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February 2014 - 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!

Featured News:

Auburn University senior named Gates Cambridge Scholarship finalist - Click HERE for more
Exploring Costa Rica: Auburn students study in one of the world’s most lush and adventure-filled locations - Click HERE for more
Landers published in the journal Nature for groundbreaking discovery - Click HERE for more
Leadership Council Member Spotlight: Katherine Seley-Radtke - Click HERE for more
Robotics Academy registration opens March 3 - Click HERE for more
Hames speaks out about teaching Chris Davis and the standing ovation in his classroom - Click HERE for more
Other News:


A message from the dean:
GiordanoThank you for "opening" this edition of e-Journey. Like many students and faculty, I am just beginning to catch my breath after a very busy — and very eventful — fall semester. I arrived at Auburn University in August, so I feel a little like a freshman student! There are so many interesting things to do and learn about that it has been quite a whirlwind of activity. As Dean, I have the special pleasure of learning about all the wonderful things our students, staff and faculty are doing, and some of this news is described in this edition of e-Journey.
We have many outstanding undergraduate students, and I recently got to meet one of them, Mary-Catherine Anderson. This fall she will attend graduate school at the University of Cambridge in England, studying biological anthropology. Mary-Catherine is also a finalist for a prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship; if chosen, she would be one of just 40 scholarship recipients nationwide.
The work of some of our alumni is also featured in this newsletter. Katherine Seley-Radtke's career as a teacher, researcher and science advisor to the government is quite impressive and an inspiration to us all.
And of course, our faculty continue to have national and international impact. Auburn University is a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies, a consortium of more than 60 universities dedicated to the study of tropical biology. A number of our students and faculty from the Department of Biological Sciences have recently visited, studied and conducted research at OTS sites in Costa Rica, and Professor Jason Bond is Auburn University's new delegate to the organization.
I hope you enjoy this latest newsletter from COSAM. Please send us your comments, and let us know about the great things you are doing too.
War Eagle!
Nicholas Giordano, Dean
College of Sciences and Mathematics

Auburn University senior named Gates Cambridge Scholarship finalist
Mary-Catherine AndersonAuburn University senior Mary-Catherine Anderson of Huntsville has been named a finalist for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to do post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Anderson, a senior in cellular and microbial biology in Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics, has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and has conducted research under the direction of Mike Squillacote, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. She will graduate in May and, if awarded the scholarship, will pursue a master’s degree at Cambridge in biological anthropology with a focus on human development and epidemiology.
For more information, click here.

Biological Sciences News:

Auburn and Florida State team up off the field for research into the “Holy Grail” of minnow mysteries – reconstructing the evolutionary tree
minnowAuburn University scientists have teamed up with researchers from Florida State University in an attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of minnows and their relatives, a group of fishes that represents approximately 4,000 species worldwide. According to Jonathan Armbruster, professor of biological sciences and curator of fishes for the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, constructing the phylogenetic tree, or evolutionary tree, of minnows presents a huge challenge, and it wasn't until recently, with the advent of advanced genomic sequencing techniques, that researchers were able to begin scratching the surface of such a daunting task. To read the full story, click here.

Auburn University offers students intensive study abroad and research opportunities in Costa Rica
otsAuburn students interested in an intensive study abroad program in one of the world’s most lush and adventure-filled locations can take advantage of the Organization for Tropical Studies, which owns and operates three biological field stations in Costa Rica: La Selva, Las Cruces and Palo Verde. OTS is a nonprofit consortium that includes 63 universities and research institutions from the U.S., Latin America and Australia. Auburn University is the only school in the state that is a member of OTS, and since joining the consortium in 1987, Auburn students have had access to educational, research and funding opportunities in Costa Rica that are not available to non-member institutions.
Nicole Garrison, a doctoral student in the Department of Biological Sciences, spent time in January at the OTS field station La Selva, participating in the two-week “Ecology and Evolution of Arachnids” course taught by her major professor, Jason Bond, Auburn University OTS delegate. To read the full story, click here.

