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

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:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Speech, Language, and Hearing Screenings at Bloomsburg YMCA Preschool

The Speech Pathology and Audiology graduate clinicians from The Bloomsburg University Speech, Hearing and Language Clinic recently conducted screenings at the Bloomsburg Area YMCA Preschool.  Graduate students, Caitlin Sullivan, Makenzie Stutzman, Katlyn Wise and Emily Moyer, conducted screenings under the supervision of certified/licensed Speech-Language Pathologist Jennifer Alberti.  Director of the YMCA, Vicki Mihalik, welcomes the group each year to screen her 3-4 and 4-5 year old classes.  The results will aid in the early identification of speech, language, or hearing difficulties which may interfere with communication and future academic performance.  Test results indicating whether or not further assessment is needed were sent home with the preschoolers the day of the screening.  Not only was hearing directly tested, but speech, receptive language, and expressive language were also evaluated. This is a wonderful outreach that benefits both the university students as well as the preschoolers.