Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics

FCSM NEWS from 2012

Fisher College Honors Its Faculty and Staff at Fall Forum

President Marvene Loeschke address the FCSM Fall Forum

Towson University (November 2, 2012) — The Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science held its annual Fall Forum where outstanding faculty and staff are honored. Towson University President Maravene Loeschke addressed the audience saying “As I am out and about the state in conversations regarding excellence in teaching, innovation, research (often including undergraduates), successful college grant raising and fund-raising, teacher preparation, work-force development, academic transformation, and STEM, the Fisher College is a part of the conversation. This college is a model for excellence in these areas and brings me endless examples to add to the conversation no matter the topic. I am grateful to and respectful of the exceptional work produced in the Fisher College.”

Next, Dean David Vanko gave his 2012 State of the Fisher College address.

As the central theme of the Fall Forum, recipients of the Faculty and Staff Awards were introduced and presented with plaques.


Thinks Pink Student Organization Collects $800 for Fight Against Cancer

Towson University students who participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancr walk

Baltimore, Maryland (October 14, 2012) — TU Thinks Pink, a Towson University student organization participate in the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk that took place in Baltimore City. The students collected $800 in just one month of fund raising. Dr. Reiselie Barreto-Espino, Assistant Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences, said "I am so proud of the students and I am honored that they chose me to be their advisor."



Grand Re-Opening of the Urban Environmental Biogeochemistry Laboratory

  Urban Environmental Biogeochemistry Lab Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting
  Left to right: Dr. Steve Lev, Dr. Ryan Casey, Dean David Vanko,
President Maravene Loeschke, Dr. David Ownby and Dr. Joel Snodgrass

Towson University (September 13, 2012) — Urbanization in the United States over the past 200 years has dramatically altered the way ecosystems function. Increased development around urban centers and the associated by-products of related human activities affect the climate, hydrology, biogeochemistry and function of urban ecosystems. An understanding of these systems and their impact on the wider environment, including human populations, is of prime interest to society. The overall mission of the Urban Biogeochemistry Laboratory at Towson University is to engage undergraduate and graduate students in research that increases our understanding of the sources, movements and storage of natural and anthropogenic elements and compounds in urban systems, including the consequences for wildlife and human populations and the relationships with human economic, political and social systems.

In 2010, the UEBL was awarded a $1.4M National Science Foundation ARI grant to renovate space in the basement of Smith Hall. Supplemented by funds from TU, these renovations have recently been completed and the renovated space is opening for use in September 2012. This space provides the ideal infrastructure for carrying out these and many more research activities. Renovated spaces include a sample intake lab, a clean sample preparation lab, an instrument analysis lab and two organismal experimentation and exposure labs. The arrangement of the facilities provides for a logical flow of multidisciplinary activities from sample intake through instrumental analysis. The design of the facilities involves modern 21st-century science laboratory elements including all the necessary utilities such as power and HVAC, and an appealing openness accomplished with a liberal use of glass replacing opaque concrete walls, creating a more welcoming and safe environment for faculty and student research "in the basement." The renovations emphasize energy efficiency by installing non-incandescent lighting systems with motion sensors, and well balanced HVAC systems.


TU selects Dr. Meghan A. May as Fisher Endowed Chair

Dr. Meghan May Towson University (August 22, 2012) — Dr. Meghan A. May, Assistant Professor of Biology, joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences in August 2010. Professor May previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow (from 2006 to 2010) in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology at the University of Florida. Professor May earned her B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Pathobiology and Bacteriology from the University of Connecticut.

Professor May teaches Biology I: Cellular Biology and Genetics, Medical Microbiology, and Pathogenic Microbiology. Her research focus is on the evolution of virulence, not only to determine how new diseases appear and where they come from but also how to predict what new disease might arise next - pathogen forecasting. Her current research uses the microbial parasite, Mycoplasma synoviae, as a model system to study mechanisms of pathogen attachment to host cells: the first step in how a pathogen causes disease in a host organism. Dr. May is a Co-Principal Investigator on a recently awarded grant from National Institutes of Health and on a grant from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program. She has published with Towson University undergraduates as co-authors and she took undergraduate students to present their research at the recent American Society for Microbiology Annual meeting.