Society for Conservation Biology takes trip to Birmingham Zoo for behind-the-scenes tour
SCB ZooOn Feb. 1, the Society for Conservation Biology visited the Birmingham Zoo. The zoo’s vice president for animal care and conservation, Dr. Clay Hilton, a veterinarian who graduated from Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, arranged for 21 SCB members to go behind the scenes at the zoo. Hilton also received a bachelor of science in forestry and wildlife science in 1988 and a master’s in zoology and entomology in 1994, both from Auburn. The students began their tour at the Trails of Africa elephant exhibit where they met zoo staff and talked with the keeper crew as they gave one of the elephants a bath. Students also received a behind-the-scenes look at the sea lion exhibit, where they watched a keeper training an animal; the primate exhibit, where zoo employee Tyler Eads, zoology ’09, gave the group a tour of the facility; and the carnivore exhibit, where students observed zookeepers working with a pair of lions. Throughout the visit, students were able to ask the zoo professionals questions about their work and the animals. For more information on the Society for Conservation Biology, like them on Facebook.

Chemistry & Biochemistry News:

Oversight of Research Electronics Support Facility transferred to Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
brounAs of Jan. 1, all administrative oversight of the Research Electronics Support Facility, located in Broun Hall, was transferred to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Office of the Vice President for Research will continue to provide limited support for the RESF, which provides services on electronic-instrument design and technical support for the Auburn University campus. RESF services will remain available to support instrumentation and electronics equipment for research and teaching. Despite the transfer, no changes are proposed to the scope of the facility's mission, its fee structure, staffing or location. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the RESF are committed to providing high-quality support for all analytical instrumentation. For more information, visit the website.

Milestone for Mass Spectrometry Laboratory: Sample Number 3000
mass spectrometryOn Jan. 17, Yonnie Wu, director of the Mass Spectrometry Center, accepted the center’s three-thousandth sample, which was submitted by a graduate student, Nicholas Klann, a member of professor Anne Gorden’s research group. The Mass Spectrometry Center provides analytical services that involve mass spectrometric techniques through the performance, interpretation, design and optimization of experiments upon request. For more information, visit the website.

Geology & Geography News:

Hames speaks out about teaching Chris Davis and the standing ovation in his classroom
hamesOver the past 20 years, Willis Hames, a professor in Auburn University’s Department of Geology and Geography, has seen his fair share of student athletes in his classroom. He teaches Physical Geology, a large, auditorium-style science class which fills up quickly because it’s open to students from diverse academic curriculums. Last semester, one of his students was Auburn University football star and instant legend, Chris Davis. It was Hames’ class that erupted in a spontaneous standing ovation in honor of Davis on Dec. 2, the Monday following the Iron Bowl; a game which ended with Davis returning Alabama’s missed field goal for a touchdown, bringing Auburn the victory.
Hames recalls the standing ovation and notes there was a feeling of the extraordinary in the air, even before Davis walked into the classroom.
To read his account, click here.

Mathematics & Statistics News:

Conference to be held in memory of Ullery
UlleryThe 2014 Southern Regional Algebra Conference will be held in memory of a former faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, William Ullery, who died on Jan. 1, 2012. Born in 1954 in Washington, D.C., Ullery was raised in Connecticut, Florida and Tucson, Arizona, where he graduated from Sahuaro High School. He was a graduate of Harvard University and received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona. He held teaching positions at the University of Arizona and the University of Kansas prior to joining the faculty at Auburn in 1987. He was a professor and researcher at Auburn, where he was still a faculty member at the time of his death. Prior to the illness that took his life, he was an avid athlete. He was on his high school swimming and basketball teams, participated on the Harvard Crew team, was an enthusiastic member of a running group at the University of Kansas, and ran marathons and played softball as an adult. For more information on the upcoming conference, click here.

Auburn hosts MAA state dinner
MMA State DinnerOn Friday, Feb. 7, the Mathematical Association of America Alabama State dinner was held at Auburn University in the Student Center. The dinner included a social, buffet and a keynote address given by the MAA Southeastern Section Lecturer, Harold Reiter, professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The local organizer for the event was Andras Bezdek, C. Harry Knowles Professor of Mathematics at Auburn.  Pictured, from left: T.Y. Tam, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Andras Bezdek, and Harold Reiter.

Auburn hosts 64th annual meeting of Alabama Association of College Teachers of Mathematics
math teacher's conferenceThe 64th annual meeting of the Alabama Association of College Teachers of Mathematics took place on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Auburn University. The meeting was open to anyone who teaches mathematics in a university, college or junior college in Alabama, as well as students with an interest in teaching mathematics. The meeting featured 18 different experts who gave talks, presentations and/or panel discussions on a variety of subjects. Professor Michel Smith (pictured) was the Lewis-Parker lecturer for the meeting. For more information, visit the website.

