Sunday, March 8, 2020

Faculty and Students Attend the Society for Integrative Biology Conference

Dr. Surmacz, Hannah Anderson, Dr. Hranitz, Stephen Tapsak, Heather Llewellyn, and Dr. Corbin
Students and faculty from the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences traveled to Austin, TX In January to attend the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative Biology (SICB). SICB is a national professional organization whose mission is to promote research in many fields of specialization in biology from molecules and cells to ecology and evolution. SICB supports biology education and scholarship at all levels, from kindergarten to postgraduate. SICB strives to inform the public, policy makers, and grant agencies of new knowledge in biology and its potential applications. Research is presented in a series of plenary sessions, symposia, workshops, exhibits, and oral and written poster sessions. The theme of the 2020 conference was on the importance and impact of interdisciplinary research. Presenting research at the 2020 SICB meeting this year were graduate students Hannah Anderson and Heather Llewellyn,  undergraduate Stephen Tapsak and faculty members Drs. Clay Corbin, John Hranitz, and Cindy Surmacz.  Stephen Tapsak, BS Biology major, presented research that he conducted in Lesvos, Greece as part of an National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program.


Tapsak, ST, Hranitz JM,
 Percival CR, Pulley KL, Gonzalez VH, Petanidou T, Tscheulin T, Kantsa A, Barthell, JF,  Generalist Polinators are the Foundation of a Summer Coastal Pollination Network in Dune Habitat.

Pulley KL, Percival C, 
Tapsak S, Tscheulin T, Pentanidou, T, Gonzalez VH, Hranitz JM, and Barthell JF. Differences in Critical Thermal Maximum between Crepuscular vs  diurnal species of Xylocopa

Anderson HB, 
Hutchinson M, Corbin CE, Hranitz JMAvian Host Diversity Detected in Blood Meal Analysis of Two Species of Culex Mosquitoes Collected from Urban Habitats in Pennsylvania.

Corbin CE and Roper VG. Linking Effects of Aid Mine Drainage to Ecology and Morphology or Riparian Birds.

Llewellyn, HJ, Hare-Harris A, Hranitz JM, Surmacz CA. 
Sublethal Doses of the Neonicotinoid Imidacloprid alters Cellular and Molecular Responses of Honey Bees.

Monday, March 2, 2020

BU Opens New Nursing Simulation Lab

Shown with the pediatric mannequin are, from left, front: Janet Tomcavage, chief nursing executive, Geisinger Health; Susan Fetterman, acting chairperson, Department of Nursing;  Kimberly Olszewski, graduate program coordinator and Breiner Family Endowed Professor of Nursing. Back row: Robert Aronstam, Dean of the College of Science and Technology; Erik Evans, vice president for university advancement.
BU opened a new additional nursing simulation lab in McCormick Center for Human Services. Made possible through contributions from Geisinger Health System and the Bloomsburg University Foundation, the new lab features six patient care mannequins, valued at more than $100,000, including advanced pediatric and infant mannequins.

See the story on WBRE.

Also, the website Registered, a nursing advocacy organization, has ranked BU's nursing program ninth in the state. Nursing programs were assessed on several factors that represent how well a program supports students towards licensure and beyond.

Friday, February 28, 2020

BAHS Student Reflects on Semester Abroad in South Korea

Liz in South Korea
BAHS welcomes back senior Lizmeidy Hernandez after spending a semester abroad in South Korea. Before jumping into a hectic semester took the time to answer some questions for BioSynthesis

Liz explores Japan.

What was your favorite part of the experience? 
My favorite part was definitely the people. I met people from all over the world, even someone who visited North Korea. I had the chance to converse with them about their country and some of the situations that appear in the news. I don’t think it is possible for anyone to understand conflict in specific countries without talking to its people. I roomed with two Korean students who now mean the world to me. They opened their arms to a complete stranger and even introduced me to their parents. The Korean culture is completely different than mine. It was refreshing and intriguing to have Koreans explain their society and the division from North Korea.

