WCU EPIC Program
July 8, 2021 - WCU has secured another Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) grant of over $1.9 million to continue our focus on Education and Programming for Integrated Care (EPIC)! This grant is devoted to developing behavioral health professionals capable of delivering evidence-based services to children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth in high-need areas/populations. Through this 4-year grant, we will be awarding $10,000 stipends to eligible MSW and MEd School Counseling students and $25,000 stipends to eligible PsyD students in their final year of internship in eligible sites.
The EPIC team consists of Dr. Julie Tennille, Principal Investigator and Project Director; Dr. Cheryl Neale-McFall, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Evaluator (PE); Wendy Myers, LSW, Program Coordinator; Sarah Fisher, MEd, Research Assistant; Fatima Bakayoko, Graduate Assistant.
Psychology Professor Wins Virtual Teaching Award
June 2, 2021 - Dr. Kristen Breit of the Department of Psychology recently won a Virtual Teaching Showcase prize from West Chester University's Office of Digital Learning and Innovation. Dr. Breit was recognized for the remote teaching demonstration that she gave in her biopsychology lab over the past year. Click here to view Dr. Breit's video presentation.
Biology Professor Presented With Distinguished Research Award
May 21, 2021 - Dr. Frank Fish of the Department of Biology was presented with the West Chester University Distinguished Research Award at the Spring 2021 Commencement. The Distinguished Research Award recognizes a faculty member who has made a significant contribution to the scholarship of the University community.
Political Science Graduate Awarded Fulbright Scholarship
May 18, 2021 - Maeve King, who graduated in December 2020 with a triple major in Spanish, German, and Political Science with a Concentration in International Relations, and a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Uruguay in 2022. Since graduating from WCU, King has been working at ACLAMO, a non-profit organization in Montgomery County, as their Housing Stability Coach Program Manager. King was recently awarded an English Teaching Assistantship in Uruguay from March to November 2022 through the Fulbright Program, and she plans to pursue a graduate program in International Relations when she returns to the US.
College Holds CSM Celebrates! Event
April 27, 2021 - Over 120 students, faculty and guests of the College of the Sciences and Mathematics gathered virtually in the platform Gather.Town for our annual CSM Celebrates! event. CSM Celebrates! is a two-part event – a research and creative activities poster session, followed by an awards reception for the entire College.
The poster session is a judged competition. Abstracts are available here . All the students did a wonderful job presenting. There was a three-way tie for first place. Congratulations to Joanna Gerasimidis, Alyson Hally and Cecilia Verrillo! View the first place posters here .
Following the poster session, a reception was held for the students, faculty and staff who earned special honors, scholarships and distinctions in their department or in the College. Presentations were available for viewing at one’s own pace. The combined presentation may be viewed here. Overall, everyone enjoyed navigating their avatars through the virtual Gather.Town world and engaging in spontaneous conversation with classmates, colleagues and friends that they hadn't seen for a while.
Psychology Student and Faculty's Research in the News
Photo Credit: Erica Thompson
April 8, 2021 - The research of graduate student Jenna Walmer and Professor of Psychology Lauri Hyers has recently been featured in the Daily Local News. Walmer, a master's student in Psychology and Holocaust and Genocide Studies, focused her research on two diaries written by adolescent girls during the Holocaust: Anne Frank and Renia Spiegel. In addition to showing the similarities between the two adolescents' developments, Walmer's research points to the girls' shared resilience.
For more information, read the WCU news release.
Anthropology Alumnus Receives Accelerator Award
February 7, 2021 - WCU Anthropology alumnus Chris Thornton (2013) has been awarded a $500,000 Lewis Foundation Accelerator Award for Beyond the Bars, a youth music and career skills academy that he co-founded in 2015 to “interrupt cycles of violence and incarceration.” Accelerator Awards provide multi-year support to enable leaders and organizations to make sustained progress toward ambitious community change initiatives that align with The Lewis Prize for Music’s values and vision. More information can be found here.
NSF Awards Nearly $1 Million to WCU S-STEM
February 9, 2021 - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded nearly $1 million to WCU S-STEM, which will provide greater access to high-achieving STEM students in the region who have financial need and come from groups that are typically underrepresented in STEM fields. The following members of the College of the Sciences and Mathematics: Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering Brandon Mitchell, Associate Dean of the College of the Sciences and Mathematics Vishal Shah, Associate Professor of Physics & Engineering Anil Kandalam and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Emily Miller, along with Director of the Academic Success Program John Craig, are members of the WCU team that secured the grant. Read more here.
CSM Faculty Published
February 2021 - Dr. Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha of the Department of Psychology and the late Dr. Frauke Schnell of the Department of Political Science have had their work, “Older Immigrant Women Who Work: Building Resilience, Changing Perceptions and Policies,” published in the American Psychological Association (APA) book, Older Women Who Work: Resilience, Choice, and Change. The research that Drs. McConatha and Schnell conducted on ageism was recently presented at the Gerontological Society of America and has been added to the global database on age-friendly practices by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Society of Women in Physics (SWiP)
January 14, 2021 - Department of Physics & Engineering undergraduate students Kelsey Ortiz, Tessa Turner and Leigh Parrot were awarded a Women in Physics Group Grant from the American Physical Society to start The Society of Women in Physics (SWiP), a new organization focused on supporting and celebrating minority students in the physics and engineering department. Of all the STEM disciplines, women are most underrepresented in physics. According to the American Physical Society, only 22% percent of physics bachelor’s degrees are awarded to women. In all other STEM disciplines, 37% of bachelor’s degrees are awarded to women. SWiP hopes to address the issues of inclusivity in physics at WCU. SWiP will offer mentoring opportunities, host women speakers, perform outreach to local high schools, and provide a community for the women in the department.
