Students Graduate from CSU’s Competitive Pre-Med Program

All Who Applied to Med School Were Accepted

Columbus State University’s first full cohort of graduates from the new Competitive Pre-Med Studies Program will walk across the stage Saturday afternoon and continue their journeys to become doctors. The program’s founder, Dr. Katey Hughes, is pleased to announce that all graduates who applied to medical school have received acceptance letters.

“It would have been a lot harder without the program,” said Jocelyn Cañedo, a graduating biology major who will be attending the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Auburn this fall. “I would have had to find MCAT resources on my own. I would have had to come up with places to volunteer. The program had volunteer opportunities lined up for me, so that I could really hit the ground running.”

Cañedo is one of six graduates from the program who were recently accepted to medical school. Another five graduates are preparing to take the MCAT and apply for medical school in the fall.

“If you talk to students from all over the country, you would see students who are academically qualified to get into medical school, but along the way, life happened to them. Maybe they weren’t able to focus on studying for MCAT or they didn’t have a contact to write them a recommendation,” said Hughes. “I thought that there needed to be a better way to provide opportunities to our students that they wouldn’t get at any other university.”

Recognizing this nation-wide need for more support of pre-med students, Hughes created the CSU program in 2013 with support from CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences. She thought through common obstacles to medical school and created opportunities to help her students overcome each challenge.

To ensure students have contacts in the field, she developed a clinical volunteering program, a five-week shadowing experience with local physicians, and “physician coffee talks” that each provide opportunities for students to get to know physicians in various specialties. Mentorships were created between upperclassmen and freshmen, so that new students will have a peer to ask basic questions relating to college and the program. For MCAT preparation, students can take advantage of books, online materials and a new J-term course specifically aimed at standardized tests. Finally, for an extra boost of motivation, Hughes plans a trip to a nearby medical school at the end of each semester.

“We have connections to different medical schools in Georgia and Alabama,” said Hughes. “For example, we have an articulation agreement with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Auburn. It provides a pathway for qualified applicants to be admitted to their medical school.”

To be admitted to the competitive pre-med studies program at CSU, current students must complete at least one semester with a 3.4 or higher GPA. High school seniors may also apply and are admitted with approval from a special admissions committee. Students typically major in biology or chemistry, but there are a few exceptions.

For example, Freeman McCluskey, came to CSU’s pre-med program, after having already received his bachelor’s degree from another university. McCluskey completed his pre-requisite courses for medical school while participating in the program, and he has now been accepted into Mercer Medical School.

Another student, Jesse Hunt, is majoring in both biology and chemistry. Although she will not graduate until next Spring, she has already been accepted to VCOM at Auburn on a conditional basis that she maintains her outstanding academic record.

 “It is important for students to know that there are many different paths,” said Hughes. “We are here to think through their individual situation and help them develop a path that best fits their life.”


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CSU Announces New Competitive Premedical Studies Program

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University will launch in fall 2013 a new Competitive Premedical Studies program designed to make the process of preparing for and getting into medical school much less daunting for students.

“From the moment they step on campus, we’re going to start providing them with tools that will help them become successful medical school applicants,” said program director Katey Hughes, an associate professor of biology.

That includes free participation in a course that prepares students for the standardized Medical College Admission Test, better known as the MCAT.

The program will initially accept up to 15 freshmen for the fall 2013 launch, but Hughes anticipates more CSU freshmen will be allowed to join by spring 2014. March 15, 2013 is the deadline to apply for entry to the program’s inaugural semester next fall. Application details and more are available at

Other resources that Columbus State will offer academically talented selected for the program include:

  • Shadowing opportunities through physician mentors.
  • Medical school visitation experiences.
  • Peer mentors.
  • Contact with CSU graduates currently in medical school.
  • Medical school application preparation, including the MCAT prep course normally costing $1,800.
  • Medical school interview strategies.

Columbus State has, for decades, offered a premedical track for students interested in attending medical school, but Hughes said the new program will go far beyond a lineup of recommended coursework.

“We have students who go to medical school, and they’re definitely prepared,” she said. “But here’s what I see: The process of getting to medical school can be overwhelming and, too often what I see is students who start out, definitely capable of going academically, but because of their course rigor, because of MCAT prep, because of all these external factors, they become overwhelmed and end up not submitting applications to medical school. This will hopefully provide resources from the time they come to help gear them up in that process.”

