September 2008 Alumni Newsletter

Greetings from the College of Science at Cleveland State University!

 bette bonder

From the Dean: Update on the College of Science

Once again, I am happy to report that the College of Science has had significant accomplishments in the past quarter, and continues to move forward on many important fronts.

The College of Science and partners of Cleveland State University have been awarded $2 million for the Choose Ohio First Engaged Scholarship Program in Bioscience and Healthcare. The College is also a participant in a project funded at $2.7 million focused on Improving STEM Teacher Preparation: A Long-Term Investment (D-STEM). These scholarship programs will complement previously secured funding to help support CSU students. Sources of funding include the U.S. Department of Education (McNair Scholars), the National Science Foundation (GAANN programs in Chemistry and Biology), a National Science Foundation STEM grant for students majoring in science, mathematics or engineering and a $4.5 million Choose Ohio First – Success in Mathematics grant awarded to CSU as the lead institution and 5 partner institutions of higher education in Northeast Ohio.

Student support is essential to our ability to achieve our mission, so these recent awards are extremely welcome. We hope to reach the time when every qualified student can attend CSU.. Enrollment in the College has doubled since 2002, from 1035 to 2116 (in 2006, the most recent year for which data are available), and we’re eager to make it possible for even more students to join us.

Another major initiative is CSU’s entry into the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) consortium. We are currently working on a program that will enable students to enter CSU and matriculate directly to NEOUCOM if they maintain the required qualifications. This would have the advantage of increasing medical school access for Northeast Ohio students. In addition, the collaboration has the potential to increase research collaboration.

As we continue to improve educational offerings consistent with CSU’s unique mission in engaged learning in healthcare and biomedicine, we are also focusing on enhancing CSU’s research mission in biomedical research. The new Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease brings together CSU’s growing group of outstanding researchers focused on better understanding strategies for improving health and treating disease. With support from the Ohio Research Scholars Program, a research cluster within the Center is collaborating with the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center to both improve understanding of cardiovascular disease and contribute to the regional economy through spin-off innovations.

As you can tell, it’s been a busy summer. The fall promises to get off to a busy start, as well, as the College moves forward energetically to serve the region and its citizens. I hope you enjoy reading about these activities, and that you will let us know about your activities as well.

Bette Bonder



As on example of the kinds of community partnerships offered at CSU, a recent insert in the New York Times described the close relationship between Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Clinic. The College of Science shares educational programs with the Clinic, including joint Ph.D. programs in Regulatory Biology and Clinical-Bioanalytical Chemistry, as well as a master’s program in Medical Physics that is ranked fourth in the country.


Dr. James M. Schuerger Endowed Scholarship Fund

We are particularly appreciative of the efforts of our supporters in the community to fund student scholarships. The James M. Schuerger Endowed Scholarship was established in Fall, 2007, and honors an esteemed researcher, practitioner and long time CSU faculty member for his contributions to the field of psychology and his impact on the lives of countless number of students.

In more than 30 years at Cleveland State, Professor Emeritus James M. Schuerger taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychological testing. He also served as interim director of school psychology training and director of the clinical/counselling program, and served as advisor or member on some 100 thesis committees and numerous doctoral dissertation committees. He has conducted professional workshops and authored more than 100 publications, including the Adolescent’s Personality Questionnaire.

Dr. Schuerger began his distinguished career as a teacher and guidance director at Gilmour Academy and was a faculty member and researcher at the University of Illinois before joining CSU in 1970. He holds a Ph.D. in counsellor education, evaluation and measurement from Kent State University.

The Dr. James M. Schuerger Endowed Scholarship was established by the College of Science with generous support from alumnus Thomas Hopkins, ’82, senior vice president-human resources, Sherwin-Williams, and alumnus David G. Watterson Jr., ’72, Watterson, Aldridge & Associates Inc.

Scholarships from the Dr. James M. Schuerger Endowed Scholarship will generate two annual awards, which can be given to either graduate or undergraduate students. Recipients must be students in the College of Science, with preference for minority or under-represented students, those with financial need, and those majoring in psychology.

Your generous gift will help grow the fund, pay tribute to Dr. Schuerger, and provide much-needed scholarships to current and future College of Science students. For more information or to make a gift, contact Carol L. Carbary, CFRE, Director of College Development and Alumni Relations for the College of Science at or (216) 875-9992.