Tam gives plenary talk at the 2013 Shanghai International Conference on Matrix Analysis and Applications
tamT.Y. Tam, chair and Lloyd and Sandra Nix Endowed Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was invited to give a plenary talk at the 2013 Shanghai International Conference on Matrix Analysis and Applications. The conference was held in December at Shanghai University, China. The international conference aims to stimulate research and interaction of mathematicians and scientists in all aspects of linear algebra and matrix analysis and their applications, and to provide an opportunity for researchers to exchange ideas and recent developments on the subjects. For more information on the conference, visit the website.

Hoffman to give keynote address at 8th annual MathFest
hoffmanDean Hoffman, professor of mathematics, will give the keynote address at the 8th Annual Troy MathFest at Troy University in Montgomery, in March. The focus of the annual conference is to give undergraduate students a forum to share their research and projects. Students throughout the Southeast are invited to attend the conference to present in areas of mathematics, mathematics education, history of mathematics, and applications of mathematics. For more information on the conference, visit the website.

Blumenthal and Fain named recipients of Andrew C. Connor Memorial Award
Memorial AwardUndergraduates Adam Blumenthal (right) and Bradley Fain (left) were selected to be the recipients of the 2013 Andrew C. Connor Memorial Award. All undergraduate students enrolled in mathematics classes are eligible for the award. Each year, a selection committee chooses a student or students who are considered the most creative undergraduate students enrolled in mathematics classes. The award carries with it $50 and a plaque. The 2013 Andrew C. Connor Memorial Award Selection Committee consisted of Department of Mathematics and Statistics faculty members Dmitry Glotov, Narendra Govil and Greg Harris.

Zalik to give plenary lecture in India
ZalikProfessor Richard Zalik has been invited to deliver a plenary lecture at the International Workshop on Wavelets, Frames and Applications, at Kirori Mal College in New Delhi, India this December. Zalik’s specific areas of interest are applied harmonic analysis, applied mathematics and approximation theory. For more information on the conference, click here.

Han to give talk at international conference in China
hanProfessor Yongsheng Han has been invited to give a talk in June at the international conference Harmonic Analysis and Applications, which will be held at Chern Institute of Mathematics at Nankai University in China. The Chern Institute of Mathematics is an open research institution. Its goal is to push forward the development of pure and applied mathematics, to promote the mathematical research in China, and to improve communication between mathematicians.

Govil invited as plenary speaker at symposium in Romania
govilNarendra Govil, Alumni Professor, associate chair and undergraduate program officer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was invited to be a plenary speaker at the 10th International Symposium of Geometric Function Theory and Applications in August in Baile Felix Spa in Romania at the President Hotel. The symposium will focus on research related to Complex Analysis in One and Several Variables, Theory of Functions, Geometric and Univalent Functions and aims to feature the most recent research done in these areas. For more information, visit the conference website.

Shen named Outstanding Teacher of Graduate Students
shenProfessor Wenxian Shen is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Teacher of Graduate Students Award, given by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The award recognizes outstanding graduate level instruction in the department, and she will be awarded a plaque at the end-of-the-year departmental meeting in December. Shen was selected for the award by a committee that is composed of the graduate students in the department.

Han gives plenary talk at workshop in Germany
hanXiaoying Han, associate professor and instruction director for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, gave a plenary talk in January at the International Workshop on Infinite Dimensional Stochastic Systems in Wittenberg, Germany. The program consisted of invited talks and posters in the following: stochastic analysis in Banach spaces; optimal control of infinitely dimensional systems; SPDEs with fractal and Lévy noise; random dynamical systems; and applications of infinite dimensional stochastic systems in natural sciences and finance. For more information on the workshop, click here.

Physics News:

Webinar features research of Sarit Dhar on silicon carbine
dharAssistant professor Sarit Dhar presented his research on “Silicon Carbide Electronics: The Silent Revolution,” for a series of webinars sponsored by the Research and Industrial Relations Committee of the Auburn Research Advisory Board. This was the seventh in a series of webinars featuring research of Auburn University faculty. For more information on the Auburn Research Advisory Board, click here.

