Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Students present research at Annual meeting for Society for Freshwater Science

Jennifer Tuomisto, a Biology graduate student, and Aaron Gordon-Weaver, a senior Environmental Biology major, recently presented research results at the Annual meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science in Raleigh, North Carolina. This conference is typically attended by approximately 1000 freshwater scientists from around the world. Jennifer gave an oral presentation entitled, "Effect of temporal changes in phosphorus supply on stream biofilms and phosphorus limitation indicators" and Aaron gave a poster presentation entitled "Response of stream biofilms to pulsed versus steady-state phosphorous additions". Both are students of Dr. Steven Rier, professor of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, who heard a number of positive comments from his colleagues on the quality of both presentations.

Friday, June 16, 2017

EGGS 211 Norway - Røros

Breakfast in Røros

Dusting of snow in Røros
When we awoke in Røros and got ready we were given a free breakfast from our hotel. This was our first traditional Norwegian breakfast. There was a lot of lunch meat including ham and salami. But perhaps what was the most unique was the liver pate that you can eat alone or on a slice of bread. While this sounds disgusting for breakfast, it actually wasn't too bad. What stuck out to me was what is now one of my most favorite types of cheese. In Norway, this is simply known as brunøst or brown cheese. It is sweet and fairly fatty and creamy. It is excellent on a slice of bread or on a waffle. A waffle with brunøst and jam is now one of my favorite snacks. After breakfast we went to the Røros copper mine. Røros is unlike most of Norway; it has a barren landscape and feels much like some areas around Bloomsburg. This is due to the presence of the copper mine which operated for about 300 years. Within the town exist mounds of tailings, or the waste product from the smelting process which extracts the copper. In a way, it looks a lot like a coal mining town from around Bloomsburg such as Ashland. After the mine museum, we went for lunch at a pub in the main town. The streets are surprisingly nice for a mining town and there were plenty of smalls shops along the street to find a nice souvenir. After exploring the town more, we found a stray soccer ball on the field next to our hotel and many of us ended our day by kicking around the ball and enjoying the landscape. While this stop in the trip was brief, it was certainly a memorable experience and one of the most unique towns in Norway.
~Ryan Sullivan
Buildings in Røros

Thursday, June 15, 2017

EGGS 211 Norway - The Arctic Circle

Tricia at the Arctic Circle

Today we traveled to the Arctic Circle Center and Nordland National Park Center. The snow on the mountains was so white that it was almost hard to distinguish mountain from cloud. We had the chance to hike around the area, occasionally falling knee deep into the snow until we found an easier path close to the train tracks. Feet of snow were still on the ground despite it being June. All the snow will melt by September before accumulating again in the winter. Markers were placed across the area at the latitude of the Arctic Circle. As we drove to the National Park Center we spotted a few reindeer and managed to snap some pictures. Reindeer is a common food here. It's usually made into a stew or hotdog. Spending the day outside and seeing some wildlife was the perfect break from our busy travel schedule. ~Tricia law

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Glacier - EGGS 211 Trip to Norway

Today, May 28th, we climbed a glacier. We traveled about 45 minutes on curving winding, bumpy roads to get a to a Viking-helmet-shaped building, where inside there was a cute store and a restaurant that served lamb pizza along with many other Norwegian delicacies. From the restaurant, the glacier that we were about to climb looked small -- which we soon would learn was a trick of the eye. After we finished eating we got back in the car and traveled down a short road to where we met our climbing guides. There they fit us for spikes to go over our shoes and give us a pick axe for safety. We then hiked an hour across rocky terrain, rapid waters, and Norwegian shrubbery, before arriving at the glacier which was, in reality, huge. Here we received harnesses and were roped together. With our guide up in front and the rest of us strapped together we start our journey upwards on the glacier. The temperature dropped and the hike was steep. The climb to the top was about an hour and once up there the view was beautiful. Then it was time to go back down. The way down was a little scary but our guide, using her pick axe, made steps for us in the ice to walk down comfortably. Once we get back from the glacier the feeling of accomplishment and amazement sinks in and the eight of us will have a unique memory that will last forever.
~ Madeline Murtin

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lofoten Hike - EGGS 211 Trip to Norway

