|UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Calling All Scientists!
The Second Annual Eckerd College Science Symposium—Exploring Critical Issues in Science: Environmental, Medical, Educational and Global—will be held on campus November 5–6 during Alumni Weekend. The program will begin with luncheon remarks by Ernst Peebles, Associate Professor of Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida, who has been part of USF's oil spill research team. Following the luncheon will be plenary sessions by:
- Dr. Cynthia A. Zahnow '83, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University;
- Dr. William R. Roush, Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry, Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology Graduate Program at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in Florida;
- Dr. Andrew S. Judd '94, Medicinal Chemist, Abbott Laboratories; and
- Dr. Reggie Hudson, Professor of Chemistry at Eckerd College, and Luca Bell, a senior Biochemistry and Economics major.
The first day will conclude with Symposium keynote Dr. Carlos F. Barbas III '85, Kellogg Professor and Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at TSRI and 2009 ACS Cope Scholar. Day two will include presentations by Dr. Sanika Chirwa, Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology at Meharry Medical College and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Jay Labov, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council, who will lead a discussion on teaching and learning 21st century science.
Alumni and student poster sessions on Friday and Saturday, respectively, will offer attendees an opportunity to share their field and laboratory research. This is the first year alumni will have the opportunity to present their posters at the Symposium, and friends are welcome to do so as well. Eckerd students, alumni and friends wishing to present a poster must register its title and abstract by Friday, October 8.
No registration is necessary to attend the Symposium, though a reservation for the luncheon is strongly recommended as limited seats are available. Last year, the Symposium attracted nearly 300 participants, and we anticipate an even greater turnout this year. All events are free and open to the public, so please plan to join us and bring your friends and colleagues!
Jeffrey A. Dodge '84 and Karin Musier-Forsyth '84
|MEET THE SCIENTIST
Introducing Dean Betty Stewart
Earlier this month at the College’s 51stConvocation, President Donald R. Eastman III officially introduced Dean Betty Stewart to Eckerd students.
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Betty Stewart to our campus this fall as our new Vice President and Dean of Faculty. Dr. Stewart earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from Mississippi State University and her Ph.D. in Protein Biochemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University. Before joining the senior administration of Eckerd College, Dr. Stewart served as Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and Professor of Chemistry at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Professor and Chair of Chemistry at Austin College.
"Her many fellowships and awards include her selection as the 2008 Midwestern State University Chemistry Professor of the Year and as a 2005 Woman of Achievement of the American Association for University Women. Of her more than 25 research publications, I personally found her paper on 'The Effect of Structural Variation on Substrate Enantioselectivity in Mandelamide Hydrolase' absolutely riveting, as I am sure you would, too," joked President Eastman.
"Besides being a distinguished scientist who has been awarded numerous grants from private foundations and from the National Science Foundation, she has already played a significant role in building one science building—at Midwestern—and has the hard hat to prove it. She has also played a significant leadership role in national science initiatives for attracting more women into the sciences and in premier science organizations such as Project Kaleidoscope.
"Dr. Stewart has been hard at work here at the College since she arrived on July 1 and has already begun to take us in new and promising directions."
Dean Stewart is the first woman to hold the post of Dean of Faculty at Eckerd College and the first African-American to serve on the College's Executive Staff. She also was the first black female Dean at Midwestern. She succeeds Dr. Lloyd Chapin, who retired in June after 31 years at Eckerd. Dean Stewart is responsible for the academic program and the hiring of all faculty, and works at the right hand of President Eastman.
|DEAN'S COUNCIL ON SCIENCE
Eckerd Students Perform Cutting-Edge Research at Massachusetts General Hospital
By Susan A. Slaugenhaupt ’85, Ph.D.
This summer six colleagues and I had the pleasure of hosting 10 Eckerd summer interns in our laboratories at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Human Genetic Research. MGH is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and the largest academic research hospital in the U.S.
