Hey everyone! My name is Vanessa Furby, and I am a junior Biology Education major here at Shepherd University! Wednesdays are typically busy for me; with a day full of classes and labs, there’s hardly time for much else,but today was special because I had two events to attend! Today was “Popcorn day” and Shep-o-treat!
Popcorn day is an event that my fraternity, Sigma Pi Epsilon, hosted; we made a whole bunch of popcorn and sold it to students in Snyder and Byrd (the science buildings at Shepherd). The event went rather well; we sold about 20 bags of popcorn!
The other event that was held today was hosted by Shepherd University; hep-o-reat is an event where kids from around the area go and trick-or-treat on Shepherd’s campus. The students at the residence halls sit and give out candy! The fraternities are able to get involved by setting up tables in the student centerto hand out candy and entertain the kids in some way. Sigma Pi Epsilon, being the chemistry fraternity, made “gloop” and a little (vinegar and baking soda) volcano for the kids! “Gloop” is a silly putty-like substance that is made from glue, water, and borax; the kids really seemed to enjoy the slimy texture of the gloop, and they thouroghly loved the fact that it turned into a bouncy ball after it dried! The kids also liked the little volcano we did; they were so captivated by it! All of the kids, in their cute little costumes, were so adorable! The kids really made the night fun; and everyone was so nice–it was turly a great experience! Shepherd hosts a bunch of events like this; you get to meet new people, and have fun doing it!
Hi everyone, my name is Sara Kurian and I am a senior biochemistry major here at Shepherd University. One of the graduation requirements for science majors is to complete a senior research internship, so I thought I would tell you about my experience last summer with the WV-INBRE internship program, a program that several Shepherd students have participated in over the years. Through this program, 22 students from West Virginia colleges were given the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge biomedical research at West Virginia University and Marshall University. For the internship, I worked in Dr. Bingyun Li’s lab in the Orthopedics Department at WVU.
Like many students, before starting the internship I was a little apprehensive about being faced with unfamiliar research equipment and protocols, but thankfully I discovered that my research background from labs at Shepherd was quite thorough and everyone in the lab at WVU was quite happy to answer my questions. Specifically, my project was to test if the novel antibiotic LL-37 could eliminate the intracellular bacteria in osteoblasts as a model for treatment of recurrent bone infections. Through this project I learned some new techniques such as co-culturing Staphylococcus aureus and osteoblasts, and was also able to incorporate some of the techniques I learned at Shepherd like determining concentrations with a hemocytometer and plating and counting bacterial colonies. Besides my mentor, I also worked with several graduate students and medical students in the lab, so as a pre-med student I was quite glad to have the opportunity to learn what to expect during medical school and some first-hand tips for success. Thus to end, I would just like to leave you with some tips for your internship experience.
5 Simple Tips for a Successful Internship Experience:
- Start looking for research internships at least a semester in advance, as many of them have deadlines that are quite early.
- Get some research experience to build up you application. It is often a good idea to work on a research project with one of your professors to show your commitment to research.
- Research the projects currently under investigation at the prospective institution and be able to relate them to your research interests.
- During the internship, don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to new people. Graduate students as well as faculty members are a great source for information on things such as what to expect during graduate school. Also many internship programs offer seminars throughout the summer that are also great opportunities to ask questions and learn new information.
- While working on your research project, keep very detailed notes and make sure you understand why you are doing each step. Thorough notes really come in handy when you have to prepare a written report or poster on your project, especially if this occurs several months after you do the actual research. Also, knowing why you did each step will help you successfully explain your project and answer questions during presentations.
Welcome to our blog. I’m Colleen Nolan, Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. I’m teaming up with students from different majors within the School to post information that we think provides a look inside the different departments at Shepherd, some of our faculty, and the life of a “typical” Shepherd Ram. I hope that you’ll take some time to check out each of our profiles now and when we add new bloggers. Here in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics we have a diversity of student organizations and potential majors. We are excited about the pre-admission programs for students interested in medical, dental and pharmacy schools (STEP programs) and the success our students have in entering graduate programs or the work force.
Last year was an exciting one in our school. A number of faculty were recognized for their hard work and dedication. Dr. Edward Snyder of the Institute of Environmental and Physical Sciences was named the West Virginia Professor of the Year and a Distinguished University Professor. Dr. Carol Plautz of the Biology Department was recognized by the Council on Undergraduate Research Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year (only one of three in the nation) and she was named the Outstanding Teacher at Shepherd University. The Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering held the first ever ShepRobo Fest and students in the robotics club placed third in a competition in Trinity College International Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest and RoboWaiter Competition in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 9 and 10 and were the only U.S. team to place in the senior division of the fire fighting category. The School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics has finished the first year of a three year grant to provide stipends for undergraduate students to conduct research with faculty and many of the school faculty were successful in receiving grants to support research activities.
This year we have welcomed four new faculty – two in mathematics, one in biology and one in physics. We have developed first year experience courses for students majoring in biology, environmental studies and computer sciences, mathematics and engineering. On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics I hope you check back often to read about our activities for this year.