Friday, June 13, 2014

Bridging the gap between spring and fall

After a brutally cold winter, the rising temperatures of late spring have been a rewarding start to our summer session on campus. Outside of the classroom, it’s time for the beach, swimming pools, music festivals and amusement parks – an opportunity to unwind after a busy and productive school year.

And that includes my wife, Robbie, and me. We recently enjoyed a wonderful trip to visit our younger son, his wife and our only grandson in Hawaii.

Taking a breather from higher education is not the case for everyone and, of course, Bloomsburg University does not shut down after graduation. Many students and faculty put their vacation plans on hold to continue the momentum from the spring semester through on- and off-campus research, internships and study abroad experiences.

For example, two of our faculty will be conducting research with international colleagues as Fulbright Scholars, a prestigious award granted through a highly competitive, merited-based program.

Michael Hickey, professor of history, is spending this summer in Russia continuing his archival research on local Jewish history among other scholarly activities at Smolenski State University.

Mehdi Razzaghi, professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science, will spend this coming academic year researching statistics problems in developmental toxicology while teaching a graduate course at the University of Warsaw in Poland.

Other university-sponsored faculty research this summer will be pursued in such disciplines as psychology, instructional technology, biology, history and physics.

Faculty often mentor students in summer research. Thirty students had projects accepted for the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity program.

Among the research topics are:
  • comparing the human experience in Cameroon, Africa, to Juniata Country, Pa.
  • construction and characterization of a fiber-coupled laser
  • impacts of cochlear implants
  • implementing clothesline stories into skilled nursing facilities
  • impact of international trade on rising income inequality

In addition to our very successful URSCA program, students also land opportunities through individual scholarship and research programs. Jocelyn Legere, a chemistry major, is one of them.

She will be working on a nanotechnology project at Yale University to see if carbon dioxide can be turned into useful products or even an energy source as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program at Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The summer program will also focus on graduate-level research and methods of professional research.

Research is just one way our students are adding to their resumes this summer.

Many others are tapping into their adventurous side through a variety of study abroad and field experiences, such as an archaeological dig in Ohio, exploring the rainforest in Nicaragua and immersing themselves in the cultures of Argentina, Cameroon, Chile and Spain.

It doesn’t end there. Summer is a prime time to undertake an internship, and we have plenty of Huskies out getting their first taste of the real world. Among the variety of placements include Seventeen Magazine, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, PPL Susuehanna, Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy.

What do you have planned this summer? Tell us. Better yet, show us on your favorite social media network using #HuskySummer.