In addition, Dr. Debra Minzola, assistant professor in the nursing department, was recognized with a "Tale Teacher Scholar Award".  Dr. Jennifer Haney, assistant professor in the EGGS department and Dr. Abby Hare-Harris, assistant professor of Biological and Allied Heath Sciences, were awarded "Tale New and Junior Awards".

Monday, May 20, 2019

Recent Publications, Presentations, and Awards

Marianna Wood, associate professor of BAHS, and Jessa Wood, BU Writing Center assessment coordinator prior to her 2017 graduation (BA Philosophy and BA Political Science), published a paper in the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching entitled, "Saving time, increasing learning: Using checklists to help students perform disciplinary writing conventions."

Sean Hartzell, adjunct faculty member in BAHS, published a paper entitled, "Sexual dichromatism of "rusty" spots in a population of Faxonius rusticus (Girard)", in Freshwater Crayfish.

Debra Minzola, assistant professor of Nursing, recently had a paper accepted entitled, "Damage Control Resuscitation of the Traumatic Aortic Rupture: A Case Report" accepted in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal.  This work was a collaboration with her nurse anesthesia student, Chris Heiss

Lynn Hummel, assistant professor in Instructional Technology, recently published a paper entitled, "Gamification playtest of Zombie Ed Tech Apocalypse-For Educational Technology Leaders" in the Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference.

Luke Haile, assistant professor of Exercise Sciences, and Joe Andreacci, professor of Exercise Science recently published a paper entitled, "Affective and metabolic responses to self-selected intensity cycle exercise inyoung men" in Physiology & Behavior.  This work was a collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh.

Nathaniel Greene, professor of Physics and Engineering, recently published a paper entitled, "A simple measurement of the relative efficiency of human locomotion" in Physics Education. This work was a collaboration with the physics department at the US Naval Academy.

Michael Borland, associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, recently published a review article entitled, "Regulatory mechanisms mediated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor - beta/gamma in skin cancer" in Molecular Carcinogenesis. This work was a collaboration with The Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, University of Pittsburgh, and the National Institutes of Health.

Melinda Barrett, assistant professor of nursing, recently presented a poster at the Pennsylvania Associate of School Nurses and Practitioners (PASNAP) annual conference entitled, "Caring for School-Age Populations: School Nurse Preparation to Practice."

Cynthia Venn, professor of EGGS, recently presented a paper at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico entitled, "Evolution of an Undergraduate Course in Aqueious Geochemistry: Successes and Challenges."  This paper was  coauthored with Chris Hallen, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Steven Rier, professor of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, recently presented a seminar at Central Michigan University at the invitation of the Institute for Great Lakes Research.  His seminar was entitled, "Understanding the functional roles of algal-dominated biofilms in natural and disturbed streams."

Peggy Shipley, assistant professor of nursing, and her honors student, Kelly Garman, recently presented a poster entitled, "Compassionate Love: A Concept Analysis" at the Beta Sigma Research Day at the Pennsylvania State University campus.


Pam Smith, professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, will be awarded the “Honors of the Association” from the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association (PSHA) this week.  She is honored for her extensive and varied experience and contribution in the field of speech-language pathology.


Monday, May 13, 2019

COST Grant Recipients

The following  grants were awarded to COST faculty by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education  (PASSHE) Faculty Professional Development Council.  Bloomsburg University faculty received 9 of the 48 awards given.  The following are the recipients from COST.

Lauri Green, BAHS: "Differences in the nest success and foraging behavior of Tree Swallows (Tachycienta bicolor) across natural and artificial wetland sites", $9999

Angela Hess, BAHS: "Connecting human melanoma tumor cell plasticity with resistance to the clinically relevant drugs: vemurafenib, dabrafenib, and trametinib", $8000

John Hranitz, BAHS: "Faculty Research and Development of Insect Pollen Load DNA Analysis Techniques to Investigate Plant-Pollinator Interactions", $9578 

Ellen Kehres and Co-PI Michael Borland, Chemistry and Biochemistry: "Evaluating Selenium Replacement within a PPARB/D Activator Towards the Development of Novel Malignant Melanoma Therapeutics", $10,000

Philip Osburn, Chemistry and Biochemistry: "Catalytic alchemy: coaxing platinum-level rewards from Earth-abundant base metals", $10,000

Mohsin Shaikh and Co-PI Shelley Scarpino, Communication Sciences and Disorders: "Contralateral Suppression of Stimulus Frequency Otoacoustic Emissions in Children with Language Impairment", $9967

Adrian Van Rythoven, EGGS: "Establishment of an Introductory Field Course Situated in the Black Hills", $6438

The following Research and Scholarship Grants were awarded to COST faculty from the Bloomsburg University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for the Spring 2019 cycle. 

Cindy Surmacz and co-applicant John Hranitz, BAHS : "Assessing Sublethal Stress in Honey Bees Exposed to "Bee-friendly" Neoniciotinoid Pesticides", $3500

Kristen Brubaker, BAHS: "Expression study of acute alcohol tolerance-associated genes jwa and hangover in Apis mellifera (Western honey bee)", $2680

Lauri Green, BAHS: "Differences in the foraging and reproductive success of Tree Swallows (Tachycienta bicolor) across natural and artificial wetlands", $3132

Jennifer Venditti-Roadarmel, BAHS: "Evaluating alpha-L-fucosidase Activity and its Potential Role in Reproduction Using Zebrafish (Danio rerio)", $3500

Daniel McCurry, Chemistry and Biochemistry: "High Surface Area Electrodes for Interrogation of Droplet Microfluidics", $10,000

Erik Larsen, Chemistry and Biochemistry: "Synthesis and Design of Novel Enzyme Probes for Mycobacterial Hydrolases", $10,000