CSM Students and Faculty Present Research
January 7, 2021 - Biology graduate student Ariel Leahy and biology professor Dr. Frank Fish presented their paper “Not to be flip: Anatomy and novel tendon morphology of the California sea lion hindflipper” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Washington, D.C., January 3-7, 2021.
Biology graduate student Sarah Kerr, physics professor Dr. Anthony Nicastro, and biology professor Dr. Frank Fish presented their paper “Biomechanical energetics of terrestrial locomotion: California sea lion vs. Northern elephant seal” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Washington, D.C., January 3-7, 2021.
Mathematics Professor Participates in MAA Panel on Equity and Inclusiveness
January 7, 2021 - Dr. Lisa Marano of the Department of Mathematics participated in MAA Workshop: Increasing Engagement in and Support for Equity Work, as a part of the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings. The panel’s focus was what it means for pedagogy and curriculum to be equitable and inclusive, as well as how to understand the impacts of shifting courses to include culturally responsive pedagogy and social justice. The panel is mentioned in a blog on the American Mathematical Society (AMS) website. The blog highlights the sessions on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice at the conference.
Anthropology Professor Publishes Book
November 15, 2020 - Dr. Michael Di Giovine of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology has had his co-edited volume, Study Abroad and the Quest for an Anti-Tourism Experience, published. The work examines the culture and cultural implications of student travel.
CSM Faculty Study Sea Level Rise
October 24, 2020 - Dr. Daria Nikitina of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Dr. Heather Wholey of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology were recently interviewed by Delaware Public Media regarding their work regarding sea level rise and its threat to historical resources. Dr. Nikitina and Dr. Wholey were panelists at the Preservation Delaware Conference, where they presented the work that they have been doing as part of a National Geographic Explorer Grant.
Psychology Professor Awarded Grant
September 28, 2020 - Dr. Michael Gawrysiak of the Department of Psychology was recently awarded a $417,000 grant from NIH. The grant will support Dr. Gawrysiak's investigation into a clinical intervention aimed at improving medication adherence and reducing drug use for patients discharging from residential addiction treatment facilities. Dr. Gawrysiak's project, titled "Mindful MAT Adherence: Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) to improve extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) adherence and drug-use outcomes for opioid use disorder (OUD)," will investigate how integrative pharmacological and behavioral treatments improve OUD treatment outcomes. This important work will also provide enriching research opportunities for WCU student research assistants.
CSM Student and Faculty Published
Dr. Roger Barth
Dr. Randall Rieger
September 23, 2020 - Dr. Roger Barth of the Department of Chemistry, Dr. Randall Rieger of the Department of Mathematics, and chemistry-biology student Yuki Kim had their article published in the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists. The article, "Ruggedized Color Measurement for Beer, Wort, and Malt," presents the research findings on beer color. Student co-author Yuki Kim has since graduated WCU with a B.S. in Chemistry-Biology.
CSM Hosts Women in STEM Roundtable
August 31, 2020 - The College of the Sciences and Mathematics welcomed US Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania’s 6th District via Zoom to discuss women in STEM fields. Representative Houlahan spoke with WCU students and faculty about her passion for increasing women in STEM professions and described her own experiences with engineering and career paths. Students brought up the needs for female role models, diversity in mentorship, resources, peer support groups, having more opportunities available, and internships. Faculty spoke to student issues in terms of what helped them succeed in their field, along with what they feel is relevant for students to succeed in STEM: finding mentors, opportunities, internships, and the characteristics of people who do succeed.
Biology Professor Awarded Grant
August 11, 2020 - Dr. Frank Fish of the Department of Biology was awarded a grant for $300,000 from the Office of Naval Research for the project “Locomotor transitions of an amphibious system: Biological to robotic." The grant is in collaboration with researchers from George Washington University and Drexel University.
Dr. Fish was recently named as a 2021 inductee into the Massapequa High School's Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors alumni of Berner High and Massapequa High School, whose careers or community service serve as an inspiration to students.
Dr. Fish has also recently had videos of his research on shrimpfish posted on Twitter by Cool Science Videos@GeoBeats: This Fish Didn't Get the Message
Psychology Professor Receives James G. Wilson Publication Award
July 2, 2020 - Dr. Kristen Breit of the Department of Psychology is being honored for her work at the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention’s first-ever Virtual Annual Meeting this month. In this, the 60th Annual Meeting, scientists will be recognized for their research on birth defects and virtual lectures and presentations will cover related topics. Dr. Breit is the recipient of the James G. Wilson Publication Award, which is presented in recognition of the best paper accepted or published in the journal, Birth Defects Research.
Research of Biology Students and Professor Published
June 17, 2020 - Dr. Frank Fish of the Department of Biology had the research article “A 60:40 split: Differential mass support in dogs” published in the Anatomical Record. The article was co-authored with Professor Emerita of Environmental Health Dr. Maura Sheehan and biology graduate students Danielle Adams, Kelsey Tennett, and William Gough.
CSM Faculty Receive RIMS Awards
June 10, 2020 - Congratulations to the following CSM faculty members for receiving 2020 Research in Mathematics and the Sciences (RIMS) Awards:
Dr. Erin Hill, Department of Psychology - Examining Demographic and Psychosocial Risk Factors for Drunkorexia Engagement Using a Nationally Representative US Sample
Dr. Linh Ngo, Department of Computer Science - Performance Evaluation of Big Data Infrastructure Deployment via High Throughput Computing Platform
Physics Event and Spring Tea Talk
February 27, 2020 - Dr. Annemarie Exarhos of Lafayette College gave a talk, "Artificial Atoms in Two-Dimensional Materials for Quantum Technologies," in Schmucker Science North. The WCU Center for Nanomaterials and the Society of Physics Students hosted a Spring Tea Talk in the Physics Library prior to the event.
