Official newsletter of the LSU College of Science  |  October/November 2016 

Above: Dr. Cheree Schwartzenburg, LSU biochemistry graduate and OBGYN with Schwartzenburg Lafranca & Guidry. Masthead photo, Kristian Black, LSU biochemistry graduate attending the University of Michigan Medical School. 
Surpassing the Expectation 
Blog Highlights College's Successful Approach to Preparing Students for Professional Health Programs
More than half of the physicians in Louisiana began their academic careers in the LSU College of Science. Our alumni include a litany of successful obstetricians, podiatrists, surgeons, pediatricians and general practitioners, not to mention successful graduates in dentistry and optometry. What sets the LSU College of Science apart from its peers? Read the College of Science to learn more about our approach to helping students be competitive applicants and the preparation students receive when planning to take the medical college or dental admissions test.

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Dr. Paige Jarreau leads science communications workshop in the Department of Mathematics. Photo by Bogdan Oporowski, LSU Mathematics.

Communicating Your Science & Broader Impacts 
Workshop Series Introduces New Methods to Sharing Science with a Broader Audience
This fall, the LSU College of Science is hosting a series of workshops to help LSU researchers share their work with a broader audience,  connect with colleagues, increase research citations and share content that will help make the case for federal support of their work. The workshops are led by Dr. Paige Jarreau, bio/nanotechnology scientist and communications specialist for the College of Science.
All College of Science faculty, staff, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are invited to participate. The next workshop will be held Thursday, November 10 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Department of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Annex, room A101. If you are unable to attend the workshop in your area, you are welcome to attend a workshop in the one of the other departments.

We want to know more about how you share your science.

Please complete an online survey before and after the workshop.  All survey respondents will be entered to win a goodie bag from the College of Science. 

Just in time for Halloween, check out some of LSU's spookier research at the LSU Museum of Natural Science as Steve Cardiff, museum collections manager, talks about flesh eating beetles in "The Bug Room."

Enjoy a Night at the Museum 
Program Offers a Behind the Scenes Look at the LSU Museum of Natural Sciences
If you have ever wondered what happens behind the closed doors of the LSU Museum of Natural Science, spend a night at the museum and learn more about the collections and researchers that have helped make the LSU MNS one of the top research museums in the nation.
Each night, the program focuses on a specific LSU MNS research collection (i.e. birds, mammals, fish, etc). Scientists working with that collection will give short engaging talks about their work and then take guests on a behind-the-scenes tour of their focus collection.

The next "Night at the Museum" is scheduled for November 17. Click here
to learn more about "Night at the Museum" activities and to reserve a spot on the behind-the-scenes tour.    

It's All About the Brains! 
Karen Maruska's Lab Examines the Brains of African Cichlids to Better Understand How the Brain Controls Social Behaviors 
In a sparkling tank in Dr. Karen Maruska's fish tank room at the top of the Life Science building, two brightly colored fish the size of your thumb aggressively dance around one another, their mouths open wide, darting forwards and backwards in a fight for dominance. These fish have one thing on their minds - defending their territory and fighting for the right to breed with the female residents of their tank. A curtain shields the tank from the outside world, and the fish behave as if no one is watching. But a camera secretly captures the interaction between these two fish, so that Maruska and other researchers in her lab may study the behavior of these African cichlid fish down to the individual neurons firing in their brains as they perform their aggressive dance.

Read more in the latest College of Science Blog post

Photo: Top left, Male fish fighting; bottom right, African Cichlid Braiiinnnssss. Photo by Karen Maruska

Susanne Brenner
Barb Dutrow
Gabriela González
Rich Kurtz
Karen Luttrell
Susanne Brenner, Nicholson Professor in the Department of Mathematics, was appointed to the advisory committee for the Directorate at the NSF that oversees funding for math, physics, astronomy, chemistry and materials research. > More 
Barb Dutrow, Adophe G. Gueymard Professor in LSU's Department of Geology & Geophysics, is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Educator Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists, or AWG. This is AWG's premier professional award for women geoscientists honoring well-established women college or university teachers who have played a significant role in the education and support of geoscientists within and beyond the classroom, in advancing the persistence of females and underrepresented minorities in geoscience careers and in raising the profile of the geosciences by teaching to and for the broadcast audience of students.
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Gabriela González, Professor of Physics & Astronomy and spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, is the recipient of the 2016 Jesse W. Beams Research Award established by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society, or SESAPS, to recognize especially significant or meritorious research in physics. Gonzalez will receive the award during the SESAPS Conference awards banquet, November 10. Joe Giaime, professor of physics and astronomy and director of LIGO Livingston, will serve as the banquet speaker.
College of Science Associate Dean and Professor of Physics & Astronomy Richard Kurtz is one of four LSU faculty and administrators selected to participate in the 2016-17 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program, or SEC ALDP. This program is a professional growth initiative that seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. The SEC ALDP has two components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own participants and two, three-day, SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants.
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Karen Luttrell, assistant professor of geology and geophysics, has a new collaborative NSF-funded project called Hydrothermal Dynamics of Yellowstone Lake. Luttrell and her PhD student Louis Garcia are featured on the project web site.   
The LSU College of Science has two new additions to the Office of Students Services, Kathryn Loveless and Capri Mandella.

