June 2008 Alumni Newsletter

Greetings from the College of Science at Cleveland State University!

 bette bonder

From the Dean: Update on the College of Science

Many of you know that the University system in Ohio has undergone significant change in the past year. Our new Governor, Ted Strickland, has appointed a Chancellor to a newly identified state system of higher education. Both the Governor and the Chancellor intend to both enhance higher education in Ohio and to improve efficiency. One strategy for accomplishing both goals is to encourage mission differentiation, that is, a strategy by which every institution will identify its unique strengths and build on them.

Cleveland State University’s identified role is “focused on contributing to the region’s growing health care and biomedical economy” (Strategic Plan for Higher Education 2008-2017). For the College of Science, this is great news. Given our outstanding health programs and increasing excellence in biomedical research, the College is well positioned to become a leader in the region, the State, and the country.

CSU is also committed to engaged learning. As the area’s public university, we have long seen ourselves as an integral part of the community.  The College’s students and faculty are actively involved in hands-on service and research.  Those opportunities are increasing rapidly given this new emphasis on engagement.

We continue to seek ways to expand this vital role as we identify community and student needs and meet them through new programming. This year, we received approval for a Ph.D. program in Adult Development and Aging. Housed in our Department of Psychology, this is a joint program with the University of Akron, taking advantage of the expertise at both institutions to offer students an outstanding educational experience. Given the aging population in Northeast Ohio, we expect graduates of the program to make a significant contribution to our understanding of health and wellness for older adults here. This Ph.D. program nicely complements our redesigned undergraduate and graduate certificates in gerontology, and our inclusion in the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center.

Another new program awaiting approval by the State is a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical science. Given our collaboration with the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in pharmacy, and the emergence of a strong pharmaceutical industry in the area, this bachelor’s degree has the potential to meet an important workforce need.

As you will see in the rest of this newsletter, the College of Science has had another highly successful year. Enrollments were strong, faculty, staff, and students enjoyed numerous successes, and as we hear from our alumni, and we learn about their activities, we find that they, too, have many successes as well. Let us hear from you as well.

Have a wonderful summer.

Bette Bonder


As has been the case for the past several years, the College enjoyed healthy enrollment at both the Undergraduate and Graduate levels. Enrollment was up for every term of the academic year. Enrollment increases were, however, quite different by department, with Health Sciences growing extremely rapidly, Chemistry showing healthy growth, Mathematics, Psychology, and Physics essentially holding steady, and Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences showing a slight decline.

Outstanding Research

College of Science 2008 Outstanding Research Award Recipient

Dr. John Oprea
Department of Mathematics
Cleveland State University

John Oprea is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University, and a Master of Science and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Prior to assuming his position at CSU in 1985, Dr. Oprea held positions at Ohio State University and Purdue University. In 2001 and 2004, he also served as Professeur Invité at the Universit´de Lille.

Dr. Oprea has a strong publication record of nearly 200 articles published in key, high-impact journals, such as Topology; the American Mathematical Society; and Mathematische Zeitschrift. Additionally, he has published a number of books and conference proceedings volumes based on international conferences he helped organize. His textbook Differential Geometry and Its Applications has been translated into Polish.

A great deal of Dr. Oprea’s research has been conducted through long-term collaborations, which have often involved conferences, workshops, or invited research visits. As a result of these international collaborations, he has traveled extensively and has gained international recognition for his work in Algebraic Topology and Symplectic Topology. Recently, his research with Yves Félix of l’Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) is focused on algebraic models for spaces. Their activities have so far resulted in a workshop at UCL which attracted an elite group of experts and research students from throughout Europe. In 2003 and 2006, they conducted two intensive study periods together at the MFO (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach), one of the premier mathematical research institutes in the world. Building on the algebraic models for spaces project, this dynamic team now proposes to develop a general algebraic model for configuring spaces, a topic of immense importance and interest in applications of mathematics to engineering, physics, and other areas.

Dr. Oprea was awarded the prestigious Lester R. Ford Award for an article on Foucault pendulum published in the American Mathematical Monthly (a publication of the Mathematical Association of America geared to undergraduate math students), perhaps the most widely distributed and read math journal in the world. His book, The Mathematics of Soap Films is published by the American Mathematical Society in their Student Mathematical Library series, which aims to present a wide variety of lively and contemporary topics accessible to advanced undergraduates and suitable for capstone courses or independent study.

The faculty, staff and students of the College of Science are delighted to recognize Dr. John Oprea as the co-recipient of the 2008 College of Science Outstanding Research Award.

