SEU Alumnus Celebrates 50 Years as Elsevier Author

Dr. Michael F. L’Annunziata (’65, Chemistry) has published several books with Elsevier over the years, including the Handbook of Radioactivity Analysis and Radioactivity:  Introduction and History.  In recognition of 50 years of working with Elsevier, the publisher posted a two-part interview with Dr. L’Annunziata.  In it, he recalls the important role St. Edward’s played in laying the foundation for a successful career.  Congratulations, Dr. L’Annunziata!

2017 Lucian Symposium Schedule – Friday, 29 September

From the 2017 Lucian Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Dr. Tricia Shepherd:

This week Friday, the Lucian Symposium will be held in Carter Auditorium beginning at 8:50 am.  You can find details on the Lucian Symposium website:  The Lucian Symposium is an annual event, open to the public.

Lunch follows the keynote speakers.  After lunch, student research posters will be available for viewing in the halls of the John Brooks Williams North Building from 1:30 – 3:30 pm.

There will be four keynote speakers:

  • Thomas E. Cheatham, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry & Director of the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah
  • Michelle M. Francl, Professor and Chair of Chemistry at Bryn Mawr College
  • Ward Thompson, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kansas
  • Garritt Tucker, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines (

While there will be a common thread among speakers in terms of the using various computational methods in their research, the application/connections with undergraduates in each Natural Science discipline was my goal for the symposium. In particular, the presentations will be broadly applicable as follows: Cheatham: Biology/Computer Science, Francl: Mathematics, Thompson:Chemistry, Tucker:Physics/Engineering. I have advised all the speakers to include background/context appropriate for a broad audience of majors that span the Natural Sciences. Below is the schedule with tentative titles:

Friday, Sept 29th
8:50 am welcome
9:00-9:45   Garritt Tucker: Exploring the Nanoscale Mechanisms of Functional Materials with Computational Materials Science
9:45-10:30   Ward Thompson: The Big Deal about Being Small: Dynamics and Spectroscopy in Nanopores
10:30-10:45   break
10:45-11:30   Michelle Francl: Tools for predicting and understanding molecular structure from paper and pencil to Beowulf clusters
11:30-12:15   Tom Cheatham: Optimizing the use of computers to understand the complexity of biomolecular systems
12:15-1:30   lunch
1:30-3:30   poster session

I appreciate your support of this annual event for our school!

Tricia Shepherd, PhD
Chemistry Professor & Dept. Chair
St. Edward’s University

ESTEEM Program at Notre Dame

Many students come into the University of Notre Dame’s ESTEEM Graduate Program feeling restless and boxed in by the career choices laid out in front of them, but full of energy to create a better world and make an impact. They are fascinated and passionate about science or engineering while yearning to put their learning into action with the tools of business, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is not unusual for ESTEEM graduates to leave the program throwing around words like “transformed”, “confident”, “problem solver”, and “entrepreneur” to describe themselves. ESTEEM allows students with technical backgrounds to explore the world of business and entrepreneurship, learning how to combine their current skills with new ones to become leaders in their chosen fields. Our alums include Janaee Wallace (2016), Karl de Zoeten (2017), Ralph Hayyat (2017), EB Conklin Reyes (2018), and Valeria Gonzalez (2018) from St. Edward’s University. 

Rest in Peace Bro. Romard Barthel, SEU and NSCI Icon

It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that Bro. Romard Barthel (CSC ’47), of the Order of the Holy Cross, passed away on Wed., 7 December at the age of 92.  Bro. Romard taught physics and life at St. Edward’s University for generations of students.

I arrived at St. Edward’s as Dean of Natural Sciences in July 2014.  It did not take long for the stories of Bro. Romard to begin making their way to me.  I quickly began meeting some of the numerous alumni and current faculty members whose lives were forever changed by Bro. Romard’s kindness, dedication, attention, and inspirational model.

Bro. Romard significantly impacted the trajectory of the School of Natural Sciences and St. Edward’s University. In the history of an institution, there are but a precious few who truly earn the distinction of being recognized as a cultural icon, and they usually do so with the greatest modesty imaginable.  I can assure you that in the case of Bro. Romard, that recognition as an icon of the Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University is richly deserved..

His legacy will live on in the lives of those he touched, both directly and indirectly. (You can find a nice example in the Winter 2015 issue of the St. Edward’s Magazine.)

Of significance to today’s students, who did not have the honor of meeting him in person or being directly inspired by him, the Bro. Romard Barthel Scholarship and Research Fund was established by alumni in his honor to support summer research opportunities and scholarships for today’s Natural Sciences students.  Through these students and the paths they forge on their own journeys in life, his impact will continue to be felt and honored.