Norway is a country of never-ending beauty but also never-ending sunlight. I woke up at 3 am to yellow rays radiating in the room, blinding me as I opened my eyes. The midnight sun is a phenomenon in northern Norway due to the tilt and rotation of the earth around the sun during this time of year. The day continued with a hike around the coast where we saw countless sheep sun bathing on the rocks. Our view was the turquoise waters of the Arctic Ocean, and a backdrop of snowy covered mountains. The beach looked like the Caribbean with a sandy coast and small waves crashing on the land. Three of our classmates were brave enough to dive into the freezing water. One of them actually submerged himself three times. Maybe the numbness from the first jump made the following two a breeze. I on the other hand was satisfied with just touching the water with my fingers. We ended our time at the beach with pictures before heading back to our cabins for our last night in Lofoten.
~Lauren Levengood

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ACM students take Second Place in PACISE Programming Contest

Brian Fekete, Jacob Daniel,and Brett Logan took Second Place
A nine-member programming squad from Bloomsburg University's ACM student chapter competed at Edinboro University in the PACISE 2017 programming contest on Saturday, March 31, 2017. Seniors Jacob Daniel, Brian Fekete, and Brett Logan took Second Place overall among 15 teams from the PASSHE school system. Squad members Jared Frank, John Gibson, Laura Josuweit, Daniel Kilgallon, Luke Vuksta, and Rio Weber also did well, taking Fourth and Eighth Places. This is the third year in a row that a Bloomsburg team has taken second at PACISE contests. It is also the largest squad the ACM chapter has fielded, and augurs well for future contests. BU's Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences is a member of PACISE, the Pennsylvania Association of Computer and Information Science Educators, representing computer programs across the PASSHE member schools. The programming squad coach, Dr. Robert Montante, represents BU at PACISE. He is also a member of ACM, an international professional organization of computer scientists and computer science educators with student chapters at many schools.

From left: Laura Josuweit, Jared Frank, Rio Weber, Brett Logan, Brian Fekete, Jacob Daniel, John Gibson, Luke Vuksta, Daniel Kilgallon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

COST Mathematics Professor Publishes New Text

A truly committed instructor understands and embodies the classic saying: “Deeds, not words!” Several inspiring examples of that old chestnut are evident in the work of Dr. Kevin Ferland, professor in the Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences. Kevin saw his first book, Discrete Mathematics: An Introduction to Proofs and Combinatorics, published in 2009. He began teaching the subject some ten years earlier, whereupon he discovered that he was unable to find a suitable text, i.e., one that in his words, “both covered the topics we needed and did so with sufficient support for students that may struggle with the ideas.” Consequently, Kevin decided to create a book that would offer both theory and practice and at the same time, would engage his students, rather than intimidate them. In his words:

“In 2001, I started writing the first edition of this book with a central focus upon providing quality and well-explained examples that are then well supported by many exercises that are tied directly to those examples.”

Eight years later, the aforementioned first edition of Kevin’s discrete mathematics text was born. Even so, he immediately began making substantial notes in his copy of the first edition, which were based largely upon student feedback each semester; it was these notes that formed the foundation for most if not all of the modifications which became the basis for the updated second edition, Discrete Mathematics and Applications. He suggested that

“Ever since the first edition came out in 2009, I have paid close attention to the efficacy of my approach. By improving and adding examples and exercises, I have subsequently made significant improvements that I know will benefit students even more in this second edition. What I have learned from using my textbook for eight years and receiving feedback, has been invaluable to me and I expect that users of this new edition will appreciate it as well.”

Happily, the new edition of Kevin’s book has been published recently by the prestigious Taylor & Francis publishing group. For additional substantive information about Discrete Mathematics and Applications, please refer to the following link:
--- Michael Stephans

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nursing Students Participate in Legislative and Policy Advocacy

On May 1, seventy-four senior nursing students and six faculty participated in legislative and policy advocacy in Harrisburg, PA. Students met with representatives from the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) to discuss the state legislative lobbying process and the nurse’s role in impacting clients and the profession. PSNA Chief Executive Officer, Betsy Snook, and PSNA Director of Government Affairs, Keven Busher offered real-life roundtable discussions surrounding current legislative priorities such as safe staffing and registered nurse delegation. Students met with Senator John Gordner (R-27th) and also Karen Coates, Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House Turzai. To end the day, Senator Gordner gave a guided tour of the Capitol Building to a group of students and faculty and discussed his support for nurses and student nurses in his district and in the Commonwealth.

