|Sept. 27, 2007
Fellowship program provides biology students with
summer research opportunities
As the 2007 Borer Summer Research Scholars, Jessica Bartock and Ashish Shah spent more time in the research lab than at the beach. From May to late July, the two undertook research projects at the University under the tutelage of St. Bonaventure biology professors.
Bartock, of Rochester, continued research started by Dr. Joel Benington, professor of biology. She applied many of the same techniques of his research, but studied a different organism—yeast.
Put simply, Bartock’s project involved growing mating pairs of fission yeast in a nitrogen-rich medium and then moving them to a medium without nitrogen where they would hopefully reproduce sexually. Much of her research consisted of charting growth curves to find out how the organism grows and reproduces with different nutrient sources.
“We know that yeast in nutrient-rich medium reproduce asexually but when they are nitrogen starved they will conjugate and sexually reproduce, but what is not known is the signal for this starvation, or in other words how do they know that they are starving. It is this signal that we are trying to identify,” said Bartock, daughter of Brenda and David Bartock.
Romy Knittel, lecturer of biology at the University, mentored Bartock. Knittel explained that Bartock essentially started a brand new research project, which is no easy task.
“When you start out with a new organism, you don’t know anything. One of the features of what Jessica did is a lot of the background work, which from a student perspective may not sound very sexy,” said Knittel. “I don’t know if Jessica even appreciates the work that she’s done and the difficulties involved in starting new research. People who don’t know, who haven’t worked in a research lab, wouldn’t understand how grueling it is. It is laborious, and it doesn’t have a pretty face.”
And as with any research, the outcome is uncertain.
“A lot of this is for the experience. We don’t know if we’ll find the exact signaling molecule. But just the experience of starting this research from scratch and reading through article after article taught me a lot about different research techniques,” Bartock said.
Ashish Shah, of Edison, N.J., continued research on antibody AG-1, an antibody developed in 1988 by Dr. John Kupinski, associate professor of biology. Shah, who will be a sophomore at SBU in the fall, explained that the antibody binds to a protein called CD9 on platelets, which are essential to the blood clotting process. When this occurs the protein interacts with a glycoprotein, which initiates and activates platelet adhesion.
“Basically, when one of your blood vessels breaks open, platelets come to the site of injury and initiate the clotting process. The AG-1 antibody helps initially activate the platelets,” Shah explained.
What Shah tried to discover is the seven amino acid sequence binding site of antibody AG-1 on the CD9 surface protein. He said not a lot of research has been done about how blood clotting occurs at the molecular level.
“The research will give us a better understanding of how platelet activation occurs, how spatially all these platelet proteins interact with each other, and allow us to better understand the blood clotting process in general,” Shah said.
Shah, son of Sadhana and Vinaychandra Shah, is enrolled in the pre-medicine dual admissions program. He will be attending George Washington University Medical School after completing his remaining three years at St. Bonaventure.
Bartock, who will graduate next spring, is in the process of applying to medical school. She hopes her experience as a Borer Scholar will help her achieve her goal of becoming a specialized surgeon.
The Dr. Arnold T. Borer Summer Fellowship Program was made possible in 1992 through a major gift to the University by Gertrude Borer and her son, Francis “Frank” E. Borer, ’69. This fund is in honor of her late husband, Arnold.
Fr. Richard P. McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, will begin Francis Week with a keynote public lecture at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the University Chapel in Doyle Hall.
The lecture — “Sent Into the Whole World: A Conciliar and Franciscan Vision of a Catholic University” — will be followed by a book signing at 6:15 p.m. in the chapel.
Fr. McBrien served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the 1976 recipient of its John Courtney Murray Award. He also formerly served as professor of theology at Boston College and as director of its Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry. Fr. McBrien was the first Visiting Fellow in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has served as an on-air commentator on Catholic events for CBS and other major television networks. He is currently a consultant to ABC News for papal events.
Francis Week begins Thursday, Sept. 27, with Fr. McBrien’s lecture and concludes Thursday, Oct. 4, with a Feast of St. Francis Eucharist at 5 p.m. in the University Chapel.
On Friday, Sept. 28, Fr. McBrien will give two additional lectures: “Issues in Catholicism” at 8:30 a.m. in the John J. Murphy Professional Building and “Academic Freedom in a Catholic University” at noon in the Doyle Dining Room.
The traditional Transitus – a celebration of the life and passing of St. Francis – will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 9 p.m. in the University Chapel. A dessert reception will follow at 9:30 p.m. in the Robert R. Jones Trustees Room in Doyle Hall. This event is open to the public.
The Feast of St. Francis Eucharist will be held at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the University Chapel, with Fr. Peter Schneible, O.F.M., presiding.
An exhibition of African art and culture will open at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University on Sept. 28.
