Department of Biology
College of Science and Engineering

Bio-Feedback Newsletter


Bio-Feedback 2008

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Department Welcomes

Dr. Michelle Wagner joined the biology department in August 2008 as the biology laboratory coordinator of BIOL 151 and 152 and as the coordinator for the biology tutoring center.  Before coming to SCSU, Dr. Wagner was a post-doc at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of MN-St. Paul in biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics; and B.S. and B.A. from Texas Lutheran University.  In November 2008 she and her husband, Jerry Johnson, had a baby boy and named him Theodore .


Dr. Stan Lewis and Dr. Steven Williams were among the honorees at the 2008 SCSU Faculty and Staff Retirement Reception held in the Atwood Ballroom, April 30, 2008.

Faculty Notes

Dr. Vincent Johnson, biology professor, passed away April 25, 2008.  Dr. Johnson attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, earning his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in biology.   In 1967 he came to St. Cloud State University as a biology professor and retired in 1996.  Survivors include his wife, Lucille (Ceil), children Krista Miller, Cydna Lyons, and Curtis Johnson, and three grandchildren.

Dr. David Sogn Mork, biology professor, passed away December 7, 2008.  Dr. Mork received his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN and  Master’s and Ph.D. from Purdue University, Indiana.  He was a biology professor at SCSU from 1967 until his retirement in 2002.  He was known as the "Bat Man" for his work with bat banding.  He is survived by his wife, Ellen; sons Peter and Brian; and a granddaughter, Skyler.

Grants Awarded

Dr. Jorge Arriagada

Monitoring and Controlling Invasive Plant Species at Military Training Sites.  Minnesota Department of Military Affairs. 

Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje: 

MRI-Acquisition of a Becton Dickonson Flow Cytometer (BD FACSCalibur) for the Visualization and Qualification of Cells.  National Science Foundation.

Dr. William Cook: 

Land Management Services at Camp Ripley and AHATS.  Department of Military Affairs.

Dr. Bruce Jacobson:

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.  University of Minnesota.

K-12 Initiative (Science Truck).  MnSCU.

Dr. Matthew Julius: 

Rainy River Basin Implementation Project.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Water Quality Trend Analysis Program.  MN Department of Military Affairs.

RET Supplement to Tree of Life.  National Science Foundation.

Development of a Preliminary Nutrient Budget and Water Quality Monitoring Modeling for Lake of the Woods.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Course Evaluation of Sewered and Non-Sewered Areas Portions of Rainy Lake and Non-Sewered Regions of Lake Kabetogama.  Koochiching County, Minnesota.

Dr. JoAnn Meerschaert:

Redesign of Cell Lab to Provide Individual Learning Experiences.  MnSCU CTL.

Dr. Marco Restani: 

Occurrence of Avian Influenza and West Nile Viruses in the Desert Southwest—Mod #2.  Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management.

Nesting Ecology of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.  U.S. Forest Service.

Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss

Reconnaissance of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Minnesota Waters.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

On-Line Toxicity Monitoring.  US Environmental Protection Agency, US Homeland Security.

Assessing the Effects of Rapid Thermal Alterations on Fish Health:  Phase I Laboratory Investigations on Sunfish & Fathead Minnows.  Excel Energy Foundation.

Toxicity Monitoring.  MN Department of Health.

Drs. Heiko Schoenfuss and Matthew Julius:  Collaborative Research:  Plasticity, Selection and Divergence in Fishes.  National Science Foundation.

Drs. Heiko Schoenfuss and Matthew Julius:  Biological Effects and Elimination of Estrogenic Septic Discharge.  US EPA.

Dr. Patricia Simpson:

More and Better Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning.  MnSCU.

Student Research Colloquium 2008

The following biology students received awards at the Student Awards Ceremony at the Student Research Colloquium, April 22, 2008:

Best Poster:

Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes (TID) in the Colony of NOD/Ltj Mice Models at St. Cloud State University.  Presenters:  Sarah Johnson, Marin Olson, Prince Rajbhandar.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje

Honorable Mention:  The Effects of WHI-P131 on Proliferation of Isolated Mouse CD4+ T-Cells.  Presenters:  Fei Chin Tsan, Ketaki Ghate, Niza Menkul, Patricia Fast.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje

Does WHI-P131 Induce Cell Death in the Isolated CD4+ T-Cells of MOD Mice?  Presenters:  Deshani Perera, Ketaki Ghate.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje

Best Paper Presentation:

Honorable Mention:  4-Nonylphenol Binding to Glass as a Possible Toxicity Mechanism in Diatoms, an Important Aquatic Producer.  Presenter:  Joshua Stepanek.  Sponsor:  Dr. Matthew Julius

Bald Eagles as Contaminant Bioindicators.  Presenter:  Jason Carlson.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marco Restani

A Paradox of Paradise:  A Study of Setting in the Works of Sinclair Lewis.  Presenter:  Meghan McGee.  Sponsor:  Dr. Heiko Schoenfuss

What Does Janus Tyrosine Kinase (JAK) 3 Inhibitor Do to the T-Cells in Vitro?  Presenters:  Ketaki Ghate, Niza Nemkul, Patricia Fast, Fei Chin Tsan, Sharad Shrestha, Deshani Perera.  Sponsor:  Dr. Marina Cetkovic

Students Accepted into Professional Schools

Dental School:

            Laura Sills (2006), Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ.

Nuclear Medicine Program:

            Sharon Linn (2008), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.


            Chris Froelich (2008), University of Montana.

Ph.D. Program: 

            Ben Frigo (2007), bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of

            Minnesota-Twin Cities.

2008-09 Biology Department Scholarships

Endowed Biology Fund Scholarship

            Brendan Schmoll

            Kah Yong Goh

            Omkar Paudel

Gladys Tirrell & Dr. N.B. Nelson Endowed Biology Scholarship

            Michael Maher

            Rachel Wawrzyn

            Kelly Freese

Gregory John Harkins Endowed Scholarship

            Brendan Schmoll

            Ketaki Ghate

            Jessica Murphy

            Betty Birgen

            Kristy Roth

            Kah Yong Goh

George Friedrich Endowed Scholarship

            Jason Carlson

            Meghan McGee

            David Pluth

Dorothy Barker Scholarship

            Rachel Wawrzyn

            Michael Maher

            Kelly Freese

            Betty Birgen

            Jessica Murphy

            Kristy Roth

            Marin Olson

            Labchan Rajbhandari

            Mark Wienhold

National Institutes of Health

            Allissa Dillman

Graduate Notes

Joe Stewig (1994) received his MS degree in Fisheries Ecology and Management in May 2001 from Auburn University.  He is employed as a Fisheries Biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Panama City, FL.  His responsibilities include evaluating striped bass stocking policy on the Choctawhatchee River as well as assessing sport fish populations on public water bodies.

Sherry Rotter Kollmann (1995) is now working for Boston Scientific in Regulatory Affairs, supporting DES (drug-eluting stents) products in the cardiovascular group.

Brad Sivanich (1999) graduated with degrees in ecology/natural resources and outdoor education.  He is employed by Cargill Animal Nutrition, Elk River.

Michelle Ozarowski (2004) was accepted into the Ph.D. program in geology at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  She was also given a fellowship.

Jake Lehner (2005) graduated with a degree in ecology and field biology.  He is employed by Minnesota Conservation Corps., Brainerd, as a field assistant.  Jake and Beth Beaupre’ were married May 24, 2008.

Rachel Lindgren (2006), currently a biology graduate student (Dr. Matthew Julius, advisor) was the recipient of the Phycological Society of America poster award and presented a study that examined if commercial filtering systems remove cyanobacteria and their toxins in rural areas using a combination of techniques.

Kelly Tomczik (2007) is employed by St. Cloud Hospital as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit and at Sartell High School as head coach of the Sabre dance team.  Kelly and Nick McCarney were married October 4, 2008.

Jenna Trisko (2007) received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for community service activities.  The award is given to National Society of Collegiate Scholars members who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service and civic participation.  Jenna wrote a grant for the Human Society to help fund its spade and neuter program and for senior citizen assistance.

Chad Blanksma (2008) is an independent contractor with the Duluth EPA, assessing chemical and nanomaterial toxicity in aquatic organisms.


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