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The university's science faculty organized two summer STEM
events to inspire and support area teachers and students. Work-
shops for area K-12 science teachers were held July 15-17 on
campus with a goal of bringing teachers, school administrators
and SBU science faculty together for a discussion on the status of
science education at K-12 and college levels, said Dr. Xiao-Ning
Zhang, associate professor of biology, who organized the events.
They explored new opportunities for networking and partner-
ships between area schools and the university while also partici-
pating in hands-on laboratory experiences and a "field trip" to
one of the world's leading innovators in materials science.
Science faculty who gave instructions during the workshop in-
cluded Dr. Ted Georgian, Romy Knittel, Zhang, Dr. Jerry Godbout,
Dr. Maureen Cox and Dr. Jerry Kiefer.
Eight area high school sophomores and juniors were selected
for a two-week program on campus that offered a career training
package including a research experience alongside science faculty
and a variety of STEM career talks. The students worked one-on-
one with the faculty on a cutting-edge science topic then pre-
sented their research projects to family, friends and the SBU
Science faculty mentors for these high school students included
Drs. Georgian, Douglas Guarnieri, Peter Schneible, O.F.M., Jo-
hanna Schwingel, Salvador Tarun, Zhang and Donna Brestensky.
"As SBU reinforces its academic excellence and educational
services to the vast community, it was the passion of our donors
-- the Kevin Kim family and Olean Medical Group -- who helped
these events to hit the ground running," said Zhang. "The suc-
cess of these events demonstrated that the science faculty team
at SBU is of high quality and committed to guiding students to
successful career paths."
Campus News
SBU science faculty mentor
area teachers and students
In the mood for better health?
Michael Hill, '96, as president and CEO of Youth for Under-
standing USA, helped arrange for the Gay Men's Chorus of
Washington, D.C., to travel to Cuba on a cultural tour in July.
Hill is also a member of the university's Board of Trustees.
The 23 singers in the chorus were among the first U.S. citizens
who were able to travel to Cuba since diplomatic relations with
the U.S. improved. The group's goal was to raise awareness of
LGBTQ rights through music. Hill, along with staff and volun-
teers from Youth for Understanding, accompanied the chorus.
YFU advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect and
social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth,
families and communities.
The five concerts on the tour took place at prestigious loca-
tions in Cuba such as the Franciscan Monastery. The chorus also
participated in forum-style discussions.
Alum travels to Cuba on cultural tour
Research by university faculty and students is leading the way
to identify how we can experience the joy of living while also
eating healthier. In recent decades, there has been a profound
shift in the appetitive characteristics of depression. In the
1960s, depression was characterized mostly by weight loss and
loss of appetite. However, today it is most common for those
with depression to see weight gain and increased appetite.
Collaborating research teams at St. Bonaventure and Duke
University Medical Center tackled this problem by investigating
risk factors that may overlap between obesity and depression,
said Dr. Gregory Privitera, associate professor of psychology at
SBU and one of the lead researchers.
The latest study from this collaboration, published in the on-
line scientific research journal PLoS ONE in March, showed that
compared to lean participants, obese participants with clinical
symptoms of depression showed reduced self-control when
asked to choose among varying portions of a fried food
(chicken wings), and a dessert (cake). This pattern was not evi-
dent when participants chose among varying portions of a fruit
and vegetable.
SBU students are playing a big role in this. Many undergradu-
ate students have already coauthored papers as part of this
project, with a larger group of students now coming together
for studies to be run this fall.
On July 13, educators toured Corning Inc.'s innovative research
center labs. The visit was followed by three days of hands-on
laboratory experiences on campus in which the teachers devel-
oped lessons designed to promote high school students' interest
in STEM fields. The teachers from Archbishop Walsh, Allegany-
Limestone, Franklinville, Olean, Scio and St. Mary's of Lancaster
attended labs in physics, geology, chemistry, biology and mathe-
Dr. Gregory Privitera mentors undergraduate students Kayla
Cuifolo, '16, and Quentin King-Shepard, '16, in cutting-edge