Hughes expects Columbus State’s Competitive Premedical Studies program to stand out in comparison to similar programs elsewhere in Georgia.

“Most of them offer what we currently do — we have pre-med advisors, we have apre-professional committee, we have AMSA (American Medical Student Association chapter) — which are all very good resources,” Hughes said. “But what this will do is foster a small group community. So from the time they get here, we are giving them resources they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”

As students in CSU’s new program progress, they will get increasingly more help with their medical school application preparation.

“Along the way, we’re going to have regular discussions and meetings about relevant medical issues, so that about the time they leave here, they are current and they’re prepared to go to medical school,” she said.

Georgia ranks 41st in physicians per capita — a shortage that’s expected to worsen in the next two decades. In response, Georgia’s medical schools are increasing enrollment capacity, setting the stage for new opportunities at the undergraduate level.

“CSU’s aim is to be the preferred premedical studies university in Georgia,” Hughes said.

# # #

Editor’s note: An initial version of this news release was revised to reflect a change in the application deadline to March 15, 2013.

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CSU Professor Collaborates In Plant DNA Barcode Breakthrough

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University Assistant Professor Kevin Burgess is part of an international effort that has standardized a “plant DNA barcode” that will provide the foundation for the widespread use of DNA technologies to identify plant species.

As a result, CSU students are now engaging in research associated with the concept, which is based on using a short standardized region of DNA for identifying species, said Burgess, who is among 52 scientists working in 10 countries on the four-year barcoding study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Kevin Burgess“The selection of standard barcode regions has been a slow and difficult process because of the complex nature of plant genetics,” said David Schindel, executive secretary of the Washington, D.C-based Consortium for the Barcode of Life, which instigated formation of the plant working group. “Having an agreed-upon barcode region will enable plant barcoding to accelerate rapidly. There are researchers around the world and diverse users of plant identification who are eager to get started.”

The barcode will translate to a massive and easily accessible database for a universal system to identify the world’s biodiversity of about 400,000 different land plants. The scientists reached a consensus to form the barcode from two short stretches of DNA —portions of the genes rbcL and matK.

“The research conducted by Dr. Burgess in the development of a plant barcoding system is both exciting and groundbreaking,” said CSU Science Dean Glenn Stokes. “He and his colleagues have attacked a task that has been standardized for animals but is exponentially more of a challenge with plants because of their genetic diversity.”

For identification purposes, the technique will work on miniscule amounts of tissue and can be used on fragments of plant material. Consequently, the barcode is expected to bolster efforts to identify illegal trade in endangered species and identify invasive organisms, poisonous species and fragmentary material in forensic investigations.

Burgess said the barcode further simplifies the identification process by alleviating the need for flower portions of plants, which are often only available during certain times of the year. Botanists can now use other structures of the plant, such as seeds or roots, for identification purposes.

Potentially, the main application will involve assessing biodiversity hotspots where shortages of specialist skills hamper conservation efforts.

The methodology will be used immediately in global projects such as Tree-BOL, which aims to build the DNA barcodes database for the world’s 100,000 tree species, including many of economic and conservation importance.

Another conservation angle applies to one of Burgess’ student investigations.

Ivan Shoemaker, a CSU graduate student in the environmental science program, is tracking pollinator visitation — birds, insects and other agents that transfer pollen grains from the male anther to the female stigma. “DNA barcodes have the potential to facilitate plant and pollinator conservation, as well as to aid investigations into many basic questions in pollination ecology,” Shoemaker said. “Recent studies indicate many native pollinators are in decline, and with honeybees also on the verge of collapse, any tool that will help us improve our knowledge of pollinators is extremely valuable.”

Shoemaker, with Burgess, recently presented related their findings on ecological barcoding at an international meeting for the Society for the Study of Evolution at the University of Idaho. The studies were well-received, Burgess said.

Burgess’ biology faculty colleagues John Barone, Katey Sellers and Julie Ballenger are becoming involved in a number of barcoding initiatives spearheaded by Burgess to document local plant diversity. “This is a great opportunity to create databases that can be used not only by ecologists but also by our students in the outdoor classroom environment,” Burgess said. “To this end, we have started to incorporate plant DNA barcoding into both core and senior level courses at CSU where it is being used to teach applied and theoretical concepts in the field of molecular ecology.”

