As the premier honor society for students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions, the Auburn chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta provides an opportunity for students to become educated about the doctoral and allied health professions, from the responsibilities and daily routine of various health care providers, to how to become a competitive applicant to professional schools. In addition, Alpha Epsilon Delta strives to promote a service-oriented atmosphere among its members and encourages students to engage in various community service and volunteer activities.
For COSAM Graduation Marshal Abigail Gauthier, a double major in biomedical sciences and Spanish, meeting the healthcare needs of the Hispanic population is both a goal and passion. “My mom immigrated to the United States from Columbia when she was a little girl, so a lot of my family is bilingual, so it’s very important to me to be formally trained in the Spanish language and to explore that part of my heritage,” said Gauthier. “My family integrated pretty quickly, but I want to help people who may be struggling more than they did. I think that immigrants face a really big challenge in a monolingual healthcare system, and I think it’s something that a lot of people don’t realize or don’t talk about, and it’s really important. It’s a need that I could help alleviate if I worked really hard. Just being able to communicate with someone in their native language is really important to help them feel more comfortable, and because trust is such a huge part of medicine, it is important to me to make them feel as comfortable as possible.”
“The strength of COSAM lies in its faculty and students,” said Dean Nicholas Giordano. “The Dean’s Research Awards are a celebration of the many outstanding achievements of this talented group.” For the 2016-2017 academic year, the following received Dean’s Research Awards: Jason Bond, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences; Edward Burress, doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences; Asanka Jayawardena, doctoral candidate in the Department of Physics; Phillip Pearson, master’s student in the Department of Biological Sciences; and Claire Zhang, undergraduate student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The dean also recognized Mark Liles, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, with the COSAM Young Faculty Scholar Award.
COSAM’s Director of Pre-Health Professions, Beverley Childress, received the 2017 Women of Distinction Administrative and Professional Staff Leadership Award, given by the Auburn University Women’s Center. The award honors outstanding female leaders in the Auburn community and recognizes Childress for her accomplishments, leadership, and the ways in which she serves as a role model for her colleagues and students.
Herron Taylor, junior in biomedical sciences, has received praise from Auburn fans across the nation for helping capture the man accused of setting fire to one of the Auburn Oaks following the Auburn and LSU football game on Sept. 24. Surveillance footage from Toomer’s Corner shows Taylor confronting the man, now identified as Jochen Wiest, after he allegedly set fire to toilet paper hanging from the Magnolia Avenue tree. “My boyfriend and I were posing in front of the tree for a picture while another person took a photo of us,” said Taylor. “Then my boyfriend said, ‘he just lit the tree on fire!’ So, I turned around and sure enough, there was a guy with a lighter in his hand and flames going up the tree. Then he just casually walked back to his group of friends standing around like nothing had happened.”
The 2016 entering class of the Rural Medicine Program were awarded their first clinical white coats as part of an initiation ceremony at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. The Rural Medicine Program is a pre-matriculation year at Auburn University for students who were raised in rural Alabama and will go on to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine following the year’s completion.
Quality faculty and staff allow the college to build upon the already-stellar reputation and strengths of a COSAM education. Our faculty and staff offer the intellectual capital upon which strong programs, innovative research, and student success are built. As we embark on a new academic year, the college would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of the COSAM family.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s graduate school program was listed as the No. 4 program in the country on the 2016 Top Chemistry Graduate Programs rankings that were recently released by GraduatePrograms.com. Each year the website publishes top graduate school rankings, which are compiled based on student and alumni feedback in areas such as quality of instruction, student diversity, campus safety, and earning potential.
Students in the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University are consistently accepted to medical school at a rate that is more than 30 percent higher than the national average. Additionally, acceptance rates of Auburn students to optometry and dental schools are at 85 to 100 percent almost every year. The reason for these long-standing statistics has much to do with Beverley Childress, pre-health professions director for the College of Sciences and Mathematics. For more than 19 years, Childress has mentored, guided and established programs for Auburn students who have a desire for a career in healthcare.
Austin Bush and Taylor Young represented the College of Sciences and Mathematics at the fall 2015 and spring 2016 commencement ceremonies, respectively. Student marshals are selected by an awards committee from each college. To be considered, students must have completed a minimum of four semesters at Auburn University with a scholastic average of 3.40 (graduating Cum Laude) or higher and possess qualities of leadership, citizenship, character and promise of professional ability.
COSAM recognized top students and faculty at the annual Honors Convocation, which took place on April 23 in the Auburn University Student Center Ballroom.