Computer & Information Sciences Professors Awarded $2 Million NSF Grant

Towson Maryland (August 17, 2012) – Shiva Azadegan, Josh Dehlinger, Sidd Kaza, Blair Taylor and Wei Yu of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University will received $2.09 million grant from the National Science Foundation CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program. This grant will offer two-year scholarships to undergraduate students majoring in computer science with a track in computer security, over the next 5 years. Each scholarship recipient will receive full tuition, books, a stipend of $20,000, an allowance of $3,000 for travel to professional conferences, and $1,200 in health insurance. The grant also supports security seminars, mentoring, undergraduate research project and internships. In the first year of the grant, $681,377 will go toward funding these scholarships for up to 30 undergraduate computer science students.


Mrs. Helen Harrison Appointed Executive Administrative Assistant

Ms. Helen HarrisonTowson University (August 8, 2012) – We are happy to announce that the Fisher College dean's office has a new Executive Administrative Assistant. After a thorough search involving more than 70 applications, Mrs. Helen Harrison has been named to the position. Mrs. Harrison is moving from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, where she has been the Administrative Assistant II since 2007. Mrs. Harrison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new position, and all in the dean's office welcome her to our team.

Helen and her husband, Kelly, reside in Perry Hall, along with their three children, Joshua, Caleb, and Lydia. They have lived in Maryland for 13 years, and her oldest son, Joshua, attends Towson University as a sophomore Computer Science major.

Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Helen Harrison on her new position and welcoming her to the Fisher College Dean's Office.


Mrs. Diane David Announces Her Retirement

Mrs. Diane DavidTowson University (July 2, 2012) – Diane David, Executive Administrative Assistant of the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, has announced her retirement effective August 1, 2012. Prior to her current position, Mrs. David worked in the Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences, where she was the Administrative Assistant / Office Manager starting in 1993. Prior to that she raised a lovely family, and prior to that she worked for three years as the administrative assistant in the Department of Health Science.

Mrs. David is instrumental in the smooth operation the the Dean's Office, and she always provides a friendly and competent face and voice to all who contact the office. Diane, her husband, and the family dogs are moving to South Carolina where they will be close to their children and grandchildren. While she will be sorely missed, we wish her much happiness and contentment in her retirement.


Towson Granted $2 Million to form UTeach Program

Towson University (May 24, 2012) – Towson University today was named the 30th university to be selected as a site for the widely acclaimed UTeach program, designed to help build the next generation of mathematics and science educators.

The UTeach Institute recommended Towson, a selection confirmed by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has awarded Towson $1.33 million in federal Race to the Top funds, while NMSI, through the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, has added $680,000 in funding to boost the initiative. The University System of Maryland has pledged another $300,000 annually to support the effort aimed at significantly boosting the number of educators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


Physics Faculty Researcher has Trapped a Rainbow

Bristol, United Kingdom (May 24, 2012) — In a breakthrough research, a group of American researchers led by Dr. Vera Smolyaninova – Associate Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at Towson University – has created 25,000 individual cloaks. The cloaks are just 30 micrometers in diameter and are laid out together on a 25 millimeter gold sheet. This array of invisibility cloaks is the first of its kind. "The benefit of a biochip array is that you have a large number of small sensors, meaning you can perform many tests at once. For example, you could test for multiple genetic conditions in a person's DNA in just one go," said Dr. Smolyaninova.

Video Abstract

This research entitled "Experimental demonstration of a broadband array of invisibility cloaks in the visible frequency range" has been published in the New Journal of Physics, and the full text may be viewed at their website:  New Journal of Physics.


