Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Audiology Students Receive Travel Award to Present

Kristin DiNoto, Dr. Mohsin Shaikh and Amanda Levy

Kristin DiNoto and Amanda Levy, students from the Bloomsburg University Doctorate in Audiology program, recently attended the 2017 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention in Los Angeles, California. The students were selected to receive Audiology/Hearing Science Research Travel Awards (ARTA) which gave them complimentary registration and a stipend to defray transportation, lodging and meal costs.  Both students presented a paper with their advisor, Dr. Mohsin Ahmed Shaikh,  assistant professor in Audiology and Speech Pathology.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Students participate in the Royal Norwegian Embassy's Virtual Ambassador Program

Led by Dr. Benjamin Franek, Assistant Professor of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Scienes (EGGS), some 50+ students participated in the Royal Norwegian Embassy's Virtual Ambassador Program.  Using a Skype connection, the students were able to meet and talk with H. E. Kare R. Aas, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States.  A wide variety of topics were covered including Norway's shift to clean energy, the new opportunities and challenges in the Arctic, and other global issues of interest to both Norway and the US.

This program was a natural extension of previous work by Dr. Franek. Last summer, he and Dr. Laura Mock, adjunct professor in EGGS, led 8 students on a 21-day trip to Norway as part of their course (EGGS 211) Regional Geography Abroad. That course will be offered again this June.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Audiologist receives recognition

In June, Deborah John, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D), Clinical Supervisor, received her 2nd Award for Continuing Education (ACE) by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. According to ASHA “The ACE is a formal recognition of professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to lifelong learning by earning 7.0 ASHA continuing education units (CEUs) (equivalent to 70 contact hours) within a 36-month period.” (

In addition, she was selected as a Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) site visitor for 2017-2021. "The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) accredits eligible clinical doctoral programs in audiology and master's degree programs in speech-language pathology. The CAA relies on a dedicated corps of volunteers serving as Council members and site visitors to accomplish the work of the accreditation program. The CAA serves the public by promoting excellence in the graduate education of audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Through a peer review process, the CAA establishes accreditation standards and facilitates continuous quality improvement of the programs it accredits. Graduates of CAA-accredited and candidate programs are educated in a core set of skills and knowledge required for entry into independent professional practice. The CAA is committed to quality, and dedicated to audiology and speech-language pathology programs’ success in preparing future professionals.” (

Monday, October 2, 2017

Turtle Poetry and other publications by Sean Hartzell

Sean Hartzell, recent graduate of the Master's of Biology program and now adjunct faculty member in the Biological and Allied Health Sciences (BAHS) department at Bloomsburg University recently published a poem about turtles in Chelonian Conservation and Biology.

Photo by Sean Hartzell
Chelonian epitaph
Sean M. Hartzell

I trod upon last autumn's leaves,
winter's chill still on the breeze.
Into the swamp, I search for spring,
but still too cold, no frogs yet sing.

I look and see a striking sight,
a turtle's shell, protruding, white.
Your carapace, bleached, your upper half,
your memory, your epitaph.

I sit and ponder, as I should,
how may seasons you knew this wood?
While somber feelings fill my heart,
I know that this is nature's part.

A natural death, so odd it seems,
for turtles should be, a more common theme.
Not in a pot, or on the road,
or taken far away from your abode.

And so, I leave your memory here,
and feel renewal, that spring is near.

Sean also published an article with Dr. Steve Rier, professor of BAHS, in the Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science entitled, "A crayfish survey of the fishing creek watershed in northeastern Pennsylvania suggests widespread prevalence of a nonindigenous species and the absence of a native congener". Additionally, he coauthored a note with a biology undergraduate student, Cody Pavlick, and former BAHS faculty member Amber Pitt, regarding hellbender salamander behavior in the journal Herpetological Review.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

IONM Certificate Graduates

A recognition ceremony and luncheon was held on August 11, 2017, at the Kehr Union Multi-Cultural Room for the first cohort of five students who completed their graduate certificate in Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM) this summer. Bloomsburg University Interim Provost Dr. James Krause gave remarks as well as the COST Dean, Dr. Robert Aronstam and Departmental Chairperson of Audiology and Speech Pathology, Dr. Shaheen Awan. This program is a partnership between faculty in the Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology at Bloomsburg University and the Department of Neurophysiology at Geisinger Health Systems. This is one of the very few IONM certificate programs in the country. It provides one year of training (36 credit hours) for students with a bachelor's degree to pursue a career as an IONM technologist. Graduates will provide neurofunctional feedback and guidance during surgery to protect the brain, spine, and peripheral nervous systems from iatrogenic injury. The IONM teaching faculty include Dr. Qing Ye, Dr. Tyson Hale, Dr. Aaron Knecht, and Dr. Jill Gotoff.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

NEPA Nursing Simulation Consortium

Healthcare professionals who specialize in simulation-based learning (SBL) recently established a consortium in northeastern Pennsylvania. The first meeting was held in July in Wilkes-Barre. The purpose of the consortium is to provide a venue for healthcare simulation educators in NEPA to share ideas and plan regional educational activities. Shown in the picture are inaugural members: First row: Annette Blasi-Strubeck, Penn State University; Kim Caruso, Geisinger Health System; Colleen Heckman, University of Scranton. Second row: Autumn Forgione, University of Scranton; Lori Pierangeli, East Stroudsburg University; Deborah Zielinski, University of Scranton; Catherine Hauze, Wilkes University; Audrey Cunfer, Co-founder, Misericordia University; Gail Jasman, Bloomsburg University; Joyce Victor, Co-founder, Wilkes University. Attending, but not in photo, Jill Lennon, Penn State University. The next meeting will be held on October 5, 2017 at Bloomsburg University. The meeting will include a tour of the Bloomsburg University nursing simulation center. New members are welcome. For information, contact Audrey Cunfer at or Joyce Victor at