Wendy Hood, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is one of six faculty members from across the university to be selected as an Outstanding Graduate Mentor by the Graduate Student Council.
Auburn Professor Jonathan Armbruster is named the new director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. His term begins April 1. Armbruster joined Auburn in 1998 as an assistant professor. He was named an associate professor in 2003, and an alumni professor in 2007. He has served as curator of the museum’s fish collection where he has grown the collection from 25,000 jars to 65,000, obtained a specimen from every continent and developed online searching capabilities through a database system. His area of research involves the systematics, ecology and functional morphology of fishes, particularly suckermouth armored catfishes, or Loricariidae, the largest family of catfishes in the world, also known as plecos in the aquarium trade. He is also involved in survey work of several regions of South America including Guyana and Venezuela, and also works on local projects involving ecology, behavior and systematics of fishes. Recently, Armbruster has begun collaborative work in a worldwide project, “All Cypriniformes Species Inventory,” which facilitates taxonomic work on minnows. His lab is particularly interested in the barbs of Africa, and relationships of taxa worldwide. As part of this study, he has built a global database of minnow morphology, and will use the information to explore aspects of the evolution of cypriniform ecology and functional diversity. “I have been striving to make the collections at Auburn University into a museum since I arrived in 1998,” said Armbruster. “Now that Dr. (Jason) Bond has ushered us into a new building and upped our community presence, the question becomes what to do next. I hope to begin series of initiatives in teaching and outreach over the next couple of years to further cement the museum’s position in the Auburn University community and beyond.” Armbruster received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois. Before his time at Auburn, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Throughout his career, Armbruster has secured a number of research grants from the National Science Foundation, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and National Geographic, among many others. Aside from his extensive research, Armbruster has instructed many undergraduate and graduate-level courses including comparative anatomy, evolution and systematics, and systematic ichthyology. Armbruster has guided many graduate students to make new discoveries and publish their own work. Armbruster has given a number of lectures, received numerous awards for teaching and research, participated in many outreach events and has authored dozens of publications. He garnered international media attention in 2015 after naming a previously unknown species of catfish in honor of the Star Wars character, Greedo.
Stephanie Campbell, a double major in animal sciences and microbial, molecular and cellular biology, has been nominated for the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
Meredith Jones, advisor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, has been selected to receive the annual Auburn University Outstanding Advising Award - New Advisor Category.
With a National Science Foundation grant secured by Auburn University faculty, undergraduate students at Auburn will design, build and test two CubeSat satellites that will launch into space in 2018.
Jack Feminella, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, was appointed to succeed Vince Cammarata as COSAM's associate dean for academic affairs.
Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics is "flipping the classroom" as part of an innovative way to teach Auburn students through a newly constructed Engaged in Active Student Learning, or EASL, classroom. Working with the Office of the Provost, the college is leading Auburn's effort on the unusual design since all Auburn students must take core classes in the college prior to graduating. "In contrast to traditional classrooms where faculty teach 'at' students, often in stadium-style rooms, this room was designed to encourage teacher-student interactions, and student-student collaborations, two aspects which are known to lead to improved learning outcomes," said COSAM Dean Nicholas Giordano. "COSAM faculty spent many months preparing to use the EASL classroom as effectively as possible in their teaching, and the new space was ready to use at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester."
The National Academic Advising Association selected Anna Burchett for a 2015 Region 4: Excellence in Advising award. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students.
If Natasha Narayanan’s performance at the 2014 Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society is any indication of what lies ahead in her academic and professional career, she is headed toward a consummate future. Narayanan, a COSAM sophomore and Honors College student majoring in biochemistry, gave an oral presentation titled, “Streamlined Chemical Synthesis of Tricyclic Nucleic Acid Analogues for Antisense Technology” during the undergraduate symposium portion of the conference. In recognition of both her research and eloquence, Narayanan’s talk was selected as the best oral presentation in the organic chemistry division out of 60 total presenters.