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 Spring Honors Symposium

Audiology and Speech Pathology award winners

Top Honor Undergraduate Student
award winner Alexandra Smith
The best and brightest gathered on April 24, 2017, to be recognized for their accomplishments at Bloomsburg University.  Each College of Science and Technology department recognized their Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude graduates in addition to their scholarship and department specific award winners. The Top Honor Undergraduate Student award was earned by nursing major Alexandra Smith, pictured at right.

Biological and Allied Health Sciences award winners

Chemistry and Biochemistry award winners

Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences award winners

Exercise Science Award Winners

Instructional Technology award winners

Mathematical and Digital Sciences award winners

Nursing award winners

Physics and Engineering award winners

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BU’s Annual Health Sciences Symposium and Wellness Fair: Paths to a Healthy Life

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. --- Mahatma Gandhi 

On Thursday April 20th Bloomsburg University co-sponsored its Annual Health Sciences Symposium, and on the following day held its yearly Wellness Fair. A treasure trove of valuable and sometimes life-saving information, these two events offered updates on the latest medical research on diabetes and diabetes-related conditions, mindful physical exercising and eating, blood sugar and blood pressure management, and other medical and health care topics of interest to BU students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the Bloomsburg community.

Now in its 26th year, BU’s Health Sciences Symposium, which was co-sponsored by the University’s Office of the Provost and the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund, focused upon the theme of diabetes, which featured a keynote address on Thursday by Dr. John W. Kennedy entitled “Diabetes Care ~ Transformation at Geisinger: Bridging the Gap Between Discovery and Delivery to Preserve Patient Health and Wellness.” Dr. Kennedy is currently in residence as the Director of the Department of Endocrinology for the Geisinger Health System, and has many years of experience as a member of the medical profession.

As part of the Symposium on the following day, there were additional presentations on diabetes and related topics in Kehr Union by a variety of health care professionals, including Pamela Cook and Devon Manney, Assistant Professors in BU’s Department of Nursing; Dr. Timothy R. O’Connell, BU Professor Emeritus in the Department of Exercise Science; and Julia Grocki, Clinical Dietician in the Geisinger Health System.

Kehr Union was also the location for BU’s 31st Annual Wellness Fair was also held on Friday. This year’s fair included informative poster sessions presented and displayed by BU graduate and undergraduate students, which spotlighted a variety of topics such as scoliosis, coronary heart disease, sodium intake, delayed umbilical cord cutting, and mononucleosis.  The Fair itself included numerous university organizations such as the Center for Hearing and Balance, the Student Health Center, the Exercise Science Club, the Wellness Committee, and the Center for Counseling and Human Development. Other contributors included ARAMARK, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Highmark Blue Shield, PA Department of Health, and Rodman Natural Health Solutions.

If, as Gandhi suggests, health is what makes us wealthy, then nowhere was that proclamation more in evidence than on the Bloomsburg University campus on April 20th and 21st. By learning about the importance of good health and wellness through participating in events like these, and by using knowledge and good sense to create a healthy lifestyle, we have the potential to lead long and fruitful lives. What could be better than that?                 --- Michael Stephans

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 BU Science Iditarod

Overall 1st Place Team from Berwick Area "Berwick Blue"
Today, Bloomsburg University hosted the 2017 Bloomsburg University Science Iditarod. Local high schools sent teams of four students to compete in the quiz competition. Four separate quiz rounds consisted of questions from the Geosciences, Biology, Physics and Chemistry. This year 20 teams participated from 11 different schools including one homeschool group.
Winners were recognized in each category with a plaque.  The homeschool team “Brutum Fulmen”, consisting of Sam Bringman, Sophie Bringman, Stephen Tapsak and Corina Shanahan won both the  Geosciences and Biology rounds.  The Wyoming Area “WA Gold” team, consisting of Peter Butera, Kelli Skok, Anthony Nardell and Alex Ambruso won the Chemistry round. The Berwick Area “Berwick White”, consisting of Roopesh Kumar, Jacob Demler, Justin Filbert, and Olivia Lombardi won the Physics round with the highest score in recent memory. 
3rd place overall, Geosciences and Biology winner Homeschool group "Brutum Flumen"