College of Science 2008 Outstanding Research Award Recipient


pic2Dr. Anton Komar
Associate Professor
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES)
Cleveland State University

Anton Komar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BGES). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree (with honors) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Moscow State University in Russia.

Prior to assuming his position at CSU in 2005, Dr. Komar held positions at Moscow State University, the University of Regensburg in Germany, the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow; CNRS Molecular Genetic Center in France; the University of Bern in Switzerland; the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University; and the Healthcare Council of the Gerson Lehrman Group in New York City.

Dr. Komar’s research interests are in the initiation of protein synthesis, protein folding and the design of chimeric proteins for therapeutic use. His research is paramount to our understanding and treatment of diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis and Creutzfeldt Jacob disease (the human version of “mad cow” disease).

He has authored and co-authored 40 published articles in premier scientific journals such as Science, cell, Mol Cell, Blood, EMBO J., Molecular Cell Biology, The Journal of Biology Chemistry, and RNA. His papers have been cited 711 times according to “Scopus” (the largest abstract and citation database of research literature). Dr. Komaralso serves as a reviewer for ten journals, typically reviewing 15 manuscripts annually. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Cancer Research Foundation (UK), the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Fund (established by NSF) frequently call upon Dr. Komar to review grants.

Dr. Komar has successfully received outside grants to fund his research. He currently holds a National Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association in the amount of $260,000. This grant earned a percentile rank of 1.3 on a scale of 1-100 with 1.0 being the best score possible. Additionally, he is Co-PI on two pending grants, an NIH RO1 grant and a NIH RO1 EUREKA grant.

The faculty, staff and students of the College of Science are delighted to recognize Dr. Anton Komar as the co-recipient of the 2008 College of Science Outstanding Research Award.

Distinguished Alumni Awards — 2008

Eight outstanding graduates of Cleveland State University were honored June 13th for their service, leadership and career achievements at the 18th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner. This year’s honorees were: Anand “Bill” Julka (George B. Davis Award), Ellis Z. Yan (Nance College of Business Administration), Dr. Christine S. Moravec (College of Science), Dr. Robert A. Cutietta (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), Dr. Roshanak Hakimzadeh (Fenn College of Engineering), Gregory L. Brown (Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs), Georgia A. Froelich (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law), and James A. Harmon (College of Education and Human Services).

Recent Accomplishments


Health Sciences:        

  • Professor Glenn Goodman, in collaboration with the CSU University Library and the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, has developed a computer lab to primarily serve CSU students with disabilities. The group has received a grant to promote and market the lab by bringing 20 CMSD high school students with disabilities on campus for an evaluation of computer access technologies at the Adapted Computer Lab.
  • Charles Williams, who teaches American Sign Language part-time, will receive an honorary degree at the 139th Commencement at Gallaudet University on May 16, 2008. The President of Gallaudet, Robert Davila stated in his letter to Chuck, “as a recognized leader and someone who has given much to enhance the lives of deaf people around this country, I join the entire University community in extending my sincere appreciation for all you have done and am pleased to be bestowing this honor upon you.”
  • Associate Professor Sue Bazyk has been named to the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Less than 1% of OTs nationally are on the Roster.
  • Dr. Todd Pesek co-published as first author in the renowned HerbalGram Journal of the American Botanical Council: Pesek T, Cal V, Fini N, Cal M, Rojas M, Sanchez P, Poveda L, Collins S, Knight K, Arnason, J. 2007. “Itzama: Revival of Traditional Healing by Q’eqchi’ Maya, Southern Belize, Central America” HerbalGram, 76: 34-43.
  • Dr. Todd Pesek co-published as first author a book on “Healing Traditions of India” which represents a remarkably diverse compilation including works from scholars at Cleveland State University, Harvard, and the Cleveland Clinic to village healers, Siddah and Ayurvedic practitioners and ethnobotanists of India: Pesek T, Helton L, Reminick, R, and Nair M. 2007. “Healing Traditions of India” (ISBN: 81-87474-59-9), Olive Publications, Thiruvanthapuram, Kerela, India.
  • Dr. Todd Pesek gave the closing plenary presentation “Healing Across Cultures: Sustaining Plants and People” for the United Nations Conference on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB 2008), Galway, Ireland in February 2008.
  • Dr. Todd Pesek presented on “In situ and ex situ conservation of Q’eqchi’ medicinal plant resources in Belize: a model in learning from traditions and participatory research” at Science Across Borders Global Natural Health Products Research Conference, Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada, Toronto, Canada in March 2008.
  • The International Development Research Center (IDRC) awarded Dr. Todd Pesek $48,138 in collaboration with Victor Cal, Belize Indigenous Training Institute, Belize, and, Dr. John Arnason, University of Ottawa, Canada for their sustainable development and community health and wellness programming “Itzama Project.”
  • Assistant Professor Michael Hammonds recently co-authored and published two papers:

Chronic lithium treatment magnifies learning in rats, in the Elsevier journal, Neuroscience (http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/homepage.cws_home). The paper is also featured in the December 19, 2007 print version of Neuroscience.