Stokes said such opportunity for CSU students is exceptional. “They will be among the first cadre of scientists who will have the skills necessary to participate in the development of a barcoding catalog for plants that will be used for years to come.”

For example, CSU graduate student Vivian Hutto is using the barcodes to document the medicinal plants of Andros Island, Bahamas, while undergraduate student Nikita Burden is testing the usefulness of DNA barcodes in complex groups of rhododendrons (e.g. azaleas) at Callaway Gardens, 35 miles north of Columbus. Patricia Campbell, another undergraduate researcher, is using DNA barcodes to investigate complex relationships in daffodils in collaboration with the University of Toronto, where Burgess recently completed his post-doctoral research in DNA barcoding with Spencer Barrett, who is internationally respected in the field.

CSU biology professor and department chair Bill Birkhead said Burgess, who has co-authored two additional barcdoing publications this year, has created significant opportunities for CSU students, specifically in introductory biology courses, as well as in senior and graduate courses in conservation genetics. “These students can learn and document local biodiversity and obtain hands-on lab experience with the molecular techniques currently being used in DNA barcoding, while participating in a dynamic and innovative research program.”

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CSU Biology Earns Top National Honor

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University has captured the nation’s highest honor for biology honor societies — the 2006-2007 Lloyd M. Bertholf Award from the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.

The designation, according to the society, signifies CSU’s 24-member Tri-Beta chapter as the nation’s best last year in “scholarship, dissemination of scientific information and promotion of biological research.”

The chapter earned second honorable mention for the award two years ago and “Outstanding Chapter” status, as among the top 10 percent of all chapters, for 2003-2004.

CSU chapter adviser and biology professor Julie Ballenger said the success stems partly from productive professor-student relationships. “Our faculty members are highly involved in the chapter’s meetings and activities, and in turn, help to inspire the students to be active.”

College of Science Dean Glenn Stokes said the faculty have created a culture of professionalism and mentorship that exemplifies the society’s goals. “Their students actively engage in independent research in cooperation with faculty mentors that has been recognized at the regional and national levels.”

Highlighting last year’s success, Tri-Beta selected Courtney Blayke Gibson, a science education graduate student, to present her research at its national conference. Five other CSU students presented at district events, including Wesley Ker-Fox and Lauren Eklund, who subsequently placed second and third respectively for the national Brooks Award for oral presentation of research. Contessa Bowman earned third place for the Johnson Award for poster presentation of her research.

“In addition to scientific research, our chapter stresses environmental and community activism,” said Ballenger, who also serves as interim director of CSU’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center.

The students engage in service activities that range from participation in community cleanup efforts, such as the communitywide Chattahoochee River cleanup initiative “Help-the-Hooch,” to promoting departmental activities. Such activities include promoting CSU’s biology program to prospective students during high school visitation days and sharing their knowledge of reptiles, insects and other topics during community-oriented programs at Oxbow Meadows.

Students and faculty also get together for less formal events such as cookouts and rafting trips.

“We are proud to sustain such high levels of activity and will continue to work to maintain high regard on our campus and in our local community,” said Ballenger, who will will formally accept the honor on behalf of the CSU chapter during Tri-Beta’s April 18 convention at the Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting in Spartanburg, S.C.

Established in 1961, the Lloyd M. Bertholf Award is named for the third president of Beta Beta Beta.

Stokes said Tri-Beta is dedicated to fostering behaviors that will encourage the growth of well-trained and committed biologists and individuals interested in the biological sciences. “The receipt of this award indicates that the CSU chapter not only achieves the ideals of the society but has done it consistently and is doing it better than any of the more than 500 other chapters,” he said. “It’s a testament to the commitment of our faculty to their students and their discipline and the desire to model the behaviors expected of professional biologists.”

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Student Research Projects Earn National Recognition

COLUMBUS, Ga.- A trio of biology-student senior research projects at Columbus State University has earned national recognition.

