Allegheny College Receives National Science Foundation Grant in Support of Faculty Research

July 24, 2015 — Ivelitza Garcia, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Allegheny College, received a grant of $174,038 from the National Science Foundation in support of her project “Research in Undergraduate Institutions: Catalytic regulation of ribosome processing factors: Investigation of peripheral domain effects on the enzymatic capabilities of the DEAD-box protein Rok1p.”

The grant will provide funding for eight Allegheny students over four years to collaborate with Garcia to investigate how different structural elements within DEAD-box proteins can regulate the activity and initial structural state of a protein model. Understanding the regulation of DEAD-box proteins is of high medical interest since they are often over- or under-expressed in breast, cervical and prostate cancer as well as in T-cell and myeloid leukemia.

One hundred percent of the $174,038 cost of the project will be covered by federal funds through the NSF grant.

Photo: Winnie Wong at work in Ivelitza Garcia’s lab.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College Receives National Science Foundation Grant in Support of Faculty Research

Winnie in Lab

July 24, 2015 — Ivelitza Garcia, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Allegheny College, received a grant of $174,038 from the National Science Foundation in support of her project “Research in Undergraduate Institutions: Catalytic regulation of ribosome processing factors: Investigation of peripheral domain effects on the enzymatic capabilities of the DEAD-box protein Rok1p.”

The grant will provide funding for eight Allegheny students over four years to collaborate with Garcia to investigate how different structural elements within DEAD-box proteins can regulate the activity and initial structural state of a protein model. Understanding the regulation of DEAD-box proteins is of high medical interest since they are often over- or under-expressed in breast, cervical and prostate cancer as well as in T-cell and myeloid leukemia.

One hundred percent of the $174,038 cost of the project will be covered by federal funds through the NSF grant.

Photo: Winnie Wong at work in Ivelitza Garcia’s lab.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Taking the stage

Being crowned Miss Crawford County launched Brianna Layman’s pageant career — and helped her choose a new professional one.

Layman, a 21-year-old rising senior at Allegheny College who will compete in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant starting today, was a member of the college’s pre-health club and likely headed to medical school after graduation.

But when a friend suggested she compete in the 2015 Miss Crawford County pageant, she needed to find a cause to support.

“I couldn’t put my finger on anything except my passion for art,” Layman said. “It’s very sad to me that programs for art and music and theater and drama have been substantially cut and devolved into very small programs.”

Layman now plans to graduate with a degree in biochemistry and enroll in a master’s program in fine arts. Ultimately, she wants to combine the two interests and work in the emerging field of bio art: The artistic representation of science and scientific research.

She spoke with the Erie Times-News about competition, the biggest misconception about pageants, and her ultimate goal.

Read the full article.

ERICA ERWIN of the Erie Times-News can be reached at 870-1846 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNerwin. Read the Happier Ed education blog at blogs.goerie.com/education and post comments.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Taking the stage

AR-306109984

Being crowned Miss Crawford County launched Brianna Layman’s pageant career — and helped her choose a new professional one.

Layman, a 21-year-old rising senior at Allegheny College who will compete in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant starting today, was a member of the college’s pre-health club and likely headed to medical school after graduation.

But when a friend suggested she compete in the 2015 Miss Crawford County pageant, she needed to find a cause to support.

“I couldn’t put my finger on anything except my passion for art,” Layman said. “It’s very sad to me that programs for art and music and theater and drama have been substantially cut and devolved into very small programs.”

Layman now plans to graduate with a degree in biochemistry and enroll in a master’s program in fine arts. Ultimately, she wants to combine the two interests and work in the emerging field of bio art: The artistic representation of science and scientific research.

She spoke with the Erie Times-News about competition, the biggest misconception about pageants, and her ultimate goal.

Read the full article.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Pageant contestant advocates that arts provide ‘a new perspective’

Brianna Layman is using her beauty to advocate brain power.

As a biochemistry major and upcoming senior at Allegheny College, the 21-year-old Franklin Park resident said she is living proof that music and art education are vital to understanding science and math. When schools eliminate the arts from their curriculum, she said they are committing a great disservice to students.

To better spread her message, she entered her first pageant — a local pageant near her college campus in Meadville — where she competed in swimsuit and evening-gown competitions, a talent contest, on-stage questioning and creation of a personal platform based on an issue she will work to promote.

