News and Announcements

For all WCU events on campus, visit the WCU Events Calendar.

Browse the links below for recent WCU news  of interest to current and prospective chemistry and physics students and their families.


Faculty in the news:

September 2010:  Mark Wilson received a $397,098 grant from the National Institute of Justice to use newly developed deep sequecing techniques to study DNA variations within a single human subject. more info.

September 2010:  Arthur Salido was featured in an article in the "Macon County News" dealing with the potentially psychotropic effects of new varieties of incense being sold in Western North Carolina.  Dr. Salido was asked by the paper to analyze samples of the incense to determine if certain psychotropic substances were present.

September 2010:
  Dave Evanoff and Scott Huffman received a $306,175 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program for the acquisition of a Raman microscope system. more info.

September 2010:  The Forensic Science Program has installed state-of-the-art DNA sequencing equipment in their facility located on the ground floor of the Stillwell Science Building.  The studies conducted at WCU on this equipment can be used to validate this technique and pave the way for this type of equipment to be used in crime lab casework.  more info. 

August 2010:  Megan Arrington, Carmen Huffman, and Jack Summers presented current research at the Fall meeting of the American Chemical Society held in Boston. more info.

July 2010:  Jack Summers received a $325,000 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) from the National Institutes of Health to support his research group’s work on superoxide dismutase enzymes. more info.

July 2010:  Dave Butcher became Editor in Chief of the international journal Instrumentation Science and Technology, an internationally acclaimed forum for fast publication of critical, peer reviewed manuscripts dealing with innovative instrument design and applications in chemistry, physics biotechnology and environmental science. Particular attention is given to state-of-the-art developments and their rapid communication to the scientific community.  This journal is an excellent compliment to the other journal he edits, Analytical Letters.

June 2010:  Jason Clement and his undergraduate research student, Rachel Bleich, received a $5000 fellowship from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to isolate potential antibiotics from local microbial sources. more info. 

May 2010:  Dave Butcher and his former graduate student, Sung Gun Park, published an article in the Microchemical Journal entitled "Investigation of the interaction between arsenic species and thiols via electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry." more info.

May 2010:  Dave Evanoff received a $45,000 (including WCU match) grant from the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement to study the optical properties of novel nanocomposite particles.  more info.

April 2010:  Bill Kwochka received a $37,000 grant from the Savannah River National Laboratory to study the properties of boron-containing complexes on surfaces. more info.

April 2010:  Paul Heckert was awarded a sabbatical from the WCU Scholarly Development Assignment Program.  Professor Heckert will analyze 20 years of data collected on the star ER Vul and collect additional data at Mount Laguna Observatory. more info.

March 2010:  Cindy Atterholt presented her research on the "evaluation of wax carriers for the controlled release of pheromones for mating disruption in an integrated pest management program," at the National ACS meeting.  The work was co-authored by her former graduate student, Lisa McCracken.

March 2010:  Dave Butcher, Dave Evanoff, Scott Huffman, and Arthur Salido presented current research at Pittcon 2010. more info.

March 2010:  Jack Summers and collaborators from Arizona State University published an article in PLoS ONE entitled "pH-Dependent Metal Ion Toxicity Influences the Antibacterial Activity of Two Natural Mineral Mixtures."  more info.

February 2010:  Jason Clement and Biology Department collaborator, Kathy Matthews, received a $248,000 grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to study Black Cohosh, a medicinal herb native to our region. more info.

Chemistry and Physics News Feed
WCU to participate in statewide science fest with stargazing, open house
Western Carolina University will participate in the statewide 2013 N.C. Science Festival with a stargazing event Friday, April 5, and an open house Saturday, April 13.

Professor’s book combines mythology, astrophysics
Astronomer Paul A. Heckert’s work “The Hunter and the Scorpion” begins with the mythological tale of those constellations and then transitions to the life cycle of the stars.

Student makes mark at Oak Ridge lab
WCU’s Jeff Lux was one of three students in the nation chosen to participate in the Department of Homeland Security’s Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship Program.

Planets providing rare show in May
Stargazers are witnessing a rare astronomical phenomenon this month as four of the five planets visible to the naked eye can be observed close together in the early morning sky.

Arts and Sciences honors distinguished alumni
Western Carolina University’s College of Arts and Sciences held a ceremony recently to recognize eight of the college’s distinguished alumni.


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