As the academic lead in student services, Kathryn Loveless is responsible for verifying that all graduation requirements are met by degree candidates and helping coordinate the College of Science diploma ceremony and graduation preparation. Loveless is also responsible for coordinating orientation activities for first-year students, including Spring Invitational, which services over 1,000 incoming students. She is also the liaison for the GeauxTeach program, where she assists science and math students participating in one of the four secondary education certification programs. Loveless earned a bachelor's degree in general studies and master's degree in social work from LSU. She is also a licensed clinical social worker.

Capri Mandella is the new academic advisor supporting first-year students in the Science Residential College, or SRC, and the College of Science. As an advisor for the SRC program, Mandella works with over 170 first year-science majors in an on-campus, living-learning community where the students are able to take courses together, form study groups and attend educational programs. In this role, Mandella is responsible for scheduling cohort classes, assisting with SRC events, meeting with students for academic intervention and schedule advising, recruiting SRC students and working alongside the SRC faculty rector. Mandella also assists with College of Science orientation, scheduling, advising and recruitment events. Mandella has a bachelor's of arts in communication studies and bachelor's of science in psychology from LSU and a master's of arts in educational administration from New Mexico State University.

After 18 years as a counselor and premedical advisor at LSU, Robby Bowen has been named director of prehealth programs. In 2014, Bowen received the National Academic Advising Association Outstanding Advising Award. Currently, he is the president of the regional Southeastern Association of Advisors for Health Professions, or SAAHP, and serves on the Executive Board for the association's national organization (NAAHP).  Before joining the college's Student Services team, he was a counselor in the LSU Center for Freshman Year. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and management and administration from LSU, a master's of science in psychology from UL-Monroe and is a licensed professional counselor.    


Research Excellence 
Biological Sciences Student
Jacob Meariman Explains How He Found the Right Research Experience 

More than 400 undergraduates in the LSU College of Science are involved in research each year. These research experiences help students bridge the gap between theory and practice by allowing them to apply what they learn in class in a real-world laboratory environment alongside some of the nation's leading faculty researchers. Biological sciences major Jacob Meariman explains why undergraduate research is important and how to find the research experience for you. Take a Look! 

2016 MD Anderson externs Victoria Huynh, Nicole Dominique and Harley Bordelon

A Glimpse Inside   
Five College of Science students were selected to participate in the MD Anderson Cancer Center Summer Externship for Undergraduate Students. The program provides an opportunity for high-performing students interested in medicine to spend a month shadowing some of the world's leading doctors at MD Anderson. Last summer was the first year that the program was open to LSU students. Dr. Erich Sturgis, a MD Anderson physician and 1985 graduate of LSU's biochemistry program, worked with College of Science Dean Cynthia Peterson to extend this opportunity to LSU's up and coming doctors.

"This experience gives them a real appreciation for what academic medicine is like at a major center, a flavor of what training after medical school (residency and fellowship) would be like, an inside look at taking care of cancer patients and what a rewarding experience it can be," says Sturgis.

Read the College of Science blog to learn more about the externship experience. > More
Beyond the Lecture Hall    
Physics Major Simon Lorenzo
Conducts Research at UC Berkeley

Simon Lorenzo, senior physics major and Honors College student, spent his summer at the University of California, Berkeley where he conducted research through the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Lorenzo's work at Berkeley involved designing and constructing an experiment to measure the efficiency of record-breaking thermophotovoltaic cells that generate electricity from the heat of nearby heat sources. Lorenzo is featured in "Beyond the Lecture Hall," a feature on the Honors College web site.

Lorenzo followed the advice of LSU Associate Professor Gregory Stacy, who sponsors LSU's Society of Physics Students, and LSU Physics Professor Jonathan Dowling, his research advisor, when choosing which REU to apply for. Following graduation, he plans to obtain a PhD in electrical or optical engineering. 

