Check out the latest happening in the SSM Winter 2017 E-Newsletter
Learn about our students’ successes this year and see what some of them have been up to this summer!
For the third summer in a row, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is hosting 45 undergraduate students in faculty research labs. Twelve faculty members are mentoring students this summer on a wide variety of projects such as tracking the chemical fate of pharmaceuticals or nanoparticles in the environment, the synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles for medical imaging, and design of better solar cells. Students are funded from a wide array of external funding agencies such as: the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the American Chemical Society, Research Corp, NASA, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. In addition, some students are funded by the College’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities office or from endowed research funds, such as the Blalock-Stephenson-Stirling, Horatio Hughes, and W. Frank Kinard funds. In addition to College undergrads, the Department is also hosting six high school students who are preparing for their college careers.
The School of Sciences and Mathematics is dedicated to providing hands-on research experiences for our undergraduate students. The status of co-author on a paper published in a peer reviewed journal is favorable when applying for entrance to graduate and PhD programs or medical school. In 2015-16, twenty-nine students published papers with chemistry faculty members based on their research projects. Grants and private donors funds provide students with the financial means to focus on research rather than working in an unrelated field.
NASA Provides Funding to Support Pharmaceuticals Research
Dr. Wendy Cory’s research group is collaborating with space medicine scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to study medications recently stored on the International Space Station. Thanks to funding from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate research grant, students Ginny James, Jessica Moon, Alisha Lamas, and Katrina Mangiaracina are spending ten weeks this summer analyzing these medications in the lab to determine if their potency is affected by the more extreme storage conditions on the International Space Station. These results will be reported back to NASA and used by space pharmacologists to determine what medications are safe to include on future deep space missions.
Individuals interested in supporting academic experiences like these should contact Erica Rabhan, Senior Development Officer for the School of Sciences and Mathematics, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The college’s computer science department is trying out a new way of running seniors’ capstone course. Instead of working on open-source code like previous seniors did, 27 students this year were assigned projects that companies and organizations around Charleston wanted to get done. Sebastian van Delden, who is in his first year as the department’s chair, said the new format is meant to retool the senior project students are already required to do and give them experience and connections in Charleston before they graduate.
Encouraging College of Charleston students to stay in the area after they graduate is another goal of the course’s new structure, van Delden said. As the tech industry here has boomed, finding trained workers to fill jobs has sometimes proven difficult, and the so-called “talent gap” is regarded as one of the biggest challenges facing the area’s tech community.
Out of the nine scholarships The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) awarded this year, four went to recipients from the College of Charleston. Two CofC students, geology majors Victoria Houston ’17 and Ryan Hawsey ’18, were awarded $4,000 each toward their undergraduate education, and two alumni – geology major Christina Maschmeyer ’13 (now studying at the University of South Carolina) and marine biology major Shannon Hoy ’12 (now studying at the University of New Hampshire) – received $3,500 each toward their graduate education.
These CofC recipients are from the College’s BEAMS/CARIS program, which is headed up by Associate Professor of Geology Leslie Sautter and involves geophysical seafloor mapping. Sautter also directs Project Oceanica at the College.
THSOA scholarships were established in order to provide financial assistance to students who seek a degree in hydrographic surveying, ocean mapping, geomatics, ocean sciences, geographic information systems, ocean engineering, electrical engineering or other related field.
“Bucky” the Tyrannosaurus rex, has taken up residence in the Atrium of the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building located at 202 Calhoun Street. The mounted skeleton is on loan from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (TCM). Drs. Phil Manning and Victoria Egerton are new appointees to the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences who made arrangements for the loan while working with TCM on several outreach and research projects. This loan marked the beginning of a relationship between TCM and the College which will take students and faculty on expeditions to the Jurassic Badlands of Wyoming and Cretaceous of South Dakota.
The skeleton weighs one ton, is 41-feet long, and stands 13-feet tall. It will be on display throughout the 2016 calendar year. Visitors are encouraged to also visit the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, located on the second floor, open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, except Wednesdays.
Twelve students presented at the SCAMP Undergraduate Research Banquet which took place on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.
The South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation is partially funded by the National Science Foundation, the School of Science and Mathematics and the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services. SCAMP gives incoming minority students an opportunity to start their college program in the summer, participate in undergraduate research during their sophomore and junior years, and attend conferences and career orientations in their first year at the College of Charleston.