Potentiation of the NMDA receptor in the treatment of schizophrenia: focused on the glycine site, in the Springer journal, European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience (http://www.springer.com/medicine/psychiatry/journal/406). The paper is also featured in the December 2007 print version of EAPCN.


  • Professor Miron Kaufman recently co-authored and published a paper, “Potts-percolation-Gauss model of a solid”, in the IOP Publishing journal, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (http:iop.org/ej/journal/jphyscm). The paper is also featured in the February 2008 print version of JPCM.
  • During the Fall 2007 semester, Professor Miron Kaufman was invited to deliver four seminars to physics and engineering faculty in France, Turkey and Israel:

- October 25, 2007 France, Université de Cergy-Pontoise, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modélisation, “Physics of Electromiography Time Series and of Mixing in Industrial Processes”
- November 29, 2007 Turkey, Koc University, Math-Sci Seminar, "Potts-Percolation Model of Solids and Entropy of Electromyography Time Series"
- November 30, 2007 Turkey, Istanbul Technical University, School of Mechanical Engineering "Mixing in Microchannels: Entropy and Multifractals"
- December 20, 2007 Israel, Tel Aviv University, School of Physics and Astronomy, Condensed Matter Seminar, "Mixing in Industrial Processes and in Microchannels"

  • James Lock gave the invited keynote address, "Lorenz-Mie theory and applications," at the conference "Journee Scientifique de Gerard Gouesbet" at the University of Rouen, France on March 28, 2008. This conference was co-sponsored by the CNRS of France, the University of Rouen, and INSA de Rouen (the engineering college of the University of Rouen).
  • The paper "Radiation torque exerted on a spheroid:analytical solution" by James Lock, Feng Xu (University of Shanghai, China on leave to the University of Darmstadt, Germany), Gerard Gouesbet (INSA de Rouen, France), and Cameron Tropea (University of Darmstadt, Germany) has just been accepted for publication in Physical Review A.


  • Dr. Peter Bubenik is doing interviews with BBC, NPR and others regarding extensive research his grandfather Tony and father George compiled regarding the antlers of moose, deer and other animals. Peter’s relatives thought antlers functioned like a hearing aid. He used his mathematics background to validate the theory by analyzing their data. In doing so, he and his father discovered that the “reception of a sound improved by nearly 20 percent when it was bounced off the palm of a bull moose’s hand-shaped antlers”. Additionally, the ever-rotating ears of moose also boost their hearing because they are 60 times larger than human ears.


  • Dr. David Ball has received the Visionary Award from the Cleveland Technical Societies Consortium (CTSC). This award is the highest award given out by CTSC and is given only occasionally to highly deserving recipients.


  • Dr. Leslie Fisher was the senior program chair and Conference co-chair of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality's (SSSS) 2007-2008 MidContinental and Eastern Region Joint Conference from May 15-17th, 2008. The theme of the Conference was "Sexuality and Health". The Conference was jointly sponsored by COS and the Department of Psychology of CSU. One of the plenary sessions was held at Mather Mansion on May 16. The speaker for that session was Professor Cindy Meston from University of Texas, Austin. There were over 115 participants, who came from all over the USA as well as Australia, Canada, Mexico and Indonesia. The other Plenary speakers in the Conference were Professor Theo Stanford from Columbia University; Professor Stacy Lindau from the School of Medicine of University of Chicago; Professor William Fisher from University of Western Ontario; and Professor Martin Weinberg from Indiana University. There were 10 concurrent sessions of research presentations, 10 Continuing Education sessions, and five plenary lectures on various issues concerning Sexuality and Health. According to the feedback received, the Conference was a great success and was well appreciated.


Biology, Geology, Environmental Science:

  • Mr. Kaloyan Ivanov, Ph.D. candidate, took first place in the poster session for the President’s Award at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America in San Diego last December.
  • Imaan Benmerzouga, who double majored in Biology and Chemistry, was the CSU valedictorian for Spring, 2008. Ms. Benmerzouga will return to CSU as a doctoral student in biology to work in Dr. Bibo Li’s lab.


