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Huskies Showcase 2020


In the spirit of Huskies Showcase 2020, COSE is sharing some of the outstanding student work produced in the ‘19-‘20 Academic Year. Today our spotlight shines on Amira Zaher! Amira

Amira was recognized as a Huskies Showcase finalist for her work on Type 1 diabetes-induced cellular stress in mouse models. She worked on the project with faculty mentors Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje from St. Cloud State and Antonija Jurak Begonja of the University of Rijeka, Croatia.

“Doing research with Dr. Cetkovic has been a wonderful experience,” Zaher said. “In my lab, I study potential therapeutics for type 1 diabetes, a disease that impacts millions all over the world. The knowledge I gain from being a biomedical sciences student does not stop in class, I use it in research to solve problems and make a change in the real world.

“COSE has helped me sharpen my skills as a researcher, realize my potential, and accomplish my career goals.”

Amira is graduating in May and will start her Ph.D. program in cancer biology as a graduate research assistant at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa in fall. She was recognized as a finalist in both the oral and presentation categories. Amira is just one example of the ways in which COSE students Unleash Amazing.


In the spirit of Huskies Showcase 2020, COSE is sharing some of the outstanding student work produced in the ‘19-‘20 Academic Year. Today, let’s shine the spotlight on Eleanor Nelson and Aroshi Wijesekara!Aroshi and Elanor

Their collaborative research project studies the effects of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the development of Type I diabetes in mice. Mice were given differing concentrations of sodium bicarbonate in water, and their spleen cells were analyzed and counted to determine if sodium bicarbonate had an effect on immune cells.

 “This project helped me develop many skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and time management”, Aroshi said. She is planning to pursue a work experience after she graduates before returning to St. Cloud State to pursue a Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Presentation “Participating in this project has taught me to work as part of an academic team”, Eleanor said, “As an aspiring physician, it has been extremely valuable for me to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to a real-world problem.” Eleanor is planning to apply for medical school upon graduation in May.

 Aroshi and Eleanor are part of a large team of COSE students that have been working on Type I diabetes research for years. Under the direction of Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje, these students collaborate to Unleash Amazing.


In the spirit of Huskies Showcase 2020, COSE is sharing some of the outstanding student work produced in the ‘19-‘20 Academic Year. Next up are Mechanical Engineering students Matthew Kjos, Tyler Priem, and Nathanael Przybilla!

Engineering InternshipMatthew, Tyler, and Nathanael partnered with Pinnacle Climate Technologies’ Vice President of Engineering on a capstone project. Together, they re-designed a kerosene forced air heater in order to optimize the air-fuel mixture utilized by the device.

The project was “an excellent opportunity to experience a design project in industry and to be able to apply things learned throughout my time at St. Cloud State University", Przybilla says. The project also “helped to give some good design experience in the field before entering the workforce."

This summer, Nathanael plans to continue an internship at Pinnacle Climate Technologies, while Tyler has accepted a Service Engineer position at Cummins. Tyler graduates in May and is in the process of deciding where he will continue his career. Wherever these students land, it is certain that they will continue to Unleash Amazing.


In the spirit of Huskies Showcase 2020, COSE is sharing some of the outstanding student work produced in the ‘19-‘20 Academic Year. Next up we drop in on Biomedical Sciences students Shantelle Des Marais and Lakshima Hiripitiya!Huskies Showcase

Like a number of their classmates, Shantelle and Lakshima received their undergraduate research experience in Dr. Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje’s lab. They contributed to Dr. Cetkovic-Cvrlje’s ongoing Type I Diabetes research, examining how baking soda might be used to suppress the onset of the disease and provide beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.

“I really wanted to get experience doing hands-on research and I was particularly interested in studying Type 1 Diabetes because it has such a high prevalence and it impacts people all over the world”, Shantelle says. “Doing research taught me how to apply all of the knowledge I've learned as a bio-med student to a real-world scientific problem. It gave me invaluable insight into what it's like to be a working professional in the fields of science, medicine, and research.”

“COSE has prepared me for professional work through high quality instruction and attention to detail. Working in research challenges you to apply your knowledge and communicate effectively in a group. Doing research is a great way to hone the skills that employers are looking for.”

We’re delighted to shine the spotlight on Shantelle Des Marais and Lakshima Hiripitiya, two more COSE students who definitely Unleash Amazing.