The Beta Beta Beta National Honor Society has awarded 2006-07 Tri Beta Undergraduate Research Scholarships to Amanda Bergren, Contessa Bowman and Lauren Eklund. The total marks a new high for CSU in a single year.

All three students are from Columbus and are among just 68 students nationally and 15 of their peers in nine different chapters throughout the Southeast who were selected for the awards by Tri Beta officers and affiliated research professors nationwide. It is a real honor that, of those 15 students, three are from CSUs Mu Omicron chapter of Beta Beta Beta, said Julie Ballenger, professor of biology and assistant director of CSUs Center for International Education.

The awards, ranging from $150 to $450, will supplement studies related to yeast-cell development by Bergren, an alternative cataract treatment by Bowman and the label accuracy of a non-regulated herbal supplement by Eklund.

Supervised by Ballenger, Eklunds study, HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) Analysis of Flavonoligans from Milk Thistle, will analyze over-the-counter brands of milk thistle, an herbal treatment for liver dysfunction, to determine the accuracy of nutrient-content claims on each label. Milk thistle is part of a nutritional supplement industry not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Separately, the amino acid compound carnosine in eye drop form is the subject of Bowmens study, Effects of Carnosine on UV-Induced Cataracts. Professor Glenn Stokes, acting dean of the College of Science, is her adviser.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Brian Schwartz is advising Bergren on her study, Suppressor Screen to Identify Downstream Effectors of PKA and RAM Signals in Yeast.

The CSU researchers will report their findings at Tri Betas regional conference April 18-21 at the University of South Carolina.

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CSU Biological Honor Society Earns National Recognition

Third best in the nation thats where CSUs Mu Omicron chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society found itself when it won Second Honorable Mention in the competition for this years Lloyd M. Bertholf Award.

The Bertholf Award is the highest award in the nation for biology honor societies, said CSU Professor of Biology Julie Ballenger. To be recognized as the third best in the nation is a tremendous validation of what our students have accomplished. As a winner in the Bertholf award category they find themselves in very exclusive company.

According to the national chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Lloyd M. Bertholf established the award in 1961 to recognize, both locally and nationally, the chapter that most nearly meets a series of criteria for program excellence. The primary emphasis in earning this award is the scholarly activity among the members. Chapters that win the award, or either of the honorable mentions, have conducted biological research, presented their work at scientific meetings and have written and submitted their work for publication in a scientific journal.

Outside of their academic accomplishments, the CSU students of Mu Omicron also participated in events that included Help-the-Hooch, which was a concerted effort to clean up the Chattahoochee River, Habitat for Humanity, the Mayors Read Program, continued involvement in the Science Olympiad hosted by CSU and other regional events.

It really amazed me how committed our students were, not just in the classroom, or during their research projects, but also in their commitment to one another, to the faculty, and to the surrounding community. These students have taken control of their education and are determined to learn and experience everything they can while they are at CSU, Ballenger said.

The award was presented at Tri-Betas May 24-28 Biennial Convention in Melbourne, Fla. where CSUs Mu Omicron past vice president, Blayke Gibson, presented her research and accepted the award.

Since its founding in 1922 as a society dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of biological study, more than 175,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership in Beta Beta Beta, and more than 430 chapters have been established throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

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CSU Biology A ‘Best Practice’ In International Studies

Columbus State University’s biology curriculum generated extraordinary experiences for students in 2004. Highlights included a swim with dolphins along the Bahamian ocean reef and an interactivedemonstration in the Australian rainforest of the endangered ‘flying fox’ by one of Australias leading environmental scientists.

Incorporating such activity into the curriculum has merited an international studies Best Practice designation from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

The designation, for ‘Best Practices in International Education: Most Internationalized Academic Unit,’ means a cash award for program development and prestige among university system peers. The board of regents will feature CSU biology as a model to increase an international focus in academic – particularly science – curricula system-wide.

CSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Martha Saunders said the award is a prestigious honor. ‘We are proud of the growth of all our international programs – particularly in the sciences. This award gives evidence of a very real commitment by the faculty toward a quality educational experience for our students.’

The award is based on the success of a pair of ecology-based study abroad programs CSU facilitates in exotic locations every spring break and May session. Destinations in 2004 were Andros Island in the Bahamas and Queensland, Australia.

