News and Events

Koehler Juggles Present, Future

Jessica KoehlerJessica Koehler patrols left field for the Albion College softball team, but there have been days this season when she thinks she is juggling bowling pins instead of snaring line drives.

An all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association second-team performer in 2011 and a two-time member of the league's academic honor roll, Koehler is taking a class to prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test in addition to her regular coursework in biology, chemistry, English, and physics, and completing a presentation on detecting e-coli bacteria in environmental samples for the college's April 19 Elkin R. Issac Student Research Symposium.

Koehler became interested in researching bacteria through a class in microbes in public health taught by biology professor Ola Olapade during the 2010 fall semester. She wound up joining Olapade, working in the 2011 spring semester as a teaching assistant preparing items in the lab. That developed into a six-week experience funded by Albion's Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA) the results of which she will report during the student research symposium.

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Reynolds' Breakthrough Leads to Best Poster Award

Lyndsey Reynolds testing a flow-through method of pushing reactants through the palladium-soaked membrane,Albion College chemistry students working in Professor Kevin Metz’s lab have learned that patience is important through Lyndsey Reynolds’ breakthrough, which led to her winning a best poster award at the Midwestern Undergraduate Symposium on Research in Chemistry at Michigan State University.

A biochemistry and biology major from Waterford, Reynolds worked in the lab on Wednesday and Friday in fall 2010. The break in the schedule allowed enough time for small particles of palladium to soak into a plastic membrane, a feat previous students failed to accomplish when waiting a day for the palladium to adhere to the plastic.

According to Wikipedia, “A large number of carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions in organic chemistry are formed by catalysis with palladium compounds.” In the pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries, where materials are catalyzed by palladium in large vessels, the palladium will adhere to the walls.

Successfully plating palladium on a plastic membrane allowed Reynolds to move on to an organic chemistry study with Metz and Professor Cliff Harris in which they sought to make cleaner reactions with palladium. Funded by the College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA), Reynolds returned to campus in July and August of this year to begin testing a flow-through method of pushing reactants through the palladium-soaked membrane at faster and slower rates and at different temperatures.

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Stoneburner, '11, Takes Different Chemistry Path to Land Job

Jacob Stoneburner, ’11, had his future planned when he arrived at Albion College as a first-year chemistry student in 2007. His plans didn’t include the graduate school or medical school paths taken by many chemistry majors, however.

A native of Wyandotte, Mich., Stoneburner wanted to complete his degree in four years while still being able to play saxophone in the British Eighth marching band and jazz band. He hoped that his Albion education would lead to a job close to home and allow him to teach saxophone to students at Wyandotte-Roosevelt High School.

The Albion Advantage, which came to life in the work he did in the lab as a summer participant in the College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Experience (FURSCA) in 2010, and the breadth of classes he took from chemistry to philosophy, paved the way to a job in his hometown as a research technician for BASF that allows him to continue his musical hobby.

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Havens' FURSCA Experience Leads to Internship

A photograph of Zane Havens during his internshipZane Havens, ’12, hasn’t met a riverbed he hasn’t liked. His grandfather Bill competed in canoeing events in the 1948 Olympic Games, his grand uncle Frank was a two-time Olympic medalist in canoeing, and his father, Keith, Albion College's swimming and diving coach, twice participated in the Olympic Trials in flat-water canoeing.

It’s no surprise, then, that Havens’ research interest at Albion has kept him close to waterways on which he could paddle. He spent the summer of 2010 studying the cloudiness of the water in the Kalamazoo River for a project funded by the College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA). The FURSCA experience opened the door for a 2½-month internship with the Bureau of Land Management’s field office in Grand Junction, Colo., where he took measurements of stream discharge and looked for springs in the desert.

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Art History Major Researches Religious Art 'Fiction' with FURSCA Grant

Vanessa Hartel

Modern America is obviously a far cry from medieval Europe. But modern Americans share an astonishing trait with those ancient Europeans: some of their understanding of the Bible comes not from reading it, but from religious artwork. Illiterate medievalists and Net-surfing global citizens, it turns out, are equally ignorant on certain biblical topics.

So says art history major Vanessa Hartel, '12, who was funded this summer by Albion College's Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA) to analyze ways in which medieval and Renaissance artwork does—or more often doesn't—accurately reflect biblical text. She's looking primarily at images of angels and the devil, with inaccuracies that are embraced by medieval and modern societies alike.

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