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March Science Division Student of the Month

    Heidi Landis - March SOM

Heidi Landis is a senior that is double majoring in chemistry and geology. She has received

5% of her class award as a freshman, sophomore and junior.


In the summer of 2013, Heidi completed a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates internship at Northern Arizona University. Her work involved the application of stimulated luminescence dating. She presented a poster on this work at the Geological Society of America meeting in Denver entitled "OSL Dating of Quartz Xenocrysts in Strawberry Crater Flow".


In the summer of 2014, Heidi completed a field camp through Southern Illinois University. This course included several mapping projects, some completed in a group and some completed individually. Most of the projects required at least one cross section as  interpretation in addition to a colored and labeled map.


In fall 2014, Heidi was the co-presenter of a poster at the regional ACS meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Her poster involved a research project from CHEM 355, Advanced Laboratory and was entitled "The Impact of Ferrocene as a Bio-Fuel Additive: A Study of the Thermodynamic Properties of Corn Oil with the Addition of Ferrocene".


Heidi's senior research involves analyzing water samples from reclaimed mine lands for acid mine drainage (AMD) and attempting a purification method using bentonite clay based on a method that utilized attapulgite   clay.


Heidi is a Choose Ohio First Scholar. In this role, she has participated in numerous outreach activities such as   afterschool science and math tutor at John Glenn High School and East Muskingum Middle School. She has   also conducted hands-on demonstration programming for elementary school students. Her academic honorary   memberships includ Lambda Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi. She has served as a chemistry   peer supported learning assistant since her sophomore year.









2014 ACM Regional Programming Contest

Jacob Shoup, William Shaffer and Dylan Ortenzi (pictured below) attended the
2014 ACM Regional Programming Contest held in Youngstown, Ohio on November 7, 2014.

ACM Regional Programming Contest       ACM Regional Programming Contest 2


Chemistry Students Present Papers at the 2014 ACS Central Regional Meeting

Five chemistry students and four faculty members attended the 2014 ACS Central Regional Meeting on October 31, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Students in attendance:               
Kelli Brock
Heidi Landis
Tony Moore
Matt Allen
Cameron Godfrey

Faculty in attendance:
Deepa Perera
Eric Schurter
Paul Szalay
Lois Zook-Gerdau

In addition to attending this meeting, the students presented papers on the following subjects.

“Ferrocene as a bio-fuel additive: Ferrocene’s effects on the thermodynamic properties of corn oil” by H. Landis, M. Allen,      
K. Brock, P. Cristofari, L. Zook-Gerdau and R. Rataiczak

“Water quality study of the Salt Creek Watershed” by K. Brock and L. Zook-Gerdau

“Methods for grafting short polymeric units onto Kraft lignin” by C. Godfrey, N. Carroll, E. Schurter, and K. Zheng

 Chemistry 1 Chemistry 2


New bachelor's degree in petroleum geology announced

Muskingum University has announced a new major in petroleum geology, adding to current majors in geology, environmental science, conservation science and earth science. Muskingum also offers minors in earth science and geology.

“Graduates of this new program will be needed to fill jobs within the growing oil and gas industry or in governmental agencies,” said Dr. Stephen R.Van Horn, associate professor of geology at Muskingum. Graduates might also choose to pursue a graduate degree, Dr. Van Horn explained.

The new major builds upon the strengths of Muskingum’s current geology department. Courses in Introduction to Well Logging, Sedimentary Petrology, Petroleum Geology and Subsurface Geology have been added to the existing curriculum to create this new academic offering.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment for geoscientists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. “The need for energy, environmental protection and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geoscientists in the future,” according to the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.


Summer Fellow Megan Duke '14 published in mathematics journal

DAQUILA AND DUKEMuskingum University senior Megan Duke has had the research findings she produced as a part of the university’s Summer Fellows program published in the highly regarded Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal.

A senior mathematics major from Weirton, West Virginia, Duke published an article titled A Non-geometric Switch Toggling Problem.   Her research focused on when and how any system of switches can be transformed from one initial configuration to another configuration by always changing a fixed number of switches in any one step.  This is important research in the context of genetic toggle switches and how they can be used to predict the conditions necessary for gene bi-stability in gene-regulatory networks such as E-coli or feline leukemia. 

Duke conducted her research as a part of the university’s Summer Fellows program, which allows selected students to work closely and intensively with the university’s faculty on specific areas of research.  That research project must be chosen for inclusion in the program by the university’s vice president of academic affairs and the university’s president.  Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila worked with Duke on the research and also serves as her faculty advisor. 

