SKYWARN Training

 The National Weather Service (NWS) will offer it’s free SKYWARN training class to the St. Edward’s community on Wednesday, April 19, in Carter Auditorium from 9 to 11 a.m.  The class is designed to educate the community about severe weather topics specific to South Central Texas, severe weather preparedness and safety, and procedures for reporting severe weather to the local Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service Office.  All interested members of the St. Edward’s community are invited to attend especially those members who may routinely have personnel or events outside.  Please use the link below to register.

Registration information online

Coordinated by Billy Atkins, Director of Campus Resilience

Summer & Fall 2017 Registration

25th Annual Senior Seminar Friday, March 24

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Breakthrough Austin – Summer STEM Teachers Needed – Deadline Extended to 17 March

For more information, visit their website or email Tiffany Chao, Program Coordinator.  Extended registration deadline is 3/17.  They provide a $2,000 stipend, CNCS education credit, and 450 service hours credit.

See their flier below.

Last Call for Hook Fellows – Application Deadline is Friday, 10 March

Friday, March 10 is the deadline for applying for creative research awards from the Hook Endowed Wild Basin Creative Research Fund. 

The Dr. Allan W. Hook Endowed Wild Basin Creative Research Fund offers awards up to $3,000 for creative research by students in the schools of Natural Sciences, Education, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Management and Business, and Humanities. The fund also offers research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students from other institutions that are based at the university’s Wild Basin Creative Research Center and the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system. 

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 10th, 2017 at 5pm. Applicants should review the fellowship guide and fill out the application form and submit it via email (or mail) to the Director of Wild Basin (Dr. Barbara Dugelby. Interested students should contact the Wild Basin Director or Wild Basin Research Director (Dr. Amy Belaire) if they have questions. Descriptions of past projects supported by the Endowment can be found on the Wild Basin website. We are happy to discuss project ideas and help students through the application preparation process. We look forward to receiving a diversity of project applications from many academic areas!

This opportunity is made possible by the commitment and generosity of Dr. Allan W. Hook and Rosemary Guzman Hook, who established the endowment to honor Hook’s life work and dedication to providing students with opportunities both in and outside of the classroom. His philosophy is that “one can learn more from the natural world than from the human-made world.” The fund will promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for the Wild Basin Preserve and the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system.

New Publication in The Physics Teacher by SEU Faculty

Drs. Gary Morris and Paul Walter have a publication that appears in the March issue of The Physics Teacher titled, “Transition Matrices:  A Tool to Assess Student Learning and Improve Instruction.” Common multiple-choice diagnostics are often given to students at the beginning and end of a semester to assess how much learning has taken place.   Previous work by Dr. Morris provided a way of ranking the answer choices from worst to best.  This work constructs a 5 x 5 matrix for each question that provides the percentage of students that made each pre-/post-test selection possibility and makes it easy to determine whether students are not just moving to the correct answer but also if they are at least making some progress by moving to a better wrong answer.  This can provide valuable information for an instructor.  The authors constructed a tool to perform the analysis that is freely available to physics instructors.  The approach was applied to the Force Concept Inventory for first-semester introductory physics, but can be adopted and applied to other similar multiple-choice diagnostics where the wrong answers function as distractors.  The abstract is available at http://aapt.scitation.org/toc/pte/55/3?expanded=55.  A freely available version of the article is available on the arXiv at https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.01565.

Drs. Walter and Morris also published 2016 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings titled, “Assessing Student Learning and Improving Instruction with Transition Matrices.”  The proceedings are freely available at http://www.compadre.org/per/perc/conference.cfm?Y=2016#PRP89.  One interesting finding in that work is that the likelihood of moving to the correct answer choice on the Force Concept Inventory was independent of which wrong answer choice was chosen on the pre-test.  Future work will investigate whether that holds true for larger data sets and various instructional approaches.

Dr. Trish Baynham Promoted to Full Professor

Next time you see Dr. Baynham, be sure to offer her congratulations!  Last week, the University announced its intention to promote her to the rank of Full Professor, effective August 2017!  The rank of Full Professor is reserved for those who have demonstrated superior teaching, important contributions to their fields, and significant service to the University over an extended period of time.

Dr. Baynham joined the Department of Biological Sciences at St. Edward’s University from Thomas More College in 2004.  She served as department chair from 2007 – 2008, 2012 – 2013, and 2014 – 2016 and as Interim Dean from 2013 – 2014.  She has been a leader in promoting study abroad opportunities, including the development of 2 – 3 week embedded study abroad experiences in biology courses.