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When Science and Art Collid
SRC Students Showcase their Artistic Side
Twenty-five Science Residential College students spent an evening expressing their artistic talents and listening to Dr. David Baker, veterinarian for LSU's very own Mike the Tiger. Mike VI was humanely euthanized earlier this month after he was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma in May 2016. The night began with the students painting their own variations of the famous Tiger's Eye and later they received the inside scoop on Baker's selection process for Mike VII.

Photos: Top (left to right), Dr. David Baker tells the SRC students how he became Mike the Tiger's veterinarian and SRC student Keava Turner showcases her Tiger's Eye painting. Bottom, Diana Baroudi hides behind her masterpiece. 

Physics Alumnus and
Mental Health Expert
Lauren Trueheart Speaks 
at LSU 
Leanne Trueheart, LSU physics graduate, returned to LSU to share her experiences as a practicing psychiatrist and mental health advocate, as part of "What I Did With My Physics Degree," a speaker series hosted by the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Truehart began her lecture by describing how her fascination with space and existential curiosity was originally what led her to want to pursue a career in astronomy, which is why she majored in physics at the University. Later in her academic career she saw the appeal of medical school, and once she found psychiatry, she never looked back.

"I did a rotation in psychiatry, and it just blew me out the water. I loved it. It was unbelievable and very interesting," Truehart said.

Read the full article in The Reveille 

Chemistry Alumnus Awarded National Academies' Gulf Research Program Fellowship
Paulina Kolic, 2016 LSU PhD graduate in chemistry, was awarded a Science Policy Fellowship through the National Academies' Gulf Research Program Fellowships. Kolik will be a fellow at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority in Baton Rouge.

The Gulf Research Program, a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, was established in 2013 as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It seeks to improve understanding of the interconnecting human, environmental and energy systems of the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas. 
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College Hosts Annual
Dean's Circle Dinner 

The College of Science hosted it's tenth annual Dean's Circle Dinner, Friday, October 21 at the Baton Rouge Marriott. The keyote speaker was Dan Borne', president of the Louisiana Chemical Association and voice of LSU Athletics. The evening began with student poster presentations by microbiology major Jimmy Mickler, chemistry major Blake Kruger, mathematics major Amy Adair, physics major Irene Vargas and biological sciences major and student in the BRCC/LSU Bridges to the Baccalaureate program Francesca Hildebrand. The night also included an exhibit by Brandon Ballengée, noted artist, environmental educator and postdoctoral researcher working in the LSU Museum of Natural Science and biological science majors Link Morgan and Glynn O'Neil.

Photos: Top, DC members Dick and Cece Edwards and (bottom) Dan Borne', president of the Louisiana Chemical Association. 

Benjamin Boussert 
Family Commissions Stained Glass Window in his Honor by Famed Local Artist Mary Ann Caffery

On Friday, September 23rd, the LSU Department of Chemistry hosted the Benjamin Pierre Boussert Lecture and window unveiling in remembrance of LSU alumnus Benjamin Boussert.

Boussert, a 1999 LSU University Medalist who graduated with degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, conducted four years of research under the tutelage of Robin McCarley, Barbara Womack LSU Alumni Professor.

Boussert's interest in nanoscience and sensing technologies led him to the University of California at Berkeley where he worked toward a PhD in physical chemistry with Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering Paul Alivisatos. Months before he was to defend his dissertation, Benjamin and two friends, Jason Choy and Giulia Adesso, were tragically killed in an automobile accident. > More 

Photo: Left to right, Benjamin's parents, Anne and Christian LSU Chemistry  Professor Robin McCarley; Benjamin's aunt, Gayle Smitherman; University of Texas at Austin Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Delia Milliron; and Baton Rouge artist Mary Ann Caffery

ExxonMobil Recognized for Long-Standing Investment
in LSU  
ExxonMobil presented a check for $1.3 million to the LSU Foundation this semester as part of the ExxonMobil Foundation's 2015 Educational Matching Gift Program and its departmental grant program. The gift represents donations of $358,452 made by 173 employees, retirees and 
surviving spouses, along with the ExxonMobil Foundation 3-to-1 match to LSU. The gift also includes $57,000 from the ExxonMobil departmental grant program to support students in the E. J. Ourso College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Science and the Olinde Career Center.


Geaux Pink!
Executive Committee Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month  

To show support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our LSU College of Science Executive Committee donned pink along with our staff and college leadership at the college's fall meeting.


The College of Science would like to welcome the newest members of the Dean's Circle. Thank you for your contribution to the teaching and research activities in the college.
  • Charles and Sonya Dubois, September 2016

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