To be published in the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal, articles must be submitted to a panel of referees and then selected by the publication’s editor-in-chief.  The Journal is devoted entirely to papers written by undergraduates students on topics related to mathematics. Although the authors need not be undergraduates at the time of submission or publication, the work must have been completed before graduation. The publication is sponsored by the mathematics department at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

In addition, Duke was invited to present her findings at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) fall meeting, held at Cleveland State University.  The MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics at the undergraduate level. Its members include university, college and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists, statisticians and many others in academia, government, business and industry.  Duke’s presentation was one of only a few to be given by an undergraduate student. 

Duke will graduate from Muskingum in May with a degree in mathematics and a teaching license.  She plans to teach mathematics and is also applying for a Woodrow Wilson National Foundation Fellowship grant that would allow her to both teach and attend graduate school. 

IN THE PHOTO: Dr. Richard Daquila and Megan Duke.


Poster Presentation at the 2014 Annual Fall Research and Internship Forum

Twenty-one students presented 15 posters at the Annual Fall Research and Internship Forum.  The Forum showcases students' summer internships and research.

Matthew Allen - Chemistry
Kelli Brock - Chemistry
Nicholas Bulinski - Math & Computer Science
Aliyah Byron - Neuroscience
Deborah N. Carroll & Cameron J. Godfrey - Physics and Engineering
Bowen Deng & Hayley Glaze - Environmental Science
Sarah E. Francino - Biology
Connor Hann, Jennifer Hastings & Sarah Landuyt - Biology
Elizabeth Hartman, Christine Holmes & Michael Klamo - Biology
Sarah Homan - Geology
Rebecca Keeley - Biology 
Sean Lally - Physics & Engineering
Alexandra Leggett - Conservation Science
Taylor Maurer - Biology
Richard Moore - Chemistry

To read all the abstracts, click here.

Fall Forum Pic 1 Fall Forum Pic 3
Fall Forum Pic 5 Fall Forum Pic 4
Fall Forum Pic 2 Fall Forum Pic 6
Fall Forum Pic 7 Fall Forum Pic 8
Fall Forum Pic 9 Fall Forum Pic 10
Fall Forum Pic 11 Fall Forum Pic 12



Science students present findings at The James Bradford Colloquium, Homer A. Anderson lecture features Chaz Miller '07

CHAZ MILLERSenior Science Division students presented their research findings at the annual James Bradford Colloquium, held at Boyd Science Center.  The colloquium is the culmination of research conducted by seniors from the division’s biology, chemistry, geology, physics and engineering, mathematics, computer science and psychology departments, as well as interdisciplinary programs in molecular biology, environmental science, neuroscience and conservation science.  Their presentations were made to their student peers and the Science Division faculty.  The faculty then choose the top three presenters.  Read the whole story.

To read abstracts for each of the presentations, click here.

The annual Homer A. Anderson Lecture was delivered by alumnus Chaz Miller ’07.  Miller’s address, titled Creativity: The Key Ingredient, chronicled his professional and academic experience since leaving Muskingum, and the importance of creativity and flexibility when making the transition from academia to the corporate world  

After graduating from Muskingum with a degree in in physics, Miller earned his master’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas.  Today, he is a semiconductor fabrication engineer at Texas Instruments. 

Following the Anderson Lecture, students from the Science Division made poster presentations of their research findings.  The Science Division includes the departments of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and engineering, mathematics, computer science and psychology as well as interdisciplinary programs in molecular biology, environmental science, neuroscience and conservation science.  Their work was judged by the division’s faculty and three prize winners and three honorable mentions were named. Read the whole story.

To see a complete list of the presenters and read their abstracts, click here.


Nursing program receives accreditation

Muskingum University announces that its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

"In creating our nursing program, Muskingum recognized the need ofthe nation and the southeastern Ohio region for nurses who hold a baccalaureate degree," said Dr. Anne C. Steele, Muskingum University president. “This accreditation affirms the distinction of Muskingum’s nursing program, as well as the quality that can be found throughout the entire university.”

Muskingum’s BSN program admits both four-year pre-licensure students and registered nurses who have either graduated from a hospital diploma nursing program or an associate degree nursing program. The program provides a strong liberal arts and science foundation integrated throughout the program to create the basis for the study and practice of professional nursing. Successful completion of the program also provides a foundation for graduate study and continuing professional education.

"The accreditation status by CCNE is a significant achievement and is grounded in the Baccalaureate Essentials published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing,” said Dr. Elaine Haynes, chair of the department of nursing and director of nursing programs at Muskingum.  “This means that all graduates of Muskingum with the BSN are graduates of a nationally accredited program. This is a vital component for most employers and for entry into graduate nursing education programs.”

Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency located at One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.  It contributes to the improvement of the public's health and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.