Towson University Field Station Holds Open House

Monkton, Maryland (May 12, 2012) — The Towson University Filed Station Open House was held Saturday, May 12th between noon and 4 p.m. in Monkton, Maryland. The weather cooperated and scores of visitors, including faculty, staff, alumni, local residents and their families enjoyed nature hikes, interactive wildlife exhibits and good food.

Monkton, MD Field Station Open House I'm sorry, but your browser does not suppoert the embed tag. The embed tag embedded a flickr slideshow


Dr. B. Blair Taylor Receives USM Regents' 2012 Award

Adelphi, Maryland (April 13, 2012) — Dr. B. Blair Taylor has been named a winner of the 2012 University System of Maryland Regents' Faculty Teaching Award, the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members.

Blair TaylorBlair Taylor, Clinical Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science at Towson University. Dr. Taylor's focus on educating students about cyber-security has made her a national leader in curriculum development in this area. She is the author of several papers on educating for security and the recipient of a major National Science Foundation award for curriculum development: "Building Security In: Injecting Security throughout the Undergraduate Computing Curriculum." Students and colleagues alike are impressed by her passion for the subject and her regard for her students.


Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Honors Its Students

Towson University (April 29, 2012) — The Fisher College of Science and Mathematics held its 22nd Annual Honors Convocation where outstanding students in the college are recognized for their scholarship. In his opening remarks, Dr. David A. Vanko, Dean of the College, described the day as a day of celebration! We are gathered to present awards to many of the most outstanding students in our College. We honor you for your scholarship and we honor you for your leadership. Your identification as individuals who have reached a high level of excellence surely represents the culmination of many years of hard work, and although you probably had the support of family, friends, teachers, or community, we know that one common ingredient that you all have shown is determination. So, just as teachers don't give grades - you have to earn them; we don't simply give out honors, awards and scholarships - you have had to earn them, too. Dean Vanko congratulated the students on a job well done.

Dr. Maravene Loeschke, Towson University's President, addressed the audience with some very encouraging words for all of the students present.


Student Team from the Fisher College Wins the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Region Collegiate Cyber Defence Competition (CCDC)

Computer keys  
Columbia, MD (March 19, 2012) — A team of Fisher College students placed first in the seventh annual CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Columbia, MD., from March 16-17. Twenty-five teams from Pennsylvania to North Carolina participated in the initial round of the CyberWatch Competition, and the final eight teams were from Towson University, Capitol College (MD), Howard Community College (MD), James Madison University (VA), Millersville University (PA), Radford University (VA), the University of Maryland Baltimore County (MD), and West Virginia University (WV).

Dr. Mike O'Leary, professor in the Department of Mathematics and director of the School of Emerging technologies, coaches the team, which includes: junior Andrea Mobley (team captain); senior Brian Cather; senior Jonathan Fragale; graduate student Dustin Hanks; senior Dennis Hayden; junior Alex Hornberger; senior Raymond Lynch; senior Roberto Melendez; junior Mark Olsen; and senior Emmanuel Rivera.

With this win, the Fisher College team has earned a berth in the National CCDC April 20-22, 2012 in San Antonio, TX.


Cover Story of PRISM features Dr. Pamela Lottero-Perdue

Dr. Pamela Lottero Perdue and Ms. Alison Baranowski Washington, DC (January 2012) — Dr. Pamela Lottero-Perdue integrated engineering into Havre de Grace, Maryland fourth grade teacher Alison Baranowski's science class, and then trained her to help students design, build, and test a wall made of tiles and "earth materials." Dr. Perdue is featured in the cover story of PRISM, the online magazine of the American Society for Engineering Education.


The Jess and Mildred Fisher
College of Science and Mathematics
Smith Hall, Room 312 (campus map)
Phone: 410-704-2121
Fax: 410-704-2604

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Many interesting and informative activities and accomplishments of the faculty and administration in the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics are published in a monthly newsletter.  Read the current newsletter or browse through previous newsletters.



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