Liz in HongKong
What is something new that you learned?
I went to South Korea knowing close-to-nothing about North Korea, except about the missile threats you hear about on the news. I learned about the lives of the North Korean people and the intense leader and party propaganda the country is bombarded with. I learned about the songbun caste system used in North Korea.  The caste is based on family history and devotion to the Party. People don’t really know what class they belong to. Some get a hint of what class they are in when their kids do not get accepted to college, as acceptance to college is largely based on songbun class.

How has this experience changed you?
I feel more confident and more comfortable in my own skin. I have become a better listener and public speaker.  I have learned what I value in life and have reflected on how to live life happily in the years to come.

Do you recommend study abroad to others? 
I wish everyone had the chance to study abroad. It is truly a life-changing experience that lets you learn more about yourself and challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. It gives you a chance to show your true self by diving into a completely different environment where no one knows who you are. Studying abroad lets you explore breath-taking places and learn things you can’t read about in the classroom. 


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Abroad experience forges path to nursing anthropology


Nursing and Anthropology major Ashley Moreno was attracted to the Global Health Field Course mainly because of its location.“I hope to work in Africa in my future career, so for my study abroad experience I wanted to initiate myself with an African culture,” Moreno said. “I loved the course in Rwanda, and I loved all the people. I also chose this course, because of the outlined objectives with infection prevention and control, as well as community involvement with mother and children about nutrition.”

“With my desired focus in nursing and anthropology as maternal and infant care, I was very interested to see how a different country monitored their childbirth practices in regard to infection prevention and control, as well as learn about the nutrition programs that were available for mothers and children.”Moreno was able to utilize both her knowledge in nursing and anthropology for this cultural experience.

“Being fully immersed in the Rwandan culture directly reflected my goals to integrate and communicate with cultures to help with health practices,” Moreno said. “Many issues arise when programs trying to assist cultures completely bypass the pre-existing ways of life and cultural practices, including those in health care.”

Additionally, Moreno said she enjoyed the step into health care abroad that directly related to her goals to practice internationally as a nurse.“Health care systems are structured differently across the globe, and I was excited to learn about the health care system in Rwanda,” Moreno said. “As a nurse anthropologist, my goal is to help lower infant mortality rates in developing countries. This experience in Rwanda gave me a first-hand look at the baseline of the health center structure, infection prevention and control, and how Rwanda is working towards accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals. I greatly enjoyed working with and learning directly from the Rwandan people and hope to be able to work with just as amazing people in the future.”

Among the many highlights, according to Moreno, one included the observations they conducted on infection prevention and control at a local Kigali health center.“Being able to walk around the health center, visit different sections, and ask questions to the nurses and practice health care providers allowed me to fully comprehend the functioning of their health care system,” Moreno said. “I think the best way to understand health care in another country is to observe or experience it in a local institution.”

“I was also absolutely amazed with the kindness of the people, especially the wonderful cooperative of women during the Azizi Life experience. During this amazing cultural immersion day, we lived the life of rural women in Rwanda by helping with the tasks of their typical day, eating a wonderful lunch of food from their personal garden, and making bracelets out of banana leaves. I was also able to participate in community service activities such as helping move dirt used to build a home in a community, collecting food donations and serving hot meals to hospital patients, and donating clothes to impoverished women in need taking shelter just outside a health center.”

“I also loved learning about the incredible culture and how the people have grown immensely from their past. This whole experience proved to be very humbling and is now helping me truly appreciate many things in life that should not be taken for granted.”

