Student achievement:

Basketball player recognized for on and off the court success
Blanche Alverson, a junior in biomedical sciences, fourth-generation Auburn student, and member of the Auburn University women's basketball team, was featured in the Auburn Plainsman for her accomplishments both on and off the court. To read the full story, click HERE. (Photo by Todd Van Emst)

CMB program holds Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars Colloquium
Auburn University Cellular and Molecular Biosciences program held the Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars Colloquium on July 26. Presenting at the colloquium were five students, each of whom spent the summer working with a mentor performing research. The presenters were: Ian Justement, mentored by associate professor Suresh Mathews, who gave a talk titled, “Serine Phosphorylation of Fetuin-A: A Requirement for Inhibition of Insulin Receptor Function?”; Jordan Suh, mentored by associate professor Douglas Goodwin, who gave a talk titled, “Using Cysteine Substitutions to Investigate the Unique Structural Features of KatG”; Paul Bergen, mentored by assistant professor Mark Liles, who gave a talk titled, “Investigating the Genetic Determinants and Biochemical Structure of a Novel Antibiotic Produced by a metagenomic Clone”; Charles Fryberger, mentored by associate professor Michael Squillacote, who gave a talk titled, “The Synthesis of Asymmetrical Dienes as Models of the Chromophore of the Visual System, Retinal”; and Miriam Ojima, mentored by associate professor Anthony Moss, who gave a talk titled, “Analysis of geotactic responses to variation in dissolved oxygen by the comb jelly, Mnemiopsis leidyi.”

Biological Sciences student wins Distinguished Dissertation Award
In the Fall of 2009, the Graduate School announced that it would recognize the achievements of outstanding doctoral students by creating the Auburn University Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Awards. For 2011, nominations were solicited from the colleges and schools in two categories: Biological/Life Sciences and Humanities/Fine Arts. Two awards committees, made up of graduate faculty members with established records in these disciplinary areas, reviewed nominations and selected four winners, three from Biological/Life Sciences and one from Humanities/Fine Arts. Among the winners in the Biological/Life Sciences division is biological sciences graduate student Larissa C. Parsley for her dissertation titled “Discovery and Characterization of Novel Antibiotic Synthesis and Resistence Determinants from Diverse Microbial Metagenomes.” Parsley's advisor is Associate Professor Mark R. Liles.

Two Physics students receive university research fellowship
Physics sophomores Patrick Donnan and Joe Denison have been awarded a one-year Auburn University Undergraduate Research Fellowship, beginning in summer 2011.  Patrick Donnan will be mentored by Physics Professor Francis Robicheaux on projects related to anti-hydrogen trapping.  Joe Denison will be mentored by Physics Professor J. D. Perez on a project for the TWINS satellite science team.

COSAM students successful at the ninth annual Undergraduate Research Forum
Open to all academic disciplines at Auburn University, of the 46 students who participated in the ninth annual Undergraduate Research Forum, 19 were from COSAM. Students were required to present their research either in a poster session or in a podium presentation. Winners were announced at the awards ceremony and included the following COSAM students: Outstanding Research Presentation Award, Cellular & Molecular Biosciences, first place, Jessica Makofske, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Outstanding Research Presentation Award, Competitive Undergraduate Research Fellowship, second place, Andrew Kiene, Physics; and William R. Gwin, Jr. Outstanding Research Presentation Award, University Honors College, second place, Erika Bisgaard, Microbiology. COSAM's Associate Professor of Chemistry Michael Squillacote was also honored during the ceremony with the 2011 Provost's Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship.

Winners of a 2011-2012 Undergraduate Research fellowship announced
COSAM's associate dean for Research, Chris Rodger, announced the winners of the 2011-2012 COSAM Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The selection committee for this competitive fellowship reviewed several factors including GPA, long-term goals, previous honors, awards and activities, letters of recommendation, and area of research interest. The winners are: Brandon Bakr, Mathematics and Statistics; James Barnett, Biomedical Sciences; Joseph Denison, Physics; and Kiley Seitz, Biological Sciences.

Science poster presentation award
Md. Alam in the Department of Geology and Geography received third place in the Science Poster Presentations during the 2011 Graduate Scholars Symposium.

Graduate students wins Outstanding Doctoral Student award
Chemistry graduate student Sambasivarao Somisetti was selected by the Graduate Council as one of 10 Outstanding Doctoral students for the 2010-2011 academic year and was honored at the Graduate Awards Ceremony on April 21.

Chemistry student wins graduate fellowship
Dana Lashley
, a graduate student in the research group of Chemistry Professor Stewart Schneller, received a Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey Annual Graduate Fellowship for Women in Science for the 2011-2012 academic year.

2011 Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Student Award winners
The Department of Biological Sciences announced the recipients of the 2011 Graduate Student Awards. Winners are: Kenneth Ottis Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, Kevin Kocot; Biological Sciences' Departmental Service Award, David Weese; and Biological Sciences' Outstanding GTA Awards, Dorothy Cheruiyot and Maria Mazzillo.

2011 SGA Outstanding Student award
The Auburn University Graduate School selected Department of Biological Sciences master's student Jessica Stephens as the recipient of the 2011 SGA Outstanding Student Award. Stephens was chosen by the college faculty and Dean of the Graduate School, George Flowers, for her exemplary performance in university, college and school activities, community service, leadership, and career potential. Stephens was recognized at the 2011 SGA Honors Ceremony on Monday April 11. Stephens is a member of Professor Debbie Folkert's lab as well as the Molette Biology Laboratory for Environmental and Climate Change Studies. More on her research interests can be found at this link:

2011 Honors Convocation recognized achievement
COSAM held its yearly Honors Convocation on April 15, 2011. Students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement during the 2010-2011 school year. Interim Dean Charles Savrda also congratulated several COSAM students for exceptional performance including the following:
2011 COSAM Dean's Medalists: Brianna Dailey, Biological Sciences; Zachary C. DeVries, Biological Sciences; Cameron A. Welch, Biological Sciences; G. Joseph Coffman, Jr., Biomedical Sciences; Rebecca L. Williams, Biomedical Sciences; Audrey S. Duke, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Mike G. Natter, Geology and Geography; Joseph H. Peake, Mathematics and Statistics; and Robert A. Jefferson, Physics.
Outstanding COSAM Graduate Teaching Assistant: Kira A. Armacost, Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Julie F. Rogers, Mathematics and Statistics.

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Last updated: 09/13/2011