Chemistry Professor on NBC Sports
Still from What's Brewing S03 EP14
January 19, 2020 - Dr. Roger Barth of the Department of Chemistry was a guest on What’s Brewing with Glen Macnow and Don Russell (“Joe Sixpack”) on NBC Sports. Dr. Barth shared his chemistry expertise; more specifically, he discussed beer foam and demonstrated the underlying science behind it. Watch the episode here.
CSM Award Recipients
CSM 2019 Student Engagement Award recipients:
Erin Gestl, Department of Biology - Expression of Nucleotide Excision Repair Genes in Zebrafish
Roger Barth, Department of Chemistry - Student Participation in Supercritical Fluid Chromatography Analysis of Hop Oil
Mark Shuman, Department of Chemistry - Student Participation in Supercritical Fluid Chromatography Analysis of Hop Oil
Frauke Schnell, Department of Political Science - Aging in an age of intolerance: Ageism in the Workplace
Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha, Department of Psychology - Aging in an age of intolerance: Ageism in the Workplace
CSM Spring 2020 Research AWA recipients:
Jenna Becker Kane, Department of Political Science - Judicial Review in the Roberts Court Era
Jennifer Chandler, Department of Biology - Efficacy of sticky bands and sticky band alternatives in the control of spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) populations
Marc Gagne, Department of Earth & Space Sciences - Supercomputer Simulations of Magnetized Massive Star Winds
Michael Gawrysiak, Department of Psychology - Mindful MAT Adherence: Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) to improve extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) adherence and drug-use outcomes for opioid use disorder (OUD)
Kurt Kolasinski, Department of Chemistry - Making Semiconductor Nanostructures
A special congratulations to Patrick Gillespie, majoring in accelerated pure mathematics and a student of Jeremy Brazas, who was awarded funding to travel to the Spring EPADEL Section Meeting in Spring 2020.
Sociology Professor Receives University Academic Advising Award
Photo Credit: Erica Thompson
December 14, 2019 - Dr. Jacqueline Zalewski of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology was honored at Winter Commencement, where she was presented with the 2019 University Faculty Advisor Award, in recognition for her excellence in academic advising.
Biology Professor in the News
Photo Credit: Tessa Marie Images
November 25, 2019 - Dr. Oné Pagán is featured in an article, "How a West Chester University Professor Uses Weird Science to Entertain and Educate," in Main Line Today. The article details Dr. Pagán’s research, and relates how the passion that Dr. Pagán has for his work is made evident in the engaging lectures that he provides to his WCU students. The article also tells of Dr. Pagán’s forthcoming book, Drunk Flies and Stoned Dolphins: A Trip Through the World of Animal Intoxication, which is due out in mid-2020. Read the full article in Main Line Today.
CSM Students Present Research at Conference
November 2, 2019 - Three CSM students presented their research at the 2019 6th Annual PASSHE Student Research Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics on November 2, 2019. Ethan Braglio’s presentation, Factor Analysis of Senate Elections, was presented in the mathematics category. Samuel Johannesen’s poster, Optimization of Methodology to Study the Plant Leaf Phyllosphere Community, was presented under the biology category. Paulo Castro’s poster, Nanometer Precision In-Situ Interferometric Measurement of Thin Films, was presented under the physics category. The conference was held at Kutztown University and included presentations from both undergraduate and graduate students. The conference offers all PASSHE students the opportunity to present the research that they have conducted in the STEM disciplines.
Faculty Research in the News
Photo Credit: Charles Fox, Inquirer Staff Photographer
October 29, 2019 - The research of Dr. Lauri Hyers of the Department of Psychology, Erin Hipple of the Department of Social Work, and graduate student Jacqueline Sullivan, was recently featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Their research focuses on gender stereotypes found in Halloween costumes.
The Department of Anthropology & Sociology Host Event
October 25, 2019 - The Department of Anthropology & Sociology recently welcomed seniors from the Cornerstone Senior Center in Wilmington, DE to the WCU Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. The guests were greeted by Professor of Anthropology and Department Chairperson Dr. Heather Wholey and Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Michael Di Giovine. Museum Studies students gave the guests a personalized tour of the museum's Berlin Wall exhibit. This was followed by a pottery reconstruction activity given by Archaeology students, who provided hands-on instruction in the department's conference room. The event concluded with students and guests enjoying lunch together at the campus diner.
For more information on WCU's Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, please visit their webpage.
Political Science Professor Awarded
October 23, 2019 - Dr. Ashlie Delshad of the Department of Political Science was recognized for the excellent work that she and a dedicated team of students have done in WCU’s South Campus Garden. As a result of Dr. Delshad’s efforts, the South Campus Garden was awarded the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2019 Garden of Distinction Award. There were over 450 entries from all types of gardens throughout PA, NJ, and DE. The gardens were judged on such factors as aesthetic appeal, effective design, sustainable practices, pollinator habitats, and community connections. Dr. Delshad was honored at the award ceremony held at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society office in Philadelphia on October 23, 2019.
Anthropology Professor Featured in Magazine
October 2019 - Dr. Heather Wholey, professor of anthropology and chairperson of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, was recently featured in East Bradford Neighbors magazine. The article focuses on Dr. Wholey's work with her students at the Huey House site in Westtown Township, where they are excavating to uncover Colonial Era evidence relating to local farm life. The article can be found here .