According to Moreno, this experience helped her work toward her goals of being an internationally traveling nurse by giving her a glimpse of the structure, services, availability, and struggles of health care in another country. “Like many other African countries, Rwanda’s health care system must accommodate their medicinal practices with a lack of resources, staff and supplies,” Moreno said. “As a nurse working in different parts of the world, I need to learn to adapt to the different environments of health care facilities and be able to practice nursing skills with what’s available.”
“I was grateful to see all the wonderful services that were offered at the Cor Unum health center such as HIV treatment and prevention, as well as nutrition, maternity, lab, wound care, and immunization services,” Moreno said. “I may need to learn and modify my idea of typical nursing practice while practicing abroad, but I definitely still want to work in many different countries and cultures throughout my career, specifically with mothers and infants. “


Sunday, February 16, 2020

2019 COST Faculty Recognition Awards

Shown from left: Shelley Scarpino, John Riley, Eric Kahn, Barry Minemeyer, Biswajit Ray,
and Cynthia Venn.
The College of Science and Technology is proud to announce the 2019 Faculty Recognition Awards.  The award winners are Dr. Barry Minemyer and Dr. Cynthia Venn for teaching, Dr. Eric Kahn and Dr. Shelley Scarpino for scholarly activity, and Dr. Biswajit Ray and Dr. John Riley for service.

 Barry Minemyer (Mathematical and Digital Sciences)
Dr. Minemyer’s nominator highlighted the grace and skill with which Dr. Minemyer teaches his classes. Whether it be Gen Ed Courses like Math Thinking or College Algebra or STEM major courses like Calculus, Linear Algebra, or Real Analysis, Minemyer has impressed his colleagues and engaged his students. Dr. Minemyer has received praise-worthy student evaluations for preparation, enthusiasm, and instructor evaluation, even in Gen Ed courses like College Algebra. Minemyer continues to put student success at the forefront by developing online courses, teaching upper-level independent studies as needed, and working with underprepared students to improve their placement. His efforts are highly commendable for someone so early in his career at BU.

Cynthia Venn (Environment, Geographical, and Geological Sciences)
Dr. Venn’s nominator used one word to describe her: INDEFATIGABLE. Even after 23 years at BU, Dr. Venn remains an adamant advocate for student field experiences. From the Everglades to coastal California, Venn will take her students where the educational action is. Friday afternoons or spring break trips….Dr. Venn is ready with her legendary Wetlands Ecology course. And Dr. Venn has always returned with the class “field prepared”, mostly intact, and all accounted for. Venn's name is repeatedly mentioned during student exit interviews at the professor having an intensely positive effect on student’s time at BU. Her efforts to prepare our students for success are greatly appreciated.

Eric Kahn (Mathematical and Digital Sciences)
Dr. Kahn’s scholarship truly epitomizes the Teaching Scholar model and his efforts were recognized by his nominators for their scholarly depth and quality. His nominators highlighted his shifting research emphases toward accessibility of mathematics to undergraduate students and toward bolstering Inquiry-Based Learning. Kahn has published a paper on the teaching history of mathematics and a textbook that teaches mathematics and statistics through the lens of sports. He has additionally taught an invited mini-course at the 2019 Joint Mathematical Conference. He has also been an attendee and presenter at international and national conferences related to his ever-expanding research interests in the mathematics field.

Shelley Scarpino (Communication Sciences and Disorders)
Dr. Scarpino’s nominator highlighted her impactful research on communication and pre-literacy skills in children of diverse backgrounds and are at risk for poor academic outcomes. She published two papers in 2019, has one manuscript pending revisions, and another four manuscripts under review. Her research also includes six international and fifteen national presentations. She also engages students with research, with seven BU co-presenters on the aforementioned presentations. Scarpino also is a Co-PI on a 1.4 million dollar grant and her research future shines bright as her research scope broadens via local school collaborations.

Biswajit Ray (Physics and Engineering Technology)
Dr. Ray’s nominators highlight his dedicated and high-quality service to his department, COST, and BU. Ray has taken the lead role in maintaining the Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) program accreditation by ABET, which will continue for another 6 years. The process is rigorous and requires a dedicated and organized leader to collect and process the self-study and follow-up reports. ABET also recognized our EET program as one of the best they have ever evaluated. Ray also relentlessly pursues new industrial members to the EET Industrial Advisory Board and manages the Co-Op program. Through accreditation and his other service efforts, Ray keeps our student success in the forefront and opportunities beyond graduation.

