Cleveland State University -engaged learning
header banner


March, 2009


Greetings from the College of Science!


bette bonder
Bette Bonder, Dean

Welcome to Spring, 2009. Somehow, it doesn’t quite feel like spring, but every day, I notice the sun staying with us for longer, and look forward to warmer weather in the not-too-distant future. I also see many of our projects moving along: the new student center is starting to rise, and (perhaps more important) the new parking garage will be done soon.

In the College of Science, many new projects are also moving along. We have our first group of Choose Ohio First Scholars receiving scholarships from the State of Ohio and experience in research and entrepreneurship. Our first McNair Scholars are receiving advising and support as they consider graduate school in science fields. Our newly approved Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences is ready to go, as well. At the same time, faculty are hard at work making sure that all our programs are top quality. We continue to hear great things about our students’ achievements, and I’m delighted with their successes.

The College will host its second annual Design a Life conference on April 17, focused on creative aging. Dr. Gene Cohen from the Center for Creative Aging at George Washington University will be the keynote speaker;

Our fourth annual College of Science Research Day 2009 will be held on Friday, April 24 in the Physical Education Building Lobby and Fenn Tower Panel Hall This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. John P. Smol, Co-Director of the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario; holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology. His research focuses on environmental degradation and recovery in lake systems, including environmental change of Arctic Lakes. Dr. Smol was recently honored as one of the top 10 educators in Canada.

Bette Bonder

Science Students Lead Rooftop Garden Project

Erin Huber and LeeAnn Westfall

Senior Environmental Science students Erin Huber and LeeAnn Westfall have taken the lead on creating a 7,000 square- foot roof top garden on the CSU Recreation Center. The garden would serve as a learning tool for CSU students, the community and area schools, providing engaged learning on such topics as green building, urban planning, environmental protection, sustainability, managing storm water, decreasing impervious surfaces, creating urban habitat for wildlife, LEED certification, filtering pollutants from the air and water, reducing urban heat island effect, and decreasing dependence on energy for heating and cooling buildings.

Each dollar contributed by alumni, up to $60,000, will be matched by President Michael Schwartz. Donations are 100 percent tax deductible and may be mailed to: Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave., MM 209, Cleveland, OH 44115-2214. Or contact Erin Huber and LeeAnn Westfall at Your support is encouraged and appreciated! Read more about the project here.

Leading Edge Research

Scientists have been searching for a magic pill or potion to cure cancer for decades, and our own Dr. Michael Kalafatis, a professor and researcher who specializes in the biochemistry of blood coagulation, apoptosis (cell death) and the implications for heart disease and cancer, may be on the right track. Dr. Kalafatis has discovered a unique application for a substance he calls CancerX that has consistently shown promise in extinguishing cancer.

In recent studies on six different types of cancers, Dr. Kalafatis has achieved reduction and eradication of cancer tumors and cells tested on human cancer cells in vitro and implanted in mice. His most recent finding reduced a brain cancer growth within 20 days of administering the drug, when directly injected into the tumor. Kalafatis, who has been researching cancer antidotes for the past four years, submitted his findings to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) to independently substantiate his evidence.

After the first round of tests achieved successful results, the NCI is conducting its second set of research on 52 different strains of cancer cells. We can expect to hear much more of Dr. Kalafatis who has been researching cancer antidotes for the past four years and the biochemistry of blood for more the 20 years.

College of Science Research Day, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009
Physical Education Building Lobby and Fenn Tower Panel Hall


1:00 pm –  3:30 pm                 Poster Session (Physical Education Building Lobby)
4:00 pm –  5:30 pm                 Keynote Speaker and Presentation of Outstanding Research Award (Fenn Tower Panel Hall)   

This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. John P. Smol, Co-Director of the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario; holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology. His research focuses on environmental degradation and recovery in lake systems, including environmental change of Arctic Lakes.

2nd Annual Diversity Management Conference

May 14th and 15th, 2009

"Translating Theory and Research Findings into Best Practices”

Explore how to make your diversity investments pay off. Learn how the latest research and theory can be used to provide real world solutions and creative approaches to diversity dilemmas.