Computer Science Major Featured in Success Starts Here
October 2, 2019 - Computer science major Chris Hollowood is a student veteran who has served 11 years in the military and now attends WCU. His inspirational story is featured in President Christopher Fiorentino's most recent Success Starts Here profile.
Biology Grad Student and Faculty Present Talk
September 24, 2019 - Biology professor Frank Fish and biology graduate student Abigail Downs presented a talk, “Tuna tendon and turning and tail stand fluke flexibility," at the ONR MURI Review Meeting, “Hydrodynamics of Non-Traditional Propulsion Bio-Inspired Flexible Propulsors for Fast Efficient Swimming: What Physics Are We Missing,” at West Chester University, September 24-25, 2019.
Psychology Faculty in the News
September 23, 2019 - Dr. Erin Hill or the Department of Psychology was recently in the news, contributing insight for a Medium article on narcissism.
Earth and Space Sciences Professor Receives Award
September 22, 2019 - Dr. Daria Nikitina of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences was recently awarded the John C. Frye Environmental Geology Award. Dr. Nikitina was recognized for her contribution to the Delaware Sea Level Rise Report. The report was commissioned by the Governor of Delaware and prepared by a group of experts (including Dr. Nikitina) and the Delaware Geological Survey, using federal funds from NOAA and the US Department of Commerce. The award was presented at the Geological Society of America 2019 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
WCU Co-Hosts 3rd Annual Joint Actuarial Science Career Fair
September 20, 2019 - WCU and Arcadia University hosted the 3rd Annual Joint Actuarial Science Career Fair. At this event, over 20 WCU students participated in over 30 interviews for internships and jobs in actuarial and other mathematical related fields. Participating as interviewers were alumni of the program, Kerry Frees of Penn Mutual, Courtney McIlvaine of TransAmerica, and Michael Colon and Mark Remner of Willis Towers Watson. Other companies participating included LTCG, Lincoln Financial, Voya, Venerable, Independence Blue Cross, Aon, and CBIZ.
7th Annual Delaware County Archaeology Festival
September 14, 2019 - Faculty and students of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology took part in the 7th Annual Delaware County Archaeology Festival this Saturday. The public archaeology event took place at Newlin Grist Mill, an 18th century industrial site in Glen Mills, PA. More information on Newlin Grist Mill can be found here.
Welcome to the Inaugural Class of Biomedical Engineering Students at WCU!
August 26, 2019 - The College of the Sciences and Mathematics is excited to welcome the inaugural class of biomedical engineering (BME) students to WCU!
Biology Student and Faculty Publish
Photo Credit: Frank Fish
June 27, 2019 - Dr. Frank Fish of the Department of Biology co-authored a paper with biology student Danielle Adams entitled, “Odontocete peduncle tendons for possible control of fluke orientation and flexibility,” in the Journal of Morphology. Pictured is Danielle Adams with a beluga whale at Sea World of Texas. Danielle was part of an ONR-funded research project on the flexibility of dolphin and whale flukes for enhanced propulsive efficiency. She finished her Master’s Thesis in Biology in the spring of 2018 and has been working as a research technician in the Liquid Life Lab for the past year. Danielle will be starting a Ph.D. program in the Department of Biology of Clemson University this fall.
Anthropology Program Featured in West Chester Living Magazine
May 2019 - The Department of Anthropology & Sociology is featured in the May edition of the West Chester Living Magazine. The article details the wealth of scientific research and community outreach projects performed by the students and faculty of WCU's Anthropology program.
The Department of Earth and Space Sciences Fly Drones
Photo Credit: Daily Local News
April 14, 2019 - The Daily Local News published an article today featuring WCU Earth & Space Science students, who recently used drones to map a South Campus hillside while they charted topographic maps.
Physic Professor's Publication Means Bright Things for LED Bulbs
April 29, 2019 - Dr. Brandon Mitchell of the Department of Physics was lead author on a paper recently published in ACS Photonics. His work, done in collaboration with scientists from Lehigh University, Osaka University and the University of Amsterdam, demonstrates the possibility of tuning commercial LEDs between bright white and more comfortable warmer colors.
Read more at ScienceDaily.
Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons Groundbreaking
Photo Credit: Erica Thompson
April 27, 2019 - West Chester University broke ground on the WCU Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons, the largest building project in the University’s 148-year history and the largest single project ever constructed within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Read the full article in WCU News.
CSM Spring Research Day
Photo Credit: Erica Thompson
April 26, 2019 - The College of the Sciences and Mathematics recently hosted a very successful CSM Spring Research Day, with over 50 students presenting posters showcasing the research they have done with their faculty mentors. The students did such a tremendous job that the faculty judges had to make some tough decisions that resulted in quite a few ties!
Undergraduate First Place Winners: Maggie Anabui, Zane Christmyer and Lucas Ribeiro
Undergraduate Second Place Winners: Christopher Catranis, Teresa Lee, Mark Marrone and Sarah Polohovich
Graduate First Place Winners: Abigail Downs and Amanda Johnston
CSM Student Recognition Award Ceremony and Research Reception
Photo Credit: Erica Thompson
April 22, 2019 - The College of the Sciences and Mathematics held the CSM Student Recognition Award Ceremony and Research Reception on Monday, April 22nd.
Congratulations to the many students who were recognized, including Outstanding Student Award winner Sapana Gupta. Pictured are CSM Award winners Demetrius Woodard, Ellen McCauley, Erica Knorr, Allena McCloud & Kathleen Schultz.
