Dr. Weldon Wilson, professor, and longtime graduate coordinator is retiring at the end of this semester after 29 years at UCO. Dr. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1973 and a doctorate in physics in 1980, both from Oklahoma State University. Prior to coming to UCO, Dr. Wilson served on the faculty of the University of Central Florida, . . .
During my nursing career experience of over 40 years, I have worked in the hospital setting as a staff nurse, charge nurse, supervisor, manager, critical care educator, and house supervisor. In the academic setting, I have taught various classes and clinical practice at the associate and baccalaureate levels. I am a member of the national and local . . .
Daniel Williams has lived in or near Oklahoma City his whole life. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at UCO. He completed his Master’s in Computer Science in the Fall of 2020. Daniel worked with Dr. Fu to develop an artificial intelligence algorithm to assist wheelchair users in collecting information to promote a healthy . . .
Beverly Endicott, Director of Sponsored Programs, is planned to retire this June. We decided to interview Beverly to learn more about her adventures at the Univerisity of Central Oklahoma in the College of Mathematics and Sciences.How did you get involved in UCO? “I was hired in 2002 as director of grants and major gifts. At that time, centralized development was located in the Alliance for Institutional Advancement. In 2003, the university moved development directors to each college and I came to CMS as development director in October 2003.” What would you say has been your largest contribution to the College of Mathematics and Science? “After arriving at UCO in 2002, I began working with former CMS dean, Dr. Bill Caire, to fund construction of nine Biology labs that were not finished when the lab annex was completed in 1997. The university barely had any alumni records at that time, so I had to research CMS alumni and create a database. Drs. Peggy Guthrie and Jenna Hellack (former Biology department chairs) were instrumental in helping me build that database. Dr. Caire and I were introduced to CMS alumnus Dr. Lee Beasley, who agreed to chair the Investment in Excellence campaign to complete these laboratories. Dr. Beasley helped secure two grants from the Inasmuch Foundation, along with funds from private donors. All nine labs were completed in three phases for a little over $1 million.” What is your favorite memory at CMS? “I have many great memories, but these are my favorites: 1. the aforementioned Biology lab campaign; 2. When former dean, Dr. Wei Chen, came into my office and asked me to log into the National Institutes of Health (NIH) eRA Commons database to upload the summary statement and reviews for an NIH R01 grant proposal he had submitted six months prior. As we reviewed the documents online, it was clear that his scores were within the funding range. I still remember both of us jumping around, screaming and high-fiving. It was an incredible accomplishment for Dr. Chen. The grant was the first NIH R01 awarded to a non-research institution in the state; 3. Traveling to annual National Science Foundation grant meetings in Washington DC; and 4. Any time one of our faculty receives a grant!”
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Dr. Christopher Butler, professor of biology, has received a four-year $332,100 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. His project, "Comparing detectability and efficiency of multiple methods for surveying rails," will improve detection rates of Black Rail and King Rail species on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Dr. Andrew Taylor, assistant professor of biology, received a $119,361 grant from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Dr. Christopher Butler, professor of biology will serve as a Co-Principal Investigator on the grant. The two-year project, “Detection and Occupancy of Bluntface Shiner (Cyprinella camura) in Wadeable Streams of . . .
Drs. Robert Brennan and Sean Laverty are part of a multi-institutional NSF EPSCoR grant to research tick-borne diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The four-year $3,921,229 grant, “Marshalling Diverse Big Data Streams to Understand Complexity of Tick-borne Diseases in the Southern Great Plains,” is a collaboration . . .
Dr. Mohammad Hossan, Associate Professor of Engineering & Physics, received a Research Principal Investigator grant for $189,160. His project “Flow Analysis of a Bioresorbable Pipeline Embolization Device for Treatment of Aneurysms,” involves the design and development of bioresorbable pipeline embolization devices (PEDs) that will control aneurysm-specific hemodynamic parameters and degrade after completely dissolving the aneurysm.
Dr. Hari Kotturi, Professor of Biology, received a $31,389 grant for his project, “Incorporation of Mycobacteriophages in Electrospun Nanofiber.” The goal of the study is to develop an antimicrobial dressing by incorporating bacteriophages that can kill Mycobacterium abscessus, a common causative agent of soft tissue infections in hospitals. Dr. Kotturi’s research team will be able to enhance the antimicrobial property of polycaprolactone/collagen I (PCL/Col I) nanofiber by integrating mycobacteriophages into the nanofiber used as a wound dressing.
Dr. Christina Hendrickson, Coordinator of the Human Physiology Lab in the Department of Biology, was funded $27,083 for her project, “Investigating Anti-carcinogenic Effects of Taraxacum officinale.” The specific aims of the research are to: determine cancer cell viability and apoptosis; determine whether cancer cell apoptosis is activated by intrinsic or extrinsic pathways, and whether leakage of pro-apoptotic factors from mitochondria or induction of oxidative stress on cancer cells are involved in induced cell death; and determine cancer cell migration and invasion.
Dear CMS Alumni and Friends,
We have had some changes in the Dean’s Office this year. Dr. Wei Chen resigned as Dean this past summer in order to accept an endowed chair position in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. I thank Dr. Chen for his many contributions during his five years as Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science. We miss him, but we are happy that his energy can now be directed full time toward his passion to cure late-stage metastatic cancer. I have accepted the Interim Dean position in the college while a search is conducted for a new dean, and Dr. Bob Brennan is the new Interim Associate Dean. I am immensely thankful to him for taking on this new role. I also thank Dr. Jesse Byrne and Dr. Evan Lemley for continuing in their roles as Assistant Deans.
As we began this fall semester, our outstanding faculty once again were recognized for their achievements and leadership. At the Convocation in August, they received the following awards:
- Sean Laverty from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics was a recipient of the Neely Excellence in Teaching Award.
- The Vanderford Research Award went to Dr. Tracy Morris from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Vanderford Initiative Award went to Nancy Gwin from the Department of Nursing.
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Dr. Andrew Taylor is in his second year as an Assistant Professor within the Biology Department. With a background in fisheries biology and management, Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on the conservation of native fish biodiversity within riverscapes, the effects of non-native and invasive fishes, and the management and conservation of native black bass (Micropterus spp.) diversity. Since arriving at UCO, Dr. Taylor has been busy teaching Diversity for Majors, General Biology, Vertebrate Zoology, and developing the first comprehensive Ichthyology course offered at UCO. Dr. Taylor is also curating the UCO Museum of Natural History’s Ichthyology Collection and developing plans to integrate these collections into research efforts on campus and abroad.
“The Taylor Fish Lab” has started several local research projects that allow students opportunities to gain valuable field experience, including monitoring stream fish community change in Chisholm Creek and revisiting the taxonomic descriptions of Smallmouth Bass in Oklahoma’s Ozark and Ouachita mountains ecoregions. The lab anticipates beginning a large-scale survey for a state-listed minnow species in summer 2021 with the support of an external grant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant program, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Dr. Taylor is always looking for motivated students with an interest in fish or aquatic habitats to join the lab! You can follow along with his lab’s adventures on Twitter (@TaylorFishLab1) or at his lab’s website www.andrewtaylor.fish.