11/19/2013 11:43 AM
Three Millikin University biology students were awarded research grants from the Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) National Biological Honor Society for their efforts in wild bird research.
Elizabeth Wrobel, a junior biology major from Tinley Park, Ill., was awarded a $520 research grant. Sarah Plants, a senior biology major from Pana, Ill., received a $300 research grant, and Spencer Hudson, a junior biology major from Wilmington, Del., received a $500 research grant.
"We have a general program at Millikin where students perform research on bird health and bird physiology," said Dr. Travis Wilcoxen, Millikin assistant professor of biology. "Millikin began its TriBeta Chapter in 2011, so we've had two full years in which Millikin students have been a part of this organization. TriBeta has a national grant program that funds undergraduate student projects. The undergrads have to write a two-page proposal that tells the entire story of their project."
Elizabeth Wrobel's research investigates the prevalence of avian pox and conjunctivitis in wild populations of songbirds and birds of prey. Her research includes comparing particular sites that have had bird feeders in the last two years and studying how the overall health of birds in those areas is being impacted by certain diseases.
"It's an honor to receive the grant," said Wrobel. "I will be using the grant to purchase equipment for our lab and to help analyze data. To be just starting this research and being awarded a grant like this is something not many people receive."
Sarah Plants' research project examines the health costs of wild birds surviving a natural West Nile Virus infection. Plants' research also focuses on the physiological effects of songbirds around the Decatur area.
"I was ecstatic when I was told about the grant," said Plants. "We are going to use the grant money to perform another West Nile antibody test. This will provide us more samples so we can develop a good thesis."
Spencer Hudson's research investigates the relationship between blue plumage coloration and individual quality in Indigo Buntings, a small seed-eating bird whose habitats are farmland and brush areas.
"To say the least, it made my day knowing that this grant will help with the research," said Hudson. "I couldn't imagine being able to have an opportunity to do this type of research elsewhere. It's great that I'm able to pursue research that I'm interested in and receive the type of experience that will prepare me for graduate school."
TriBeta is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. Since its founding in 1922, more than 200,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership, and more than 670 chapters have been established throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Wilcoxen added, "This funding will definitely help in taking the student's research to the next level. Effectively, not only does this improve the recognition of the student's research but it improves the quality of science that we can do at Millikin, and that's the most exciting part about it. These recognitions say a lot about the student's ability to use their basic knowledge of biology they gained from Millikin to contribute more than just a lab project. It's a synthesis of what they are learning in the classroom and taking it to the next level to drive science."
For more information on TriBeta, visit www.tri-beta.org
10/14/2013 3:10 PM
Millikin University's student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) earned an Honorable Mention Chapter Award for its events and programming throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. This marks the 13th consecutive year that the Millikin chapter has received accolades from the American Chemical Society.
Millikin's ACS student chapter also received the Green Chemistry Award for having at least three activities or events that promote green chemistry. The Millikin chapter has been awarded a Green Chemistry Chapter Award nine times in the last 11 years.
"Winning an Honorable Mention Chapter Award speaks highly of the professionalism and dedication of the student leaders and other student members of the chapter," said Dr. George Bennett, Millikin professor of chemistry. "It's rewarding to see the new officers each year take responsibility for upholding the chapter's tradition of excellence in promoting the value of chemistry in everyday life."
Millikin's student chapter presented a variety of activities during the 2012-2013 academic year. For green chemistry, the chapter organized a green chemistry week that included a bake sale, a scavenger hunt, a trivia night, and a wear green day, among other things.
The current officers of Millikin University's ACS student chapter are as follows:
President: Jessica Davison, a senior chemistry major from Huntley, Ill.
Vice President: Sarah Hickey, a junior biology major from Highland, Ill.
Treasurer: Chelsea Hadsall, a senior applied mathematics major from Macomb, Ill.
Historian: Emily Talbott, a sophomore biology major from Champaign, Ill.
PR Chair: Drake Mellott, a junior chemistry major from Sterling, Ill.
"I am proud that our chapter was recognized for our efforts in programming and trying to promote something that Millikin's chemistry department really believes in – green chemistry," said Jessica Davison, ACS chapter president. "We all worked hard to provide fun events for people and to show how chemistry and even science can be beneficial."
The awards will be presented at the annual ACS Spring National Meeting in Dallas, Texas in March 2014.
The American Chemical Society is a congressionally chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry. With more than 164,000 members, the American Chemical Society is the world's largest scientific society and one of the world's leading sources of authoritative scientific information. For more information on the American Chemical Society, visit www.acs.org
4/19/2013 12:55 PM
Millikin University students earned top awards for their presentations at the 2013 Sigma Zeta National Convention held March 21-23 which was held on the Millikin University campus. Sigma Zeta is a national undergraduate honor society that encourages and fosters scholarly activity and recognizes academic scholarship in the natural and computer sciences and mathematics.