The exhibition, “African Odyssey: The Arts and Cultures of a Continent,” is the largest collection of African art ever assembled in this part of the state, said Joseph LoSchiavo, executive director of The Quick Center. “The presentation is on the scale of a municipal museum in a much larger city,” said LoSchiavo.
His staff has been working on the installation since May, filling the Quick Center’s large Beltz Gallery with hundreds of artifacts: carvings, pottery, fabric and metalwork. There are costumes of high ranking officials and items of royalty, and many examples of intricate beading.
A majority of the artifacts – more than 500 items – are on loan from the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, N.C. They made their way to St. Bonaventure quite by chance.
LoSchiavo and Dr. Stephen L. Whittington, director of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest, met each other at the annual meeting of the American Association of Museums in 2004. Their casual conversation revealed that Whittington had the expertise to study The Quick Center’s collection of pre-Columbian ceramics and that his museum’s extensive collection of African art was available for loan.
It was the birth of a plan to produce two shared exhibitions, the first being the display of African art at St. Bonaventure.
Beverlye Hancock, curator of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest, is the principal curator for the exhibition at The Quick Center. Hancock said “African Odyssey” offers snapshots into how African cultures express their social organization, beliefs and values while providing for their essential needs.
“African art is above all communication,” said Hancock. “It preserves a people’s history, stories, laws, religion, education, social values and social roles. The art can be ‘read’ by members of the society for which it exists so that the society is better able to learn and pass the information on to future generations.”
The exhibition will also include items on loan from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Hampton University Museum in Hampton, Va.
The Quick Center will use “African Odyssey” to introduce the arts of Africa to school students from across the region, said Quick Curator Evelyn Penman. Hundreds of elementary and high school students are expected to tour the exhibit during its nearly nine-month stay. The School of Education at St. Bonaventure is helping to develop a workbook and other gallery activities to enhance the learning experience, said Penman.
African art is the theme of a companion exhibition at The Quick, which also opens Sept. 28. “African Resonance: 20th Century Works on Paper,” featuring prints from The Quick collection, will be located in the Print Study Room, across the hall from the Beltz Gallery. Selected pieces from The Quick Center’s permanent collection will illustrate the influence of African arts and traditions on major 20th century masters including Picasso, Braque and Miró, said Penman.
Both exhibitions will run through mid-June of 2008.
“African Odyssey” is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and through the Museum Loan Network.The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Holiday hours may vary. For more information call the center at (716) 375-2494.
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University will participate in the third annual Smithsonian Museum Day celebrations, Sept. 29. Museum Day is a one-day nationwide event where participating museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free admissions.
It is a point of pride for The Quick Center that its museum is always free to visitors, said Executive Director Joseph LoSchiavo. In celebration of Museum Day, he said, the center will extend its hours that day, opening to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The center’s new fall season of exhibitions will be open for visitors including “African Odyssey: The Arts and Cultures of a Continent,” featuring the arts and material cultures of Africa. Over 500 artifacts are on loan from Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
Also open will be the exhibition “African Resonance: 20th Century Works on Paper.” Prints from the collection explore the influence of African art on artists of the 20th century such as Picasso, Braque and Miro?.
Other Quick Center exhibitions include “Yangtze Remembered: The River Beneath the Lake – Photographs by Linda Butler;” “Breaking News: How the Associated Press Covered War, Peace and Everything Else;” “George Constant: Works on Paper from the Collection;” “Whamm! The late 20th Century Art Scene” and “Works from the Permanent Collection.”
All exhibitions are free and open to the public.
For a complete listing of exhibitions visit firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> or call (716) 375-2494.
Documentary film on controversial leader Hugo
Chavez to be screened Tuesday
The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Dresser Auditorium of the John J. Murphy Professional Building on St. Bonaventure University's campus. The screening is free and open to the public. Moore graduated from Trinity College, in Hartford, Conn., in the spring of 2006. At that time, he formed an independent documentary film company, Sol Productions, with two fellow Trinity graduates. During the last year, they have produced and directed two major documentary films, "Puedo Hablar? / May I Speak?", the film on Venezuela, and "Democracy in Dakar," which chronicled the role of hip-hop music in Senegalese politics.
The team spent two months in Venezuela filming "Puedo Hablar? / May I Speak?", following both candidates as they raced toward the Dec. 3, 2006, elections.
According to Moore, "The film offers its audience a snapshot portrait of a Venezuelan society at a crossroads; a re-elected president, challenged by a mounting opposition. Our team travelled to six different regions of Venezuela, filming everywhere from the notorious barrios of Caracas to the tricky border with Colombia, from a city of 5 million to an Amazonian pueblo of 23."
The trailer for the film is available online.
St. Bonaventure is only the second stop on a major nationwide campus tour for the film; other universities on the schedule include Amherst College and Syracuse University.
Questions about the screening may be directed to Dr. David DiMattio, dean of Clare College, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (716) 375-4086 or Dr. Mary Rose Kubal, assistant professor of political science, at email@example.com, (716) 375-2271.
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