NEW Specialty Tracks:
Best Practices in Health Delivery and Health Equity
"Yes We Can: Re-engaging our Civic Life"

Design A Life Conference

DESIGN A LIFE: A Community of Ideas
APRIL 17, 2009

Hear from a leading expert on creative aging, experience creativity hands-on through workshops with artists, craftspeople, musicians, and writers. Consider how to incorporate creative activities into your daily life, and in promoting health and wellness.

Supported by: Cleveland State University, The Cleveland Clinic, Euclid Hospital, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cuyahoga Community College, Lutheran Hospital, Judson at University Circle, the Art Therapy Studio, Benjamin Rose Institute, and Western Reserve Geriatric

This one day conference is designed to provide an opportunity to engage in and reflect on creative activities. It is a wonderful opportunity for health care professionals, students, and anyone with an interest in creativity to enjoy opportunities to work with artists, craftspeople, musicians, and writers, and to reflect on ways to incorporate creative activities into your life and the lives of your patients to promote health and wellness.
Workshops are designed to provide a hands-on experience of creativity. Panels of care providers and creative artists to consider how to employ creative activities in providing care to promote wellness and remediate dysfunction and illness. Please visit the Design a Life website at the link below for workshop descriptions. Please tell a friend about this conference.

To register for this course or for more information, call 216-687-5580 or go to

Recent Accomplishments in the College of Science


 Health Sciences:        

  • Dr. Glenn Goodman along with IMS, CSU Library, Disability Services and Career Services have produced a media site presentation of the State Library of Ohio Grant Funded Program for Cleveland Metropolitan School District High School Students with Disabilities. The webcast uses video and PowerPoint slides to encourage high school students with disabilities who have the potential for college to make use of CSU resources and adaptive technology. It is also a wonderful recruitment tool for targeting this student population. The webcast provides the grant orientation for students who have signed up for the program but are unable to attend an orientation session.


  • Dr. Aimin Zhou received a $47,000 grant from the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland for his project “The Role of Rnase L in Type 1 Diabetes”.


  • Dr. Ulrich Zurcher’s article, “Human food consumption: a primer on nonequilibrium thermodynamics for college physics,” has been downloaded 250 times (an exceptionally large number) during the first quarter since publication at the Institute of Physics website.
  • Dr. Kiril A. Streletzky with his graduate student John McKenna has recently published a paper in a prestigious Journal of Polymer Science: K. A. Streletzky and J. T. McKenna “Spectral Time Moment Analysis of Microgel Deswelling. Effect of the Heating Rate”, J. Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics 46, 2792 (2008).
  • Professor Jearl Walker delivered the Margaret B Hayes talk at Oberlin College in front of an overflowing audience. Professor Walker was invited to deliver this prestigious colloquium specifically because of his reputation to relate to non-scientists. Professor Dan Styer of the Physics Department at Oberlin is quoted to say: "We bring in speakers to tell the whole campus and community how fun and exciting and interesting physics is."

Biology, Geology, and Environmental Sciences:

  • Dr. Barsanjit Mazumder’s work has been accepted for publication in the high impact, high visibility journal, Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB). This is the same work that Dr. Mazumder presented last month as an invited speaker in the Cold Spring Harbor international meeting.
  • Dr. Anton A. Komar, a member of our new Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) is an internationally recognized expert in the field of protein folding, a necessary step for proper protein function and consequently health. Improper protein folding is associated with many devastating diseases. As a consequence of his reputation in the field, he has recently been asked to write several important reviews on this topic (see below). His most recent review focuses on the seminal idea, supported by his and others research, that proper protein folding in cells could be affected by the speed that certain portions of proteins are synthesized. This work has been featured on the cover of the prestigious scientific journal, Trends in Biochemical Sciences.
    • Komar AA (2007) SNPs, Silent But Not Invisible, Science 315, 466-467.
    • Komar AA (2007) Silent SNPs; impact on gene function and phenotype, Pharmacogenomics, 8 1075-1080.
    • Komar AA (2008) Protein Translation Rates and Protein Misfolding: Is there any link? In Protein Misfolding: New Research (O'Doherty C.B. and Byrne, A.C. eds), Nova Science Publishers, Inc. NY, pp. 56-67.
    • Komar AA (2009) A pause for thought along the co-translational folding pathway. Trends Biochem. Sci. 34, 16-24.