Kelly Commons, a senior from Indianapolis, Ind., received the award for Best Paper Presentation and Brandon Barringer, a senior from Decatur, Ill., received the award for Best Poster Presentation. Commons also won the 2013 Pi Chapter Honor Award, an award presented to one exemplary member of each nominating chapter annually at the National Convention.
"I was very happy to have received the Best Paper Presentation Award," remarked Commons. "There was tough competition for the poster and paper presentations and I applaud everyone that made the effort to present their undergraduate research. I hope that the paper and poster presentations that were given inspired others to want to present their research in the coming years."
Commons' paper presentation was titled "The effect of supplemental feeding on forest bird populations in central Illinois." The project focused on how wild bird feeding influences the bird populations at forested sites in central Illinois. Commons, along with Rebekah Carlson, a senior from Decatur, Ill., compared three forested sites where they provided supplemental food to three forested sites for which no supplemental food was available. Among 17 species of migrant and resident birds, they found few changes in bird populations to the forested sites as a whole that could be attributed to bird feeding. In a companion study, they found that the number of birds that visited feeders increased from 2011 to 2012.
"There were 14 different chapters at the convention and Millikin took home the honors in both categories," remarked Dr. Anne Rammelsberg, Millikin University associate professor of chemistry. "Sigma Zeta is an organization that promotes undergraduate research projects and that fits right in with the performance learning aspect at Millikin."
Brandon Barringer's poster presentation, titled "The Remediation of Amoxicillin from Water Using pH 3 Buffer Treated Fly-ash," was based on a previous study by the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) in 2002 that found measurable concentrations of 95 organic wastewater contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, in 139 streams across the United States. Amoxicillin became the focus of the research project as water samples spiked with amoxicillin were passed through Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) cartridges packed with fly-ash. Greater than 80 percent of amoxicillin in H2O samples was retained by the fly-ash.
"Winning the award for the Best Poster Presentation at the 2013 Sigma Zeta Convention was a great honor," remarked Barringer. "Being selected out of 28 other poster presentations is a great accomplishment as there were many other great posters spanning from natural and computer sciences to mathematics."
Additional Millikin students that made presentations at the 2013 Sigma Zeta National Convention included Cody Smith, a senior from Franklin Grove, Ill.; Katie Stoltz, a senior from Charleston, Ill.; Brianna Hogan, a senior from Antioch, Ill.; Madeline Knott, a senior from Bettendorf, Iowa; Liyang Yu, a senior from Chicago, Ill; Faaria Salik, a senior from Forsyth, Ill.; Rebekah Carlson, a senior from Decatur, Ill.; Lindsey Baxter, a junior from Rockton, Ill.; Sarah Huber, a senior from West Dundee, Ill.; Chelsea Hadsall, a senior from Macomb, Ill.; Joseph Cheeney, a senior from Kent, Ill.; and Chris Pelikan, a senior from Latham, Ill.
Commons added, "This was the third national convention that I have attended, and I was pleased with the quality of the event as a whole compared to previous years. Being able to meet other undergraduates from around the country is always a rewarding experience, especially when you get the opportunity to learn from each other."
For further information regarding Sigma Zeta and the 2013 National Convention, visit www.sigmazeta.org
3/5/2013 3:40 PM
For the sixth consecutive year, Millikin University students took top awards at the 35th annual Model Illinois Government (MIG) Simulation held Feb. 28 – March 3 at the State Capital Complex in Springfield. Millikin students won first and second place awards in the Moot Court Competition and were recognized with individual awards.
Each spring semester, students from around the state of Illinois participate in the Model Illinois Government simulation. Nearly 300 students from over 20 colleges and universities participated in the 35th MIG Simulation. The Moot Court Competition featured 12 Millikin University student-attorney participants.
The Moot Court competition was held in the chambers that were once the home of the Illinois Supreme Court. Teams of attorneys argued before a panel of student justices and legal professionals and were scored on the basis of presentation and knowledge of the case fact. Millikin University provided six teams during the Moot Court Competition with five teams reaching the quarterfinal round. All teams that reached the semifinal and final rounds were from Millikin University. The team of James Farris, a junior from Decatur, and Jacqueline Hollis, a senior from Decatur, won the competition and was honored as Most Outstanding Moot Court Team. The team of Emma Prendergast, a junior from New Lenox, and Julia Hesse, a junior from Tinley Park, placed second and was honored as runner-up for Most Outstanding Moot Court Team.
