Month: September 2019 – Page 2

Dr. Tierney Harvey Takes Over as First-Year Engineering Coordinator

Dr. Tierney Harvey first joined the department as a Temporary Lecturer in Fall 2015. In Fall 2018, she was hired into a Continuing Lecturer position and tasked with developing and implementing the department’s First-Year Engineering Program. Dr. Harvey earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University and a B.S. with High Distinction in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.

As Coordinator of the First-Year Engineering Program, Dr. Harvey carries several critical responsibilities. The first includes managing the Introduction to Engineering Lab and, over the past spring and summer, she has been redesigning the lab to better meet our goals for students entering into engineering programs at UCO. In addition, Dr. Harvey coordinates the department’s recruitment and outreach efforts. In this role, she works with the department’s Engineering Student Ambassador program, which was implemented last year. The Engineering Student Ambassadors take part in outreach activities at area schools and community colleges, as well as conduct tours of department facilities for prospective students and their parents.

Jaime Thomas, D.O., Biology Alumna

Dr. Jaime Thomas started out as a Summer Bridge student at UCO in 2008 and then conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Mel Vaughan on the cross reactivity of human antibodies with gecko and bat tissues. She also worked with Dr. Hari Kotturi to investigate the ability of bitter melon extract to inhibit myofibroblast differentiation. She presented her work at the national Wound Healing Society Meeting. Dr. Thomas graduated from UCO in 2012 with a degree in Biology with the distinction of  Magna Cum Laude. “UCO brought me so many opportunities that I still look back at today and am thankful for. I attended OSU COM for medical school and chose the wonderful and rewarding field of psychiatry as my specialty. I am currently in Philadelphia in my 3rd year of residency and couldn’t be happier!”

Dr. Beth Allan Named President-Elect of the National Science Teachers Association

Dr. Beth Allan, professor of Biology and coordinator of the Secondary Science Education program has been elected as the president-elect of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Dr. Allan will serve as president-elect until June 1 before becoming president for 2020-21. Allan has served as the College Division Director for NSTA since 2016 and has been a leader in science education in Oklahoma and nationally. She has served as president of the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association and as the president of the National Science Education Leadership Association. Her career has been focused on supporting pre-service and in-service teachers to improve science instruction for all students.

Zachary King, Undergraduate Researcher in Mathematics

Zachary King is an undergraduate student majoring in pure mathematics at the University of Central Oklahoma and is currently beginning his junior year. He has been working with Dr. Liz Lane-Harvard and Dr. Thomas Milligan on research on iterated line graphs since the second part of his freshman year, Spring 2018, picking up on a project originally conducted with former undergraduate student Brendan Balch, now a Ph.D. student at Colorado State University. For a given graph G, defined as a set of vertices together with a set of edges between pairs of vertices, we form L(G), the line graph of G, by creating a new vertex corresponding to each edge in the original graph and edges between these vertices if the original edges in G shared a vertex. When considering iterated line graphs, we are looking at G, L(G), its line graph L(L(G)), and so on, successively. Brendan originally looked at successive line graphs of star graphs and variations of those graphs. Zach has extended these results by focusing on the structure of a subgraph common to line graphs, namely where two regular induced subgraphs are connected by a bi-regular graph. Zachary has received funding from STLR and presented a poster at Oklahoma Research Day in March. He also presented his research at the Oklahoma-Arkansas Sectional Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America in Tahlequah, OK on March 29th, taking third place among the student presentations. Furthermore, Zachary presented at the Central States Math Undergraduate Research Conference at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS on April 12th. Zachary is finalizing a paper with his results and already working on a second paper over related results. He has also started working on another research project with Dr. R. Scott Williams involving looking at Pascal’s triangle modulo m>2 with a goal of understanding the relationship between its structure and the prime factors of m.

Broncho Powered Vehicle Team Competes in Lansing, Michigan

In Fall of 2018, a group of senior engineering design students began working on a project to design and build UCO’s first-ever entry into the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC). Many underdeveloped or inaccessible communities around the world rely on human powered transportation in their everyday lives. With this in mind, ASME developed the HPVC to task engineering students from across the country and around the world with designing and building efficient, well-engineered vehicles that can provide sustainable and practical transportation.

Taking the lead in the project (rebranded as the Broncho Powered Vehicle) were Jesse Green, Zackary Buck, Brant Davis, and Kale Harper supported by faculty member Dr. Tierney Harvey (see article above). Over half a dozen freshmen, sophomore, and junior students also supported them in various phases of the project. The team spent Fall 2018 in the design phase of their project, which included analyses of the vehicle’s strength, materials, and safety requirements. With financial support from Nortek Air Solutions and several smaller donors, the team began construction of the vehicle in January 2019. Construction was completed in March, and the competition took place at Michigan State University in April. The UCO’s Broncho Powered Vehicle placed 18th overall out of around 50 schools from across the country, which was an exceptionally strong finish for a group of first-time racers.

Dr. Harvey has already begun assembling a team for the 2020 competition and has established a crowd funding site to help support the project this year: