December 2011

Dean's Message

Dear Alumni and Friends,

It is our pleasure to bring you greetings from the College of Science and Technology (CSAT) and the second annual alumni newsletter. Our faculty and staff members continue to challenge and support our students with extraordinary learning opportunities, and our students continue to accept the challenges and experience rewards they never imagined were possible.

The CSAT has collectively achieved great success this year, and our college continues to be a destination for motivated new students. In Anthropological Sciences for example, the number of majors has increased by 69% since 2009. Examples of honors at the national level include the RU student chapter of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists winning the 2010 Outstanding Student Chapter Award and the naming of Biology major Brandon Newmyer as a 2011 Goldwater Scholar. Since July 1, 2011 CSAT faculty members have received $295,482 from seven external grants, and CSAT faculty members have received numerous awards. At our college commencement ceremony in May, Dr. Mark Cline won the CSAT Outstanding Teaching Award and Dr. Prem Uppuluri received the Artis Outstanding Faculty Award for Scholarship and Service in the CSAT. At the Radford University level in May 2011, Dr. Christine Hermann received the RU Foundation Distinguished Service Award and Dr. Christine Small received the Donald N. Dedmon Professorial Award. Dr. Stephen Lenhart received the 2011 William Barton Rogers Individual Award from the Virginia Museum of Natural History. The CSAT Building Committee members continue to assist the architectural firm EYP with planning and designing our new building, the Center for the Sciences, and we anticipate that construction will begin in the fall of 2012. These achievements are all cause for celebration, and we hope that you will visit our college website for more stories and news articles.

Much of our success is due to your generosity and support, and we are truly thankful for the donations from our alumni that support scholarships and provide enrichment resources for our academic programs and outreach facilities, such as the Planetarium and Museum of the Earth Sciences. Since January 1, 2011, 27 CSAT alumni have contributed $6,426, and we are especially grateful that one alumnus has pledged $25,000 for a new scholarship and discussions are taking place for the naming of spaces in the Center for the Sciences.

We hope that you will become involved in the life of our college if you are not already actively participating, and we would welcome your visit to campus at Homecoming or whenever your schedule permits. We value your contributions to our college and your professional expertise as resources for our faculty and students. Please contact my office at (540) 831-5958 if I may be of service to you in your partnership with the College of Science and Technology.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

J. Orion Rogers, Ph.D.

Welcome to the second annual College of Science and Technology (CSAT) alumni e-newsletter which contains some of the highlights, accomplishments and latest news of the past year. The college also publishes a bi-weekly newsletter From the Dean's Desk, which can be found on the college website www.radford.edu/csat. We invite you to visit the website for the latest news from our college. We hope you enjoy learning more about the college through these stories. We invite you to contact us at abrown238@radford.edu with comments, suggestions and news about your accomplishments throughout the year. We would love to hear from you.

College of Science and Technology Alumni Advisory Council Met in September
The college's Alumni Advisory Council met in September to hear from all programs within the college and learn about the upcoming new science building The Center for the Sciences slated to begin construction next year. Read more

Information Technology Students Presents Research at Prestigious Conference
Information technology student Austin DeVinney's interest and curiosity has paid off with a summer internship opportunity with cybersecurity expert and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia David Evans.

During the summer, DeVinney collaborated with Evans and his computer security student group. "I came into the group and was put on a project called 'GuardRails'. It is a source-to-source Ruby on Rails security framework that will take annotated code and transform it into a more secure version," says DeVinney. In addition to the project, DeVinney collaborated with Evans on an academic poster that detailed features and integrations of the ‘GuardRails' system, which he presented in August at the USENIX Secruity Symposium 2011 in San Francisco. Read more

Chemistry Students and their Faculty Mentors Present Research at ACS Conference
In October, five undergraduate researchers in chemistry presented their work at the South East Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) in Richmond. Students across the college receive undergraduate research experience and, with the encouragement and guidance of their faculty mentors, travel to regional and international conferences to present their work.