Layman’s platform, titled “The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM,” stresses the importance of music and art education in schools, where subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are taking increased precedence and funding. The “A” in STEAM stands for “arts.”

Read the full article.

This article appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Laurie Rees is a freelance writer. Photo courtesy of Brittany Marie Photography.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Pageant contestant advocates that arts provide ‘a new perspective’

Brianna Layman-Tribune

Brianna Layman is using her beauty to advocate brain power.

As a biochemistry major and upcoming senior at Allegheny College, the 21-year-old Franklin Park resident said she is living proof that music and art education are vital to understanding science and math. When schools eliminate the arts from their curriculum, she said they are committing a great disservice to students.

To better spread her message, she entered her first pageant — a local pageant near her college campus in Meadville — where she competed in swimsuit and evening-gown competitions, a talent contest, on-stage questioning and creation of a personal platform based on an issue she will work to promote.

Layman’s platform, titled “The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM,” stresses the importance of music and art education in schools, where subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are taking increased precedence and funding. The “A” in STEAM stands for “arts.”

Read the full article.

This article appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Laurie Rees is a freelance writer. Photo courtesy of Brittany Marie Photography.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Six Students Present Research at the 249th National American Chemical Society Meeting

Six Chemistry and Biochemistry students presented research at the 249th National American Chemical Society meeting in Denver. Haley Englert ’15 presented a poster at the Biochemistry section poster session, “Biological analyses of ATP binding and hydrolysis in DEAD-box protein,” based on her research with Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Ivy Garcia. Sean Carney ’15 presented a poster at the Physical Chemistry section poster session, “Probing the mechanism of DNA duplex formation in sequences with consecutive versus alternating purines and pyrimidines using stopped flow kinetics experiments,” based on his research with Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Alice Deckert. Four students presented their work with Professor Deckert at the Undergraduate Research poster session. Emma Bean ’15 and Matt Gray ’16 presented the poster “Progress towards SERS sensor for PAH’s,” and Bridgette McCauley ’15 and Shawn Kennemuth ’16 presented the poster “Investigation of Surface Chemistry on P-Si to form Potential Biosensors/Drug Delivery Devices.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Six Students Present Research at the 249th National American Chemical Society Meeting

Six Chemistry and Biochemistry students presented research at the 249th National American Chemical Society meeting in Denver. Haley Englert ’15 presented a poster at the Biochemistry section poster session, “Biological analyses of ATP binding and hydrolysis in DEAD-box protein,” based on her research with Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Ivy Garcia. Sean Carney ’15 presented a poster at the Physical Chemistry section poster session, “Probing the mechanism of DNA duplex formation in sequences with consecutive versus alternating purines and pyrimidines using stopped flow kinetics experiments,” based on his research with Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Alice Deckert. Four students presented their work with Professor Deckert at the Undergraduate Research poster session. Emma Bean ’15 and Matt Gray ’16 presented the poster “Progress towards SERS sensor for PAH’s,” and Bridgette McCauley ’15 and Shawn Kennemuth ’16 presented the poster “Investigation of Surface Chemistry on P-Si to form Potential Biosensors/Drug Delivery Devices.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

A Crowning Achievement

Allegheny junior Brianna Layman is a biochemistry major and a studio art minor. She also is a varsity soccer player, a volunteer coach for the Meadville Area Soccer Club, a committee leader for Relay for Life, the philanthropy chairman for Gamma Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a volunteer advocate for Women’s Services and a peer buddy for Best Buddies International.

“I am most importantly, though, a role model for the children—and many others—of Crawford County, with a goal of exhibiting the benefits of a liberal arts education to future scientists,” she says, referring to her new role as Miss Crawford County 2015, a title she won in February.

The spare time she had leading up to the ceremony was filled with fulfilling pageant requirements, including service (each candidate is required to raise a minimum of $100 to support the Children’s Miracle Network and the Miss American Scholarship Fund) and creating a platform on which she would run.

For the fundraiser, she organized an event where a dollar donation to swing at a junk car on Allegheny’s Brooks Walk went toward “smashing out children’s diseases.”