Auburn researchers present recent results at Plasma Physics conference
plasma physicsA group of 22 faculty and students from the Department of Physics attended the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics in Denver, Colo. The APS-DPP is the largest annual meeting of plasma physics researchers in the U.S. and is one of the premier plasma physics meetings in the world.  Auburn researchers contributed presentations in areas ranging across magnetically confined plasmas, laboratory and dusty plasmas, and space plasmas. At the meeting, post-doctoral researcher Matthew ArchMiller gave an invited talk on recent results from Auburn’s Compact Toroidal Hybrid Experiment; Professor Edward Thomas chaired a contributed talk session on Dusty Plasmas; and Assistant Professor David Ennis chaired an oral session on Spherical Tokamak Physics.
“While attending the APS-DPP meeting, I found it particularly motivating to recognize the growing impact of Auburn’s research program on the greater plasma physics community,” said Ennis.
In total, seven faculty, two post-doctoral researchers, 10 graduate students, and three undergraduate students attended the APS-DPP meeting and gave presentations on research conducted at Auburn University. For more information on plasma physics at Auburn, visit the Auburn University Plasma Sciences Laboratory website.

Landers published in the journal Nature for groundbreaking discovery
LandersAllen Landers, Howard Carr Professor of physics, is one of the group leaders of an international collaboration that conducts atomic and molecular physics research at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The group studies fundamental interactions of individual photons with atoms and molecules, measuring the quantum mechanical processes that occur as electrons rearrange themselves.
The collaboration recently made a new discovery showing direct evidence for a process in which neighboring atoms can exchange energy in such a way that low energy electrons are produced. The entire electronic process takes place over approximately 20 femtoseconds. According to Landers, it has been previously shown that low energy electrons are a critical contributor to DNA strand breaking when tissues are damaged by ionizing radiation. As a result, this latest research by the group could have major implications for cancer patients, leading to targeted radiation therapy.
The results of the research were published in the journal Nature, and the title of the article is, “Resonant Auger decay driving intermolecular Coulombic decay in molecular dimers.” To read the article, click here.
The international group of scientists have been working together for approximately 15 years and consists of scientists from: Auburn University; University of Frankfurt, Germany; Kansas State University; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Over the period of the collaboration, the team has studied a wide array of phenomena and has published a number of articles in the journals Science, Nature, and Physical Review Letters, in addition to articles in subject-specific journals.

Alumni News:

Lamb develops teaching kit to be distributed worldwide
Neil Lamb
Dr. Neil Lamb, Molecular Biology ’92, vice president of education outreach for HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, assembled a team of scientists, master teachers and assessment specialists to create kits that will be distributed in classrooms worldwide to assist in teaching genetics. The project was developed with the help of a northeast Alabama sock company, Creswell Socks Mill, which developed specialty socks that help teachers explain chromosomes by building on a simple analogy: Chromosomes are like socks. They both come in pairs. The kits will be sold by Carolina Biological Supply Company, which purchased the rights to make and market the kits with royalties going back to HudsonAlpha.
Lamb said the kits are designed to teach students “how chromosomes move as cells divide and replicate their DNA,” and teachers “can understand immediately if students are understanding this properly by looking at how students have arranged socks on the table.”
This is not the first such kit development that Lamb has overseen. Others include Disorder Detectives and Genes & ConSEQUENCES . For more information, click here to see the full story that ran on Al.com.

Das receives Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching
Kumar DasKumer Pial Das, an associate professor of mathematics at Lamar University in Texas who received his doctorate in mathematics from Auburn University in 2005, is one of three people from the U.S. and Canada to receive the 2013 Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member. In 2003, the MAA established the Henry L. Alder Award to honor beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms. An awardee must have taught full time in a mathematical science in the United States or Canada for at least two, but not more than seven years since receiving a doctorate. Each year no more than three college or university teachers are honored with the national award and receive $1,000 and a certificate of recognition from MAA. Award recipients are expected to make a presentation at one of the national meetings of MAA. For more information on the award, click here. For more information on Das, visit his website.