This was the first conference biology major and chemistry minor Brittany Wike attended and says the experience as a whole was incredible. "I was able to appreciate more of the things some of the other presenters were talking about because the professors at RU do such a nice job explaining material and helping students. I think that was the best part about this experience in regards to my educational experience at Radford," she explains. Read more

Geography Alumnus, Biology and Business Professors Collaborate on Land Productivity Project
Biology associate professor Christine Small will be collaborating with geography alumnus and CSAT alumni advisory council member David Bradshaw, and management associate professors Iain Clelland and Gary Fetter on a project to increase land productivity in southwestern Virginia. The study "Terra2B: Development and Scenario Testing of a GIS-based Model of Appalachian Agroecosystems Management" is funded by a $17,700 Radford University Faculty Research Grant.

The project will develop and test a science and technology-based model of Appalachian agroecosystem management on privately-owned lands in southwestern Virginia. "Our goal is to enhance economic growth for land owners and local communities by increasing and generating new avenues for natural resource productivity while also maintaining ecosystem integrity," says Small. Read more

New Geospatial Science Program Approved by SCHEV, Enrolls Majors
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) approved a Radford University degree program that will prepare students for careers in geospatial sciences.

The College of Science and Technology's new geospatial science program, approved by RU's Board of Visitors in November, is set to begin in the fall and to graduate its first class in 2015.

The geospatial science degree program, the first of its kind in Virginia, will provide specialized coursework for students who seek training in geographic information systems (GIS), digital cartography techniques and applications, remote sensing, environmental issues and geography in preparation for careers in geoinformatics or environmental planning and management. Read more

Professors Herman and Boyd Research Better Way to Identify Covert Burials of Human Remains
Analyzing historic burials may give clues to the best way to find covert burials at crime scenes. Anthropological sciences professor Cliff Boyd and physics professor Rhett Herman think that examining and documenting Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) signals from marked and unmarked graves at historic cemeteries will help law enforcement effectively use GPR to recognize unmarked burials at crime scenes. Read more

RU Museum of the Earth Sciences Affiliate of Virginia Museum of Natural History
The Radford University Museum of the Earth Sciences (MES) has become an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH).

According to VMNH this three-year-long designation implies mutual recognition and support of the museums' common educational purpose. RU's MES was chosen as an affiliate because of its emphasis of Virginia's natural history and is recognized as a science-based facility devoted to research and the education of patrons of all ages in one or more disciplines of the natural sciences. Read more

Mathematics Major Gains Experience with Aspen Motion Technologies
Senior mathematics major and Charlottesville native Paul Sauer wanted to put his classroom knowledge to the test in an internship with Radford, Va., manufacturing company Aspen Motion Technologies. With a dual concentration in applied math and statistics, Sauer says this experience allows him to get a feel of what might be expected of him in the "real-world."

"I think this is a great experience for me because I am actually applying the knowledge I have learned throughout college to real life problems in industry. My courses in applied mathematics have definitely helped me develop a new way of thinking by allowing me to view a problem from multiple angles and figure out the best way to solve it. My statistics courses however, have absolutely been the most helpful towards my internship as the internship is dealing with statistical experiments," says Sauer.

His internship will conclude in December and he is hoping that it will prepare him for a future as a statistician in industry or manufacturing. Read more

CSAT Hosts Educational Workshops and Camps for Elementary, Middle and High School Students
The College of Science and Technology hosts events throughout the year for elementary, middle and high school students to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the student group CSAT STEM Club will host Science Exploration Day 2012 for middle school and high school students interested in learning more about chemistry, electronics, computers and anthropological sciences topics such as American indian lore. For more information about the program, visit www.radford.edu/csat to download an informational flyer and registration form.

Camp Invention From June 18 – June 22, 2012, the college will host the Camp Invention science day camp for rising first through rising sixth graders. During the week, children rotate through five modules each day, each of which encourages working in diverse teams, engaging in investigations, experiments, and engineering challenges that combine science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in fun, hands-on activities. For more information about the program or to register, visit www.campinvention.org and search for the Radford University location.

Summerbridge From July 8 – July 13, 2012, the college will offer a week-long residential academic program for rising sophomore through senior high school girls interested in science, technology and mathematics. Topics include environmental science, space science, forensic science and environmental microbiology. Visit www.radford.edu/bridge for more information. Registration will begin February 20, 2012. Application forms will be available for download after February 20 on the Summer Bridge website. Full scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

College of Science and Technology
Radford University
East Main Street
Radford, VA 24142