Department of Biology
College of Science and Engineering

Bio-Feedback Newsletter


Bio-Feedback 2010

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Dr. Gordon Schrank will retire at the end of spring semester 2011.  Dr. Schrank began his career at SCSU in 1981 in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences when he accepted the medical microbiology/electron microscopy position the biology department.  He came from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Matthew Julius spoke at the 50th Anniversary of the National Science Foundation’s Tokyo Office, October 6, 2010 in Tokyo, Japan.  Dr. Julius studies the evolution of diatoms, a group of microscopic algae.

A laboratory study presented at the November 2010 meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry was prepared by Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss, aquatic toxicologist, and Dr. Melissa Schultz, a chemist at the College of Wooster in Ohio.  The study concerns the growing effort to determine how pollution affects fish behavior, rather than just their anatomy or physiology.

SCSU alumnus and former Medtronic Vice President Dale Wahlstrom was instrumental in having Medtronic donate a mobile simulation lab to SCSU.  Dr. Bruce Jacobson, director of bioscience outreach for SCSU and associate professor of biology, oversaw the transformation of the lab to the Science Express.  The mobile lab is part of an outreach initiative led by SCSU to bring bioscience concepts and hands-on-experience to K-12 students in central Minnesota.

An article by Dr. Patricia Simpson, “Personalized Inquiry:  Help Your Students Classify, Generate, and Answer Questions Based on Their Own Interests or Common Materials,” appeared in the December  2010 issue of Science & Children.

The following biology faculty were awarded externally-funded grants:

Dr. Jorge Arriagada, “Monitoring and Controlling Invasive Plant Species at Military Training Sites,” funded by the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs.

Dr. William Cook, “Flora/Fauna Surveys and Land Management Services at Camp Ripley & Arden Hills Army Training Site,” funded by the Department of Military Affairs/Camp Ripley.

Dr. Kristin Gulrud, “Product Testing for Microbiocidal Activity,” funded by Active Ion Cleaning Solutions.

Dr. Bruce Jacobson, “Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation,” funded by Minnesota Space Grant Consortium Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics.

Dr. Marco Restani, “Swift Fox Survey,” funded by World Wildlife Fund, Inc. and by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss, “USGS Services,” funded by US Geological Services.

Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss, “Contributions of Microhabitat Differences on Biological Effects of EACs in Sunfish in Sullivan Lake, MN,” funded by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Drs. Heiko Schoenfuss and Matthew Julius, “Assessing the Vulnerability of Lake Fish Communities to Endocrine Disruption from Water & Sediment Using Pond,” funded by Legislative Citizen Commission for Minnesota Resources.



Intana Chanthirath, biology major from Rogers, Minnesota, is featured on St. Cloud State billboards.  Intana is a biology student assistant, plays many instruments, and is involved in several campus organizations.  Her goal is to become a geneticist, to study diseases and make discoveries that may lead to cures.

Students Jeanette Hoffer, Shigeki Mayama, Kristin Lingle, Kathryn Conroy, and biology faculty member Dr. Matthew Julius wrote an article, “SimRiver:  Environmental Modeling Software for the Science Classroom” which appeared in the January 2011 issue of Science Scope.  The article concerns a realistic computer simulation program, SimRiver, which allows students to develop a river basis and identify how human activity affects producers, specifically diatoms.

Biology graduate student Katie Hyndman and biology students Alan Jon Voegele and Casey M. Schmoll earned the Excellence in Leadership award at SCSU.  They were among 20 students honored who have demonstrated outstanding leadership while at SCSU based on an evaluation of their academic commitment and leadership experiences.

