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December 2011 – A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends of COSAM


Welcome to the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) electronic newsletter, e-Journey.
COSAM has lots of news to share with you. Enjoy!



Auburn Family remembers Evelyn Jordan
JordanEvelyn Walker Jordan, 98, a longtime student counselor at Auburn University and wife of late head football coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan, died Thursday, Nov. 3, following a brief illness. A native of Augusta, Ga., Jordan grew up in Macon, Ga., and Columbia, S.C., where she received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of South Carolina. She did graduate work at Tulane University in New Orleans and later earned a master's degree at Auburn, where she served as Panhellenic adviser and worked as a counselor for married and international students for many years. She received the university's Pamela Wells Sheffield Award in 1992 in recognition of her service and commitment to Auburn. Her son, Ralph Jordan, Jr., is a COSAM alumnus who received his bachelor of science in biological sciences in ’70 and his master of science in zoology in ’75. He also serves on COSAM’s Advisory Council. 


Biological Sciences News:

Biological Sciences professor to participate in oil spill teleconference
HalanychProfessor Ken Halanych from the Department of Biological Sciences will participate in a live teleconference on Dec. 3, discussing his research on aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The topic of his talk will be “Oil spill impacts on sediment dwelling animals in the Gulf of Mexico.” The teleconference is sponsored by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and features conversations with several other scientists involved in Deepwater Horizon oil spill research including: Marcus Drymon from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab whose talk is titled, “The implications of the Deepwater Horizon explosion on Alabama's fisheries”; Asim Bej from the University of Alabama at Birmingham whose talk is titled, “Little things rule the world: microbial responses to oil”; and Thane Wibbels from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who will give a talk titled, “Oil spill impacts on terrapins and turtles in coastal waters.” Three locations will broadcast the teleconference from 10 a.m. to noon. The viewing locations are:

  • Dauphin Island Sea Lab Shelby Center
    101 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island
  • Auburn High School
    405 South Dean Rd, Auburn
  • Southern Environmental Center
    Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Rd, Birmingham

All sites will be networked via video-conferencing technology, and audiences will hear from and be able to ask questions of scientists at each location. Admission is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. For more information on the speakers and their research interests, click HERE.


Student group explores Alabama caves
SCB Cave TripThe Society for Conservation Biology held a meeting on Nov. 8, featuring guest speaker Jim Godwin. Godwin is from the Auburn Environmental Institute and he spoke to the group about cave systems as well as the specifics of a field trip to Jackson County that took place Nov. 12-13. Those on the trip went caving and visited the Centre pitcher plant bog. For more information on the Society for Conservation Biology, visit the website at www.auburn.edu/scb.


Chemistry News:

NOBCChE Meeting at Auburn University Sets Records
NOBCChE ConferenceOn Nov. 11 and 12, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted the combined Southeast and Southwest regional meetings of NOBCChE, or the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. The goals of the meeting included fostering communication and scientific interaction between people of diverse backgrounds and building a community of professional support. A variety of age groups and experience levels were present at the meeting, and participants had an opportunity to interact with representatives of industrial and governmental institutions, as well as explore further educational opportunities. For example, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network was at the conference recruiting undergraduates who are interested in summer internships, and offering faculty members an opportunity to be a part of a special summer program. Morehouse School of Medicine was also at the conference.
A record-setting group of 142 participants registered, including many from historically black colleges and universities in the region. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering held well-attended open houses which included poster sessions and laboratory tours. Another record was set at the subsequent poster session for registered participants, with 37 students and scientists making presentations.  Several technical sessions, a campus tour for high school students and teachers, professional and teachers’ workshops, an award ceremony for students and an address by Darrell Davis, a recently retired Laboratory Director in the Drug Enforcement Administration, were included in the program of activities.
“The Open House and NOBCChE meeting were a great success,” said J.V. Ortiz, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “I am certain that Auburn has made an excellent impression on the NOBCChE community.”


Professor receives American Chemical Society grant
PatkowskiAssistant professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Konrad Patkowski, received a $100,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. The grant begins on Jan. 1, 2012 and ends in August 2014. The funding will provide support for Patkowski’s research project titled, “Accurate Ab Initio Studies of Hydrocarbon Physisorption on Carbon Nanotubes.” For more information on Patkowski's research group, click HERE. For more information on the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, click HERE.


Geology & Geography News: 

Space still available for study abroad opportunity
ItalyFor the first time, students planning to take Concepts of Science have an opportunity to combine the class with a study-abroad experience. Students interested in taking the class in the summer of 2012 will have an option to take classes in Auburn from June 25 through July 3, in preparation for studying in Italy for the remainder of the course from July 7 through 21. The Italian portion of the class will be held at the Coldigioco Geological Observatory, or CGO, which is an independent center for research and education in science, art and cuisine. Located in the tiny hilltop village of Coldigioco in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy, CGO consists of sleeping, eating and living facilities, science labs, art studios, kitchens, and a small fleet of vehicles. Space is still available and the application deadline is Mar. 30, 2012. For more information, contact Program Director David King at kingdat@auburn.edu or click HERE.