El-Zanati named Distinguished Professor
Saad El-ZanatiSaad El-Zanati, who received his doctorate in mathematics in 1991 from Auburn University under the direction of Professor Chris Rodger, Don Logan Endowed Chair and associate dean for research in COSAM, was recently named Distinguished Professor at Illinois State University. According to the news release, Illinois State University honors faculty with the Distinguished Professor designation when they have demonstrated to the broader community that excellence is the foundation of the university. Since beginning his tenure at Illinois State, El-Zanati has connected educators with research opportunities, and his work has been instrumental in creating avenues for math teachers and teacher candidates to pursue research and mathematical theory, enriching the field as well as the classroom. For more information, see the full release here.

Ledbetter’s honey dubbed best in the state
LedbetterSusan Ledbetter, botany/microbiology ’80, is a beekeeper in Waverly, Ala., and for the second year in a row, her honey was named best in the state by the Alabama Beekeeper’s Association. In a story published by the Opelika-Auburn News, Ledbetter said she started beekeeping when she was a student at Auburn University, and during the course of the last 30-plus years, she has witnessed a steep decline in bee populations due to Varroa mites and the ensuing diseases that bees have become susceptible to. Despite the steep decline in bee populations, Ledbetter manages to maintain six hives on her property, and in addition to honey, she makes hand creams and lip balms.
“Bees actually make five different products along with honey,” Ledbetter said. “They’re all delicious, nutritious and medicinal too. I personally consider all of life phenomenal, but only honey bees and humans are super phenomenal.”
Click here to read the full story.

Varagona wins fifth Alabama Chess Championship
varagonaScott Varagona, who received his doctorate in mathematics from Auburn in 2012, won his fifth Alabama Chess Championship last September. He competed against 65 players and scored a 5.5 out of 6 rounds. Varagona is an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Montevallo. He is a native of Birmingham, and has played tournament chess since high school. In the year 2000, he represented Alabama in the national Denker Tournament of High School Champions. Varagona went on to become an Alabama State Chess Champion in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, and now 2013. Also, in 2012, he achieved the title of National Master. To read the full story that appeared on Al.com, click here.

Davis Arboretum News:

Arboretum to host “Plant Invaders From Another World,” an invasive plant cleanup and workshop
plant workshopJoin forces with fellow nature lovers and environmental stewards on Saturday, Feb. 22, for Plant Invaders from Another World, an invasive-plant cleanup event taking place at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum. The event is designed for those who are concerned about the impact of invasive plants on local habitats or would like to learn more about how to manage invasive plants. Participants should wear close-toed shoes or boots and bring work gloves. Tools will be provided, but participants may bring their own pruners. Plant Invaders from Another World will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Davis Arboretum Pavilion off Garden Drive and last until noon, and all participants will be treated to a free chili lunch. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested. To register, send an email to Dee Smith at drs0001@auburn.edu. The event is sponsored by the Davis Arboretum, Facilities Management, Parkerson Mill Creek Project, Office of Sustainability, Alabama Invasive Plant Council, Department of Horticulture and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. In the event of inclement weather, the alternate date is March 1. For more information, visit www.auburn.edu/arboretum.

Dee Smith is invited speaker for Campus Conversations
Campus ConversationsDee Smith, curator of the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, was invited by Auburn’s Office of Sustainability to give a presentation for a new program called, “Campus Conversations.”
Campus Conversations are offered by the Office of Sustainability to engage the community in conversations exploring issues related to sustainability. Smith's talk was titled, "Invasive Species: What they are, why they are bad, and what you can do about them." According to Smith, invasive species are a problem virtually everywhere, and no matter where we live and work we all can make a difference in reducing the impact of invasive species. For more information on the effects of non-native plants, contact the Davis Arboretum at 334.844.5737 or participate in the upcoming invasive plant cleanup and workshop on Feb. 22.

Development News:

