Fellow students, professors, family and friends were in attendance at the Senior Research Science Forum, which was held on Friday, April 15. The Research Forum showcased the results of the research of seven students in the Natural Science department at McPherson College.
Four years ago these students were the first to use the state-of-the-art science facilities in the newly built Melhorn Science Hall. They now have the privilege in being the first graduating class to use the facilities for their entire college career, and to set a bar of excellence for future students. Students appreciate the facility. Joe Blas, Sumner, Wash., recently accepted into medical school, said, "The facilities in Melhorn Science Hall allow McPherson College students to participate in cutting-edge undergraduate research and allow faculty to educate students with technologically advanced resources.”
“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from great professors, ones who are so proficient and accomplished in their fields. I believe that the technology available in Melhorn has given me an advantageous experience. Most students do not get the opportunity to see comparable instrumentation until graduate level study. The research experience as a senior has really given me the chance to apply the techniques that I have learned about in classes, as well as develop my critical thinking skills,” Danielle Lucore, Springfield, Mo., said.
Professors agree that facilities and low student-to-teacher ratios benefit students. “A real advantage to our student researchers at McPherson College is the access to personalized instruction, excellent laboratory spaces and specialized equipment,” science department chair Dr. Karrie Rathbone said.
Seven seniors presented their research at the forum: Joe Blas, a double major, is earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Biology. Blas was awarded an Eppley Intern Research Fellowship for the summer of 2004 from Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, in Omaha, Neb. This research was the basis for his forum presentation. Blas has been accepted by Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Neb.
Davd Cockriel, McPherson, worked with Dr. Tim Hubin as his research advisor. The title of Cockriel’s research presentation was “The Design and Synthesis of Pyrazine Ligands Suitable for Molecular Weaving with Octahedral Metal Ion.” Cockriel is receiving a bachelor of science in Chemistry and is currently considering a graduate chemistry program at North Dakota University.
Dean Feasenhiser’s, Fruitland, Idaho, plans include the Brethren Volunteer Service and Veterinary School after graduating with a B.S. in Agriculture Science. His research project “The Effects of Organic Selenium on Rumen Volatile Fatty Acid Production in Continuous Culture” might one day help to prevent white muscle disease in cows. Feasenhiser, whose research advisor is Professor Al Dutrow, also had the opportunity to perform some of his analysis at Kansas State University.
Jenny Harper, Grimes, Iowa, presented her project titled “Influence of Lactose Utilization and Population Dynamics of Eschericia coli var. mutabilis.” Taking on this project was a personal quest for Jenny; her sister was diagnosed with being lactose intolerant and was later able to consume lactose. With the information obtained in this research, a better understanding for intolerance for lactose might be identified. After earning her B.S. in Biology degree, Harper is accepting a position in the Hospital Human Resources department in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Karrie Rathbone served as her research advisor.
Dave Hoffman, McPherson, will pursue graduate school in physical therapy after receiving a B.S. in Biology. Hoffman’s research advisor is Dr. Kent Noffsinger. His research project is titled “Human Performance Assessment Using the DYFORMON Exercise System.” The DYFORMON was designed and created at the University of Washington and now has a home in the basement of Melhorn.
Danielle Lucore, is planning to attend graduate school after earning a B.S. in Biology. “The Mutagenesis of Benzo(a)pyrene on Yeast” is the title of the research she presented at the forum. Dr. Jonathan Frye is her research advisor.
The title of TauLyn (Johnston) Snell’s research presentation is “Synthesis and Characterization of a Cross-Bridged AMD 3100 analog.” Ms. Snell, who is from McPherson, plans to attend graduate school in a physical therapy program after receiving a B.S. in Biology degree. Her research advisor is Dr. Tim Hubin.
The presentations were well received. "I was so impressed with the knowledge that these students displayed. You can just tell when someone will achieve the goals they place upon themselves, and these students will go far." Laurie Neiman, jr. from McPherson said. "All their hard work and efforts paid off."
For further information please contact Dr. Karrie Rathbone at 241-0742 ext. 1204.