Mathematics professor Keith Kendig was recently honored with the College of Science 2008 Jearl Walker Outstanding Teaching Award, recognizing his enthusiasm and devotion to students and to his profession. Dr. Kendig has been a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics since 1971 and has been the recipient of many other prestigious awards.



Victoria Chmura (PSY/HSC) was selected as the College of Science Valedictorian. Additionally, Zavinta Maleckaite (HSC/PSY), Rebecca Riffle (HSC/PSY), Kyle Sochacki (HSC), and Brian VonBenken (HSC) were selected to receive the College of Science Outstanding Senior Awards for Fall 2008.


  • Three undergraduate students, Ryan McDonough, Krista Freeman, Max Orseno presented their summer -08 research (done in Dr. Streletzky’s lab) at the Fall Meeting of the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society in Dayton, OH.
  • Ryan McDonough (Honors BS in Physics, BS in Chemistry, 2010) will present the results of his research under the joint project between CSU and Louisiana State University (LSU) at the National March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Pittsburgh, PA. His contributed talk “Diffusive Properties of Dilute HPC Solutions: Comparative Study with DLS and FPR” is scheduled for March 16, 09. Ryan started the project in Dr Streletzky lab in the Spring 07 and spend more than 2 month working on it as a part of Chemistry REU at LSU in the Summer 07.
  • Krista Freeman (Honors BS in Physics, 2011) is to present her research project at the National March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Pittsburgh, PA. Her poster presentation “Measuring and Using the dn/dc of HPC Polymer and Microgel Solutions” is scheduled for March 17, 09. Krista started her research project in Dr. Streletzky’s lab in May 08.
  • CSU’s chapter of Society of Physics Students (SPS) is one of 20 chapters in the country that was chosen to participate in the National Science Outreach Program called 2008 Science Outreach Catalyst Kits (SOCKs): Makin’ Waves!

Biology, Geology, Environmental Sciences:

  • Congratulations to Kal Ivanov – he has won the President's Prize for best student presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America for the second year in a row! He won at the San Diego meeting in 2007, and now at the Reno meeting in 2008.
  • Nida Degesys, a College of Science Post-Baccalaureate student taking prerequisite courses for medical school, submitted an abstract for the annual American Medical Student Association national meeting in Washington this year. Her abstract "Students' Perceptions on Team Based Learning in Undergraduate Sciences" placed first in the Medical Education section. Nida is an outstanding student who will attend medical school this fall.


  • Two of Dr. Mekki Bayachou’s students, Pubudu Peiris and Noufissa Zanati, won awards at the recent Microscopy Society of Northeast Ohio. Mr. Peiris was awarded first place in the category of graduate students and Ms. Zanati won an award in the category of undergraduate students.
  • Charbel Abou Diwan was Emory University’s first choice for the prominent Clinical Chemistry Fellowship which starts July 1, 2009.




From Ivona Maric: After reading CSU’s newsletter today, I decided to tell you what I've been up to since graduating. I started at CSU in the Fall '02 and attended all the way until Spring '08. I received B.S. (mathematics), B.A. (physics) and Masters (mathematics) degrees from CSU in that span of time. Since I graduated, I have continued to work for a bank until a great job opportunity opened up. My career goal is to teach and Lakeland Community College was looking for a part-time math instructor. I started working at LCC in Fall '08 semester and love it! I will continue to work there and well keep looking for a full-time position. Hopefully, I will also be able to teach at CSU one day.

Biology, Geology, Environmental Sciences:

The Division of Biology at Kansas State University has awarded Robbie Bear (CSU 1992, 1995), instructor of biology, the 2008 H. Henley Haymaker Teaching Excellence Award. Bear is being recognized for his outstanding teaching of the undergraduate general education introductory course, Principles of Biology. The award includes a plaque and a $500 stipend. The Haymaker Teaching Excellence Award is funded by the Haymaker Endowment, in memory of H. Henley Haymaker, a K-State biological sciences professor for 44 years. Bear previously has been recognized for his teaching at K-State with a 2008 William L. Stamey Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. He joined K-State in 2004 after teaching at McCook Community College, McCook, Neb. He earned his master's degree from Cleveland State University in 1995.


