Chemistry Faculty Member Attends IUPAC

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Raychelle Burks was invited to attend the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) 2017 49th General Assembly in Sao Paolo, Brazil 9 – 14 July 2017 as one of the Young Observers selected by the U.S. National Committee of the National Academy of Science for IUPAC.  Dr. Burks was one of only 8 young scientists selected as part of a national competition.

Dr. Burks also secured travel funding to support her attendance from the Central Texas Chapter of the American Chemical Society and from the ACS International Activities office.

Congratulations to Dr. Burks.  We look forward to hearing about your travels and what you learned at the conference!

Chemistry Professor Featured in Discover Magazine

First-year Assistant Professor of Chemistry Raychelle Burks was recently identified in a Discover Magazine story entitled, “The Heroes of Science” as one of the “Science Stars of the next generation.”  The list of “Heroes” includes Jane Goodall, Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Carl Sagan — pretty good company, indeed!  Congrats to Dr. Burks!

CS Professor Michael Kart Recognized at 2016-2017 Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Congratulations to yet another in a series of well-deserved teaching award winners from the School of Natural Sciences.  This year, Prof. Michael Kart of Computer Sciences has won the Distinguished Teaching Award.  Quoting from the letter:

“The Distinguished Teaching Award Committee was impressed by your thoughtful and pedagogically rich teaching materials, and they equally admired your engaging work in the classroom.”

Dr. Kart will receive his award at the Faculty Recognition Ceremony at 4 pm on April 27 in the Mabee Ballrooms.  Please make sure to congratulate him next time you see him.

Hilltop chemist has a cool job

For the 2016 World Science Festival (WSF), I was invited to share why being a chemist and chemistry educator is a cool job alongside forensic anthropologist Angelique Corthals, engineer Erick Ordoñez, and technologist Rachel Rothman. Cool Jobs is a WSF event aimed at inspiring future scientists and the 2016 event hosted approximately 500 attendees – mostly families with young children. Below is a recording of this Cool Jobs event, where I got to kick-off the show by sharing what got me into science, cracking The Great Cookie Mystery, and debunking the Death Star!

 

2017 Faculty Scholarship and Creative Expression Celebration

Held March 27, 2017, the Faculty Scholarship and Creative Expression event celebrates the hard work of faculty across St. Edward’s University who had books or peer-reviewed articles published in 2016.

Gary Morris presents the Natural Sciences portion of the presentation which honors a total of seven faculty members from the School of Natural Sciences who, in sum, published one book, one book chapter and nine peer-reviewed articles. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals on their success:

Dr. Jason Callahan: one book and two peer-reviewed articles published

Dr. Leila Mills: one book chapter and one peer-reviewed article published

Dr. Patricia Baynham:  one peer-reviewed article published

Dr. Raychelle Burks: one peer-reviewed article published

Dr. Eamonn Healy: two peer-reviewed articles published

Dr. Bilal Shebaro: one peer-reviewed article published

Dr. Santiago Toledo: one peer-reviewed article published

For a complete listing of the authors and their cited works, visit the Natural Sciences portion of the presentation online.

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!

Newest Chemistry Faculty Member Invited to Stanford Conference

First-year Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Raychelle Burks, has received an invitation to attend the Women of Color in the Academy conference at Stanford University, 9 – 11 March 2017.  Dr. Burks was one of 50 applicants selected from over 1000 who applied!  Her award includes airfare and accommodations.  Congratulations to Dr. Burks for her selection. We look forward to a future post on NSCI News to tell us about her experience at the conference.

Two NSCI Faculty Receive NetVUE Mini-Grants

Congratulations to Dr. Trish Baynham (Assoc. Professor of Biological Sciences) and Dr. Bill Quinn (Chair and Professor of Biological Sciences) for being selected s recipients of this year’s NetVUE Mini-Grants competition at St. Edward’s.  Dr. Baynham’s project is entitled, “Mentoring Research Students in Their Quest for a Career,” while Dr. Quinn’s project is entitled, “Camping Trip with QEP Activities.”

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.

Obituary.

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!”