Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Bloomsburg Programming Teams Compete in Virginia

Five members of Bloomsburg University’s Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) club programming squad traveled to Marymount University for this year’s programming contest at the 37th Annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC)-Eastern Conference. The contest featured 17 teams representing schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Team members Ben Vick and Eric Cool of the “Bytesize Houligans” solved six of ten problems and received an honorable mention for getting the only solution to one problem, although the winning team solved seven. Brandon Noecker, William Gallagher, and Karun Mahadevan from team “CompuHuskies” solved three problems during the four-hour contest.

~Retrieved from BU Student News Email - Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON SCHOOL OF PHARMACY

FDU Provost Gillian Small and B U Provost Diana Rogers-Adkinson Sign Pharmacy School Agreement

BU inks agreement to benefit students interested in a career in pharmacy.

Florham Park, NJ—At a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 28, officials from Bloomsburg University and the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences finalized an agreement to allow qualified students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in seven years, saving a full year of time and costs.

FDU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Small offered a welcome to those in attendance. “We are pleased to be able to partner with Bloomsburg University on a program that will benefit students,” said Small. “We hope to have more partnerships in the future with BU.”

Bloomsburg University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Diana Rogers-Adkinson offered remarks on behalf of BU President Bashar Hanna. “Agreements such as this are very important and expand our ability to attract quality, highly-driven students,” said Rogers-Adkinson. “We look forward to collaborating with Fairleigh Dickinson University on other programs in the future that will benefit our students.”

The Fairleigh Dickinson University program will allow BU students majoring in chemistry or health sciences into the Fast Track to Pharmacy (PharmD) program at Fairleigh Dickinson following their junior year. BU students will then complete their final year enrolled in pharmacy coursework at the Fairleigh Dickinson School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. That year will also serve to complete both their first year of study within the Doctor of Pharmacy program and concurrently to complete the final credits to receive their B.A. degree in chemistry or B.S. degree in health sciences from Bloomsburg University.

Candidates for admission must have a 3.3 or higher overall GPA at BU and complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of B- or better. Reserved admission is limited to a maximum of five BU students each year.

The agreement is effective immediately, allowing current Bloomsburg University students to apply for admission.

“Access to such accelerated pathways to professional programs are very attractive opportunities to students, and we are excited to partner with FDU’s School of Pharmacy to provide this opportunity to our current and future students in the College of Science and Technology, said Latha Ramakrishnan, dean of the Bloomsburg University College of Science and Technology. “Our faculty are dedicated to support student success and I am delighted to note the collaboration between faculty in chemistry and biology and allied health departments to create such pathways for success to our students.”

Taking part in the signing ceremony were Small, Rogers-Adkinson, Dr. Latha Ramakrishnan, Dr. Michael Avaltroni, dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at FDU; Dr. Anastasia Rivkin, executive associate dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; and Dr. Chadwin Sandifer, associate dean for Student Affairs and Administrative Operations.

About Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy
As a fully accredited program by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), FDU’s PharmD program meets the academic requirements for licensure in all 50 states. Separate from educational requirements, state licensure boards may require applicants to complete other requirements.

Professional licensure and certification requirements may vary state to state, and are also subject to change. Students should contact the appropriate licensing agency in each home state to obtain the most up-to-date information.

About Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 7,800 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and new Honors College.

Front row (L to R)--FDU Provost Gillian Small, BU Provost Diana Rogers-Adkinson
Back row (L to R)--Dr. Chadwin Sandifer, FDU associate dean for Student Affairs and Administrative Operations; Dr. Michael Avaltroni, FDU dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Dr. Anastasia Rivkin, FDU executive associate dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Dr. Latha Ramakrishnan, BU dean of the College of Science and Technology.

~Retrieved from BU News 9.28.21- https://www.bloomu.edu/news/agreement-signed-fairleigh-dickinson-school-pharmacy

BU MATHEMATICS GRADUATE PURSUING PH.D.

Chase Sakitis '18 takes love of research and mathematics from BU to important work on fMRI image reconstruction.

To the average person, mathematics is a mystery. But its application to everyday life is very important. It’s what has driven Bloomsburg University graduate Chase Sakitis to spend the past year pursuing his doctorate at Marquette University. 
 
After taking a year and a half off after finishing his degree in mathematics at BU, Sakitis decided to begin his post-graduate studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee with a Master of Applied Statistics. Shortly after finishing his master’s degree, Sakitis was asked to stay for his Ph.D. and join his advisor, Dr. Daniel Rowe’s, and Clemson professor Dr. Andrew Brown’s research project. “I was a little surprised that he asked me to join the project,” Sakitis said, “It was just great that he thought highly of me enough to be joining this project.”  
 
Sakitis said that his time at BU helped prepare him for where he is today in his studies. “The math department did very well with preparing me," said Sakitis.”The classes that Bloomsburg had to offer gave me a very strong background in what I was studying here.”  
 
