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Here comes the Class of 2020

Bloomsburg University's newest freshman class arrives on campus this week, starting with Preview Days for the incoming fall freshmen. They will spend the day learning about college life, exploring campus and student activities offered in the fall, as well as meet with their college dean and get peer advice from orientation workshop leaders.

This weekend, freshmen students coming for the summer program move in to begin their four-week session on campus. Summer Start and Act 101 students will spend next month getting an early taste of college while preparing for a successful transition in the fall.

Concussion research progresses on two fronts

Biomarker Research

As Bloomsburg University’s role in a nationwide concussion study continues this summer, related research on campus stemming from the spring has set the stage for a potential key discovery.

Tim Shuey, a post-baccalaureate student completing his preparation for medical school, worked with Toni Bell, professor of chemistry, on providing a biochemical approach to concussion research for BU’s Institute for Concussion Research and Services.

Their specific project — among the recent President’s Strategic Planning Grant initiatives — seeks a biomarker that can be developed into a reliable, easy-to-use test for mild traumatic brain injury.

“We collected samples from volunteers, with and without concussion diagnoses, and then analyzed them for biomarkers for concussion,” said Bell, adding Shuey spent the last few weeks of the spring semester collecting a sample and a survey from each participant. “We gathered demographic data and health history related to concussion. A few weeks ago, Tim and I performed the assay and have since been analyzing the results.”

Although Shuey begins medical school in August, Bell said their biomarker research will continue this fall with the help of two current biology majors, Andrew Denisenko and Diane Cruz.

A millennial approach to argumentative writing

Thick Tweet Research

There’s a common understanding among writing teachers of how difficult it can be to present theories of argumentative writing to students in approachable, applicable ways. Ashley Muchler has seen this first-hand and as a future high school teacher, knows she will face this hurdle on the other side of the classroom. So in true millennial fashion, she took to social media.

For the past year the secondary education and English major has been researching approaches to argumentative writing in language arts classrooms. Her research — in collaboration with Timothy Oleksiak, assistant professor of English — has focused on using Twitter to teach argumentative writing.

This particular topic struck Muchler’s interest when she took English 306: Theory and Practice for Writing with Oleksiak. The class looked at theories of writing instruction and putting these theories into practice.

According to Muchler, her research of Thick Tweet Pedagogy focuses on one specific theory, Stephen Toulmin’s theory of argumentation (1958), and motivates students to practice it via Twitter posts. Doing so provides an opportunity for students to adapt Toulminian concepts into real-world practice and supplies a comprehensive structure through which students can clearly understand these difficult concepts, she added.

“As a future teacher of high school writing, it’s crucial for me to adjust my pedagogies appropriately to best suit students, as well as keep up to date with new theories of teaching,” Muchler said. “By immersing in this particular research, I’ll continue to focus on how to best foster success for my students.”

Anthropology scholar continues research in Mexico

Lydia Stebbins

Lydia Stebbins, an anthropology and French major who is pursuing a minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies, is the 2016 recipient of the Wymer and Warner Scholarship in anthropology.

Stebbins will apply the scholarship to her summer 2016 URSCA supported ethnographic research in Xalapa, Mexico, where she will be studying Spanish and Mexican culture and history at the Universidad Veracruzana-Xalapa.

Her ethnographic research focuses on the impact of socioeconomic globalization on local markets in Mexico. She will investigate local perceptions of the effects of global supermarkets on traditional markets, the economy, health, and culture.

While in Mexico, she will also tour archaeological ruins, participate in the Cultural Immersion Program, and take a course on traditional Mexican cooking.

In the City of Flowers

“Two weeks in, and I have been greatly enjoying my experiences, and there's still so much more to come! Xalapa has proved to be a very welcoming city, full of art and culture and beauty with a mix of new and old colonization era architecture. Who knows what will happen next!”

Experiencing the local markets

"Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit and observe three local markets spread across the city of Xalapa, and it was fascinating. I have visited quite a number of farmers markets in Pennsylvania, but this was something quite different."