The Cleveland State University Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease focuses on research to improve understanding of biological processes and how malfunction of these processes results in various diseases. This research has significant potential to improve our understanding of the mechanisms and specific molecules that control reproductive health and those that control the aging process as well as implications for the diagnosis and treatment of many of the most common diseases found around the world, including heart disease, neurological disease, infectious disease and cancer. You can get more information about the center at:

Some Recent Accomplishments for the College of Science


Health Sciences:        

  • Dr. Glenn Goodman secured funding from the State Library of Ohio to fund enhancements of CSU’s Adapted Computer Laboratory. The Lab serves all students with disabilities at CSU.



  • Dr. Petru S. Fodor has continued his long standing collaboration with the research group of Prof. L.E. Wenger at U. of South Alabama. In one of his most recent papers, published in the J. of Applied Physics, 103 (2008), he has investigated the nature of the interactions within large arrays of magnetic nanowires.
  • Dr. Miron Kaufman’s article Quantifying Fluid Mixing with the Shannon Entropy

coauthored with CWRU researchers Marco Camesasca and Ica Manas-Zloczower, and published in Macromolecular Theory and Simulations 15, 595 (2006), is fourth on the list of the most downloaded articles published by this leading polymer theory journal.

  • Dr. Kiril Streletzky with his graduate and undergraduate students published a paper in a prestigious Journal of Polymer Science: K. A. Streletzky, J. T. McKenna, and R. Mohieddine, “Spectral Time Moment Analysis of Microgel Structure and Dynamics”, J. Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics 46, 771 (2008).



  • Dr. Peter Bubenik gave an invited talk on his work combining statistical and topological techniques for the study of massive high-dimensional data sets at the Mathematical Research Institute in Oberwolfach, Germany, during the workshop on Computational Algebraic Topology, June 29 - July 5, 2008.
  • Dr. Barbara Margolius's paper, "The matrices R and G of matrix analytic methods and the time-inhomogeneous periodic Quasi-Birth Death Process" presented at the INFORMS Applied Probability Society meeting in Eindhoven, the Netherlands will appear in Queueing Systems.
  • Since the spring of 2008, Dr. Ivan Soprunov, together with Prof. Jenya Soprunova (Kent State University), has been working on applications of algebraic geometry and integer geometry to Coding Theory. Their joint paper "Toric Surface Codes and Minkowski length of polygons" will appear in SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics.
  • John Oprea recently published a book entitled "Algebraic Models in Homotopy Theory" with Oxford University Press.  It is his fifth book.  John was a co-recipient (with Anton Komar) of the COS 2008 Outstanding Research Award, and was also selected as the 2008 University Distinguished Faculty for Research.
  • Keith Kendig recently published a book entitled "Sink or Float? Thought Problems in Math and Physics" with The Mathematical Association of America.  The 375-page book consists of over 250 problems together with full answers, drawn from five areas each of mathematics and classical physics.  This is his third mathematics book, and his second published by the MAA.
  • Greg Lupton had an article entitled "Criteria for Components of a Function Space to be Homotopy Equivalent" appear in The Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.  He also attended a week-long conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the subject of Self-Homotopy Equivalences, at which he gave a presentation entitled "The Rational Homotopy Type of Spaces of Self-Equivalences of a Fibration."



  • Dr. Xue-long Sun was been elected to be the organizer for the 4th Annual Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycobiology Symposium, which will be held at Cleveland State University on October 3 and 4, 2008.
  • Dr. Alan Riga, in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, received the top award from the 3rd Frontier State of Ohio.  His proposal was ranked #1 in the state. (The Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute in collaboration with Ohio Willow Wood and Cleveland State University, was recommended for $2.1 million in funding to develop a more functional prosthetic limb for transfemoral amputee soldiers.)



  • Dr. Ernest Park, the 4th author on the article, “Effects of the Information Environment on Group Discussion and Decisions in the Hidden-Profile Paradigm,” was selected for the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association.
  • Dr. Conor McLennan received an award in the amount of $13,588 from the University Research Council’s Faculty Research Development Program at CSU to study older adults’ perception of spoken words. 
  • Dr. Amir Poreh just completed another book chapter entitled “Minority Mental Health and Cognitive Functions” in a book entitled Minorities and Mental Health.  He has been invited to contribute two compendium articles, one on the Rey Complex Figure and one on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, to the most recent edition of Corsini’s Encyclopedia of Psychology.



