Archives—May 2013

Catching up with Bob Keen

From the Tech Alum News letter:

In the second of our new series: we chatted with Faculty Emeritus Bob Keen, pulling him away from his home in Chassell on one more chilly May day.

The former biological sciences professor’s career at Tech extended from 1977 to 2010, and he saw many changes over those years. He also experienced some things that stayed the same.

“The students here are self-selected and they have been for awhile,” he says. “I think Tech’s reputation is such that students coming here are really hard working and are better than the average university student.”

That can also mean many will struggle initially, he says, because they are used to succeeding in high school, and it is much harder here.

“Their first chemistry, biology or calculus class can be a rude shock to them,” he says.

They are more collegial, too, he says, having experience at other institutions where students attempted to get ahead at the expense of their classmates.

Read the rest of the article


Biological Science and KIP students receive BRC travel grants

The Biotechnology Research Center announced its Spring 2013 Travel Grants. Recipients include:

Post-doctoral Research Scientist Presentation:
*Kaela Leonard (ChE) Advances in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics (podium)

Graduate Student Presentations:
*Patrick Bowen (MSE) 2013 Minerals, Metals and Materials Society Meeting (podium)
*Katrina Bugielski (Chem) 245th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (poster)
*Weilue He (Bio Med) Gordon Research Conference-Nitric Oxide (poster)
*Na Hu (Chem) American Geophysical Union 2012 (poster)
*Robert Larson (KIP) Experimental Biology (poster)
*Yiping Mao (Bio Sci) Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology (poster)
*Sandra Owusu (SFRES) ASPB: 2013 Midwestern Section Annual Meeting (poster)
*Alison Regal (KIP) North American Society for the Psychology of Sport & Physical Activity (poster)
*Rafi Shaik (Bio Sci) Plant and Animal Genome XXI (poster)
*Ashley Shortz (CLS) IEE Annual Conference and Expo (podium)
*Amy Sieloff (ChE) AIChE 2012 Annual Meeting (poster)
*Srinivasa Rao Sripathi (Bio Sci) Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (poster)
*Huan Yang (KIP) Experimental Biology (poster)
*Nazmiye Yapici (Chem) 245th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (podium)

Undergraduate Student Presentations:
* Michael Bobian (Bio Sci) C. elegans Development, Cell Biology and Gene Expression 2012 (poster)
* Hal Holmes (Bio Med) Materials Research Society Annual Conference (podium)
*Angelea Young (Bio Sci) Experimental Biology 2013 (poster)


Congratulations to the Bioathlon winners A.D. Johnston, Hancock and Houghton High Schools

The team winning FIRST PLACE was A.D. Johnston High School from Bessemer, MI

Instructor:       David Rowe
Molly Wieringa
Valerie Rowe
Jess Mazzon
Zack Mazurek

The team winning SECOND PLACE was Hancock High School from Hancock, MI:

Instructor:       Kristin Raisanen Schourek
Andrew Bess
Kaylor Holmstrom
Matthew Sanregret
Aspen Stroud

The team winning the THIRD PLACE was Houghton High School from Houghton, MI

Instructor  Alex Gerborkoff
Brittany Coombs
Kyra Neufeld
Julia Menzel-Smith
Isaac Stone

TV10 video

Daily Mining Gazette article

Each team was composed of four students who have not had formal class work in biology beyond the traditional sophomore high school general biology course.  All teams tackled the same four problems:

Dissection: designed by Biological Sciences undergraduate students Shannon Twomey and Travis Wakeham with input from Dr. John Durocher and assisted by Komal Bollepogu

Molecular Biology: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Emily Geiger, assisted by Aparupa Sengupta.

Field Identification: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Ashley Coble assisted by Ramana Pidatala and Jamie Olson.

Medical Laboratory  Science: Designed and proctored by Medical Laboratory Science undergraduate students, Claire Meneguzzo, Christjana Nichols, Brooke Bedore, Kelly Hanes and Misty Brouilette with input from Senior Lecturer Alice Soldan and Professor of Practice Karyn Fay.

Through these exercises, students needed to demonstrate organizational skills, knowledge of facts and concepts, laboratory skills and creativity.

Each member of the first, second and third team will receive a small cash award along with a plaque.  Each student participating in the competition will also receive a certificate of participation and a Bioathlon T-shirt.

The teacher activity was:

What’s up with the Weather? Climate Change and Aquatic Life in the Great Lakes. This was an interactive workshop developed and taught by Stacy Cotey, Academic Advisor of Biological Sciences.

In the morning, they toured the newly opened Great Lakes Research Center. The center is an interdisciplinary facility that studies the processes, function, and issues of the Great Lakes. They discussed how climate change may alter this dynamic ecosystem. In the afternoon, they conducted activities suitable for the classroom that explored the effects of a changing climate on aquatic organisms in the Great Lakes.  They collected and analyzed water samples from the dock at the Great Lakes Center and at Prince’s Point.

Funding was provided by MTU Admissions, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Michigan Tech Fund, MTU Alumni Mark Cowan, M.D., Robert C. and Kathryn DellAngelo, M.D., Olive Kimball, D.Ed., Ph.D., Nancy Auer, Ph.D. and Janice Glime, Ph.D.


Board of Control Approves Tenure and Promotion Recommendations

Congratulations to Dr Rupali Datta and Dr. Nancy Auer as well as the many other faculty our Department collaborates with.

On May 3, the Board of Control approved the tenure and promotion recommendations put forward by the Michigan Tech administration.

Promoted from assistant professor without tenure to associate professor with tenure were Megan Frost (Bio Med), Wenzhen Li (ChE), Veronica Griffis, Jacob Hiller (CEE), Christopher Middlebrook, Wayne Weaver (ECE), Gregory Waite (GMES), Bo Chen, Seong-Young Lee, Desheng “Dennis” Meng (MEEM), Lanrong Bi (Chem), Edward Cokely (CLS), Matthew Seigel (HU), Claudio Mazzolini (Physics), Patricia Helsel (VPA), Latha Poonamallee (SBE), Evgueny “Eugene” Levin and Aleksandr Sergeyev (SOT).

Appointed from associate professor without tenure to associate professor with tenure were Elena Semouchkina (ECE) and Rupali Datta (Bio Sci).

Promoted from associate professor with tenure to professor with tenure were Paul Bergstrom, Seyed “Reza” Zekavat (ECE), Nancy Auer (Bio Sci), Haiying Liu (Chem),


Congratulations to our Medical Laboratory Science interns

The Department of Biological Sciences sends our most sincere congratulations to the following Medical Laboratory Science interns.

Completed or completing 2012-13 practicums
Nicole Asiala, MLS, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI
April Hintzman, MLS, Marshfield Labs, Marshfield, WI
Sam Kerlin, MLS, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
Tina Nguyen, MLS, Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, WI
Kelly Roxbury, MLS, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI
Faith Rushford, MLS, Aspirus Wausau, Wausau, WI
Brianne Schneider, MLS, St. John-Providence, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Ana Vuk, MLS, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC

Beginning 2013-14 practicums
Jacob Davis, MLS, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI
Brittany (Hardy) Weirich, CT, Marshfield Labs, Marshfield, WI
Molly Laurin, MLS, Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau claire, WI
Kiley Mason, MLS, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI
Claire Meneguzzo, MLS, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

More information on the Medical Laboratory Science/Clinical Laboratory Science program is available on our web page.