Mathematics & Statistics News:

COSAM student awarded Actuarial Foundation Scholarship
McMeenThe Actuarial Foundation awarded Auburn University student Bryan McMeen the foundation’s John Culver Wooddy Scholarship. McMeen joins 13 other students recognized with this prestigious scholarship.
The John Culver Wooddy Scholarship is awarded annually to college seniors who have successfully completed at least one actuarial examination, rank in the top quartile of their class and are nominated by a professor at their school. Each year, selected students receive $2,000 scholarships, established by the estate of John Culver Wooddy, a distinguished actuary who set aside funds to provide scholarships to actuarial students.
The Actuarial Foundation’s mission is to develop, fund and execute education, scholarship and research programs that serve the public and the profession by harnessing the talents and resources of actuaries. For more information about this scholarship and other initiatives and activities of The Actuarial Foundation, visit www.ActuarialFoundation.org.


Hands-on math exhibit on display
Interactive MathematicsIndustrial design students in a third-year product design studio exhibited their final projects in the form of interactive, hands-on displays that represented mathematical  equations. The exhibit took place on Wednesday, Nov.16, in the Student Center. The project is an ongoing collaboration between the Department of Industrial and Graphic Design in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Working under the direction of Ben Puffer from industrial design and Professor András Bezdek (pictured left) from mathematics, students have created models of equations that introduce complex principles and their practical implications for everyday life.
The COSAM Leadership Council members had an opportunity to visit the interactive, hands-on mathematics displays at the recent fall council meeting. 



Physics News:

AubieSat-1 assigned an OSCAR number
AubieSat-1Following the successful launch of AubieSat-1, Auburn's student-built satellite, OSCAR Number Administrator, Bill Tynan, W3XO, assigned an OSCAR number to the satellite. AubieSat-1 has been designated AubieSat Oscar 71 or AO-71. To read the full story, click HERE. Congratulations AubieSat-1 team!

Alumni Highlights:

 Contact us!
Alumni HighlightsWe want to hear from you! Please email news on promotions, research, graduations, honors and awards, new jobs, marriage, children, and anything else that's new in your life to ceh0012@auburn.edu. Please include a photo.


Alumnus named Veteran of the Year
Barry BoothDr. Barry Booth, pre-dentistry '62, a Vietnam veteran who has helped lead the Honor Flight South Alabama mission, was named Fairhope, Alabama’s Veteran of the Year for 2011. Mayor Tim Kant presented Booth with a key to the city, and reminisced about Honor Flight meetings at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. To read the full story that appeared in the Mobile
Press Register, click HERE. Photo courtesy of the Mobile Press register.


COSAM alumnus wins Walter Gilbert Award
Reed MontagueFormer Auburn track and field standout Read Montague, mathematics ’83, was presented the 2011 Walter Gilbert Award at halftime of the Tigers' game against Ole Miss at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Walter Gilbert Award is given annually to former Auburn athletes who have distinguished themselves through achievements after graduation from Auburn. The award is given in memory of the Tigers' three-time All-American center, Walter Gilbert, who later became vice president of Texaco's European Oil Operations. To read the full story, click HERE. Photo by Todd Van Emst.


COSAM alumnus is a candidate for Rhodes Scholarship
COSAM LogoDan Mazzaferro, a graduate student in the College of Business and a 2010 COSAM Honors graduate in c
hemistry, was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Mazzaferro was recently presented with the Cliff Hare Award, the highest honor that a male student-athlete can receive at Auburn. Mazzaferro was the 2011 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Award winner, which is the top male scholar-athlete of the year in the Conference, and a recipient of the President's Medal for COSAM. A four-time Academic All American, Mazzaferro spent four years as a diver on the Auburn University Swimming and Diving Team. This is the third consecutive year that an Auburn University student has been invited to interview for the Rhodes Scholarship. To read the full story, click HERE.


COSAM alumnus produces award-winning CD
Jeff WarrenCOSAM alumnus Jeffrey Warren received his master’s degree in geology from Auburn University in 2003. He went on to get his doctorate in geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently serves as the senior advisor to the President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate and handles energy, environmental and regulatory affairs policy. But on the side, Warren writes and produces kid’s music. Most recently, he released an album called Synonym Toast that features music that falls into a category commonly referred to as “Kindie Rock.”
“The music has two levels of humor,” explained Warren, “one for parents and one for kids.”
Synonym Toast has been honored with several awards including the Parent’s Choice Award, The Kid’s Music Award – Best Album, Creative Child Magazine - Preferred Choice Award, and School Library Journal - Starred Review.
CD Cover“I have played piano and keyboard since the first grade, but took a hiatus from music when I got to Auburn and pursued my master’s degree. I put music on hiatus even further when I was working on my Ph.D. at Carolina,” said Warren. “When my first child was born, I started looking for music that I liked for him that wouldn’t make me rip my ears off. I started writing my own songs and the album eventually developed.”
Warren has two children, a son who is 5 and a daughter who is 3. For information about his CD, including instructions on how to order, visit the website at the following link: www.jeffwarrenmusic.com/.
Photo of Warren by Cari Long. CD cover image by Warren Media, LLC.