  • Ms. Amanda Yocum has been asked to give an oral presentation, “Strategy and Production in Measures of Executive Functioning – Young vs. Older Adults,” at the upcoming Midwestern Psychological Society in Chicago May 1-3. This is Amanda’s second presentation this year.
  • Jaime L. Deyling has been asked to give an oral presentation, “Validation of a New Measure for the Assessment of Insight in Schizophrenic Patients,” at the upcoming Midwestern Psychological Society in Chicago May 1-3.


  • Charbel Abou Diwan, a graduate student in Mekki Bayachou’s group, won the ECS’ Cleveland section grand prize at the annual spring symposium at Case Western Reserve University on May 8th. The grand prize included official recognition in Interface, the ECS’ national magazine, in addition to funds to attend the ECS’ international meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. The selection was a two-stage process where students first competed in poster presentations. A panel of judges selected three finalists who are asked to give a seven minute presentation with the panel asking questions at the end of the symposium. The winner of this second phase becomes the grand prize winner.
  • Jamila Hirbawi, a graduate student in Michael Kalafatis’ lab, was invited to present her data at Harvard University as part of a meeting involving minority students in scientific research from all over the country. The article was published in the Harvard Newsletter with her picture on the FRONT page. Among all the students present, Cleveland State's student showed up on the Harvard newsletter! See article at http://focus.hms.harvard.edu/2008/041808/bulletin.shtml

Health Sciences

  • Seven Neuroscience students (Christopher Davis, Erin Gibas, Jonathan Hemphill, Michelle Houk, Paul Kuzmyn, Kelli Meer and Kerri Shisila), in conjunction with Assistant Professor Michael Hammonds, presented "Brain Days: Activities, Health and Careers," a hands-on neuroscience and healthcare presentation for youth on May 8, 2008 to 4th through 7th graders at the Arts Academy, Cleveland West. Activities included brain safety, effects of drugs on the central nervous system, examination of specimens, reflex testing, sensory and cognitive system demonstrations and a discussion of education and careers in healthcare.
  • Jenna Justen was named the Outstanding PT Student of the Year by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association.


Biology, Geology, Environmental Science:

  • Robert A. Bear (BS ’92, MS ’94): Kansas State University's College of Arts and Sciences is recognizing six faculty members for their common ability to reach students, whether as a teacher or as an adviser. One of the recipients is Robert Bear, who is receiving the William L. Stamey Award for Excellence in Teaching. Bear teaches Principles of Biology. "Why do I teach? For the moments when students discover that they can succeed," he said, "or that a few new study skills can improve their performance, or that a shift in perspective produces understanding: these are the moments that motivate me as a teacher." Bear went to K-State in 2004 after teaching at McCook Community College in Nebraska for five years.


  • Angeni Lemieux, MS, has a position in Chandler, Arizona (outside Phoenix) as a diagnostic medical physicist for a consulting firm which specializes in radiation safety. Travelling in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and California, this alum gets to step outside the realm of just medical physics and gets to experience the other side of diagnostic physics.
  • Serkalem Wondimgezhu is working for GBMC (Greater Baltimore Medical Center) in Maryland.
  • Donna Zaboura got accepted to the American University of Antigua. (5/12/06 graduate with BA PSY, with minors in BIO & CHM).



Administrative Coordinator Richelle Emery recently was recognized with CSU’s Distinguished Staff Award.

Departmental news:

  • The Department of Chemistry hosted the 2007 Research Experience to Enhance Learning (NSF) Student Symposium.
  • Pass rates on the National Certification Examinations were 98% for the Masters of Occupational Therapy program, with 91% passing on the first attempt.
  • The Center for Healing Across Cultures hosted its 3rd Annual Symposium on Healing Across Cultures at Cleveland State University at Mather Mansion in April 2008. With over 120 participants, the session built upon the successes of our first two annual symposia on Healing Across Cultures, held April 2006 and April 2007 at Cleveland State University, as well as our first international conference on Healing Across Cultures held in Tamil Nadu, southern India in July 2007.
  • The Center for Healing Across Cultures hosted its 1st International Symposium on Healing Across Cultures at Amrita University in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India in July of 2007. There were approximately 75 participants from several different countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, China and India. The symposium received international publicity based on the experts present and action plans developed. The event was held at Amrita University E-Learning Studio and was telecasted live by AMRITA-ISRO Satellite Network to 42 Universities across India. Drs. Todd Pesek and Murali Nair were subsequently interviewed on Asianet (Good Morning Asia) and for two feature articles in India’s prominent national newspaper Hindu.
  • Over 100 people participated in the first annual Diversity Management Conference: Translating Theory and Research Findings into Best Practices. This conference was designed to quickly disseminate the latest research findings to end-users in business and non-profit organizations. Twenty presenters, including six CSU professors, academics from other institutions and diversity professionals presented their research findings to an audience of corporate managers, nursing professionals, and diversity practitioners. Session topics were diverse as well, ranging from the neuro-science of diversity to recruitment practices to world class supplier diversity. The conference successfully highlighted current research directions and emphasized the need for more research, as well as netting four new applicants to the Master’s program Fall 2008 cohort. Additionally, conference proceedings will be published, inaugurating a CSU based-Diversity Best Practices journal.