“Bloomsburg professors were very helpful,” said Sakitis, “especially Dr. (Mehdi) Razzaghi, giving me an opportunity to work on an independent study with him.” Even though they didn’t finish the work they did together at BU, it gave Sakitis the opportunity to know what it was like to work on research. 
 
Currently, Sakitis is working on research in Bayesian statistics and fMRI image reconstruction. His research involves converting subsampled spatial frequencies, which are collected during the imaging process, into images using a mathematical process called Fourier transformations to show brain activity. 
 
“With MRI machines, when they take these images, it's not actually a giant camera that takes a picture, and that's what comes up on the screen,” Sakitis explained. “There's a lot of physics behind it, and magnetization. Basically, the physicist collects these frequencies, or as they're called, spatial frequencies. As a statistician, or from the mathematical part, we turn these spatial frequencies into images. You can, for example, if you're trying to look at someone's brain, which is what I'm working on, turn the frequencies into an image through mathematical processes called Fourier transformations. 
 
“I’m trying to work on a new method to turn those frequencies into actual images in a quicker fashion, because MRIs, they could take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours,” explained Sakitis. 
 
Sakitis is projected to finish his Ph.D. in 2024. After finishing his doctorate, Sakitis is considering either continuing in academia and becoming a professor or pursuing research at a medical school to continue his work in neuroscience. 

~Retrieved from BU News 9.20.21: https://www.bloomu.edu/news/bu-mathematics-graduate-pursuing-phd 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

BLOOMSBURG UNIVERSITY'S DEPARTMENT OF NURSING RANKED SIXTH IN PENNSYLVANIA

                       

BLOOMSBURG — The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Department of Nursing is ranked sixth of 76 schools in Pennsylvania according to RNCareers.org. In addition, BU is ranked 67th in the Mid-Atlantic region by NursingSchoolAlmanac.com.

The sixth annual RNCareers.org ranking of 96.99% is based on each institution's first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation, and more. The results were then compared against other nursing programs in Pennsylvania to provide the state rankings.

"I congratulate our nursing faculty and students on this well-deserved recognition," said BU President Bashar Hanna. "The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the criticality of the nursing profession in our health care system. Our world desperately needs well-educated and well-prepared nurses, and thanks to the faculty and staff in our nursing program, we at BU are doing our part to prepare our nursing students to be the very best in their field."

"We are very proud of this ranking which demonstrates the rigor and strength of our nursing program at Bloomsburg University," said Lori Metzger, chair of the Department of Nursing. "This is a testament to our dedicated faculty who have real-life experience which they bring to our nursing program, and our hard-working students put the necessary effort into their work to achieve this recognition."

Bloomsburg University offers multiple quality nursing degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Bloomsburg also offers RN to BSN and RN to BSN to MSN programs, allowing registered nurses to obtain the BSN and MSN online in a condensed timeframe.

~Retrieved from BU News website 9.14.21

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Congratulations: COST 2021-22 Promotion and Tenure

We want to send a special congratulations to all COST faculty who have achieved promotion and tenure. 

Promoted to Associate Professor

  • Barry Minemyer, Mathematical & Digital Sciences 
  • Jennifer Haney, Environmental, Geographical, & Geological Sciences 
  • Debra Minzola, Nursing 
  • Luke Haile, Exercise Science 

Promoted to Professor

  • Jennifer Venditti, Biological & Allied Health Sciences
  • Eric Hawrelak, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Awarded Tenure

  • Melinda Barrett, Nursing
  • Heather Ervin, Mathematical & Digital Sciences 
  • Barry Minemyer, Mathematical & Digital Sciences 
  • Mohsin Shaikh, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Cara Tolan, Communication Sciences and Disorders

~Retrieved from The Week Ahead 9.13.2021

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

BU'S DIGITAL FORENSICS DEGREE PROGRAM RANKED FOURTH-BEST IN THE COUNTRY BY STUDY.COM

BLOOMSBURG--Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s digital forensics degree program has been ranked fourth-best in the country by Study.com

Bloomsburg University offers the only digital forensics and cybersecurity bachelor's degree in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Bloomsburg graduates are working in law enforcement, homeland security agencies, law firms and private companies.

Bloomsburg University has also been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education with a focus in the area of digital forensics through academic year 2021. The CAE designation, jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, recognizes that Bloomsburg’s digital forensics program has met stringent criteria in regard to its digital forensics curriculum, faculty and research, as well as demonstrated an institution-wide commitment to information assurance practices and cyber defense education.

Students attending CAE designated schools become eligible to apply for related scholarships and grants through the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program

About Study.com
Over 40 million visitors per month use Study.com to research potential schools, degrees, and careers, and this list will help our users and your potential students learn about Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's excellent offerings. To compile this list we considered hundreds of universities across the country and selected Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania based on academic and career resources, the quality of education, faculty, and more.

