Welcome to Dr. Jeff Griffitts, new biology professor at SNU. Dr. Griffitts has spent the majority of his life in Oklahoma. He grew up in a Christian home and was raised in the Baptist church. He received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Science from East Central University. Upon graduation from ECU, he began work on his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS). His dissertation research focused on elucidating alterations in fatty acyl species during liver cancer progression in transgenic mice utilizing magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy.
Dr. Griffitts then spent a year working for the Environmental Protection Agency on a water-borne pathogens project. After his work with the EPA, he accepted a post-doc position with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. While there, he developed Nuclear Magnetic Resonance methods for the spectroscopic imaging of metabolites extracted from liver tissue.
Dr. Griffitts and his lovely wife Grace have two children, Kadence and Taylor. He enjoys reading, sports and the outdoors. Often he can be found watching Thunder and Sooners games with his family. Along with his wife, he leads the college ministry at First Baptist Church in Moore.
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The QERC board of directors is excited to introduce Michael Guillot as the new Field Station Manager. Michael is a 2004 alumnus of SNU’s Environmental Studies program. He takes leadership to continue the work of QERC to ensure that the act of conservation through research and education continues.
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Congratulations to Dr. Ed Neuenschwander whose book, Emmy Noether's Wonderful Theorem, will be published in December, 2010 by the Johns Hopkins University Press (ISBN 978-0801896941). Noether's Theorem provides insights into the conservation laws and symmetries and is useful as a computational tool to determine conserved quantities. According to Amazon.com, Dr. Neuenschwander “artfully unpacks its [Noether’s Theorem’s] universal importance and unsurpassed elegance” in application to mechanics, optics, geometry, and field theory.
Additionally, Lucas Dallen (class of '09) and Dr. Ed Neuenschwander cowrote a paper, "Noether's Theorem in a Rotating Reference Frame," accepted for publication in The American Journal of Physics this fall.
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SNU Summer REU’s engage students in research
Summer 2010 was busy around the SNU Math and Science Division while students conducted research under the mentorship of their professors. During May and June, Dr. Zoller participated in the SNU NASA Space Grant REU program as a research mentor for Jefferson Berryman. He and Jefferson examined mathematical criteria for determining when to install a left-turn signal at a traffic intersection that already has a traffic signal. Their research took them to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, where they secured data on an intersection in Stillwater for Jefferson to use in his research. ODOT decided not to install a left-turn signal at this intersection, and Jefferson's analysis supported this conclusion.
Dr. Winslow worked with Kristin Johnson and Nathan Adams on physics education research projects. Kristin and Nathan, Biology-Chemistry and Physics/Math majors, respectively, both completed a year of General Physics for Scientists and Engineers previous to their summer research experience. The pair worked on a variety of projects, including determining the minimum period of oscillation for physical pendulums, modeling the terminal velocity of falling objects with parachutes, and studying the impulse/momentum relationship for a potato cannon. The outcomes from their work can be nicely implemented in Dr. Winslow’s physics courses.
Drs. Crow and Cox worked with Amy Madden and Mo Niazi, both freshman Biology-Chemistry majors, on developing a spectrophotometric assay for cholesterol esterase. Their work involved preparing lipid micelles that contain a known amount of cholesteryl ester. These micelles were allowed to react with cholesterol esterase and the reaction was monitored using our ultraviolet spectrophotometer. Amy and Mo were able to establish a reproducible photometric assay for cholesterol esterase. Subsequent summer research students will build on their research findings.
Dr. Eskridge worked with Kalen Nelson, freshman computer science major, on a Computer Science research project. They investigated the idea of procedurally generating building interiors. There has been much recent work in the area of procedurally generating cities and building exteriors, but very little in generating authentic interiors. A method of generating building interiors would be of great benefit to robotics researchers. During their research, they identified a number of areas in which existing work is deficient and ways in which those deficiencies can be resolved. While not formally part of the REU, Jack Kinsey, junior computer science major, assisted with the research.
All of our SNU-REU students will present their research during the 2010-2011 academic year – check the SNU Math/Science Facebook fan page for updates and more information.
