Biology Students Receive Dean’s Awards for Excellence

Posted on 4/29/2015 2:04:14 PM

Four students working with biology faculty received Dean’s Awards for Excellence at the IUP Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars Forums on April 8, 2015. The IUP forums encourage students to discuss their academic work and share their research with students and professors.

Victoria Stone, first place, College of Education and Educational TechnologyVictoria Stone - First Place Award

IUP Undergraduate Scholars Forum
Dean’s Award for Excellence, College of Education and Educational Technology
“Human Health and Toxicology—Determining Educational Outreach Needs”
Anne Simmons - Research Advisor

Stone is a middle-level education major who plans to teach science to students in grades 4–8. She used survey research to assess the knowledge of undergraduate students to inform curriculum review with her project on the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and toxicology. Stone presented lessons for elementary school students on human health and toxicology at the 2014 Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association Conference.

Matthew Dovey - First Place Award

IUP Graduate Scholars Forum
Dean’s Award for Excellence, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
“Photoperiod Regulation of Mammalian Circadian Phythms through Social Inerations and Aggression”
Megan Knoch – Research Advisor

Dovey is completing his graduate thesis in the Knoch Lab, where he has been extending the finding from a previous study in which long-term social interactions seem to enhance circadian clock resetting in mice. Dovey has continued this work by demonstrating how the type of social interaction, i.e., mice exhibiting aggressive behavior, results in a more robust circadian response to light.

Timothy Hummel, second place, College of Natural Sciences and MathematicsTimothy Hummel - Second Place Award

IUP Graduate Scholars Forum
Dean’s Award for Excellence, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
“Spatial Ecology of the Eastern Hellbender in Pennsylvania: Seven-Year Analysis”
David Janetski – Research Advisor

Hummel is a second-year graduate student in the Janetski Lab. Hummel’s thesis work seeks to better understand the life history of Pennsylvania’s largest amphibian, the Easter Hellbender. Using a seven-year dataset, Hummel will help elucidate the habitat preferences and home range sizes of hellbenders in streams of western Pennsylvania. This summer, Hummel will test the utility of environmental DNA as a tool for assessing hellbender distributions.

Michael Itgen, third place, College of Natural Sciences and MathematicsMichael Itgen - Third Place Award

IUP Graduate Scholars Forum
Dean’s Award for Excellence, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
“Offensive Tail Autotomy within Tropical Salamanders: Osteological Variation of the Basal Tail Region”
Josiah Townsend – Research Advisor

Itgen is a graduate student in the Townsend Lab, where he studies the systematic, evolution, and development of tropical salamanders. This thesis work focuses on an evaluation of species boundaries in the subgenus Magnadigita in Honduras using molecular phylogenetics, external morphology, osteology, and cytogenetics.

Congratulations to the students and their research advisors.