"This is the sixth consecutive year that a Millikin team has been crowned champion," remarked Dr. Robert Money, chair of the philosophy department at Millikin University. "This is a remarkable record of success achieved by the hard work and outstanding performances of our students. The students who participate in Moot Court represent a diverse range of disciplines. This year, we had students with majors or minors in philosophy, history, English writing, finance, music, human services, political science, psychology, French, and dance."
In addition to Millikin's success, Millikin students swept the individual awards at the Moot Court Competition. Emma Prendergast was honored as Most Outstanding Moot Court Attorney, while Kolton Ray, a junior from Decatur, was honored as runner-up for Most Outstanding Moot Court Attorney.
"The Moot Court simulation has prepared me more for law school than any simple lecture or classroom experience could have," remarked Ray. "Moot Court has not only developed my skills as a future attorney, but has also put me in contact with numerous people in the field - from law school representatives to different practicing attorneys across the state. Throughout classroom analysis, discussion and evaluation, Dr. Money has made us a team and that's something that no other university is doing. When we win these competitions, we win together, and that camaraderie is what propels us to get better year after year."
"The students participating as attorneys this year were highly competitive, and so it's truly an honor to have been recognized in this way," remarked Prendergast. "Moot court is one of the most academically engaging and exciting opportunities offered at Millikin, and I'm thankful to be able to share this experience with such a remarkably talented group of peers."
Individuals that participated as justices in the competition were Millikin student Brittney DeRoo, a senior from Elgin, and Millikin Technical Support Specialist, Miles Grimes.
"Our students worked extremely hard in advance of and during the competition to produce and deliver sophisticated legal arguments," remarked Money. "The results speak for themselves. It is an honor to work with such bright and motivated students."
Other Millikin students who participated in the competition include Kevin Stocks, a senior from Bloomington; Joshua Rose, a junior from Saint Jacob; Rob Spurling, a sophomore from Taylorville; Greg Yep, a junior from Carol Stream; Nora Kocher, a junior from Oak Forest; Sam Spurling, a junior from Taylorville; and Brandy Hunt, a junior from Wapella.
For more information on Model Illinois Government, visit www.modelillinoisgovernment.org
1/18/2013 1:45 PM
Millikin University mathematics students Hailee Peck, a sophomore from Mahomet, Ill., and Lane Bloome, a senior from Raymond, Ill., were honored with an Outstanding Presentation Award from the Undergraduate Student Poster Session at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings. The meetings were held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego, Calif. The Undergraduate Student Poster Session featured over 300 poster presentations by students from around the country, and the top 10 to 15 percent of posters received the Outstanding Presentation distinction.
"The judges were very impressed with the way our students were poised and more conversational during their presentation," remarked Dr. Joe Stickles, professor of mathematics. "The work they presented came from both Hailee's SURF-funded work from this summer as well as the work they did jointly this semester as undergraduate research fellows."
Peck and Bloome's poster presentation focused on the topic of using ideal-divisor graphs to classify ideals of finite commutative rings with identity. Part of the research process was through Millikin University's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. The program teams a student with a faculty member to perform an in-depth research project over the summer months.
"It is a great honor to have our poster recognized as an outstanding presentation," remarked Bloome. "Over 300 of the best and brightest young mathematicians participated, and it's always a pleasure to be in the same room with so many fellow budding mathematicians. It's also wonderful to get feedback from professional mathematicians on your research. Professional opinions give you a lot of perspective on exactly where you are on your work."
The Joint Mathematics Meetings is this largest annual mathematics meeting in the world, combining the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Along with highlighted speakers and workshops, the meetings also featured student programs and activities. The Undergraduate Student Poster Session showcased the work of more than 500 undergraduate students, and over 200 professional mathematicians participated on the judging panel.
"I thought that the Joint Mathematics Meetings gave me valuable insight into the current issues in mathematics," remarked Peck. "It was a very rewarding experience - Lane and I had put in long hours to complete the research, so being able to present it and have people interested in what we were doing made our hard work worthwhile."
"In terms of research and going to conferences, our department does a very good job of giving our students these type of experiences and getting them prepared for going on to graduate school or into the workforce," remarked Stickles. "Our version of performance-learning in mathematics is having our students go out and present. All three tracks of our mathematics majors do this type of work. To not only do the research but to have the experience to present it, whether it’s a presentation at a conference or in paper form, all of those experiences will help at that next level. We’ve been very lucky to have students involved early with projects and we've had positive feedback from our students who have gone on to graduate programs."
11/6/2012 2:00 PM
Millikin University will host its 10th annual Literary Festival Nov. 8 – 10. The 2012 Literary Festival is open to high school and college students and the general public. The festival includes workshops, readings and sessions with featured writers. The event gives participants the opportunity to work directly with professional writers and receive feedback. Sessions will be held in Pilling Chapel and Shilling Hall, Millikin University campus.