Arboretum News:

Get your 2012 Arboretum calendar
Calendar CoverThe 2012 Donald E. Davis Arboretum calendars are now available for purchase. Calendars are $8 and feature winners of the 2011 Arboretum photo contest. To reserve your calendar, please contact the Arboretum at 334.844.5770 or send an email to arbinfo@auburn.edu.


  Development News:

Kings establish COSAM scholarship
King FamilyDrs. William G. King, Jr., pre-dentistry ’73, William G. King, III, zoology/entomology ’01, and R. Parrish King, biomedical sciences ’03, established the King Family Endowed Scholarship Award in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. After graduating from Auburn University, all three attended the University of Alabama School of Dentistry. Additionally, William King, III, completed a general dentistry residency with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Birmingham, Ala., and Parrish King completed a surgical implant residency at the University of Florida College of Medicine - Jacksonville. Currently, they are all pursuing successful careers in the field of dentistry, a path that has become a family tradition.
“My dad was a dentist in Andalusia (Ala.), and practiced from ’76 to ’95. My oldest son, Will, is a dentist in Auburn and my youngest son, Parrish, practices dentistry in Andalusia with me,” said William King, Jr. “The three of us are all Auburn graduates, and we thought it would be a good idea to establish a legacy in the form of the King Family Endowed Scholarship.”
The King family hopes the scholarship will benefit a student from Andalusia who is majoring in biomedical sciences with a focus in pre-dentistry.
“We see the scholarship as an opportunity to financially help a pre-dental student at Auburn. We don’t always find an exact match, but any student in the medical or dental field would be great,” said William King, Jr. “Establishing a scholarship right now carries with it a tremendous advantage since the minimum financial requirements have been lowered. We hope that through the years the King Family Scholarship will help a lot of students.”
For more information aout the Spirit of Auburn scholarship opportunity, contact the COSAM Office of Development at 334.844.2931.



Diversity News:

Dream of Becoming a Physician Presentation
MylesHattie M. Myles, Ph.D., assistant dean for Education Enrichment and Student Affairs at the University of South Alabama, visited COSAM on Nov. 3, 2011. Myles joined the University of South Alabama in 1992 and has been an integral investigator for the Pipeline Program at the Center for Healthy Communities, as well as principal investigator for the Summer Research Apprenticeship Program grant and the Health Careers Opportunity Program grant. Her interest in presentations and publications cover health care career opportunities for students, and especially minority students.
Myles' presentation included learning more about making your dream of becoming a physician a reality. She provided insight into the road to medical school as a minority student and discussed options such as the  Biomedical Enrichment and Recruitment (BEAR) Program (renamed the Diversity Recruitment and Enrichment for Admission into Medicine [DREAM] Program) at the University of South Alabama. This program provides students with the opportunity to complete two consecutive summers prior to junior and senior years and gain acceptance into medical school at the University of South Alabama or the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Two notable Summer Bridge alums participated in the BEAR Program, Dr. TaShawna Thomas Stokes and Dr. Regan Robinson Young. Students engaged in a question-and-answer session after the presentation and networked over refreshments.


Outreach News:

BEST Robotics Regional Championship coming in December
BEST CompetitionBEST, or Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology, is one of the nation’s premier K-12 workforce development activities. A middle- and high-school robotics competition, BEST engages and excites students about engineering, science and technology, with the goal of inspiring them to pursue careers in these fields.
Through participation in this project-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program, students learn to analyze and solve problems, thus helping them to develop the technological literacy skills that industry seeks in its workforce.
In fall 2011, more than 15,000 students, 4,000 volunteers and 850 schools are participating in BEST Robotics, whose national headquarters is based at Auburn University.
This year’s competition began in September when teams received their kits of standardized parts and were given the details of this year's game, “Total Recall.” The objective of Total Recall is to design a robot that can successfully process and package a manufactured product while ensuring the highest standards of quality.
Participating BEST teams had six weeks to design and build their robots for the first round of local competitions. They could also test their marketing skills using presentations, notebooks, displays, t-shirt designs and spirit. 
On Saturday, Dec. 3, Auburn University will host the 2011 South’s BEST Robotics Regional Championship from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Auburn Arena. The event is sponsored by COSAM and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
The event is free and open to the public, and spectators will enjoy a day full of sports-like enthusiasm, complete with cheerleaders, bands and lots of yelling and screaming, as the top 51 middle- and high-school teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Tennessee compete to see who can build and market the best robot.
In addition to the head-to-head robotics competition on side-by-side gaming fields, teams will also set up creative and fun displays, and a game set designed by students in Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
A complete event schedule is available at the following link: www.southsbest.org. On Dec. 3, a live stream of the event, final results and photos will also be posted to this site.



Student Services News: 

Dates to Remember
GraduationClasses end on Friday, Dec. 2. Final Exams are Dec. 5 - 9, and the fall semester commencement will take place on Monday, Dec. 12, at the Auburn Arena. There will be two graduation ceremonies. COSAM’s ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. For more information on graduation, click HERE. Spring semester will begin on Monday, Jan. 9.



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Last updated: 05/09/2017