Recognizing the value of engaging students in research, Dr. Baynham has mentored many research students and co-authored >40 conference presentations with SEU undergraduates.  She also has promoted the Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) initiative in our freshman Biology labs so that all students who take Biology can have a research experience, not just those who have the chance to work with our faculty on research projects over the summer.

In 2012, she was recognized as a Fellow in the Texas Academy of Science and in 2015, as a National Academies Education Fellow in the Sciences.  Also, in 2015, Dr. Baynham received the Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching in the School of Natural Sciences and in 2011, the School’s Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. She has served on many important University committees during her time at St. Edward’s.

Next time you see her, please be sure to congratulate her on this significant career accomplishment!

Welcome NSCI’s New Social Media Coordinator

We’re delighted to announce the creation of a new, part-time, student position in the School of Natural Sciences:  Social Media Coordinator.  Munday School of Business junior Lindsay Villanueva is a Digital Media Management major.  Lindsay has already re-activated our School of Natural Sciences Facebook page and is developing posts for NSCI News.  We expect to broaden our social media presence to Twitter and Instagram in the near future.  In the meantime, whether you’re a current student, alumnus/alumna, faculty, or staff member, if you have stories you’d like to submit for distribution on NSCI News, please contact seunaturalsciences@stedwards.edu.

Here’s a bit more about Lindsay, in her own words:

Hello! My name is Lindsay Villanueva and I am a Junior studying Digital Media Management here at St. Ed’s. I am originally from Houston, Texas, a city that I am proud to call home. I am passionate about both traditional and digital media, and fascinated by its ability to bring about positive social change. In my opinion, the world has never been as connected as it is now due to the ever growing array of social media platforms.

Apart from my fascination with the digital realm, I am also a health and fitness enthusiast. Ultimately, my goal is to combine my two interests into a sustainable career of some sort, but for now I am still exploring my options. During my free time, you will most likely find me at the gym, eating peanut butter by the jar, or baking banana bread.

My interest in the social media assistant position stems from my eagerness to gain experience in creating content through the various digital platforms. I will work diligently to promote any activities, opportunities, and events provided through NSCI and am looking forward to making a positive contribution to the St. Edward’s community as a whole!

Please welcome Lindsay to NSCI when you see her.

Summer Research Applications Coming Due

Greetings NSCI students!
In February you received a message from me that includes a link to an application for summer research with SEU faculty.  These applications are due one week from today, by the end of the day.  If you currently have a meal plan, note that meal plans are valid through the end of June, so don’t squander your funds unnecessarily.  You can use the plan to continue to dine in the Ragsdale Center dining hall until the end of June.
This application encompasses all the various funding sources for students at all levels, so if you are currently working with an SEU faculty member, and are planning to continue your research this summer, then confirm this plan with your current supervisor before you submit the application, and make sure that you select the faculty member you intend to work with.
The application will offer you a choice of up to three faculty members to be your research supervisor.  You should consult with the faculty member(s) you select BEFORE you submit the application.  This is especially important if you are a first time students at SEU.  Note also that you only need to select one supervisor.  You do not need to select three!  But do consult first with each faculty you do choose!
An announcement will be made in early April regarding the status of these applications, and the successful applicants will be invited to an organizational meeting in early April to complete the associated paperwork.
In case you have mislaid the message with the application link, here it is:  https://stedwards.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cLUAZ1rKpT2Vrut
And be sure to indicate your summer housing plans on the application.
Contact me if you have any questions.  Time grows short – do not delay.  Late applications will not receive full consideration.
Richard L. Kopec, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, NSCI Faculty Development
Director, NSCI Undergraduate Research
Professor, Chemistry/Computer Science
St. Edward’s University
JBWS 386 
(512) 448-8464 (V)
(512) 448-8482 (FAX)
kopec@stedwards.edu
http://kopec.create.stedwards.edu/

Nanotechnology Course Offerings Information Session

The folks from UT-Austin’s NASCENT Nanotechnology Center will be giving an informational session on Monday, March 6, 5 – 6 pm in JBWS 362.  The 3-course sequence Hands-on Nanotechnologies are online and students receive kits to complete labs throughout the semester.  Each course will count as PHYS 3345 Special Topics in Physics credit at SEU.  Please see the attached flyers and let Paul Walter know if you have any questions.   Come attend the information session to meet the instructors, see an example of the labs, and get a feel for the topics covered.

Flyer_Hands-On Nanotechnologies Certificate Program

NASCENT-Flyer