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Showcasing Research Internationally

When Josiah Townsend, assistant professor of biology, was invited to give a keynote talk in October for the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation’s annual congress in Copán Ruinas, Honduras, he also turned it into an opportunity for some students who assist in his lab. Townsend gave his presentation, “Promoting Conservation of Threatened Cloud Forests in the Chortis Block through Phylogenetic Inventory,” in Spanish and organized a daylong symposium, “Promoting Protection of At-Risk Habitats through Priority Species Conservation.”

Josiah Townsend in his lab with Kayla Weinfurther

Josiah Townsend in his lab with Kayla Weinfurther

Four of his students gave poster presentations tied to the evolution of Central American amphibians: undergraduates Gretchen McCormick and Kayla Weinfurther and graduate students T. J. Firneno and Alex Hess, who placed first and second, respectively.

The group also took in some local culture, visiting the nearby Maya ruins, a coffee farm, and a rainforest national park. A variety of university, college, and department funds supported the experience.

More from Colonial America

English professor emeritus William Betts Jr. continues to explore key figures from Colonial America in his latest book, Sword and Scalpel: The Life of Edward Hand of Lancaster. Born in Ireland, Hand came to Pennsylvania as a young physician before forming a colonial militia in Lancaster County. He entered the Colonial Army and crossed the Delaware River with George Washington before the attack on Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey. A brigadier general, Hand also served as a commander of Fort Pitt and adjutant general during the siege of Yorktown. He later became active in politics, serving on the Congress of the Confederation and the Pennsylvania Assembly. Sword and Scalpel is published by Heritage Books.

Distinguished Service

Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society presented Narayanaswamy Bharathan, professor and chair of the Biology Department, with the Distinguished Service Award at its national convention in South Carolina in October. Bharathan remains the advisor to the IUP chapter he founded 15 years ago. In that time, more than 60 student members have received in excess of $92,000 in scholarships. Since 2009, Bharathan has served as a principal investigator in the Microbial Forensics in Biodefense Project, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and has involved many Phi Eta Sigma students on the project, as well as other research and service activities.

Faculty Deaths

In recent months, the following former faculty members died:

  • Richard Berry, professor emeritus of physics and first chairperson of the department, died September 10, 2014. He retired in 1992 after 27 years at IUP.
  • Richard Mease, a speech pathology professor who retired from IUP in 1996 after 27 years of service, died October 2, 2014.
  • Betty Elder Wood ’54, M’72, a professor emerita who retired from the Consumer Services faculty in 1992 after 23 years of service, died September 21, 2014.
  • Cyril Zenisek, who retired as a professor of biology in 1988 after 28 years of service, died July 28, 2014.

More from the Fall-Winter 2014 Issue of IUP Magazine

Armed for the Future

Armed for the Future

The new Military Resource Center is one of several initiatives helping students make a successful transition from military to campus life.

Preserving the Past

Preserving the Past

The library’s Special Collections and Archives area helps patrons study items they may not find anywhere else.

Message from the President

Creating a diverse environment at IUP sometimes means providing a bridge to help students cross from their previous environment to our community.

Homecoming 2014 Photo Gallery

Namedroppers | Achievements | Mentors

Photo Gallery | In Brief

Pipe Dream

IUP is housing the Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Pipe Organ, thanks to a lease agreement with the American Guild of Organists.

Coming Back to Build the Future

More than 150 alumni return to campus each year to speak to classes, recruit students for jobs or internships, share professional expertise, and more.

The Road to Canton

Ed Bouchette, the Steelers beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has earned a spot in Canton, Ohio, among the greats of the game.

Silver Anniversary

A look back at 25 years of performing and visual arts events presented by the College of Fine Arts.