COSAM’s Office of Student Services welcomed a new academic advisor this month, Meredith Jones ’12. She received an undergraduate degree from COSAM in biomedical sciences and then attended Clemson University where she received a master of education with a focus in counselor education. “While I was a student, I worked for COSAM as a peer advisor. That was when my career path began to take a major shift; no longer did a future in dentistry excite me, but working with students gave me a new perspective and caused me to begin researching graduate programs that focused on higher education and student affairs,” said Jones. “On the first day of graduate school, our professors told us that 'no one ever gets their dream job out of grad school.' I, however, did! I am so excited to return to The Plains and to be working for the office that sparked my interest in advising!” In addition to serving as a COSAM Peer Advisor while she was an undergraduate, Jones was also an orientation intern for COSAM, a role that positioned her to advise incoming students on academic-related matters, such as curriculum and course scheduling, as well as a COSAM Leader. The COSAM Leaders are a group of exemplary COSAM students who serve as the official ambassadors for the college.
The National Academic Advising Association selected Elizabeth Yarbrough, Ph.D., and Kathryn Milly West for 2014 Region 4: Excellence in Advising awards. The awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students. Yarbrough, who is the director of student services for COSAM, is the recipient of the NACADA Region 4 Excellence in Advising: Advising Administration award. She also received the Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding Advising Award - Academic Advising Administrator, which is a national recognition.
Auburn 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 non-profit 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.
Three COSAM students were among the top 20 finalists for Miss Auburn: Alexis Jackson, microbial, cellular, and molecular biology; Tori Jones, biomedical sciences; and Ana Burcham, cellular and molecular biology. Jackson also serves as a COSAM Leader, an exemplary group of students who serve the college as official ambassadors.
“Warning!” reads the course description, “Mega-mammals, crocodiles, snakes, thorns, baboons, etc. may be abundant at many of the sites. Please be very careful!” The course, Field Biology and Ecology, provides one of the latest study abroad opportunities offered at Auburn University. Last summer during the inaugural course, 10 Auburn students ventured to Swaziland and South Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime, hands-on, research experience, guided by Biological Sciences professors Troy Best and Michael Wooten.
A four credit hour course in Plant Gene Expression (BIOL 5320/ 6320) will be offered during 2014 spring semester on Tue and Thu afternoon from 3.30 to 4.45 PM . This is a an undergraduate / graduate level course that will be offered every alternate year. This course does not have a laboratory component associated with it.
Physics senior Patrick Donnan made his mark as an academic elite when he was chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed upon approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Ever eager for more knowledge and experience in the realm of physics, Donnan, who is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music, spent the summer working in Dresden, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems under the guidance of Thomas Pohl, leader of the Complex Dynamics in Cold Gases unit.
Patrick Donnan, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in physics and music, has been chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
The COSAM Leaders are an exemplary group of students who serve the college as its official ambassadors.
The fifth-ranked Auburn women's golf team won the Southeastern Conference Championship on Sunday, April 22, and Patricia Sanz, a senior in biomedical sciences, won the individual title at the championship tournament.
Members of Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, or SCB, participated in an invasive species cleanup project on April 22, in honor of Earth Day (pictured). Participants worked in Auburn to eliminate privet and other nuisance plants that were choking out native species.
Lawrence Wit, associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Sciences and Mathematics, has been selected to receive one of two, 2012 Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is a prestigious honor which recognizes those faculty members who demonstrate effective and innovative teaching methods, and a continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring inside and outside the classroom. The award carries a $10,000 stipend for each recipient. Emeritus senior administrators, Gerald and Emily Leischuck, established the endowment in 2005 to recognize the university’s teachers, and Auburn presented the first Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards the same year.
Job shadowing is critical for acceptance to professional school programs such as medical school and optometry school, and several medical offices in the Auburn area allow COSAM's pre-health students the opportunity to spend time alongside a physician, giving the student a chance to observe and learn what a career in medicine entails.
Vince Cammarata, associate professor of chemistry, was appointed to succeed Larry Wit as COSAM's associate dean for academic affairs. Cammarata, who is an analytical chemist, received his Bachelor of Science from California Institute of Technology, his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota.
Paul Bergen, a senior in COSAM double majoring in microbiology and German, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany for the 2012-13 academic year. At the Technical University of Munich, he will continue to pursue his research in microbiology."Paul is an inquisitive and engaging young man with a range of interests and activities that go well beyond the lab and range from the study of German politics, culture and language to being an active member of Auburn's nationally recognized mock trial team," said Paul Harris, associate director of the Auburn Honors College. "He will gain so much from his classes and interactions with German students and faculty and he will represent himself, Auburn University and the United States with distinction.
Blanche Alverson, junior in biomedical sciences and guard on Auburn's Women's Basketball team, has been named to the 2012 Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Community Service Team. This is the second consecutive year Alverson has earned the honor. Alverson founded her own community service project this year, "Ballin' for Books."