Biology Faculty Gives Presentations
April 12, 2019 - Biology professor Frank Fish presented an invited seminar “Biomimetics and the development of advanced technologies from charismatic marine megafauna” to the Department of Biology of the High Point University, High Point, NC.
March 29-31, 2019 - Dr. Fish presented a talk "Moment of inertia influences spin-leap performance by cetaceans” at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
March 11, 2019 - Dr. Fish presented the invited seminar "Bio-inspiration from charismatic marine megafauna: What animals can teach us in the development of new technologies" to the Department of Integrative Biology of the University of California Berkeley.
Earth and Space Sciences Faculty Elected President of PCPG
December 2018 - Dr. Martin Helmke of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences was recently elected President of the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists (PCPG). PCPG is a non-profit corporation that advances the practice of geology and allied sciences and the success of its members through advocacy, education, and networking. For more information, please visit their website.
CSM Faculty Receive National Geographic Explorers Grant
December 2018 - Dr. Heather Wholey of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and Dr. Daria Nikitina of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences were featured in WCU Magazine. The professors were recently awarded a two-year, $30,000 National Geographic Explorers Grant. The funding will enable Dr. Wholey and Dr. Nikitina to expand their current research in the Delaware Bay area. The article can be read in full here.
Local Hack Day at WCU
December 2018 - Local Hack Day was a great success! Organized by the Computer Science Club and the Women in Computer Science Club, the event had nearly 150 registrations, with hackers between the ages of 11 to 30+ from 30 different schools. Activities were spread throughout the day, from Mario Cart tournaments to mastering the art of cup stacking. There were seminars by past and present WCU academics on a variety of topics. WCU's Local Hack Day represented 5% of global submissions in a 7,000+ person global-hackathon. The projects presented were outstanding, making it especially difficult to decide a winner. WCU's Brandon Fonticoba & Christopher Falco (pictured) took first place with Lemmie Run.
Biology Faculty Recognized for Research
November 2018 - Biology professors Teresa Donze-Reiner and Jessica Sullivan-Brown were recognized for their outstanding contribution to research during the Spotlight on Research event held at the WCU Foundation. The Provost, Deputy Provost and State Senator Andy Dinnamin recognized Dr. Donze-Reiner for her research on switchgrass and Dr. Sullivan-Brown for her acquisition of a confocal microscope from the National Science Foundation.
Mathematical Association of America Holds EPaDel Section Meeting at WCU
November 2018 - The EPaDel section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) held its fall section meeting at WCU. The meeting featured the invited speakers Deanna Haunsperger (President of the MAA), Kristin Lauter (Microsoft Research), and Alex Nakahara (The Phillies), as well as contributed paper sessions by faculty and students, a silent auction, student activities, and more.
Sociology Faculty Published
October 2018 - Sociology professor Julie Wiest has recently been published. Her book, The Allure of Premeditated Murder: Why Some People Plan to Kill, is co-authored with Dr. Jack Levin, a renowned scholar in criminology and emeritus professor at Northeastern University.
From the publisher’s website: Any murder causes pain and suffering that ripple through families and communities - of both the victims and the perpetrators - but premeditated murders cause the worst kind of damage. The Allure of Premeditated Murder is about the worst kinds of premeditated homicide in which the perpetrator plans an attack over a period of days, weeks, or months, leaving behind massive carnage and unspeakable suffering. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with murderers, sociologists Jack Levin and Julie B. Wiest help readers understand why such vicious murders occur and what we can do to minimize their incidence.
Department of Political Science Hosts Public Lecture
October 2018 - The Department of Political Science hosted a 2018 Distinguished Public Lecture, titled "World Order in the Age of Trump and Trumpism." The guest speaker was Dr. Richard Falk, a Ralph C. Milbank Emeritus Professor of International Law and Practice and an Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is a world-renowned scholar of international relations and international law, former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, and author of more than 40 books and hundreds of academic articles and essays. His lecture focused on foreign policy and the new world order.
Department of Earth and Space Sciences Presents Forensic Meteorology Lecture
October 2018 - The Department of Earth and Space Sciences presented a lecture, "Cases in Forensic Meteorology: Utilizing Atmospheric Science to Determine the Role of Weather in Civil Litigation," in Merion 113. The lecture was presented by Dr. John Scala. Dr. Scala is a forensic meteorologist who has testified in dozens of court cases and who has served as the first Storm Analyst on The Weather Channel.
Second Annual Joint Actuarial Career Day
September 2018 - Eleven companies participated in the Second Annual Joint Actuarial Career Day hosted by WCU and Arcadia University. Of the 29 actuarial, mathematics, and applied statistics students who submitted resumes for review, 25 were selected for formal and informal interviews throughout the day. Participating companies included Lincoln Financial Group, Penn Mutual, Transamerica, iPipeline, CBIZ, Aon Pension Group, Aon Health Group, Willis Towers Watson – Actuarial Group and Willis Towers Watson – Pension Group. Graduates from our mathematics programs work at each of these companies, and four of the interviewers were WCU Department of Mathematics alumni.
Biology Faculty in the News
September 2018 - The Daily Local News featured an article on biology professor Dr. Oné Pagán and his new book, Strange Survivors, in which Dr. Pagán writes about the survival mechanisms of several different creatures.
Dr. Pagán was also interviewed by the Utah Public Radio show UnDisciplined: upr.org.
Sociology Faculty Awarded and Published
September 2018 - Sociology professor Dr. Jacqueline Zalewski was presented with the Leigh S. Shaffer Award at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) global conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The Leigh S. Shaffer Award recognizes scholarly contributions published in the NACADA Journal that significantly advance the field of academic advising.