When the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) announced that we could apply for individual grant supplements to offer summer internships, I approached them about the possibility of submitting one application that ‘bundled’ existing grants to provide a unique group experience. We were extremely fortunate to obtain funds to provide 10 Eckerd students with a $4,800 stipend each to spend the summer performing cutting-edge research and learning valuable laboratory skills. Students selected to participate were Kate Rost ’11 (Marine Science), Stephanie Kyle ’11 (Biomolecular Sciences Concentration), Thomas Battey ’11 (Marine Science), Zoe O’Donoghue ’12 (Marine Science), Adrian Bruce ’11 (Biology and Sociology), Kristine Crowe ’12 (Biology and Psychology), Shannon Bean ’11 (Neuroscience Concentration), Dylan Finneran ’12 (Biochemistry and Physics), Lauren Van Woudenberg ’12 (Marine Science) and Evan Playle ’11 (Biology).
Over the course of their 10-week internship, they engaged in molecular research aimed at understanding a wide variety of human genetic diseases, including Huntington’s disease, autism, Batten’s disease, Mucolipidosis Type IV, familial dysautonomia, stroke, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In addition, they had the opportunity to attend research seminars, and several Harvard faculty and graduate students offered information sessions on graduate and medical school admission.
Stephanie Kyle ’11 said of her CHGR experience, “I truly love my internship and enjoy every minute I am in Boston. I am confident that my undergraduate education at Eckerd College has prepared me for a promising future in science.”
The combination of rigorous academic study and real-world experiences in active laboratories leads students to become successful scientists. As a member of the Dean’s Council on Science, I encourage all alumni and parents, no matter your discipline or field of work, to consider hiring Eckerd students as interns. Admission to graduate and medical schools is extremely competitive, and unique research experiences like these will help Eckerd students succeed.
|ELEMENTS OF A BUILDING
Selecting an Architect
Donors have made more than $25 million in gifts and pledges to support the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences. The Science Fellows—a group of alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends who have individually invested $5,000 or more toward the project—now comprises 103 members.
With less than a year left in the Many Experiences, One Spirit Campaign, volunteers and College staff will work with donors to secure the balance of $5 million needed to fully fund the project, which includes the new building and renovations to existing ones.
Even as fundraising continues, Eckerd College has begun to plan for the new Center, selecting Cannon Design—a national, award-winning architectural firm—to partner on design and construction.
“After a rigorous, six-month process that culminated with on-campus interviews of five of the country’s leading architectural firms, the Board of Trustees, members of our Science faculty and a team of others have enthusiastically supported the hiring of Cannon Design for this project,” said Donald R. Eastman III, Eckerd College President. “Cannon’s team exhibited not only the technical know-how and leadership to create a world-class building, but they also showed inspiration and creativity, which reflects the educated imagination we seek to foster in our Science students.”
Cannon’s project team will be led by Ken Wiseman (P ’11), President of Professional Services for the firm and parent of Eckerd student John Wiseman. Under Ken’s leadership, Cannon designed the GO Pavilion, an open-air recreation facility currently under construction on Eckerd’s campus. Among his many other accomplishments, Ken was design principal for the Richmond Olympic Oval, which served as the home for long-track speed skating during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games; the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, which was declared the “Foremost Sports Facility of the Year” by the International Sports Summit; and the Texas Christian University Student Recreation Center, which has been honored with four awards for design excellence.
The College’s portion of the project team will be led by Betty Stewart, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty; Bill McKenna, Director of Planning, Development and Construction, who will serve as Project Manager; and Laura Wetzel, Chair of the Natural Sciences Collegium and Associate Professor of Marine Science and Geosciences, who will serve as Project Shepherd on behalf of the faculty.
The timeline for the project proposes that design will take about 15 months and construction another 18 months. The College expects to welcome students and faculty into the building for Fall Semester 2013.
|HOW WE'RE MEASURING UP
P.N. “Bud” Risser III and his wife, Fran, longtime supporters of Eckerd College, made a generous gift in 2007 to establish the Risser Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship, which has made it possible for students with financial need to experience other cultures through study abroad. A member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 1992, Bud made a second gift to the College’s Campaign, this one to support Eckerd’s central initiative, the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences.
This Risser Laboratory Challenge was established to encourage donors to provide support for the Center’s four largest laboratories in Biology and Chemistry. The naming right for each laboratory (two General Chemistry, two Cell Biology/Genetics) required a contribution of $250,000.