Chemistry winner Wyoming Area "WA Gold"
Physics winner Berwick Area "Berwick White"
The points earned in each round were tallied and the top two teams advanced to the Super Round where the overall winner would be crowned. This year, two teams had the same number of points, so a playoff was conducted before the Super Round. The overall 3rd place winner was the homeschool team “Brutum Fulmen” the overall 2nd place winner was Wyoming Area “WA Green”, consisting of Ryan Shuleski, Robert Butwin, Skyler Stantacroce, and Joseph Bender.  The overall 1st place winner was Berwick Area “Berwick Blue” team consisting of Erik Mazonkey, Austin McLaughlin, Justin Groshek and Dylan Michael. Each of the top 3 teams won a trophy, individual medals and a $1000 scholarship to Bloomsburg University for each team member. Bloomsburg University is proud to sponsor this event to encourage high school students in the sciences and plans to offer the contest again next year.
2nd place overall winner Wyoming Area "WA Green"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dr. Diane Barrett earns the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarly Activity

Dr. Jones, MADS Chair; Dr. Barrett; Dr. Blake, provost; Dr. Aronstam, COST Dean
Dr. Diane Barrett was recognized by Provost Blake for outstanding scholarly activity at an awards dinner on April 17. The Provost’s Award for Excellence was established in 2006 to recognize and encourage continuing scholarly achievements of probationary faculty. One award winner is named for each of the four colleges at Bloomsburg University. Dr. Barrett is an expert digital forensics professional who brings a unique depth and breadth of knowledge into the classroom from her vast professional experiences. Her hiring allowed Bloomsburg University to greatly strengthen an already impressive program into a national leader in Digital Forensics education. Diane single-handedly created the department’s Center of Excellence application to the National Security Agency (NSA) in the summer of 2015. This application resulted in our program being one of only seven in the nation that is recognized by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Excellence in Digital Forensics Education.

Dr. Barrett takes on a leadership role in all her endeavors. This includes conferences as well as multiple Digital Forensics working groups and Agency panels. Diane is a practicing professional who performs security audits and forensics examinations. She is also an author, with multiple books to her credit, and she had three articles accepted for publication in the past year. Her most recent conference paper won Honorable Mention in the best paper category. She has written grant applications that are only available to Centers for Academic Excellence and is helping students obtain scholarships for college.

Over the last three years, Dr. Barrett has had seven conference presentations, two book chapters and two grants funded to go along with earning her PhD and book publication. She is an expert in her field who has contributed significantly to the state of the art in doing cloud-based digital forensics security audits and examinations.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

13 High Schools, 44 Teams Compete at BU’s Annual Computer Programming Contest

Bloomsburg University’s Mathematical and Digital Science (MADS) Department, in conjunction with sponsors Solution and Development Firm LLC and Optimo IT, has once again presented its Annual Programming Contest on Tuesday, April 11th. This is the Contest’s 22nd year and it shows no signs of waning in popularity.

This year, 13 high schools and 44 teams hailing from those schools participated in the three-hour contest. There were ten computational problems given to each team. The problems ranged in difficulty from easiest to the most difficult, and each team was allowed to use the programing language of its choice to attack each problem.

The top three winning teams were the Emaus High School Hornets (1st place with 10 out of 10 problems solved), the Easton Area High School’s Jarvis Team (2nd place with 9 out of 10 problems solved) and the Nazareth White Team (3rd place with 8 out of ten correctly solved problems). Nine teams tied for 4th place, each solving 7 out of the 10 problems in the allotted time.

For a more detailed description of the High School Programming Contest, please visit http://department.bloomu.edu/mathcompscistats/Contest/index.html.

A hearty “Thank You” to Dr. Drue Coles, Professor in the Mathematical and Digital Sciences Department for once again coordinating this popular event.