Scholarships deliver study abroad

Anastasia Timofeeva

Anastasia Timofeeva, a junior engineering and Chinese major, is studying abroad in China at the Beijing Foreign Studies University this summer, courtesy of several scholarships earned this past year.

Timofeeva received a Professional Experience grant from Professional U, a grant that has been designed for students seeking to get involved in their career path or learn more about the world. She also received an International Faculty Association scholarship dedicated to students with interest in fostering globalism and internationalism on campus and the community. Moreover, she received College of Liberal Arts study abroad scholarship and one for good academic standing from the university.

First impressions of China

"Just yesterday our history professor took us on a trip to the Tiannamen square and told us about the different stages of the palace during each dynasty’s rule. I cannot wait for many more trips we will have with IES to other historic places."

COST student earns top honor at national convention

Jean-Nicole Place

Jean-Nicole Place, a biology major and chemistry minor, recently earned the John C. Johnson Award for the best research poster at the National Biennial Convention of Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society at Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minn.

Her research “Methylation of GNG7 in Human Breast Cancer” was presented in the cell, organismal and developmental biology category.

Place qualified for the national convention after placing first this past spring at the Northeast District Convention in March at Ursinus College. Her research was conducted in the laboratory of William Schwindinger, assistant professor of biological and health sciences, and was funded by an URSCA award.

Place served as secretary of BU’s chapter of TriBeta and was a student secretary in the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences in the College of Science and Technology this past year.

Provost serves AASCU Task Force on Teacher Education

AASCU Task Force

The June meeting an engaging and honest conversation about the public critique and possibilities of teacher preparation at AASCU institutions, HEA reauthorization and the appropriate federal role. The meeting will serve as the basis for the design and implementation of two separate survey instruments by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). One instrument will survey AASCU presidents and provosts and the other will survey education deans at AASCU institutions.

The task force consists of 10 to 12 individuals (presidents, provosts, program experts and thought leaders). A final report, to be written by AIR and released at AASCU’s Annual Meeting in October, will include three areas of focus:

  • Assessing the state of teacher preparation at AASCU institutions
  • Showcasing innovations and successes of teacher preparation at AASCU institutions
  • Highlighting the roles of AASCU presidents and provosts in strengthening and supporting teacher preparation programs for an increasingly diverse PK-12 student body

The task force will convene online in late summer to review survey results and analysis and a final draft of the report.

Trustees OK buildings, grounds

Trustees Facilities Review

BU’s Council of Trustees approved a resolution at the June 15 quarterly meeting commending the condition and care of the university’s buildings and grounds.

Prior to the meeting, the Trustees conducted their annual inspection of facilities, visiting locations of recent or future projects: the University Store and Husky Lounge in Kehr Union, steam plan, Centennial Hall, Upper Campus athletic fields, residence hall construction site and the location of the planned cooling district. Their approval will be shared with the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

Also during the meeting, the Trustees:

  • OK’d moving forward with an application to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a Performing Arts Venue Liquor License for Haas Center for the Arts.
  • Recognized three retirees with non-instructional emeritus status: Evanna Nolte, procurement, 40 years of service; Dan Pitonyak, university police, 30 years of service; and Dolores Sponseller, payroll, 35 years of service.
  • Accepted the nominating committee’s recommendation to return the current slate of officers for 2016 to 2018: Patrick Wilson, chair; Mary Jane Bowes, vice chair; and Nancy Vasta, secretary.

Faculty group attend Lilly Conference

Lilly Conference

Ten Bloomsburg University faculty recently attended the 2016 International Lilly Conference in Bethesta, Md. Faculty attendance to the conference was sponsored by the TALE Center.

Lilly-Bethesda was part of the overall Lilly Conference Series. For 35 years, Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching and Learning have provided opportunities for the presentation of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Faculty and administrators at various stages in their academic careers come from across the United States, representing nearly every discipline found in higher education.

(L-R) Sharlene Gillman, Shelley Scarpino, Anne Stuart, Amarilis Hidalgo de Jesús, Theodore Roggenbuck, Marianna Wood, Kelly Roth, Beth Rogowsky, Regina Bobak, and Angela La Valley.