Biology, Geology, Environmental Sciences:

  • Dr. Girish Shukla has been chosen as a Study Section Member for Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs and Breast Cancer Research Program
  • Dr. Barsan Mazumder was selected for an oral presentation at the Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Translational Control Sep 3rd - Sep 7th, 2008.  His title was

Genome Wide Search For Target mRNAs OF L13a-Dependent Silencing Reveals an Inflammation-Responsive Post-Transcriptional Operon in IFN-γ Activated Monocytes.

  • Recent grants received:
    • Dr. Valentine Boerner, $209,000 from the National Institute of Health (R15), Title: Functional Analysis of the Synaptonemal Complex
    • Dr. Roman Kondratov, $308,000 total from the American Heart Association (National Scientist Development Grant), Title: Pharmacological modulation of circadian clock in cardiovascular system
    • Dr. Barsanjit Mazumder,  $121,000 total from the American Heart Association (Grant-in-Aid), Title: Resolution of Cellular Inflammation: Role of Translational Silencing
    • Dr. Sujan Chaudhury, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mazumder's laboratory, $86,000 American Heart Association Postdoctoral fellowship, Title: Translational silencing in monocytes and genome wide screening of its target mRNAs
    • Dr. Crystal Weyman, $176,092 from the National Institute of Health (R15), Title: Molecular regulation of skeletal myoblast apoptosis



Biology, Geology, Environmental Sciences:

  • Ms. Priyanka Das, graduate student in Dr. Mazumder's laboratory, recently received a grant of $42,000 from the American Heart Association Predoctoral fellowship, Title: Extra-ribosomal function of ribosomal protein L13a in translational silencing and monocyte mediated oxidation of LDL.
  • "Yeast strains with N-terminally truncated ribosomal protein S5; implications for the structure and function of the eukaryotic RpS5", a poster presentation by William Beutler,  Amber A. Bentley, Thomas Lumsden, Oleksandr Galkin, and Anton A. Komar will be presented at the 2008 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Translational Control meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, September 3-7.
  • Rikhia Chakraborty, a doctoral student advised by Dr. Jaharul Haque is the first place winner for the Graduate Student Award in basic science for 2008!!  This award from the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic includes a check for $500 and a plaque.   The plaque will be officially awarded at the Cleveland Clinic’s Research Day in mid October. Rikhia’s name will also be added to the larger plaque in the LRI commons for 2008.  



  • Two undergraduate students, Brian Stegmayer and Jennifer Hrusovsky, worked in the Language Research Laboratory during the Summer of 2008 thanks to an Undergraduate Engaged Learning Research Award to Dr. Conor McLennan. 




  • Nikolas Neric, a chemistry undergraduate performing research with Dr. John Turner, recently won two awards:
        1) The Undergraduate Analytical Chemistry Award was awarded to him by the department of chemistry at their spring banquet.
        2) He was also awarded the prestigious Ernest B. Yeager Award in May by the Society of Applied Spectroscopy for his work to create one of the first mineral databases of Raman spectra. 
  • Seven CSU students, undergraduates and graduates, have submitted podium papers that were accepted for the North American Thermal Analysis Society Conference in Atlanta, GA August 18-20, 2008 in the Medical Devices, Pharmacy and Life Science Symposiums.
  • Imaan Benmerzouga, a chemistry-biology double major, was the university valedictorian at CSU’s Spring Commencement 2008.
  • Ian Atkinson won the 2007 Best Student Platform Presentation Award presented by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).  This is the largest professional organization in environmental chemistry and environmental toxicology in the world. 


  • The Mathemathics department had some students give presentations at the Mathematical Association of America Meeting at Marietta College on April 11-12, 2008. They were:
    • Olwen Conant: “Difference Equations"
    • Thomas F. Majercik, Jr.: "A Study of the Dice Game 10,000"
    • Erika Mignogna: "Hazard Rate Functions"
    • Kai L. Ng: "Ramsey's Monochrome Search"
    • Jonathan A. Schilens: "Modeling Competion among Species"
    • Jessica M. Schwan: "Relativity & Mercury's Perihelion Precession"
    • Brian J. Stewart: "Rational Approximation of Irrational Numbers"
  • Four students gave talks based on their senior projects at the PME Conference at Youngstown State University in February. Faculty members Leah Gold, John Holcomb, and Ivan Soprunov also attended.  The student presentations included:
    • Alan Hylton: "Fractional Calculus"
    • Kai Ng: "The Pigeonhole Principle and Ramsey's Theorem"
    • Phillip Snow: "A Brief Introduction to Inner Product Spaces and Orthonormal Bases"
    • Brian Stewart: "Rational Approximation of Irrational Numbers"
  • Two 3-student teams competed in the Student Team Competition.  The students were Jon Gleason, Mikias Itanna, Kai Ng, Umar Page, Adesola Saba, and Brian Stewart. It was a challenging exam: the top score was 68 points. CSU’s "Team 2" placed 5th with 42 points and "Team 1" tied for 19th place with 17 points. There were 31 teams.


