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Biology, Biotech, and Environmental Science News

Biology, Biotech, and Environmental Science News

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Jessica Forbes (BIO, '13) is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in biology at the Central University of Washington. CWU is the former home of a chimpanzee sanctuary made famous by one of its inhabitants, a chimp named Washoe, who was famous for sign language experiments in the 1960s. CWU has since moved its chimps to a sanctuary in Canada, where Jessica will likely be travelling to gather data for her thesis research. In addition, she may also have the opportunity to travel to South Africa for her research. She plans to study either the conservation genetics of chimpanzees or the behavioral variations of some subspecies of chimps. Of her program, she reports, "All of the faculty seem to be impressed with how many undergraduate research opportunities are available at SU and with some of the skills we learn in our courses! The students in our program can be trained in biology, anthropology, or psychology- so they're happy when students have experience with molecular biology techniques!" As an added bonus, Jessica enjoys great views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.

Dr. Randall Munson, Retired Research Program Director for Sanofi Aventis, came to Stevenson last week to speak to students in the BT 205 course: Biosafety and Quality Assurance. Dr. Munson spent approximately fifty years working as a Medicinal Chemist for Big Pharma and shared his knowledge about biosafety and quality assurance in the field with students.  This course introduces the safety and quality control issues related to product development in the biotechnology industry and Dr. Munson’s presentation was beneficial to enhancing student learning in this area.

The annual lecture held in memory of Department Chair and Professor of Mathematics, Susan Palmer Slattery, was held last Thursday, September 18, 2014. Dr. Slattery was an inspiration to both students and faculty and will always be remembered by the Stevenson Community.

This year’s lecture featured Arlene G. Weiner, an Environmental Engineer for the Baltimore District of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Ms. Weiner utilized her 30 years of experience as an environmental professional to speak on building a career in Applied Mathematics. Following the lecture, Applied Mathematics major Anna Foote was named the 2014 Slattery Scholar. She was presented the award by Ms. Thea Zimmerman, Dr. Susan Slattery’s sister. Congratulations to Anna and warm wishes to the Slattery family!

Kendel Quirk, a freshman Biology major, moved back to the United States to attend Stevenson University after living for 10 years in Budapest, Hungary. She knew she wanted to attend a University that was similar to her high school, the Greater Grace International School, where each class has no more than 16 students and all of the teachers really cared about individual students.

After hearing about Stevenson University from family and friends, she knew that she would be comfortable here. Once she visited campus, she realized this was the school she wanted to attend.  Kendel has enjoyed growing up in an international environment and will never forget the people she has met and the friends she has made. Welcome to the Stevenson family Kendel!

“Attending an international school since the third grade and being one of the few Americans in the school has definitely affected me. Not only have I made best friends who are from all around the world, but I also was able to learn about different cultures and their perspectives on many different things. Even spending the night at a friend's house taught me something new about a culture different than my own. This is something that I will always be grateful for, and although it was difficult to be away from home at times, I wouldn't change anything from these past ten years. I now consider Budapest as my home.” – Kendel Quirk

Melissa Battis, the Biology Lab manager for the School of the Sciences, gave a presentation on lab biosafety to biotechnology majors in the BT 205: Biosafety and Quality Assurance class last week. Ms. Battis graduated from Stevenson University in 2011, and went on to secure a position here at Stevenson managing lab safety and training.

The BT 205 course introduces safety and quality control issues related to product development in the biotechnology industry including safety, storage and disposal of hazardous materials, development and implementation of quality assurance programs, and issues related to local, state, and federal regulations.

Her presentation helped introduce these concepts to students and reinforce the importance of lab biosafety in the field of Biotechnology. Thank you for helping to keep Stevenson students safe in the lab Melissa Battis!

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