Leadership Council Member Spotlight: Leadership SpotlightKatherine Seley-Radtke is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in organic chemistry and drug design. She is also one of the U.S. State Department’s Jefferson Science Fellows. A member of the COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council since 2010, Professor Seley-Radtke earned her doctorate in organic chemistry from Auburn University under the mentorship of Professor Stewart Schneller, former dean of COSAM. It was Schneller who asked Seley-Radtke to join the council in 2010.
“Early on I helped out every year with the annual COSAM golf tournament, so when Stew asked me to become involved with the advisory council years later, I didn't hesitate. It was a no-brainer to come back to Auburn to help out again,” said Seley-Radtke.
Following a non-traditional pathway to her career in science, Seley-Radtke enrolled in college at the age of 15, but left to marry when she was 18. She returned to academia in her late 30s to pursue her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and her doctorate from Auburn University, while at the same time maintaining a family with two daughters.
“I started attending college at the same time as high school and it just seemed fun. Of course it wasn't easy, but I think I thrive on challenges! I should stress – I never gave up on finishing – it was always something I knew I would ultimately accomplish, however when I met my first husband he was transferred out west and I was unable to go back to school right away. Then before, and again in between the births of my two daughters, I went back to school twice, each time chipping away at a little more of what I needed to get done to graduate,” said Seley-Radtke. “I finally went back full-time when the girls were in junior high and high school. I finished my undergraduate degree and then started on earning my Ph.D. degree. I subsequently joined Stew's (Schneller) research group, and when he and Aina (Schneller’s wife) decided to move to Auburn a few years later to become dean of COSAM, I never gave it a second thought – I knew I had to move to Auburn to finish. In addition, I ended up staying on to postdoc with Stew before FINALLY beginning my independent career at Georgia Tech!”
Seley-Radtke’s research, which has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health, involves drug discovery and development. Current projects are focused on the design and synthesis of: chemotherapeutic agents to treat infectious diseases and cancer; and biological probes to explore the structure and function of DNA. In addition to her research achievements, Professor Seley-Radtke has also worked closely with the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services on the U.S./Russian collaborative effort toward the nonproliferation of biological weapons. Related to this effort, Professor Seley-Radtke’s Jefferson Science Fellowship assignment at the U.S. Department of State was in the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. As part of this mission, she has continued her involvement in the ongoing nonproliferation and diplomatic efforts in Russia. She works closely with leading scientists, ministry officials, and the Russian Academies of Sciences and Medical Sciences on critical scientific issues including national security and bioweapons, as well as emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. To this end, she has been given a top security clearance. Professor Seley-Radtke will once again spend time at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow this summer as part of her ongoing commitment to the Jefferson program. 
Click here for more...

COSAM offers new opportunity to support the college’s young faculty scholars
young faculty scholarsThe College of Sciences and Mathematics makes great efforts to attract and retain early career faculty who show considerable promise as both instructors and researchers. Young faculty contribute to the vitality of the college as they bring new energy and enthusiasm to the campus. COSAM considers these faculty to be a rich investment in both the present and future of Auburn University.
Early career faculty face the daunting task of not only managing all the demands facing an instructor in the classroom, but also building a research program. Indeed, the decision to hire young faculty is based, in part, on a demonstrated promise for conducting exceptional creative, scholarly research.
The COSAM Young Faculty Scholars awards are designed to assist the research efforts of early career faculty. They are awarded to those who have already made outstanding contributions in their area of research and who demonstrate the potential for scholarly growth. These are five-year awards, with the recipient receiving financial support each year to be used to further their academic work. Recipients are nominated by their departments and selected by the dean in consultation with a committee of faculty with representation from each department. To be eligible, a faculty member must be either an associate or full professor within five years of their most recent promotion.
Christopher Easley, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who is also the C. Harry Knowles Endowed Professor for Research Leadership in Physical Science Instruction, said he is familiar with the struggles that young faculty face.
“Early career faculty in COSAM are some of the hardest working individuals on campus. At this stage in their careers, they are not only teaching courses, but they are spending much of their time and effort in developing their research programs,” said Easley. “The Young Faculty Scholars program provides a springboard to help these faculty obtain the critical experimental results that will help grow their research programs to the next level, toward national and international recognition and real-world impact. I am strongly supportive of this type of program.”
Friends of the college can support a COSAM Young Faculty Scholars award. This gift to COSAM carries with it a naming opportunity for donors, which is a unique way to establish a personal legacy of supporting the research mission of COSAM and Auburn University.
For more information about the COSAM Young Faculty Scholars Award, please contact:
Tammy Hartwell ’81
COSAM Office of Development
315 Roosevelt Concourse
Auburn University, AL 36849