  • The Math Awareness Month (April) topic this year was "Math and Voting". The students of the Math Club created ballots for three different voting systems and conducted a very successful mock election in the lobby of Rhodes Tower on April 23. Over 140 students, faculty and staff participated.
  • In March of 2008, Brian Scott and Ivan Soprunov organized the 2nd Annual CSU Freshman-Sophomore Mathematics Competition. The contestants were offered challenging problems on algebra, geometry, number theory, and calculus to work on. The winners are Jonathan Gleason (First place), Evgeny Zolotarev (Second place) and Adesola Saba (Third place). 
  • In July of 2008, Ivan Soprunov was working with gifted high school students in the Summer Honors Institute. In the math part of the program the students were engaged in learning the fundamentals of Game Theory and Number Theory through problem solving. The Institute is the result of collaboration among CSU's Honors Program, the College of Education Gifted Program, the college of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science.



  • Krista Freeman, a St. Joseph Academy graduate, was thinking about Case Western Reserve University three years ago when she was looking at colleges.  She wanted to stay close to home and major in physics, but then she heard Cleveland State University was offering full scholarships for the budding honors program.  She elected to go to a school in the lowest tier ranked by U.S. News over a national ranked school because of price, small class sizes and the personal attention she got at CSU. Now starting her sophomore year, she has no regrets.  “I came here and I love it,” said Freeman.




  • All the graduates of our first class of the medical physics MS program (Ed Clouser, Jeremy Donaghue, Stephen Gajdos, Lama Muhieddine, and Mike Tallhammer) are now certified by the American Board of Radiology in therapeutic radiological physics.
  • John McKenna graduated with a BS in Physics Fall 2005 and a MS in Medical Physics Fall 2007. He works for a medical physics consulting firm called "Radiation Physics, INC. located in Miami, Florida.
  • Frank Calabro graduated with a MS in Medical Physics Summer 2007.  He is working for Iron City Medical Physics as a medical physicist who does the physics work at Community Cancer Center in Elyria and Northern Ohio Regional Cancer Center in Brookpark.
  • Eric Tischler graduated with a MS in Medical Physics Summer 2007.  He works for the Cleveland Clinic.



  • Stuart Daman, M.A., graduate of CSU's Experimental Research Program in Psychology, was accepted into the Social-Personality Psychology Ph.D. Program at SUNY Albany and begins the program this fall.
  • Ellen Bronder, graduate of CSU with a major in Psychology, was accepted into the Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Akron and begins the program this July.
  • Jaime Deyling, M.A., graduate of CSU's Clinical Psychology Program, has recently interviewed for the full time Clinical Research Coordinator position at Case Western Reserve University in order to gain additional research experience.  Jaime plans to apply to doctoral programs in the coming year.
  • Anne Sito, graduate of CSU with a major in Psychology, was accepted into the Consumer/Industrial Masters Program in the Psychology Department at CSU and begins the program this fall.
  • Annette Iskra (BA ’92, MA [Psychology] ’98) has completed a Ph.D. in Human Development at the University of Chicago and is now a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.


Departmental news:

Health Sciences:

  • The Occupational Therapy Program in the Department of Health Sciences underwent a site visit for reaccreditation in June.  The Program was praised for the integrity of its curriculum, the strength of its faculty and director, the quality of its students, its relationship with the community, and its innovative programs.  The site team recommended accreditation after one relatively minor area of noncompliance are addressed.
  • Ms. Donna Helwig, Administrative Coordinator in the Department of Health Sciences, was honored with the Outstanding Staff Award at a reception on August 12.
  • The College of Science, along with several community partners and the Department of Health Sciences, sponsored the Design a Life Conference at CSU on May 16-17.  The conference featured two internationally known speakers, Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, who researches the psychology of engagement in activity and Elizabeth Yerxa who is a founder of the discipline of occupational science, the study of human activity.  For more information, visit:  


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 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.

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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