Professor Julie Ballenger, who directs the programs, said the students tend to come away with a new ecological and multicultural awareness, in addition to developing their investigative research skills.

The course ‘Natural History of the Bahamas’ immersed 20 students for a week during CSU’s spring break in the ecosystems on Andros Island. They studied fishes, plants and invertebrates daily in a near-pristine environment. Additionally, they experienced Bahamian culture through visits to nearby villages. The itinerary reflected ‘meticulous planning,’ said College of Science Dean George Stanton. ‘These trips are planned to minute detail. Even ‘free time’ is carefully planned. No time is wasted, and student focus is maintained.’

Upon return to CSU, the students analyzed their data and individuallypresented their findings to the entire group for a final grade.

Ballenger, who serves as the assistant director of CSU’s Center for International Education, also recounted an unlikely encounter during the Bahamas trip. While engaged in aquatic exploration, the CSU group was interrupted by a pair of dolphins that had struggled to cross over a sandbar to join them. The dolphins proceeded to swim and chatter among the students for several minutes. ‘It was an amazing interaction, the type of which our (Bahamian) guide had never seen before.’

About two months later, Ballenger and a team of faculty colleagues led another class abroad for a course titled ‘Ecology of Australia.’ This 19-day adventure covered the Australian rainforest, tablelands, outback and ocean reef. Among several highlights, the 18 students studied up close, and handled, the flying fox (a rare, small-dog- sized bat species) during a meeting with Hugh Spencer, one of Australias leading wildlife biologists.

Though physically challenging, the course was another success, Ballenger said. ‘The group synergy was amazing, with each student working hard, putting in 18-hour days with no complaints.’

Such dedication also applies to the faculty, Ballenger said. Since the study abroad programs began in 1999, biology faculty members Stanton, Bill Birkhead, Glenn Stokes, Harlan Hendricks, Carson Stringfellow and John Barone have participated along with Ballenger as teaching mentors in the field. ‘Without their cooperation and hard work, we would not succeed nor be able to carry out these trips.’

Center for International Education Director Neal McCrillis, expanded on Ballenger’s assessment. ‘The success is due to three things: the dedication of faculty, the ‘out of the box’ thinking of the faculty that has created a strong but flexible curriculum, and the support of the whole university and community through the Center for International Education and scholarships.’

While costs (about $1,400 for Andros and $2,700 for Australia) can be offset for students through scholarship funds, Stanton said faculty have sacrificed financially in order to participate, ‘particularly in the earlier years when faculty paid their own expenses and even taught without compensation.’

Regardless of the financial factors, Stanton said the programs have flourished with a strong rapport between faculty and students. ‘Students want to spend time with and study with these faculty. After a few years the program developed a reputation that has fed future recruitment.’

The number of student applicants has increasingly overwhelmed the available spaces. In addition to several CSU students who were turned away, last May’s Australia trip drew 40 university system student applicants from other campuses ? many from the University of Georgia, said Ballenger.

While destinations have included Ecuador, Belize and Africa, the 2005 trips feature a spring break return to the Bahamas and a May session in Botswana, Africa (‘The Ecology of Sub-Saharan Africa’). Stanton said thoughtful consideration is given to the selected destinations. ‘We take students to ecological settings that are global hot spots.’

Citing the success and demand for the biology study abroad program, Ballenger said she and her colleagues are exploring an additional, third trip that would take place during the winter holiday break.

For more information on the biology study abroad programs at CSU, including photos from previous trips, visit online at


Contact: Julie Ballenger, 569-3015; E-mail:


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Recent Biology Graduates Earn National Awards

Recent Columbus State University graduates Mary Hill and Dorothy Cheruiyot have distinguished themselves nationally among their biologist peers.

The pair earned high honors for individual research presentations at the recent Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society’s 2004 Biennial National Convention in Grand Junction, Colo.

Hill, a 2003 graduate and staff member for CSU’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, earned first prize in the ecology category. Meanwhile, Cheruiyot, a 2004 graduate earned third place in the organismic and developmental biology category.

Cheruiyot, like Hill last year, qualified for the national event, staged every other year, by winning first prize – the Frank G. Brooks Award – in Tri-Beta’s regional competition just months earlier in Memphis, Tenn.