Conceiving her platform required much more energy and thought, although it makes perfect sense when you see and understand these passions in her life. (Brianna transferred to Allegheny to pursue a liberal arts education, one that allowed her plenty of time to explore her various interests, most notably biochemistry, studio art and music.)

“‘The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM’ delves into the importance of a nurtured and balanced education between the sciences and the arts to enhance the neurological capacities of those in the science world. I believe to reintroduce the United States as a world leader in sciences, we must work to regain public funding for the arts, and have more liberal arts trained scientists,” Brianna says of her pageant platform.

“I am super passionate about my platform because I embody it. Not only has a well-rounded education helped me out—for example, art and music classes give me a different perspective in my chemistry labs—but, as an older sister to five siblings, I want to continue to be a role model. I love being able to show younger people that the arts are super important.”

Although she now spends most of her time stressing the importance of a well-rounded education to others, she still learns more about herself every day from her own education. “I had planned to go to medical school after graduation, but now I am leaning toward getting my master’s in fine art so that I can pursue Bio-Art, a tiny field I learned about from a professor of mine. This wouldn’t have happened without opportunities and unusual classes offered at Allegheny,” Brianna says.

She will pursue those goals in time. For now, though, she is excited about the opportunities she has to make the title her own this year. “I want to squeeze as much as possible out of this role. It’s more important that I communicate my passion than worry about advancing.” She will have an opportunity to compete for a state title next year.

Brianna decided to pursue the title after realizing that the position would give her abundant opportunities to volunteer and the possibility to enact change.  “I decided to run because I believe that this title gives me a vehicle to amplify my voice,” she says, “the voice that is inside each one of us.”

— Kathleen Prosperi-McClard ’11

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

A Crowning Achievement

brianna

Allegheny junior Brianna Layman is a biochemistry major and a studio art minor. She also is a varsity soccer player, a volunteer coach for the Meadville Area Soccer Club, a committee leader for Relay for Life, the philanthropy chairman for Gamma Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a volunteer advocate for Women’s Services and a peer buddy for Best Buddies International.

“I am most importantly, though, a role model for the children—and many others—of Crawford County, with a goal of exhibiting the benefits of a liberal arts education to future scientists,” she says, referring to her new role as Miss Crawford County 2015, a title she won in February.

The spare time she had leading up to the ceremony was filled with fulfilling pageant requirements, including service (each candidate is required to raise a minimum of $100 to support the Children’s Miracle Network and the Miss American Scholarship Fund) and creating a platform on which she would run.

For the fundraiser, she organized an event where a dollar donation to swing at a junk car on Allegheny’s Brooks Walk went toward “smashing out children’s diseases.”

Conceiving her platform required much more energy and thought, although it makes perfect sense when you see and understand these passions in her life. (Brianna transferred to Allegheny to pursue a liberal arts education, one that allowed her plenty of time to explore her various interests, most notably biochemistry, studio art and music.)

“‘The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM’ delves into the importance of a nurtured and balanced education between the sciences and the arts to enhance the neurological capacities of those in the science world. I believe to reintroduce the United States as a world leader in sciences, we must work to regain public funding for the arts, and have more liberal arts trained scientists,” Brianna says of her pageant platform.

“I am super passionate about my platform because I embody it. Not only has a well-rounded education helped me out—for example, art and music classes give me a different perspective in my chemistry labs—but, as an older sister to five siblings, I want to continue to be a role model. I love being able to show younger people that the arts are super important.”

Although she now spends most of her time stressing the importance of a well-rounded education to others, she still learns more about herself every day from her own education. “I had planned to go to medical school after graduation, but now I am leaning toward getting my master’s in fine art so that I can pursue Bio-Art, a tiny field I learned about from a professor of mine. This wouldn’t have happened without opportunities and unusual classes offered at Allegheny,” Brianna says.

She will pursue those goals in time. For now, though, she is excited about the opportunities she has to make the title her own this year. “I want to squeeze as much as possible out of this role. It’s more important that I communicate my passion than worry about advancing.” She will have an opportunity to compete for a state title next year.

Brianna decided to pursue the title after realizing that the position would give her abundant opportunities to volunteer and the possibility to enact change.  “I decided to run because I believe that this title gives me a vehicle to amplify my voice,” she says, “the voice that is inside each one of us.”

– Kathleen Prosperi-McClard ’11

Source: Academics, Publications & Research