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Biology Students at IUP Benefit from Big-Time Research Opportunities

  • Biology students avail themselves to a wide variety of experiencesIntense lab work, outdoor field work, and numerous opportunities for study abroad are features that benefit students in IUP’s Biology Department.


    Alumni who have earned biology degrees at IUP are doing the world's important work. An analysis of IUP Distinguished Alumni Award winners tells the tale.

    A total of 21 alumni from the Biology Department have received the award. They include an internationally known neurologist1, a college president2, a U.S. Army general3, a flight surgeon turned astronaut4, two research scientists who hold high-level faculty positions at universities5, and chief patent counselor6 for a major Washington, D.C., law firm.

    Their career paths have varied, but they all started their careers with a solid foundation in scientific study.

    The department’s nearly 3,000 alumni work in environmental health, wildlife preservation, and lab settings across the country. Many teach on the college and secondary level, and others pursue medicine-related professions.

    Today’s Department
    Faculty members are involved in numerous research projects in which they involve students. For example, because of a Pennsylvania Game Commission grant awarded to professors Jeff Larkin and Joseph Duchamp, students are gaining hands-on experience monitoring the response of Allegheny woodrat populations to habitat management strategies. Shundong Bi coauthored a fossil study that suggests mammals appeared on earth 50 million years earlier than previously believed.

    The department offers special courses in the form of a summer study-abroad experience in southern Africa and a cooperative program at Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology in northwestern Pennsylvania. Students also have access to the Biotechnology Research Institute, a partnership IUP has with other IUP science departments, government agencies, and private industry to conduct research in the biotechnology field.

    Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
    Sally Amero '74
    Margaret Barnes '76
    Robert Cunningham '63
    James Daniels '55
    Harry Dillner Jr. '64
    Kathy Gibson '78
    John Gilly ’79
    Dwight Glenn '54
    Esther Massung Kepplinger ’716
    John Kopchick ’72, M’755
    Charles Kupchella '642
    Joseph Laposata '603
    James Lichtenfels '62
    Richard McDowell '60
    Nancy McGuire '65
    Samuel  Mitrovich Jr. '66
    John Neale '71
    Victoria Rich '71
    Patricia Hilliard Robertson ’854
    Elizabeth Latorre Travis ’655
    Demetrios Velis '751

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