A Day in the Life...
Students in research… Students Payden Dompe and Ella Mackowiak are spending the summer working in research with Dr. Dana Lee doing molecular biology/genomics on moles from around the nation. Dr. Joel Brant captured some of the pests at Firebase Libby (our department’s field station in Callahan County) which are the westernmost moles in our part of the country. The two students are isolating DNA from museum specimens to compare with DNA from our moles to see if patterns of migration can be determined that could give us an idea of the source for these moles. May not sound like a medically relevant project to our future doctors, but the methods used in the study are the same as those used in medical research.
New Freshman Seminar… Starting this fall, a new Foundations of Excellence (FOE) Freshman Seminar is being added to the requirements for all freshmen. The course incorporates 17 different approaches to the consideration of important questions for incoming freshmen, with one major topic central to each of the 17 sections being offered. During SOAR, it was really interesting to see what our incoming BIMS students chose as their options for this course. Our expectations are that FOE will help improve student success and persistence at McMurry. Both are good things!
Year Two of the New BIMS and other Programs… You may recall that Biology rolled out new and improved programs for Biology, BIMS, and Life Science last year. This year we are also adding Environmental Science. Because these are young programs, we will for the first time teach some of the new courses for these programs during our Fall Semester. For example, BIMS now requires a Cell Biology course (separated from Molecular and Cell Biology). This will be taught this fall by Dr. Malaney Lopez-O’Connell. We also are replacing the Junior Exam with a new Junior Seminar, now taken by all students. Expect this course to give our majors a jump start into their senior years.
Grants, Grants, Grants!… We are in various phases of grantwriting for things as diverse as updating Firebase Libby to obtaining a scanning electron microscope to creating an incredibly modern freshman lab sequence for top students to transforming our approach to engaging freshmen and transfer students and fostering success in the classroom and in researsch. Our goal is to become the best, most forward thinking program in our area, to build knowledge and skills and a sense of wonder and discovery in every graduate. These grants will help move the needle to make that happen.
I’ll be back in touch with more news as the summer rolls along. Stay cool!
Bryce Stash, Russell Stanley, and Jonathan Urbanczyk recently completed medical school. Bryce (TTUSM) will be headed to St. Louis and a residency in Plastic Surgery. Russell will be headed to Lubbock and residency in OB-GYN, Jonathan is headed to Scott & White and a residency in Internal Medicine.
Danni McMahon and Tara Williams both completed their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at TTUSP. Danni was the top student in the class!
Karen McAlister and Heather Rawls Zamarron begin their Physician Assistant programs at the end of this month.
Undoubtedly there’s more news to share, but these are the ones we’ve been made aware of in recent days. We are excited about the students who have committed to McMurry this fall and hope you’ll spread the word to students who might like to join the next class of success stories!
The Biomedical Science program is blessed with some outstanding students! This year was no exception. From numerous All Academic Conference and Region athletes to others who simply excelled in their academic lives, we found this year to be filled with points of light to celebrate. That said, we had tough decisions as we selected our outstanding students for the Department of Biology. Though they come from all three Biology degrees (Biology, BIMS, and Life Science), our BIMS students were well represented.
So here are the recipients for the Department of Biology Academic Awards for 2016. (forgive me if I get Academy and Academic confused…)
Outstanding First Year Students: Bethany Everett and Haley Shepard
Outstanding Second Year Students: George Gutierrez and Kelsey McKiernan
Outstanding Juniors: Payden Dompe, Maddie Fatheree, Sophie Southwell
Outstanding Seniors: Ella Mackowiak, Taylor Russell, Rachel Thompson
We were also able to award numerous endowed merit-based scholarships to some of our more advanced students. This is not the totality of merit scholarships our students will receive, but represents some of the key scholarships we know about at this time:
The Dr. Richard D. Moore Scholarship. This award is in honor of Dr. Richard D. Moore, long-time Biology professor and pre-med advisor for the department. Winners: Payden Dompe and Maddie Fatheree.
The Bob Uselton-Ko Sari Scholarship. This award is in memory of graduate and Ko Sari member Bob Uselton. Winner: George Gutierrez.
The Dr. J. Danny Cooley Scholarship. This award is in memory of McMurry graduate and environmental microbiologist Danny Cooley. Winner: Sophie Southwell.
The Dr. Charles Bloomer Scholarship. This award honors alumnus and local oral surgeon and McMurry supporter Dr. Charles Bloomer. Winners: Dona L’Ne Kirkes and Rachel Thompson.
The Dr. Victor Hudman Scholarship. This award is in memory of alumnus and physician Dr. Victor Hudman, signifying three generations of the family preparing for careers in medicine through McMurry Biology. Winner: Kelsey McKiernan.