Huskies tackled the nearly three-month gap between May graduation and August move-in a variety of ways, in addition to beach vacations, music concerts and summer jobs.

Many students continued their Bloomsburg University experience through co-curricular opportunities such as internships, research projects, summer camps and study abroad.

Among the highlights:

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Summer break has began a little differently for a group of anthropology students who put their vacation plans on hold for a memorable field school experience in Ohio. Among the highlights so far, they say, were learning the processes of an archaeological dig, discovering Hopewell artifacts and campfire conversations — along with a growing appreciation of wind and shade.

DeeAnne Wymer, professor of anthropology, and a group of students hit the road each spring in mid-May to spend four weeks in southern Ohio digging at a Hopewell habitation site. The archeological field school experience enables student teams to rely on new imaging technologies to uncover another living site of the Mound Builders from 2,000 years ago.

Life in the Dig

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Chris Vanek, a senior electronics engineering technology major, worked on sponsored research by the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., on wireless power transfer (WPT) technology.  He designed and implemented a 4-MHz inductive-resonance WPT system that transferred 75 W of power wirelessly to a light bulb.
The WPT system, designed under the guidance of Biswajit Ray, professor of EET, worked up to a separation distance of 50 cm between the transmit and receive coils. The wireless power transfer technology is becoming increasingly popular for consumer electronics, electric vehicle charging, and implantable biomedical devices. 
The current engineering challenge is to design systems that maintain high power and high efficiency capability for dynamic loads with changing distance and orientation.

Chris Vanek, a senior electronics engineering technology major, worked on sponsored research by the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., on wireless power transfer (WPT) technology.  He designed and implemented a 4-MHz inductive-resonance WPT system that transferred 75 W of power wirelessly to a light bulb.

The WPT system, designed under the guidance of Biswajit Ray, professor of EET, worked up to a separation distance of 50 cm between the transmit and receive coils. The wireless power transfer technology is becoming increasingly popular for consumer electronics, electric vehicle charging, and implantable biomedical devices. 

The current engineering challenge is to design systems that maintain high power and high efficiency capability for dynamic loads with changing distance and orientation.

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With research ranging from face detection and recognition technology to Susquehanna River flooding impact to abdominal aortic aneurism risk factors, the fourth annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium recently showcased the work of more than 80 students from Bloomsburg, Bucknell, and Susquehanna universities along with Geisinger Health System.

The symposium, which launched in 2010 with 20 participating students to spotlight summer research work, was held at Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research. Of the nearly 90 projects displayed and voted on, more than half were from Bloomsburg undergraduates — many of whom conducted research this summer through URSCA.

Undergraduates from all disciplines were invited to present their research that was evaluated in three categories: Clinical and Translational Research, Social Sciences and Humanities and Natural Sciences and Engineering.

Bloomsburg University Participants

Khadija A. Abdullahi, Clinton M. Allwein, Michael John Ashton, JoEllen Blass, Aaron M. Brown, Caitlin Carlin, Shelby Coleman, Sawyer J. Davis, Alyssa Lynn Duksta, Courtney Marie Dunn, Susan Erdman, Kyle Flick, Laurie Ganey, Matthew Gift, Farron Hakanson, Joshua William Halbfoerster, Sarah Elizabeth Halter, Nicholas Hitcho, Ali Hussain, Kirk J. Jeffreys, Boenell Kline, Leonid Kukuyev, Amanda M. Lacerte, Devyn Adrian Lesher, Rachel Livingston, Lacy Marbaker, Matthew Michael Mattesini, Paige Michener, David G. Perez, Zachary Rhoden, Christopher Wyatt Rosengrant, Jesse N. Rothweiler, Jaimee Saemann, David V. Strawn, Christopher Daniel Sullivan, Eric Thompson, Benjamin G. Tice, Nicole Christine Updegrove, ASM Tuhin, Shana Wagner, and Steve M. Zosh.

Also, through the Geisinger Health System, BU student Julio Azahel Valencia-Velez.

Award Winners

  • Sayeh Bozorghadad,  Geisinger intern, Top prize, Clinical/Translational research, Improving Hospital Discharge: Studying the Effectiveness of Discharge Navigators
  • Paige Michener ,Bloomsburg University,  Best poster in Social Sciences  and Humanities, The Effect of a High-Fat Diet on a Hippocampal-Independent and Hippocampal-Dependent Conditioned Cue Preference Task
  • Daisy Bourne, Bucknell University;  Top prize Social Sciences and Humanities, Government Repression in the Arab Spring
  • Gregory Danchick,  Bucknell University: Best poster, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Comparison of Head Impact Accelerations Based on Ground Cover of Playgrounds
  • Brendan Juengst, Geisinger, Best poster, Clinical/Translational, Inhibition of Multiple Heat Shock Proteins Enhances Cytotoxicity in Bladder Cancer Cells
  • Clinton Allwein, Bloomsburg University,  Audience favorite, Optimal Inventory Ordering Policies for Platelets
  • Stephanie Gonthier, Bucknell University, Top prize, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Using Statistical Learning to Improve Word Prediction for Augmentative and Alternative  Communication.