The Literary Festival will feature a High School Writing Contest where students will have the opportunity to win scholarships to Millikin University. Millikin Scholarships will be awarded to the top three winners. Literary Festival featured writers include Jeffrey Allen, Joseph Bonomo, John Dalton, Lucas Hirsch, Nils Michals, Anna Moschovakis, Aubrey Ryan, and Katie Schmid.
Jeffrey Allen is the author of "Simple Universal." He holds a master’s degree in poetry from Columbia College Chicago, where he currently teaches. His poems have appeared in TriQuarterly, CutBank, H_NGM_N, Another Chicago Magazine, Forklift Ohio and Clementine. He is the poetry editor of Phantom Limb, an online poetry magazine.
Joe Bonomo's collection of essays, "This Must Be Where My Obsession With Infinity Began," won the Orphan Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award and will be published by Orphan Press in 2013. His books include "Conversations With Greil Marcus," "AC/DC's Highway to Hell," "Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found," "Installations," and "Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band." Born and raised in suburban Washington D.C., he lives in DeKalb, Ill., and is an assistant professor of English at Northern Illinois University.
John Dalton is the author of the novel
"Heaven Lake," winner of the Barnes and Noble 2004 Discover Award in fiction and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel, "The Inverted Forest," was published in 2011 and selected as a best book of the year by
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Wall Street Journal - Book Lover.
Lucas Hirsch is the author of two collections of poems, "Familie Gebiedt" and "Tastzin." In 2007, Lucas began a small literary production company called Kleine Revolutie Producties, where he organizes literary events in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Hirsch is currently working on his fourth book of poetry and his first novel.
Nils Michals is the author of "Lure," which won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award and was published by Pleiades and LSU Press in 2004. His most recent work has appeared in Menacing Hedge, White Whale Review, Bombay Gin, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, and others. He currently teaches at Front Range Community College and the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo.
Anna Moschovakis is the author of two books of poetry, "You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake" and "I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone," and the translator of several French novels, most recently "The Jokers" by Albert Cossery. She is a longtime member of the Brooklyn-based publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse.
Aubrey Ryan's work has appeared recently in Anti-, Quarterly West, Best New Poets 2011, and DIAGRAM. She is the winner of the 2012 Booth Poetry Award and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Aubrey received her master’s degree from Northern Michigan University where she served as associate poetry editor of Passages North.
Katie Schmid's work has been published in Quarterly West, Hot Metal Bridge, Event Magazine, and Best New Poets 2009. Her manuscript recently took second place in the Santa Fe Writer's Project Poetry Awards. She received her master’s degree from the University of Wyoming and won the University's Outstanding Thesis Award in 2011.
Millikin faculty members and writers Dr. Stephen Frech, Dr. Randy Brooks, Dr. Carmella Braniger and Carmen Aravena will also take part in the festival. Individuals interested in participating in the 2012 Literary Festival should contact Dr. Stephen Frech at 217.362.6473 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on the Millikin Literary Festival and the High School Writing Contest, visit www.millikin.edu/literaryfestival
10/3/2012 2:30 PM
For the second consecutive year the Millikin University student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) received an Outstanding Chapter Award from the ACS Committee on Education for its activities during the 2011-2012 academic year. This is the 12th consecutive year the Millikin chapter has been recognized by the American Chemical Society.
The Millikin ACS student chapter also received a Green Chemistry Award for activities promoting best practices in green chemistry. The Millikin chapter has received a Green Chemistry Chapter Award eight times in the last 10 years.
“Winning an Outstanding Chapter Award speaks highly of the professionalism and dedication of the student leaders and other student members of the chapter,” remarked Dr. George Bennett, chair of Millikin’s chemistry department. “It’s rewarding to see the new officers each year take responsibility for upholding the chapter’s tradition of excellence in promoting the value of chemistry in everyday life.”
Millikin’s student chapter presented a variety of activities during the 2011-2012 academic year, including guest alumni speakers at Homecoming, Founder’s Day, and National Chemistry Week. The student chapter also held fundraising events such as selling lab notebooks and safety glasses to students in lab courses, and selling T-shirts for green chemistry awareness.
“It is an honor to be serving as the president of an award-winning chapter,” remarked Chelsea Hadsall, Millikin ACS chapter president. “We are proud of this recognition and we will continue to work and grow throughout the year.”
The awards will be presented at the 245th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans, La. in April 2013.
The American Chemical Society is a congressionally chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry. For more information on the American Chemical Society, visit www.acs.org
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