Cheruiyot’s work was on a fern called Ceratopteris richardii, which can develop as either males or hermaphrodites, depending on a pheromone the hermaphrodite secretes. Previous studies have shown the pheromone is necessary for both the induction and maintenance of males. In her study, Cheruiyot isolated just the fully developed male ferns and her results showed that some males converted themselves into hermaphrodites.

‘She started her project early and was able to carry out a significant amount of research, much of which was not even included in her presentations,’ said CSU Professor Brian Schwartz, who mentored Cheruiyot.

Hill’s study yielded discovery that the Florida Scrub Jay, a species with a limited and diminishing environment, utilizes a unique survival instinct: it avoids eating the toxic seeds of the precatory bean plant by interpreting the seed’s color as the warning indicator.

CSU Professor Harlan Hendricks, who supervised the study, said Hill developed and carried out a sound project. ‘I had no doubt that she could win such a prestigious award. In fact, her approach to carrying out this study and presenting the results to the scientific community should serve as a model for future students in our undergraduate research program.’

Cheruiyot, of Iten, Kenya, has paralleled her academic achievements in CSU’s cross country program, earning Peach Belt All-Conference honors in her final season last fall. But academically, Schwartz describes Cheruiyot as ‘an ideal undergraduate research student, and she has a bright future in biological research.’

Hill, a former Servant Leadership scholar, plans to eventually pursue graduate studies in behavioral ecology or conservation biology. For now, she has opted to share her passion for biology and research savvy with regional K-12 teachers and students through Oxbow Meadows, one of seven education outreach operations that comprise CSU’s Centers of Excellence.

Hill said she appreciates the opportunity to ‘inspire and feed the curiosity of young children – as so many adults and mentors were kind enough to do for me as I grew and matured. I know that eventually I will want to return to field research; but for now I am content to contribute to my field in another way… by recruiting the future researchers who might someday aid in conserving nature and the environment we all share.’

Hendricks said she is well suited for such work. ‘Mary is a knowledgeable and dedicated biologist; a passionate speaker on any subject, and a delightful individual to be around.’

Regarding her recent award, Hill describes the recognition among her peers as gratifying. ‘Having fellow researchers and students express interest in and respect your work validates and reinforces the effort and dedication that is required to successfully conduct original, independent research.’

Both Hill and Cheruiyot said they intend to support fund-raising efforts for local research grants, in order to inspire other students to test their work and have it judged against other biology students around the country. Both described the trip in late May to Colorado as ‘an amazing experience’ and one they desperately hope other students will have a chance to experience.

Hendricks said the pair’s achievements have had immediate, broader effect. ‘Mary’s and Dorothy’s accomplishments not only reflect their individual abilities as scientists, but also brings national recognition to our undergraduate program.’

Schwartz, concurring, said a significant milestone has occurred for CSU and the biology program. ‘The biology faculty are proud of both Dorothy and Mary. Their success at the national level affirms our commitment to provide quality research opportunities for our undergraduate students. Many students would not have such an opportunity at a larger institution.’


Contact: Mary Hill, 687-4090; Harlan Hendricks, 568-2069; Brian Schwartz, 569-3017


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CSU Secures Technology Grant for Biology

Columbus State University biology students can soon study with the latest computer technology equipment integrated into their laboratories thanks to a $40,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Biology professors Brian Schwartz and Harlan Hendricks sought the grant to enhance the learning experience for students in the introductory biology laboratory.

Schwartz and Hendricks will be able to outfit their lab with an array of computers, graphing calculators, probes and sensors. The new equipment will greatly improve the students’ abilities to perform quantitative analysis during lab exercises in LeNoir Hall. The system, also supported through matching funds from CSU’s College of Science, will be applied to the Principles of Biology course.

‘The students will be able to visualize data in real time as they collect it,’ Schwartz said. The sophisticated process, he added, will not only improve their analytical skills, but also deepen their interest in and motivation to practice science.

The Science Foundation program that funded the grant, titled ‘Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement,’ also is intended to inspire greater numbers of future science teachers among undergraduates as well as increase participation in science by women and underrepresented minorities, Schwartz said.


For more information, contact Brian Schwartz at 706-569-3017 or by e-mail at or Harlan Hendricks at 706-568-2069 or by e-mail at


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