~Retrieved from BU News webpage - https://www.bloomu.edu/news/bus-digital-forensics-degree-program-ranked-fourth-best-country-studycom

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

FACULTY FROM NORTHEAST INTEGRATING UNIVERSITIES COLLABORATING ON TREE SWALLOW NESTING RESEARCH

 BU professor of biology Lauri Green is collecting the nests of Tree Swallows to evaluate nest construction to determine if there are any patterns to their construction. She is working with Leslie Clifford, a Mansfield University faculty member. Mansfield is one of the three universities in the Northeast part of Pennsylvania which are integrating.


Anyone out walking in their yard or on a hiking trail has come across a bird’s nest and marveled at its construction.

Bloomsburg University professor of biology Lauri Green is collecting the nests of Tree Swallows to evaluate nest construction to determine if there are any patterns to their construction. She has put together a group to assist her in the work. That team includes Leslie Clifford, a Mansfield University faculty member. Mansfield is one of the three universities (along with Lock Haven) in the Northeast part of Pennsylvania which are integrating.


Also, working with Green is seasonal ranger Lydia Mohn from the US Army Corps of Engineers at Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, Berks County; Rhiannon Summers from the Department of Natural Resources at Ricketts Glen, BU graduate students Eric Moeller, Mitchell Liddick, and Michael Facella; and Gabby Leonard, an undergraduate. New for the Fall 2021 semester will be BU undergrads Rebecca Burlingame and Savannah Scherer.

“Tree Swallows and other species use the feathers of other species to construct their nests and form a ‘nest cup’ (where the eggs are laid and chicks are hatched),” said Green.  “The literature suggests that feather linings help with temperature regulation and maybe as a parasite barrier for chicks. Though a few studies noted the number of feathers that Tree Swallows use in their nests, largely absent was any quantification of the feather sizes or types.”

After the nests are collected is when the real work starts.

“In Spring 2021, Leonard quantified the feathers used in Tree Swallow nests at my field sites,” Green said. “She meticulously counted, traced, and identified each feather. Tracing the feathers in a digitizing program tells us how big each feather was. She found that Tree Swallows seem to use different types of feathers at each site (some used large flight feathers, some used contour feathers). Interestingly, the total feather area for each nest (the sum of all the feather areas in each nest) was not significantly different across the sites.”

Clifford and Green first met as part of a discussion of faculty from the three universities interested in natural history. They soon found out they were both working on Tree Swallow research.

“I'm really excited to involve Mansfield University undergraduate students in this project because it will allow them to actually do science themselves and not just learn about the results of scientific investigations by others,” said Clifford. “It's much more exciting to be able to discover patterns and answer original questions for yourself than it is to be told what the answer is. We generally learn best by doing something, so this hands-on research experience will provide students with a wonderful learning opportunity that will enhance their education.  My hope is that once my students learn the Tree Swallow system and begin to answer the questions that Lauri (Green) and I have posed, they will start to come up with their own original questions about tree swallow nests and pursue them.”

“We are going to repeat the study for the 2021 field season,” said Green. “Dr. Clifford is working with her undergraduate students to count, measure and identify the feathers used in her Tree Swallow boxes. I will begin the analysis of our nests soon. Anecdotally, Dr. Clifford’s nest boxes are smaller, so the sizes of the feathers appear to be smaller.  Up at Blue Marsh Lake, they also have small nest boxes, but many of the feathers used in the nests appear quite large.”

Green’s work, she hopes, will answer a variety of questions about the construction.

•    Do the numbers and sizes of feathers used by Tree Swallow vary across sites and habitat types (wetland vs. riparian for example)?
•    Do Tree Swallows aim for a specific feather area to nest volume ratio in their nests?
•    What types of feathers are they using (flight, contour, downy)?
•    What species of bird feathers are Tree Swallows using (are they targeting certain species or just picking up what is available)?
•    Do differences in feather lining affect chick survival?
•    In the long term, we plan to partner with other Tree Swallow researchers in PA and hopefully across the country to evaluate broadscale patterns.
•    In the long term, will feather linings change as the climate warms?
•    In the long term, will feather linings change as the sources of the feathers from migratory birds change?

Leonard learned a lot as part of the research team.  

“I thought it was cool to see the type of habitat the Tree Swallows prefer first hand, which I also thought to be relevant when the differences/similarities between the nests across the different nesting sites were compared,” said Leonard. “It was super interesting to see that there was consistency in how the birds made their nests despite some observed differences between nesting sites. As a student, collecting and compiling the feather and nest data was very tedious (and messy), but I enjoyed my research experience, and the topic of this project was aligned with my interests.”

Green is concerned about one aspect of nest construction she is starting to come across.

“I happened to pick up an old Robin nest recently and found that they included plastic in their nests. This is intriguing and concerning since plastic will likely change the temperature regulation of the nest, which would impact chick survival.”


~Retrieved from BU's News page - https://www.bloomu.edu/news/faculty-northeast-integrating-universities-collaborating-tree-swallow-nesting-research