Please remember Bro. Romard in your prayers.  May his model and inspiration live on in those of us who benefit today from his years of servant leadership and dedication to the place he cherished, St. Edward’s University.


Please share your stories below.

Shared Studios “Channel” Arrives in JBWS

The Shared Studios Channel arrives in JBWS lobby.  Stop by and "Take On Your World" by talking with someone at a similar Channel in countries around the world.

The Shared Studios Channel arrives in JBWS lobby. Stop by and “Take On Your World” by talking with someone at a similar Channel in countries around the world.

The School of Natural Sciences will proudly host the Shared Studios Channel in the JBWS lobby for the next several months.  The Channel is the follow-on technology to the Portal (the gold shipping container that has been between Andre Hall and the Munday Library since late August) and will connect our lobby space with other such Channels around the world.  We’ve already been linked to Afghanistan, where several students and I met a dental student who was up very late at night to chat with us!

The Channel is a 90″ monitor with a webcam and microphone attached.  We anticipate the Channel to be active for most of the day, but we are uncertain at present to where we will be linked.  If a schedule becomes available, I will post that information here.

Stop by JBWS and “Take On Your World!”

SEU Portal Extended through November 13

Consider finding 20 minutes to spend with someone halfway across the world.  It may change your life, or their’s!  Check out the Shared Studios Portal project website.  Make your reservation today.  Currently facilitating visits with Rwanda, Honduras, Gaza, and Mexico City!

This experience is open to all:  students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members.

Take on your world!

Bob Wilems Receives Honorary Ring at Fall 2016 Ring Ceremony

Bob Wilems ('63) under the Sorin Oak with his honorary class ring.  (Photo courtesy Joe DeMedeiros.)

Bob Wilems (’63) under the Sorin Oak with his honorary class ring. (Photo courtesy Joe DeMedeiros.)

On Monday, 10 October 2016, Bob Wilems (’63, Physics) was surprised at the Fall 2016 Ring Ceremony, receiving an honorary ring as an outstanding alumnus of the University.

Bob has long been a supporter of St. Edward’s University.  You can find his name, along with his wife Nela’s, on the wall of donors in the JBWS atrium.  In fact, as you climb the staircase, take a look at the name on that yellow-green wall:  “The Wilems Atrium.”

Bob and Nela have served on the NSCI Advisory Board for a number of years, with Bob chairing that body until Spring 2015.  He and Nela continue to serve on the Advisory Board, making twice annual visits to join the discussions about what’s happening in the School and ways to enhance the student experience.  You will also often find them on campus to support Kozmetsky Center events and to visit with friends and other alumni.

Please join the Dean’s Office in congratulate Bob on his well deserved recognition!


Steelcase Active Learning Classroom Workshop

Learning to use the Steelcase Eno (smart board) in the Steelcase Active Learning Center (JBWN 206)

Learning to use the Steelcase Eno (smart board) in the Steelcase Active Learning Center (JBWN 206)

Our Chemistry faculty members gathered on a beautiful Friday afternoon (30 Sept.) to spend 2 hours with Steelcase representative, Marisa Sergnese, learning strategies for best leveraging the resources in our Steelcase Active Learning Center classroom in JBWN 206.  From seating configurations to collaborative groupings to using Eno (Steelcase’s smartboard tool), Marisa shared many great ideas.  Get ready students!  The Active Learning Center will become even more active and dynamic in the weeks ahead.  Thanks to Steelcase for the grant that supported the deployment of these resources at St. Edward’s!

SACNAS Chapter Coming to St. Edward’s

Attention SEU Students:

Are you focused on a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? Let SACNAS help in developing your potential!

SACNAS is an inclusive national organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.

Connect with opportunities, resources, mentors, and friends that will help you thrive in your education and future career. SACNAS has a strong network of student and professional chapters, professional development opportunities, and a prestigious annual conference which affords members an opportunity to present their research and network with leaders in various STEM fields.

We are bringing SACNAS to the Hilltop and are holding an information session on Monday, October 3rd at 5:00PM in JBWS 268. Bring your friends or anyone interested in this type of opportunity.

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Burks
Dr. Toledo

SACNAS organization link:

Steelcase Active Learning Classroom Workshop – 30 Sept. @ 3 pm

Steelcase Active Learning Classroom in JBWN 206

Steelcase Active Learning Classroom in JBWN 206

All interested faculty and SI instructional staff are welcome to participate in a workshop on use of the new Steelcase Active Learning Classroom in JBWN 206 from 3 – 5 pm on Friday, 30 September.  Marisa Sergnese from Steelcase will be present to run the workshop.