Student Research

The following students were awarded student research funds for their projects:

Brent Schneider, “Functional Interactions of Toxoplasma gondii cuclins and CDKs”

      Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Christopher Kvaal

Cordelia Dunai, “Flow Cytometric Analysis of Cytokines Involved in Immunopathogenesis of Autoimmune Diabetes in Janus Tyrosine Kinase (JAK) 3-deficient Mice”

      Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic

Yong Heng Lee and Andrew Van Bruggen, “Immunophenotyping of Immune Cells Involved in Pathogenesis of Mouse Type 1 Diabetes Induced by High Dose Streptozotocin”

      Faculty Sponsors:  Dr. Christopher Kvaal, Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss

2010 Student Research Colloquium

Presenter Jamie Hanson was awarded Best Paper Presentation at the 2010 Student Research Colloquium.  Her paper was entitled, “Restoring Invasive Plant Dominated Areas by Means of Assisted Succession.”  Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Jorge Arriagada 

Hwee Kiat Gong received the Best Poster award for his paper, “Induction of Autoimmune Diabetes in Mice by Streptozotocin.”  Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic. 

Honorable Mention awards were given to Lucas Vocelka for his paper, “Investigation into Paternal Behavior in Sprague Dawley Rats,” faculty sponsor:  Dr. Maureen Tubbiola; and Ashlie Zemien for her paper, “Isolation of the BceT Enterotoxin in Strains of Bacillus cereus Isolated from Honey,” faculty sponsor:  Dr. Kristin Gulrud.

2009 - 10 Biology Department Scholarships

Al Grewe Memorial Scholarship

            Rhonda Zimmerman

Doc Nelson Scholarship

            Anh Bui

            Avinaj John

Dorothy Barker Endowed Scholarship

            Mical Benaldo

            Kelly Johnson

            Kelsey Lesteberg

            Marlena Mueller

            Wei Ong

George Friedrich Endowed Scholarship

            Alan Einck

            Jamie Hanson

            Zachary Jorgenson

            Jeffrey Miller

Gregory John Harkins Endowed Scholarship

            Mical Benaldo

            Anh Bui

            Katrina Croghan

Harold H. & Gladys I. Hopkins Endowed Scholarship

            Rhonda Zimmerman

Partch Scholarship

            Jamie Hanson

Students Accepted into Professional Schools

Medical School:

            Jason Huikko (2010), University of Minnesota-Duluth

               Katie Opsal (2010), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Medical Laboratory Science Interns:

         Hennepin County Medical Center:

            Mical Benaldo

              Tracy Blenker            

              Brittany Lindquist

            University of Minnesota:

              Wei Ong

Optometry School:

            Kelly Freese (2010), New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA

            Jessica Murphy (2010), Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Pharmacy School:

            Brian Dragich (2009), Laramie, Wyoming

Ph.D. Program:

            Elizabeth Lieser (2010), Oncology and Immunology, Mayo Clinic

            Meghan McGee Painter (2009), Molecular Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic

Physician Assistant School:

            Ami Amefia Komlanvi (2009), Augsburg College

Veterinary School:

            Tammy Oseid (2010), University of Minnesota

Graduate Notes

Thomas Tauer (1990) was appointed interim vice provost and graduate dean at East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania.  He has served as the university’s associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since June 2008.

Timothy Krenik (1994) is a Masters PA-C at the University of St. Francis in Albuquerque, NM and has been in practice since 2003.  His specialties include addiction medicine and internal medicine.  The company he works for provides geriatric medical services to 28 contracts with skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and home health agencies.

Josh Plath (2001) is a sales representative at AB SCIEX in Foster City, California.  The company creates scientific instrumentation, software and services for life science, clinical research and industrial markets.

Whitney Latham (2004) received a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Des Moines University in spring of 2010.

Gargi Dayama (2007) returned to SCSU on September 17, 2010, to present a seminar entitled “Examining the Possible Link Between Microbes and Colon Cancer.”  Gargi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of South Carolina.

Jessica Lynn Thaemlitz (2009) passed away on May 1, 2010.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences with a minor in psychology.

Tammy Oseid (2010) was awarded the USDA Saul T. Wilson Scholarship for veterinary school.

Yong Heng Lee (2010), major in biotechnology, accepted a research associate position in Sanford Health (Dr. Suen’s lab), SD.  His duties include working on Type I Diabetes (TID) and the Sanford Project.


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