Design a Life Conference

The College of Science hosted a conference focused on creativity and health, called Design a Life: A Community of Ideas. The two-day meeting, which drew more than 150 participants, focused on the role of creative activities on health and wellness. Keynote speakers were Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Dr. Elizabeth Yerxa, Professor Emerita from the University of Southern California. Participants had opportunities to try out activities from more than 40 workshops, including journaling, gardening, painting, knitting, and swing dancing, and to hear from panels of experts with regard to incorporating these activities in their lives and professional practices. The conference was cosponsored by The Cleveland Clinic, The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Institute of Art, The Art Therapy Studio, Judson at University Circle, Lutheran Hospital, Euclid Hospital, Cuyahoga Community College, Ursuline College, and the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center.

32nd Ohio Professional and Student Conference on Aging held at CSU

Dr. Georgia Anetzberger
Dr. Georgia Anetzberger

The Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) 32nd Annual Ohio Professional and Student Conference on Aging was hosted by the Nance College of Business and the College of Science at Fenn Tower on April 11th. The topic of the conference was “Global Aging: Lessons from Abroad for Ohio.” Presentations focused on how the United States can positively learn to manage its rapidly aging population by looking at examples of how other societies have addressed the needs of a significant older population. Dr. Georgia Anetzberger, OAGE President and Nance Assistant Professor of Health Care Administration, said that “the conference seemed flawless in its implementation. Everyone came through to make this a great experience, including the Conference Local Arrangements Committee, with representatives from CSU’s Colleges of Business Administration and Science along with other local colleges, universities, and agencies. In addition, all the units within CSU that helped make this event happen, including the Division of Continuing Education, Conference Services, and Catering Services, did an excellent job.”

Robert Butler, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner, and Founder of the International Longevity Center, was the Keynote Speaker. He gave a presentation on his recently published book, The Longevity Revolution, which discusses important issues that American society will face as our population continues to age. Some important topics that he addressed at the conference were problems created by the shortage of qualified health workers, especially nurses. According to The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis of the Health Resources Services Administration, Ohio will face a shortfall of almost 32,000 registered nurses by the year 2020 (a 29% shortage). He also discussed how longevity can create wealth, providing economic justification for why the United States should increase its investment in programs for our aging population. Dr. Butler said that he was “particularly struck by the emphasis on international issues at the conference.” Dr. Anetzberger added, “the conference was very successful, and was a great opportunity to showcase all of the positive changes at our university.”

Meet the new Development Officer


Carol L. Carbary, CFRE, Director of College Development and Alumni Relations, joined the College of Science in February 2008. She has thirteen years of development experience at institutions such as CWRU, University Hospitals, Kent State, and served as Vice President of College Advancement at Notre Dame College in South Euclid. Most recently, she was Director of Development at Hillcrest Hospital (part of the Cleveland Clinic). She earned her CFRE (Certificate of Fund Raising Executive) in 2004 and lives in Cleveland Heights. She has a BA in Math/Physics from Wells College (NY), BS in Biomedical Engineering from CWRU, and an MBA from Kent State University. Carol is also quite involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Greater Cleveland Chapter – she is currently president-elect as well as Chair of this year’s 25th National Philanthropy Day celebration.

Giving Opportunities

As a state-assisted public institution, Cleveland State University faces significant funding challenges. The College of Science is determined to provide the best possible education to our students. You can help by making a gift to your alma mater in support of scholarships, research, equipment, and more. For additional information, contact Carol L. Carbary, CFRE, Director, College Development and Alumni Relations, at (216) 875-9992 or c.carbary@csuohio.edu 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.

engaged learning
Mailing Address
College of Science
2121 Euclid Avenue, SR 353
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
2351 Euclid Avenue
Science and Research Bld., Room 353
Phone: 216-687-5580
Fax: 216.687.5549

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