John Riley (Mathematical and Digital Sciences)
Dr. Riley’s nominator noted his long-standing and impactful service to the COST and the university. His largest commitment is that of BUCC chair. He is the “go to” person for all curricular matter and readily lends his talents as a keen eye for curriculum matters. He has also shown great leadership as the coordinator for the Digital Forensics program that has blossomed and now garnered national recognition. Riley gladly takes on many “behind the scenes” roles in in DF so that his colleagues can do the “glamorous” things. Riley has also served on Middle States Working Groups, General Education Task Forces, Distance Education Committees. For all his efforts, Riley has been a positive role model and shining example of collegiality and fairness across our campus community.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

BAHS students awarded CPUB grants

Undergraduate Kayla Sompel and graduate student Ian Whiteside  were awarded research grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Biologists (CPUB)  for the 2019-2020 academic year. CPUB is an organization composed of faculty in the fourteen institutions of the PA State System of Higher Education that fosters excellence in biology education and research.   

Ian Whiteside
Ian's research project examines the Effects of BORIS on Human Telomere Regulation and Stability.  Dr. Kate Beishline is  his research mentor.  Ian is 2018 graduate of Bloomsburg University, majoring in biology in the molecular biology option. As an undergraduate,he conducted research on developmental patterns of language milestones in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ian has presented his research at several venues including the Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Symposium, the PASSHE Research Symposium, and Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society Northeast District 2 Convention. He was awarded first place for Best Poster Session at the College of Science and Technology Research Day. Ian was inducted into Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society and has tutored in the Health Science Learning Community.  
Kayla Sompel

Kayla's research in cancer biology is conducted in Dr. Angela Hess's lab. Specifically, Kayla examines the effects of Vemurafenib and Dabrafenib on Human Melanoma Cells. Kayla is a biology major in the pre-medical sciences option. She has served as the President of the Pre-medical Sciences Club for two years. She is also the Vice-President of Students Helping Honduras and the Treasurer of Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society. She is a recipient of the Biology and Allied Health Scholarship. Kayla has considerable medical experience, participating in Penn State College of Medicine's Primary Care Scholars Program and the International Medical Aid program in Mombasa, Kenya.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Pre-med Students take on Geisinger's Jan Plan

Maria Figueroa and Casey Donahoe
Geisinger Medical Center’s Jan Plan brought students to the hospital's Danville campus from January 3 -10, 2020 for an intensive  experience that provides a first hand look at the medical profession. Jan Plan students had the opportunity to interact with medical students, residents, and physicians during rounds, case study discussions, and observations.  Participating in Jan Plan this year were Casey Donahoe, Biology major in the pre-medicine option and Maria Figueroa, enrolled in the Pre-medical Sciences Certificate program.  Casey and Maria shared their Jan Plan experiences:

Maria: I loved my Jan Plan experience. We shadowed doctors in different specialties, such as vascular surgery, emergency medicine, and internal medicine.It was very exciting standing next to the surgical team, watching as they inserted catheters or removed varicose veins. One of my favorite aspects of the Jan Plan program was simply meeting and talking with attending physicians, residents, and medical students-- it really gave me a chance to ask them questions, one on one, and learn a little more about their own individual experience in medicine. The Jan Plan experience reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in medicine. I highly recommend the program to others students interested in the medical field. 

Casey: During my week walking the halls of Geisinger Medical Center I not only saw what day-to-day medicine looked like, but what it felt like. By Monday afternoon, it was already apparent that the pace and "feel" of each department differs. The teamwork and communication present between all staff members in Obstetrics and Gynecology was inspiring. Members of the fast paced Emergency Department seemed ironically unperturbed. Jan Plan provided me with an opportunity to observe a surgery. I had no clue what Urologic Surgery entailed until I was actually watching a malignant bladder tumor resection. Needless to say, I highly recommend participating in Jan Plan.