1st Place Team - Emaus High School Hornets

2nd Place Team - Easton Area High School's Jarvis Team

3rd Place Team - Nazareth White Team

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Inquiring Minds Gather for Spring COST Research Day

Spring 2017 COST Research Day organizers, keynote speaker, Dean and poster winners
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” - Zora Neale Hurston
“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” - Wernher Von Braun

Research at most institutions of higher learning has always been a way of life to one degree or another. While some colleges and universities have been labeled as “teaching institutions” and are often differentiated from “research institutions,” research is definitely an integral part of college and university life, regardless of what the institution’s major emphasis may be.
Let’s look at it this way: Theory and pedagogy in many disciplines each create a sturdy foundation for future inquiry and exploration; and yet both were more often than not, end products of the research process itself. Perhaps this cyclical phenomenon undergirds the importance of research as an ongoing human endeavor, both at institutions of higher learning and in societies as a whole.
Specifically, research activities have always played an important role here at Bloomsburg University. As an example, emphasis upon research has been at the heart of the College of Science and Technology since its inception in the early years of the new millennium. Even earlier on in the late 80’s, BU chemistry students often gave research presentations on the last day of each semester. Shortly after the birth of COST, Dean Robert Marande helped to formalize the presentation process by thinking that it would be beneficial for all student researchers in the College to have the opportunity to present their research findings before a wider audience beyond the confines of their classrooms. Consequently, the College of Science and Technology’s Research Day was born.
Keynote Speaker Dr. Jennifer Whisner
This year’s Research Day began with an excellent keynote address by Dr. Jennifer Whisner an Associate Professor in the EGGS Department, who offered an interesting overview of the trials, tribulations, joys, and frustrations of the undergraduate research process. Following Dr. Whisner’s talk,  there was a brief break which set the stage for the Poster Session. It must be said that each of the posters exhibited a high quality of professionalism and visual appeal. It appeared as though  the judges had their work cut out for them, given the quality of the posters.
All posters were judged based upon their coverage of the topic, use of graphics, quality of layout and design, accessibility/readability of the text, well documented sources, and the quality of the creator’s oral presentation. The three posters that won the first, second, and third places respectively in the competition were Lauren Chamberlin (“Investigating the Presences of Synapsin III in Human Sperm”), Shana Wagner (“The Effect of Peroxisome Proliferator- Activated Receptors on Estrogen Receptors in Malignant Melanoma”), and Ryan Sullivan (Analyzing Local and Regional Groundwater Flow using ArcGIS within Columbia County, PA”). Honorable Mentions were awarded to Haley Kravitz, Madison Aungst, Kirk Jeffreys, Mark R. Drumm, Elliott Fackler, Morgan Ruziecki, Daniel F. McGann and Luke A. Long Jr.
All in all, Research Day offered an impressive panoply of work on the part of all BU Science and Technology students. Inquiring minds here at Bloomsburg University are indeed alive and well and in some cases, may hold the keys which will unlock the doors to discoveries that may well improve the quality of life here on earth in the not-too-distant future. 

Kudos to all who participated in this important yearly event, as well as to all who worked behind the scenes to make it successful!
- Michael Stephans

Friday, April 7, 2017

Chemistry Students Present at 2017 Society of Toxicology Meeting in Baltimore

Dr. Borland, Dr. Kehres and Megan Burke
Mark Drumm and Megan Burke, B.S. Chemistry-Biochemistry students, presented their research, in poster form, at the 2017 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.  They presented with their research advisors, Dr. Michael Borland and Dr. Ellen Kehres of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department.  Their research focused on how peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) modulate transcriptional regulatory networks and proliferation in human malignant melanoma. Mark investigated PPAR and glucocoroid receptor (GR) interdependence, while Megan investigated PPAR and vitamin D receptor (VDR) interdependence.
Mark Drumm presents his poster
Mark also attended an all day Undergraduate Education Program in which he learned about various toxicology disciplines, tips for graduate school applications, and building networks with various SOT mentors and toxicologists.  The nearly 7,000 conference attendees also had the opportunity to attend over 160 talks and browse the ToxExpo with hundreds of companies displaying the latest technology in the field.

Undergraduates participate in this special introduction to topics in various toxicology disciplines, including an opportunity to explore and interpret data. Students discuss with graduate students and academic program directors how to submit strong graduate school applications and succeed in graduate school, as well as learning the merits of specific graduate programs. They also network with SOT mentors and toxicologists in various employment sectors to become more familiar with what life is like in different career paths in toxicology. - See more at: http://www.toxicology.org/events/am/AM2017/program.asp#SPhi