Dr. Zalewski has also recently been published. Her book, Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing: Chewed-Up by Two Masters, offers a sociological account of the process by which companies instituted, and continue to institute, outsourcing in their organization.
Dr. Radha Pyati Receives Environmental Award of Merit
September 2018 - Dr. Radha Pyati, Dean of the College of the Sciences and Mathematics, has been presented with an Environmental Award of Merit for her significant impact to the community as a scientist, educator, and advocate.
In Dr. Pyati’s prior position as Chair of the Chemistry Department of the University of North Florida (UNF) and Director of the UNF Environmental Center, Dr. Pyati also assumed responsibility for the annual State of the River Report for the Lower St. Johns River Basin. In addition to the local community and media presentations made about the report, under her leadership the report also received international attention from the United Nations, with the integration of aspects of the report included in a United Nations World Water Development Report, the first time a US river was included in a world water report. Under Dr. Pyati’s leadership, the UNF Environmental Center was expanded and the effort to have UNF join the American College and University Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which is a public commitment by universities to become carbon neutral, was successful. Outside of the contributions she made while at UNF, Dr. Pyati has been a strong advocate for the importance of science in public policy.
CSM Student and Faculty Publish
August 2018 - Biology professor Frank Fish, biology graduate student Kelsey Tennett, and physics professor Anthony Nicastro published a research article, “Terrestrial locomotion of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris): limitation of large aquatically adapted seals on land?” in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The article was also co-authored with Dr. Daniel Costa of the University of California Santa Cruz.
Sociology Conference Held in Philadelphia
August 2018 - WCU co-sponsored a two-day sociology conference that was held at the PASSHE Center City campus. The conference began one day prior to the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in Philadelphia. WCU sociologist Julie Wiest co-organized the conference, called “The Roots and Branches of Interpretive Sociology: Cultural, Pragmatist, and Psychosocial Approaches,” along with Thomas DeGloma, associate professor of sociology at CUNY and president of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI). In addition to WCU, the conference was also co-sponsored by SSSI, Yale University’s Center for Cultural Sociology, the Psychosocial Scholars Group, and the Sociology Department of Texas State University, with additional support from Hunter College and the Sociology Department of the CUNY Graduate Center. There were 149 attendees and 131 papers were presented. The conference allowed scholars from various sociology fields to come together and discuss the different approaches to the common themes the fields share. More information can be found on the conference website: www.interpretivesociology.com.
CSM Faculty Awarded a Major Research Instrumentation Grant
August 2018 - Biology professor Jessica Sullivan-Brown and physics professor Shawn Pfeil, along with two faculty members at Penn State Brandywine, were recently awarded a Major Research Instrumentation grant (MRI) from the NSF for an Olympus IXPlore SpinSR Confocal Microscopy System with TIRF capabilities. This imaging system will be housed in the Center for Microanalysis and Imaging Research and Training (CMIRT) facility at West Chester University and will enable researchers to perform cutting-edge research, provide transformative undergraduate research experiences, and strengthen our already strong STEM pipeline. Examples of research projects include (1) studying how folic acid, an essential vitamin, affects embryonic development and (2) single-molecule biophysical studies on the folding of a novel nucleic acid structural motif in the presence and absence of molecular crowding. Acquisition of this microscope will expand teaching and outreach opportunities and ensure that the affordable, high-quality education offered at WCU prepares students for successful careers in the sciences.
Internationally Renowned Medicinal Chemist Visits WCU
August 2018 - WCU students had the opportunity to meet Dr. Robert Jacobs, a chemist with over 30 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Dr. Jacobs recently led a team of medicinal, synthetic, and computational chemists at Anacor Pharmaceuticals, a world leader in the discovery and development of boron-containing pharmaceuticals. The team’s focus on the discovery and application of novel boron-containing drug molecules resulted in a major advancement in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, leading Anacor to be acquired by Pfizer. Dr. Jacobs was invited by Dr. Thomas Simpson to join Dr. Simpson’s Organic Chemistry Lab. Dr. Jacobs spoke with students and provided laboratory tips during the class. It was a wonderful opportunity and the students were excited to have an industry expert drop in to visit.
CSM Student and Faculty Publish
August 2018 - Mathematics professor Allison Kolpas co-authored the paper “Optimal Mating Strategies for Preferentially Outcrossing Simultaneous Hermaphrodites in the Presence of Predators” in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology with Corin Stratton and biology professor Josh Auld. Corin Stratton was an undergraduate researcher in mathematics at the time the paper was written and is currently in the MA in Mathematics program at WCU. Corin was supported by an NSF RUI grant that Dr. Auld and Dr. Kolpas share. See nsf.gov for a description of the grant.
Department of Earth and Space Sciences Highlighted in PCPG Newsletter
July 2018 - The Department of Earth and Space Sciences was highlighted in this summer's PCPG (PA Professional Geologists) Newsletter. To read more about WCU's part in the First Annual PCPG Student Poster Session and Competition and the exciting work being done with drones in Centralia, the newsletter can be found here: PCPG Summer 2018 Newsletter .
Biology Student and Faculty Present in Ireland
July 2018 - Biology professor Frank Fish made a presentation with co-author graduate students Danielle Adams and William Gough, titled “Control of the flexibility of cetacean flukes for high efficiency propulsion” at the 8th World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin, Ireland.
Dr. Fish also co-authored the presentation “The performance of a sea lion’s foreflipper as a static wing” with Dr. Megan Leftwich of George Washington University at the 8th World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin, Ireland.
2018 CSM Student Recognition Award Ceremony
May 2018 - Congratulations to the 360 students who were recognized for their scholarship, research, and creativity at the CSM Student Recognition Award ceremony. LeShell Washington was presented with the Outstanding Student Award by Dr. Lisa Marano.