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The following students from this year’s class (’10) or previous classes have been accepted to:
- Chelsea Berkley (Biology-Chemistry ’10) Kyle, TX; University of Oklahoma
- Shannon Bivens (Biology-Chemistry ’10) Cary, NC; East Carolina University
- Mike Green (Biology-Chemistry ’10) Hutchinson, KS; University of Kansas
- Holly Van Sickler-Cauthron (Biology-Chemistry ’07), Broken Arrow, OK; OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Robin Hoile (Biology ’09) Watonga, OK; OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Gretchen Stroud (Biology ’09) Dodge City, KS; OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Aaron Buchanan (Biology-Chemistry ’10) Duncan, OK; University of Oklahoma
- Colin Knapp (Biology-Chemistry ’10) Houston, TX; University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
- Physician Assistant Program
- Janislynn Isackson (Biology-Chemistry ’09) Lewiston, MT; University of Oklahoma
- Jennifer Kemp (Biology ’09), OKC, OK; University of Oklahoma
- Katie Rhodes-Feisal (Biology ’08) Bakersfield, CA; University of Oklahoma
Student Successes of 2010
Again this year students are presenting their research/internship findings in a series of colloquia. Six students participated in the semester-long research projects at the QERC, six students participated in the SNU-REU program (see previous article), and eight students participated in research or internships at institutions other than SNU. Below are the students, along with the institution they attended, the title of their presentation, and their future plans.
- Kara Adams--(Mathematics '11) OKC, OK; Cornell University: On Properties of Associated Families of Minimal Surfaces; Future Plans: Graduate School
- John Crofford--(Computer Science '10) Bethany, OK; University of Oklahoma: A Practical Schema Theorem; Future Plans: Graduate School
- Jared Evatt--(Biology-Chemistry '12) Shawnee, KS; University of Rochester: An Analysis of the Various Transcription Factors in Alveolar Type I Epithelial Cells; Future Plans: Medicine
- Erin Heap--(Biology '11) Olney, MD; Johnson Space Center: Maintaining Balance: Countermeasures for Postural Disturbance After Spaceflight; Future Plans: Medicine
- Trevor Meek--(Physics '11) Needville, TX; Vanderbilt University: The Mechanics of Wound Healing in the Drosophila Embryo; Future Plans: Graduate School
- Rachel Eguren--(Biology '11) Houston, TX; OKC Zoo: OKC Zoo Internship: Great EscAPE; Future Plans: Zoological Curator
- Robby Jackson--(Biology-Chemistry '11) Sulphur Springs, TX; OU Health Sciences Center: pTRE-Tight Inducible System Expression of Rab5 Mutant Constructs in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes; Future Plans: Graduate School
- Brad Sablatura - (Biology-Chemistry '11) Lake Jackson, TX; OU Health Sciences Center: Deferoxamine-Encapsulated Liposome; Future Plans: Doctor of Pharmacy
- Kyle Wilson--(Biology-Chemistry '11) Cypress, TX; OU Health Sciences Center: Neodymium Conjugation of HLA-B*0702 for Use in Serum Antibody Identifications; Future Plans: Medicine
QERC Research, Spring 2010
- Rachel Eguren--(Biology '11) Houston, TX; A Comparison of Preferred and Active Body Temperatures of Sceloporus malachiticus from High and Moderate Elevations in the Talamanca Cordillera of Costa Rica; Future Plans: Zoological Curator
- Austin Griffin--(Environmental Science '11) OKC, OK; The Effects of Invasive Rainbow Trout on the Algae and Water Quality of the Saverge River, Costa Rica; Future Plans: Graduate School
- Robby Jackson--(Biology-Chemistry '11) Sulphur Springs, TX; A Survey of Coliforms and Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria Collected from the Upper Savegre Watershed in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica; Future Plans: Graduate School
- Johnnie West--(Biology-Chemistry '12) Lawton, OK; A Review of the Data from Studies of the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) on the Chacon Family Private Reserve and the Upper Savegre River Watershed; Future Plans: Medicine
- Collin Whitsett--(Environmental Science '12) Tulsa, OK; A Comparison of Soil Arthropod Composition and Diversity between Two Land Covers in the Rio Savegre Valley; Future Plans: Graduate School
- Spencer Whittenberg--(Biology-Chemistry '12) Canute, TX; The Effects of Trout Farms on Coliform Levels and Antibiotic Resistance Along the Savegre River in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica; Future Plans: Graduate School or Medicine
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