Students presented on an array of research in areas such as neuroscience, computer science, biology, and chemistry. The evening’s complete program is listed below.
Presenter: Bravada Hill
Understanding Functional differences of the Brain in High and Low Risk Social Drinkers Using FMRI and MID Task
Mentor: Dr. Jane Joseph, Medical University of South Carolina
Presenter: Needhee Patel
Central Nervous System Neuroanatomy of the Snapping Shrimp, Alpheus angulosus: Towards a Model of Adult Neurogenesis
Mentor: Dr. Chris Korey, College of Charleston
Presenter: Omorose Aighewi
The Cell Cycle and Survival Status of Erythroid Precursors in the Nan Mouse Model
Mentors: Dr. Luanne Peters, Dr. Daniza Nebor, The Jackson Laboratory
Presenter: Jessica Mack
Web Development/Design for CIRDLES Lab
Mentor: Dr. Jim Bowring, College of Charleston
Presenter: Neha Muppala
Photodegradation of Bupropion
Mentor: Dr. Wendy Cory, College of Charleston
Presenter: Kola George
Have Short Stamens Lost Their Function in Selfing Plant?
Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Connor, Michigan State University
Presenter: Sandy Pang
Sex Related Differences in the Effects of Estrogen on Axon Regeneration Following Peripheral Nerve Injury
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Wilhelm, College of Charleston
Presenter: Aliya Dumas
Synthesis and Direct Conjugation of Thiolated Ligands and Gold Nanorods for Targeted Photothermal Therapy
Mentors: Dr. Sivaramapanicker Sreejith, Dr. Yanli Zhao, Nanyang Techological University; Dr. Frank Alexis, Clemson University
Presenter: Joyce Biaco
Lewis Acid-Catalyzed Minisci Reactions
Mentor: Dr. Timothy Barker, College of Charleston
Presenter: Sierra Small
The Impact of Demographic Variables on the Acquisition of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Mentor: Dr. Michael Hemphill, College of Charleston
Presenter: Victoria Edmund
Combined Effects of Ibuprofen and its Degrand on Southern Toad Tadpoles
Mentor: Dr. Allison Welch, College of Charleston
Presenter: James Solomon
Mentor: Dr. Wendy Cory, College of Charleston
The Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a new feature on their blog this week, “Focus on Broader Impacts.” Proposals submitted to IOS require both an “Intellectual Merit (IM)” and a “Broader Impacts (BI)” section. IOS plans to use this feature to highlight awardees with unique and/or creative approaches to Broader Impacts. The first subject of the new blog was unPAK, a project that engages students in scientific discovery as they gather phenotypic data on thousands of Arabidopsis mutants.
The two long awaited Field Stations at Dixie Plantation are now open and ready to accommodate faculty and students beginning Fall 2015.
These two field research laboratories serve biology, geology, ecology, environmental studies, and archaeology research as well as providing education opportunities for all other sciences. A commitment to the International Living Building Challenge Recognition Program, Field Stations will implement innovative renewable energy and water technologies to achieve net zero energy consumption and extremely low potable water use.
- Passive cooling design with solar chimney and operable windows turned to prevailing breeze
- Daylight design to provide diffused, filtered sunlight to all spaces without increasing heat gain
- Resilient design with barn doors serving as retractable hurricane shutters
- Rainwater catchment with cistern sized to provide non-potable fresh water
- Geothermal HVAC to provide quiet, renewable energy that minimizes impact to wildlife
- Architecturally integrated solar photovoltaic array to offset energy demand for current Dixie Plantation facilities
This project was made possible by support from a generous grant from the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation
Click photos to enlarge:
Faculty interested in reserving Field Stations should contact Lisa Calvert, 843.953.6566 or by email.
Joye Nettles just graduated with a degree in computer science. Before she left the College she founded the Women in Computing club, served as student president of SCAMP, and designed a program that will help girls learn computer programming through fashion. As part of the inaugural ICAT class, she developed the Android app called “SpotIt,” which allows users to book parking spots in downtown Charleston. Her team won the top prize: $10,000. Shortly after graduation Joye began her dream job as an associate consultant at ThoughtWorks, a global software development firm.