2018 Spring CSM Poster Session
May 2018 - Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 All Science Poster Session: Haaris Abdullah (Biology), Danielle Adams (Biology), Jessica Gallo (Biology), Andriana Hamm (Psychology), Kelli Johnson (Mathematics), Aalia Muhammad (Chemistry), Madeline Oscarczuk (Psychology), Ben Plumridge (Mathematics) and Tyler Rutherford (Anthropology & Sociology).
Pictured are first place winners Haaris Abdullah (Natural Sciences), Madeline Oscarczuk (Social Sciences) and Danielle Adams (Graduate).
Physics Professors Present Student Co-Authored Papers
April 2018 - Physics professor Anil K. Kandalam presented the paper “Neurotransmitter-conjugated Au-Ag bimetallic nanoclusters: Interaction of AuxAgy (x + y = n; n = 8 and 10) clusters with Dopamine” at the 2018 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The paper was co-authored by physics undergraduate students Eric Herrmann and Haley Buckner, along with mathematics graduate student Georgia Montone.
Physics professor William H. Sawyer presented the paper “Nanocrystal Ghosting in ZrO2 – Extensive Radiation Damage in ZrO2 induced by low-energy electrons” at the 2018 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The paper was co-authored by physics undergraduate student Ellen Farmer.
Students Receive Student Research Awards
April 2018 - Congratulations to the following students for receiving CSM Spring 2018 Student Research Awards:
Rachel Hibbert, Biology
Constipation in LRRK2 Over-expresser Mice
Mentor: Dr. Eric Sweet, Biology
Jason Miller, Accelerated B.S. M.S. Integrative Biology
The influence of edge effects on soil carbon storage and COz efflux in temperate deciduous forests of southeastern Pennsylvania
Mentor: Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer, Biology
Mary O'Brien, Biology and Katelyn Vala, Psychology
Impact of Pregnancy and Visitor Interaction on Hair Cortisol Levels of Goats
Mentor: Dr. Aaron Rundus, Psychology
Jeenal Shah, Biology, Cell & Molecular Concentration
Analysis of Nucleotide Excision DNA Repair in Zebrafish
Mentor: Dr. Erin Gestl, Biology
Jonathan Godwin, Psychology – Industrial and Organizational
Does Having a Gay Accent Influence Employment Interview Performance?
Mentor: Dr. Vipanchi Mishra, Psychology
Jazmine Cooper, Clinical Psychology, PsyD
Triadic Family Concordance in Salivary Alpha Amylase Response to Challenge
Mentor: Dr. Susan Gans, Psychology
Joshua Kovich, Biology
The Role of Polymerase Zeta in the Zebrafish Model System
Mentor: Dr. Erin Gestl, Biology
Earth and Space Sciences Professor Interviewed by WHYY
March 2018 - Dr. Cynthia Hall of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences discussed lead contamination in urban soil and tested soil samples from Philadelphia residents at the Wagner Free Institute of Science. Dr. Hall was interviewed by WHYY regarding her work and findings. The article can be found at whyy.org.
Mathematics Professor Throws First Pitch
March 2018 - In recognition for having made a tremendous impact on a student-athlete at WCU, mathematics professor Dr. Lisa Marano was invited to throw out the first pitch during the home softball game on March 27th. The First Pitch Program recognizes faculty and staff members who have positively impacted student-athletes and is a way of thanking them for their continued support.
Photo by Rob Christe, Assistant Sports Information Director, West Chester University.
Physics Student Awarded iREU in Paris
March 2018 - Physics student Gabriel Seymour was accepted into the International Research Experience for Undergraduates (I-REU) program, Optics in the City of Light. Gabriel was one of eight undergraduate junior-level students offered the opportunity to participate in this prestigious program. Students of the program spend two months in a variety of laboratories in Paris; the laboratories are among the premier ultrafast optics laboratories in the world. There, the students perform research involving the use of ultrafast lasers to discover very current, state-of-the art phenomena in a wide range of fields including relativistic optics, plasma physics, materials spectroscopy, nano-machining, patterned biological cell templating, high power fiber lasers, plasma x-ray sources, dynamics of nano-magnetic materials, terahertz imaging, biomedical imaging with shaped pulses, and the fatigue life studies of materials.
Computer Science Professor Receives NSF Grant
March 2018 - Dr. Richard Burns, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been awarded a $12,550 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The funding will support a symposium that will be conducted at the Tenth International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams. The goal of the symposium is to encourage, expand, and guide the participation of young researchers who are starting research in the field of diagrammatic representations and reasoning.
Anthropology Student Awarded Scholarship
February 2018 - Anthropology major Taria Montes-Rivera has been awarded a National Preservation Institute scholarship to attend the NAGPRA Essentials training workshop in Anchorage, Alaska in April. The workshop reviews the compliance process for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) for Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, federal agencies, and museums. It provides an overview of NAGPRA statutes and regulations, addresses tools for compliance (National NAGPRA databases and other resources), reviews tools for determining cultural affiliation through case studies, and addresses the role of culturally unidentifiable remains in repatriation.
Political Science Professor Featured in Wired Article
February 2018 - Political science professor Dr. John Kennedy's role in a landmark decision made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the focus of a recent Wired article. Pennsylvania's congressional map was among the most gerrymandered in history. Dr. Kennedy's expert testimony involved showing the evolution of the state’s map over time and helped to lead the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overrule a lower-court decision that found that the map violated the state constitution's guarantee of "free and equal elections." The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a brand new congressional map on Monday to replace the gerrymandered map that Dr. Kennedy testified on. The article can be found at www.wired.com.