Under the terms of the Challenge, a donor could receive the naming right to one of the aforementioned laboratories—a $250,000 naming opportunity—for a gift of only $100,000. The donor’s gift would be matched in full by the Eckerd Science Challenge (I), which matches dollar for dollar gifts of any amount made to support the Center. The donor’s gift would be matched again in the amount of $25,000 by the Risser Challenge, which in turn would be matched by the Eckerd Science Challenge (II). This would take the donor’s total credit toward the naming opportunity to the required $250,000. In short, a donor could earn the naming right to a large laboratory by making a $100,000 gift.
As of August 2010, Eckerd donors have fulfilled the Risser Laboratory Challenge, and all four labs in the Science facility will be funded through this effort. Eckerd College would like to thank the following generous donors who made this possible: Louie and Laurel Buntin (P ’13); former Parent Council Chairs Michael and Susan Graham (P ’08, ’11); Susan Lukens, wife of the late Trustee Jay Lukens ’77; and an anonymous donor. “The new Science building will benefit the entire Eckerd community. It’s important that we all do what we can to ensure the success of this top Campaign priority,” said Michael Graham (P ’08, ’11).
See the names of others who are doing their part as Science Fellows, and please do your part by taking advantage of the Eckerd Science Challenge and making a gift of any amount to the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences.
|IN THE NEWS
The National Science Foundation Funds Renovations to Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory
September 14, 2010
The National Science Foundation recently awarded a grant of $870,720 to MARINE: Modernizing Academic Research INfrastructure at Eckerd for the renovation of five research training areas in the College’s Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory (GMSL).
Under the direction of Laura Wetzel, Natural Sciences Collegium Chair and Associate Professor of Marine Science and Geosciences, and Jon Cohen, Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science, the project will update the 16-year-old building to accommodate the needs of Eckerd’s most popular major—Marine Science. In the last 10 years, 279 undergraduates have conducted research training projects in the GMSL. Such experiences have resulted in Eckerd students receiving more NOAA Hollings Scholarships than any other institution and numerous Goldwater, Fulbright and NSF Graduate Fellowships.
Of the 495 proposals submitted to NSF’s Academic Research Infrastructure, Recovery and Reinvestment Program, Eckerd’s was among the 25 percent to receive an award. The College also received a grant in 2008 for the NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) competition, which supported six Marine Science students who conducted research in China at Xiamen University and Hong Kong Baptist University this summer.
In addition to bolstering the Marine Science program, renovations to the GMSL will complement the top priority of the College’s Many Experiences, One Spirit Campaign—the $30 million Center for Molecular and Life Sciences. This top Campaign priority also will refurbish existing Sheen Science buildings, which currently house the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science disciplines of the Natural Sciences Collegium. The Center will provide much-needed laboratory space to support the more than 50 percent of Eckerd students who come to Eckerd to study Science.
Renovations to the GMSL—including the W.M. Keck Lab and the unique flow-through seawater system connected to Boca Ciega Bay—are slated for the summer of 2011.
Alumni Profile: Science Gene Runs in the Family for Urban Ecologist Jeffrey Ackley '08
Edward B. Fiske Selects Eckerd College as One of Top Ten Environmental Studies Schools in the Nation
Eckerd College's New Dean of Faculty, Betty Stewart, Has Impressed Before
By Kameel Stanley, Special to the St. Petersburg Times
In Print: 6/02/2010
Eckerd Student Rachel Harbeitner '11 Awarded Summer Fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Eckerd College Featured by The Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council in Guide to 286 Green Colleges
Eckerd College Is Monitoring the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Ten Eckerd Students Selected to Conduct Research at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Human Genetic Research
Floating Dock at Fort DeSoto Park Is Refuge for Least Terns
By Steve Heisler, Special to the St. Petersburg Times
In Print: 4/28/2010
A Perfect Spot for Nesting
By Yvette C. Hammett, Special to the Tampa Tribune
In Print: 4/25/2010
American Volunteers Performed Work in Zoo
By Edgar Chinchilla, Special to the Peridico Al Dia, San Jose, Costa Rica
In Print: 4/15/2010
Once Ubiquitous, Florida's Brown Lizards Scarce After Cold Winter
By Terri Bryce Reeves, Special to the St. Petersburg Times
In Print: 4/14/2010
Science Alumni Profile: Senior Physicist Dr. Marion Marshall White '74