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium Held at Bloomsburg University

Bloomsburg University hosted the 7th Annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium on August 2, 2017. The keynote address, "Murder, Malpractice, and A Really Big Oil Spill: My Strange Academic Career", was given by Bloomsburg University mathematics professor, Dr. Scott Inch.

Students representing Bloomsburg University, Bucknell University, Geisinger Health System, and Susquehanna University presented posters accompanied by two-minute oral discussions. Prior to the symposium, a team of judges evaluated the abstracts and selected the top abstract in each of four categories: (1) social sciences and humanities, (2) natural sciences and engineering, (3) biological sciences, and (4) clinical/translational.

Two Bloomsburg University submissions were selected as top abstracts in their category, and each presented a 10-minute oral presentation at the symposium.  Here are the winners:

"Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid on Motor Responses in Honey Bees" by Joshua Petersheim, Heather Llewellyn, Dr. Cynthia Surmacz and Dr. John Hranitz
Joshua Petersheim presenting his talk, "Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid On Motor Responses in Honey Bees"

and "Shedding Red Light on Ultra-Cold Strontium Gases" by Rachel Yenney.
Rachel Yenney presenting her talk "Shedding Red Light on Ultra-Cold Strontium Gases"

Awards were also presented for top poster in each category, as well as an audience favorite. Three Bloomsburg University students received these awards:

Biological Sciences - "Antisense Oligonucleotide Knock-Down of GNG5 and GNG11 in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) Cells" by Glenn Maneval, Jr. and Dr. William Schwindinger
Glenn Maneval, Jr.
Natural Science and Engineering - "Geochemical Assessment of Abandoned Mine Discharges on Wisconisco Creek, Schuykill and Dauphin Counties, Pennsylvania" by Mitchell Lenker and Dr. Cynthia Venn
Mitchell Lenker
Audience Favorite - "Identifying the prevalence of mutations affecting the splicing process in the DiscovEHR cohort and their disease associations" by Dhir Gala, Raghu Metpally, Sarathbaby Krishnamurthy and David Carrey.
Dhir Gala, center, with symposium organizers

Monday, July 10, 2017

Students travel to Death Valley and Owen's Valley for EGGS field course

EGGS 330 is a field course for students interested in geologic and environmental sciences. This summer, myself and 12 other students led by faculty Dr. Jennifer Whisner, Dr. Cynthia Venna and Dr. Brett McLaurin traveled to Death Valley and Owens Valley, Califormia. Here we were able to apply in-class knowledge to make thoughtful observations, interpretations and develop filed skills. Specifically we learned firsthand about the tectonic, glacial, volcanic and sedimentary processes affecting southern California and the western United States.

Tufa towers at Mono Lake, these limestone formations are exposed due to heavy withdrawal of water that is being diverted to Los Angeles

The course began with four days of class on campus, where we each researched two topics that we would visit on the West coast. We then created a poster and short write-up to be used as teaching tools in the field. As a group we flew to Las Vegas, Nevada and then drove to Death Valley, California.

Our time in California included iconic locations in Death Valley:
Artists Palette, Devils Gold Course, Badwater Basin(282 feet BELOW sea level), Tacopa Lake beds, Charlie Brown Fault, Zabriskie Point - Badlands, Dante's View, Mesquite Sand Dunes, and Ubehebe Crater

Owen's Valley locations included:
 Mono Lake, Mono-Inyo Crater Chain, Devil's Punch Bowl, Obsidian Dome, Long Valley Caldera, Hot Creek, Convict Lake, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, LA Aqueduct, Owen's Valley Earthquake Fault, Scarp Fossil Falls, and  Alabama Hills

Students enjoy making food and relaxing at Lone Pine Campsite near the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental US

We learned about the events leading to the formation of each landscape, observed how processes have shaped and morphed the geology, and made interpretations at both local and regional scales about the lands surrounding us. In addition to bserving hard-rock geology we also learned about human activities in the desert like minigng and water resource misuse. We discussed the LA Aquedult and observed low water levels in lakes or lakes completely dried up in the Valleys. At Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge we observed endangered Pupfish found only in this location in Death Valley.

Students take time to sketch landscape at Ubehebe Crater. The crater the result of a powerful and explosive eruption produced when subsurface magma heats groundwater, which flash steams and creates tremendous pressure

In addition to learning in the field, we also lived in the field for the entirety of the trip. Sleeping in tents, cooking on a camp stove or over the fire, keeping any scented objects or food in bear boxes, roughing it with only one shower and one day of laundry. Although we were challenged physically and mentally throughout the trip, we learned valuable skills, developed great friends, and all the while had tons of FUN outdoors.

~Autumn Helfrich, EGGS major

Students stand in front of an ancient bristlecone pine, these trees are as old as ~4000-5000 years old.

Observing Tecopa Lake beds near Shoshone, California