Mathematics Professor Attains Leadership Position
February 2018 - Dr. Lisa Marano, mathematics professor and director of the actuarial science program, has joined the Board of Directors of the Mathematical Association of America. The Mathematical Association of America is the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts, who are dedicated to advancing the understanding of the world through mathematics. Dr. Marano will serve as Chair of the MAA Committee on Sections.
Anthropology Day 2018
February 2018 - Faculty and students of WCU’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology recently participated in Anthropology Day. Anthropology Day is coordinated through the American Anthropological Association, the world’s largest association for professional anthropologists. Held every February on the third Thursday of the month, Anthropology Day is a day for anthropologists to “Celebrate, Engage, and Inspire.” The Department of Anthropology and Sociology took part by hosting lectures, displaying student research posters, exhibiting tools of the trade (such as archaeological field gear), and sponsoring games, trivia, and prizes in Sykes Ballroom.
Biology Students and Faculty Present Papers
January 2018 - Biology professor Frank Fish presented the paper “Fluke flexibility during propulsion in neonate and adult humpback whales” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA. The paper was co-authored with Henderson High School student Ramya Muthukrishnan and Nan Hauser of the Cetacean Research Institute in the Cook Islands. In addition, Dr. Fish co-authored the presentation “Properties and functions of tendons in the cetacean peduncle” that was presented by WCU graduate student Danielle Adams. Dr. Fish also co-authored the presentation “The role of flippers, flukes, and body flexibility in blue whale maneuvering performance.”
Pictured is the cover for a physics book that is based on Dr. Fish's work on manta swimming. Dr. Fish worked with the publisher and artist for the image.
5th Annual Delaware County Archaeology Festival
September 2017 - Five WCU students and three alumni, representing the WCU anthropology program, took part in the 5th Annual Delaware County Archaeology Festival. The event was hosted at the Newlin Grist Mill in Glenn Mills, PA and over 500 visitors attended.
Biology Professor in the News
September 2017 - Biology professor Frank Fish received a $300,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research for “Investigating sea lion locomotion as the basis for shape changing UUVs.” Dr. Fish will collaborate with George Washington University and Drexel University in examining the movements of sea lions as the basis for constructing a biorobotic sea lion.
Dr. Fish was also a consultant for the exhibit “Whales Beneath the Surface” on the biology of cetaceans on display at the British Natural History Museum, in London, England.
Additionally, Dr. Fish was a co-author on the presentation “The role of flippers, flukes, and body flexibility in blue whale maneuvering performance.” It was presented at the 6th International Bio-logging Science Symposium in Lake Constance, Germany. The International Bio-logging Science Symposium focuses on the study of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial species, their habitats, and the researchers who use animal-attached electronic devices to study them.
Chemistry Professor Gives Keynote Speech in Belgium
September 2017 - Chemistry professor Kurt Kolasinski was a keynote speaker at the Catalysis & Nanoparticles Summer School at KU Leuven in Belgium. Dr. Kolasinski’s discussion, “Nanoscience - From curiosity driven research to practical results,” addressed the challenges of transforming the new discoveries made in nanoscience into an understanding that leads to sustainable products and efficient industrial processes.
Faculty Receive RIMS Award
August 2017 - Congratulations to the following CSM faculty members for receiving 2017 Research in Mathematics and the Sciences (RIMS) Awards:
Dr. Tianran Chen - A numerical study of spectral functions of high-temperature superconductors
Dr. Teresa Donze-Reiner - Characterizing the calcium-dependent protein kinases expression in susceptible and tolerant switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, to greenbug aphids, Schizaphis graminum
Dr. Joby Hilliker - Exploring Drone Use in Geoscience Research: Two Pilot Studies
Dr. Kim Johnson - Undergraduate Beliefs about Learning & Teaching Mathematics
Dr. Monica Joshi - Application of nanoparticles and mass spectrometry for detecting organic gunshot residue
Dr. Oné R. Pagán - Pharmacological manipulation of the regeneration phenotype in planarians
Dr. Heather Wholey - Guided Student Research at the Robert B. Gordon Natural Area
Biology Professor Presents Paper at the Marine Technical Society TechSurge
July 2017 - Biology professor Frank Fish presented the paper “Kinematics and hydrodynamics of mobuliform swimming: Oscillatory winged propulsion by large pelagic batoids” at the Marine Technical Society TechSurge: Fish Swimming Research and Bio-inspiration for Marine Design event in Norfolk, Virginia.
Biology Professor and Shark Week
July 2017 - When Olympic medalist Michael Phelps raced a simulated great white shark for Discovery Channel's Shark Week, he turned to science for help. Phelps wore a monofin, which like the caudal fins of fish and dolphins, works by displacing the surrounding water and propelling the wearer forward. The Lunocet monofin worn by Phelps was created using the data that was collected by biology professor Frank Fish. In 2009, Scientific American noted that early tests with the Lunocet showed that regular swimmers could reach speeds of up to eight mph. At his fastest, Michael Phelps can swim at a rate of five and a half mph, while a great white shark can effortlessly swim six to seven mph and up to 25 to 35 mph while hunting. Phelps finished the 100 meter race in 38 seconds, two seconds slower than the simulated shark. According to Dr. Fish, the only reason that Michael Phelps even came close in the race against a simulated shark was due to the advantage that the Lunocet provided.
Pictured are Dr. Fish and graduate student Danielle Adams, video recording dolphin swimming for research. Also pictured is graduate student Kelsey Tennett holding a Lunocet, which Dr. Fish and Tennett experimented on.