Save the Date for COSAM’s Scholarship Golf Tournament and Marie Wooten Memorial Run
COSAM supporters should save the date for two fall events: the 20th Annual Dean’s Scholarship Golf Classic and the Marie Wooten Memorial Run.
golf tournamentThe 20th Annual Dean’s Scholarship Golf Classic will take place on Friday, Sept. 26, at Grand National in Opelika. Registration for the tournament is not officially open, but anyone who is interested in reserviong a playing spot may contact Brook Moates at brook@auburn.edu. Tournament details will be available soon.
wooten runThe 4th annual Marie Wooten Memorial Run is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, at 7:45 a.m. The event will begin at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum and raise money for the Marie W. Wooten Memorial Scholarship in COSAM. This year, in addition to a 1-mile walk and 5K, COSAM will host a 10K. Online registration will be available this summer and will be announced in future editions of e-Journey.
Proceeds from both events benefit COSAM student scholarships. To stay up to date on the latest COSAM events, be sure to like us on our Facebook page.

Outreach News:

Registration now open for COSAM’s February GUTS Science Event for first- through sixth-grade students
gutsGetting Under the Surface, or GUTS, is a monthly evening science program for first- through sixth-grade children and their parents or grandparents. Each GUTS session starts with a dessert snack followed by a 90-minute, hands-on science activity involving a “Getting Under the Surface” theme. The February GUTS program takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. February course offerings include “Rollercoaster Rally” for first- through third-grade students and “That’s the way the ball…” for fourth- through sixth-grade students. The cost to participate is $20 per parent/child pair. Register now here. For more information contact Erin Percival at 334.844.7449.

Registration now open for COSAM’s Science Matters Summer Enrichment Academy
ssiCOSAM is now registering children for Science Matters, a summer enrichment academy for rising first- through sixth-grade elementary students that offers youngsters a cross-curricular, age-appropriate science experience. The program allows participants to explore the world of science through real experiments, technology and art projects, electronic journaling, and hands-on, make-n’-take activities. During the action-packed program, children can participate in courses such as “Ticket to Travel,” “The Hunger Games,” “Hot Wired,” and many more. Parents can choose between the Regular Day option from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. daily or the Extended Day option from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Prices range from $170 - $240 per week, per child. The program will be held six times during the summer, with the first session beginning the last week of May and the final session beginning the week of July 28. Multiple-week discounts are available. Information and registration forms can be found here. Seating is limited and spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is May 2. For more information contact Kristen Bond at 334.844.5769 or kdb0022@auburn.edu.

Robotics Academy registration opens March 3
robotics academyThe four-day Robotics Academy at Auburn University is designed for rising seventh- through ninth-grade students interested in robotics. Working in teams, students engage in real-world engineering scenarios that culminate in a friendly competition on the last day of the academy. Students are introduced to the engineering design process and the importance of maintaining a scientific notebook and technical writing, as well as gain hands-on experience programming and building robots using VEX robotics kits. All aspects of the camp are applicable outside of the Robotics Academy: the engineering design process and engineering notebooks are a vital part of professional engineering; the programming portion teaches logic that is applicable to any other programming language; and the VEX robotics control system is used in other robotics competitions such as BEST Robotics. All necessary materials, including motors, gears, pulleys, wheels and axles, and microcontrollers are available for student use during the academy.
The academy will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and registration forms and full course descriptions will be available on Monday, March 3, at this link: www.auburn.edu/cosam/roboticsacademy. For more information contact Amy Mathis at ajm0046@auburn.edu 
or by phone at 334.844.7449.

Other University News:

VCOM Breaks Ground in Auburn
vcomThe Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, or VCOM, celebrated the groundbreaking for its new Auburn facility today, located at the Auburn Research Park in Auburn. The more than 90,000 sq. ft., four story, state-of-the-art building is situated on 15 acres and is adjacent to Auburn University. In 2012, VCOM, the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation and Auburn University signed a collaboration agreement to work together to establish the campus in Auburn, which is VCOM’s third campus. VCOM is applying for accreditation, and when approvals are complete, the college hopes to welcome its first 150 students in the fall of 2015.
VCOM is building the campus, which will hold collaborative research programs with Auburn University and programs for the current VCOM students training in hospitals within Alabama, until the branch campus is accredited. In addition, the facility will hold continuing medical education programs for the clinical faculty from Alabama and surrounding states. VCOM’s new academic facility in Auburn will have classrooms, small-group learning rooms, laboratories, and a technology center.  No state funds will be required for operations or construction, resulting in no cost to the state taxpayer. To read the full story, click here.


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