Departmental news:


  • The Physics Department, in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Foundation medical physicists, has submitted a proposal for a new degree program, the Doctor of Medical Physics (DMP). The DMP will emphasize clinical skills and practice issues rather than research.  The DMP program will complement the current Master of Science - Medical Physics Specialization program, emphasizing advanced skills in differential diagnosis, critical thinking and clinical reasoning. This will better prepare our graduates for residency programs in Medical Physics.
  • For the third year in a row, physics faculty and staff (Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Streletzky, Dr. Walker, Dr. Wood, Ms. Peppard) together with the faculty and staff from Math Department, Honors Program, College of Education, and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences received a grant from the Ohio Department of Education for a two-week-long 2009 Summer Honors Institute (SHI) for identified gifted 9th and 10th grade students. The physics portion of the SHI “Flying Circus of Physics” will run between July 13 and July 24, 2009 (application deadline: Apr 10). For more information about SHI contact the Institute Director, Dr. Susan Rakow,, or visit the 2009 SHI website:

New Endowment Honors Health Sciences’
Karen Bradley Armstrong


Karen Bradley Armstrong

As it is with many working adults, there came a time when Patrick Baker realized that he would need to change careers, and that in order to do so, he would need to return to college. A career counseling test indicated occupational therapy was a potential career opportunity, and after some research on the subject, and locating programs in the area, Patrick made a call to the Cleveland State University Health Sciences Program. Ten years later, as a non-traditional student, Patrick has received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Health Science from the CSU Health Science Department. As an occupational therapist, Patrick has had the opportunity to enable hundreds of individuals to regain a measure of functional independence in self care, work, and leisure activities. “Having the chance to change careers from business to health care has been a life-altering experience for me in many ways, and hopefully for many of the individuals to whom I have had the pleasure to serve as their therapist.” From the beginning of this process in 1992 to graduation with a MHS degree in 2002, the faculty and staff of the Health Science Department were consistently helpful and supportive, especially one individual, who was always ready with a great, supportive hug, and a “Hang in there!” From the first phone call, she was the “go to” person in order to find out what to do, where to go, whom to talk to. Every student involved in the occupational therapy program knows her, and she is undoubtedly the “Mom” everyone turns to for support. She surely is the glue that binds the faculty into a dynamic program. Karen Bradley Armstrong, for whom this scholarship is named, is the administrative secretary to the occupational therapy program, and it is in her name and because of what she means to each and every participant in the program, student and faculty alike, that Patrick creates this scholarship.

The Karen Bradley Armstrong Scholarship Fund was established in December 2008 with a generous pledge from alumnus Patrick Timothy Baker. There is a preference that the recipients of the Karen Bradley Armstrong Scholarship Fund be graduate students majoring in Occupational Therapy within the College of Science Department of Health Sciences. Preference will also be given to students entering the OT graduate program that are enrolled in CSU’s undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program. Recipients should also exemplify Karen’s characteristics (kindness, empathy, service, excellence). To make a gift to this scholarship fund and honor Karen, please contact Carol L. Carbary, CFRE, Director, College Development and Alumni Relations, at (216) 875-9992 or or click here to make your gift online.

We want to hear from you!

What have you been doing since graduation? Have you moved or changed jobs? Have you had a life change (marriage, baby, retirement, etc.) or celebrated any recent accomplishments? Stay in touch and let us know! We’d also like to hear what you would like to read about in future issues of this e-newsletter. To submit or update your information, email or call (216) 875-9992.

Newsletter Archives

To read past issues of this newsletter, please click here.

To Unsubscribe

You are receiving this message because of your affiliation with Cleveland State University. College of Science Newsletter is sent to those alumni with e-mail addresses on record at CSU. If you do not wish to receive this e-mail, we apologize for any inconvenience. To be removed from the Newsletter list, reply to: with the phrase “Unsubscribe: Newsletter” in the subject line.

Cleveland State University | 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-2214 | 216.687.2000