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Mariam Sarkessian, a management major, recently completed a two-week job shadow with Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia through Bloomsburg University’s Sophomore Experiential Learning (SEL) Program.
The program, designed to give students an opportunity to see their potential career field first-hand, enabled Sarkessian to witness the daily activity of the country’s largest cable company and Internet service provider. Sarkessian described her experience as enlightening and richly memorable.
“Seeing daily activity at the headquarters has helped me confirm that I’d like to work at a large company that has a powerful role in the world,” Sarkessian says. “I’ve gained useful insight about how to level-handedly deal with problems and make decisions with customers and the company in mind.”
In addition to a possible internship opportunity, Sarkessian says her SEL experience provided her with many more business contacts. She also may have discovered a new career track.
“Being able to help out with (the Lab Week project) even though I was just shadowing was an exciting experience and opened my mind in looking for ways to make processes more efficient,” Sarkessian says. “Most importantly, … I had not known that project managing could be a career. Now I’m eager to pursue and get the right qualifications for it.”
Sarkessian shadowed Ted Hodgins, Class of 1989, senior director of technology and product: customer service.

Mariam Sarkessian, a management major, recently completed a two-week job shadow with Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia through Bloomsburg University’s Sophomore Experiential Learning (SEL) Program.

The program, designed to give students an opportunity to see their potential career field first-hand, enabled Sarkessian to witness the daily activity of the country’s largest cable company and Internet service provider. Sarkessian described her experience as enlightening and richly memorable.

“Seeing daily activity at the headquarters has helped me confirm that I’d like to work at a large company that has a powerful role in the world,” Sarkessian says. “I’ve gained useful insight about how to level-handedly deal with problems and make decisions with customers and the company in mind.”

In addition to a possible internship opportunity, Sarkessian says her SEL experience provided her with many more business contacts. She also may have discovered a new career track.

“Being able to help out with (the Lab Week project) even though I was just shadowing was an exciting experience and opened my mind in looking for ways to make processes more efficient,” Sarkessian says. “Most importantly, … I had not known that project managing could be a career. Now I’m eager to pursue and get the right qualifications for it.”

Sarkessian shadowed Ted Hodgins, Class of 1989, senior director of technology and product: customer service.

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To kick off the summer a group of students from Bloomsburg University’s Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences spent three weeks in California's Mojave Desert. The adventurous learning experience was a part of the department’s new Special Topics in Field Geology course — designed to give students an opportunity to observe a wide variety of earth processes, apply their knowledge and reinforce skills in geological observation and interpretation. 

By participating in this intense, field-based course, 13 students got a first-hand encounter with the geology and environmental issues of the western United States. Led by faculty Chris Whisner, Jennifer Whisner and Cynthia Venn, the group roughed it at rustic campsites, grilled trout caught in mountain streams, worked on field notebooks until late in the evening and endured rain, snow, hail and 116-degree heat.

At the same time, the group said it marveled at the mining impacts, stunning geology, and complex water resource issues they encountered on their 1,800-mile trek.  

Each student had opportunities to show off their knowledge through lecturing at two stops, while faculty displayed the accompanying posters. Other highlights:

  • several sites at Mono Lake, Owen’s Lake, LA Aqueduct, Hoover Dam, Ash Meadows showcased many of the ideas students studied in Water Resources Management and Ground Hydrology
  • students were assigned to sketch an unfamiliar landscape and identify as many features as they could, based on the trip. Most students were able to pick out most of the features (fault scarps and fault-block mountains, volcanoes, alluvial fans, stream-carved valleys, springs, glacial features, intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks, and sedimentary rocks) from their viewpoint across the valley.

According to Jennifer Whisner, up until that point the student didn’t really realize how much they had learned in the week or so they’d been out there!

In their final synthesis paper, nearly every student noted that actually seeing mile-high mountains, volcanoes, earthquake scars, picturesque landscapes carved by alpine glaciers and rushing water, and irrigation in one of the most water-starved parts of the U.S. helped them better understand concepts they had discussed in class, and better grasp the scale of features they had seen only in textbook diagrams.

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