PLNU News

24
Apr

PLNU is pleased to announce the award of a $576,750 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support undergraduate scholarships for PLNU students in the STEM disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – who also minor in Computational Science while undergraduates at PLNU.

 

The project, entitled "Scholarships to Support STEM majors Computational Sciences Minors," is under the direction of PLNU faculty from the various STEM departments. Associate Professor of Chemistry, Katherine Maloney, Ph.D. will serve as Principal Investigator for the project which was officially awarded in April 2015 and expected to conclude in 2020.

 

Maloney is joined by Maria Zack, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Mathematical, Information and Computer Sciences; Dawne Page, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Biology, Lorinda J. Carter, Ph.D. Professor of Computer Science; and Paul Schmelzenbach , Ph.D. Professor and Chair Physics and Engineering.             

 

PLNU has been the recipient of previous NSF awards, however this award is unique. The "Scholarships to Support STEM majors Computational Sciences Minors," proposal was the first application by PLNU to the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM), in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the NSF.

                     

“This is part of what makes it surprising that we got the funding,” says Maria Zack Ph.D.. “As a new applicant, we were told to expect multiple attempts before qualifying for a funding award.” Although surprising, Zack admits PLNU was well positioned for the award.

 

“PLNU’s size allows for excellent faculty/student mentoring and faculty collaboration. Our STEM departments have been working together in the areas of research, curriculum development and student development for more than 40 years,” continued Zack.  PLNU’s application proposed to build on the existing pattern of collaboration in PLNU’s STEM community by providing scholarships to academically talented and financially needy STEM students interested in careers and graduate education that combine a STEM discipline with computational science (STEM-CS).

 

The NSF grant will provide significant scholarships to talented STEM majors who have high financial need and would not otherwise be able to pursue STEM education at PLNU. According to Dawne Page Ph.D., the hope is that, “by meeting most or all of these students’ financial need and giving them academic and career service support, we hope to graduate them into the STEM workforce or into STEM graduate education.”

 

Key features of this proposal build on the robust student experience in PLNU’s STEM disciplines. All students will participate in undergraduate research, conference presentations and/or publications on the research, and a senior capstone interdisciplinary project in computational science.

Established in 20011, PLNU’s Computational Science minor allows Mathematics or Computer Science students to gain limited knowledge in Biology, Chemistry or Physics to be able to help scientists with their computational needs; and to expose Biology, Chemistry or Physics majors to computational techniques they can collaborate with mathematicians and computer scientists to solve complex problems in science and engineering. This popular minor provides a natural cohort of academically-talented STEM students that take classes together and share a common interest – a key element to the objectives of PLNU’s S-STEM project proposal.

 

Computational science is the use of computational techniques (e.g. statistics, computer programming, modeling, data management) to help solve problems in the natural sciences, and it is one of the fastest growing areas of employment. The premise of computational science is that much of the current scientific research (particularly in industrial settings involving biotechnology, nuclear power and national security) is conducted by interdisciplinary teams. Each member of the team is an expert in their field of study but is sufficiently conversant with the other disciplines of their team members to be able to function effectively in a team.

 

The NSF grant award marks an exciting time at PLNU. The STEM population at PLNU has grown steadily over the past several years and continued growth is anticipated. To meet the needs of current and future students, PLNU launched the largest capital campaign in the institution’s history with the Campaign for the Sciences. The capstone of the campaign, PLNU’s new science building, is on schedule for completion in the summer of 2015, set to serve students in the coming fall semester. 

 

 

Learn more about PLNU’s STEM opportunities and the Computational Science minor.

Academics, Biology, Chemistry, External Relations, Mathematical, Information & Computer Sciences, Office of Community & Government Relations, Physics & Engineering, PLNU
16
Apr

 

Nicolson Commons- ARC.  Open to all Faculty/ Staff and Students. We're excited to be unveiling our new logo and a new App that will make using the rental center and booking Great Escapes trips a breeze.  There will be raffles and prizes, a photo booth and a delicious trail mix bar in addition to having our equipment out for you to see just what we've got (even some new stuff).  We'll also be showing a short video on PLNU student experiences with the program.  This is a great opportunity to meet Jonathan Morell, the new Director of Outdoor Leadership.   Please stop by!  We're very interested in getting Staff and Faculty out on trips with students.  We'd also love to brainstorm with you about creating trips for your class or department. We're looking forward to meeting you for the first time or reconnecting once again.

Outdoor Recreation
13
Apr

PLNU Voice students -- from the studios of J. Craig Johnson, Tina Sayers, and Mary MacKenzie -- once again dominated the 2015 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition in San Diego.  Baritone Jack French won First Place in both the College/Private Musical Theater Men's and Lower College/Private Classical Men's categories. Mezzo-soprano Kendall Barnes won Second Place in College/Private Musical Theater Women.  In the Lower College/Private Classical Women's category, soprano McKenna Slack took First Place and soprano Emily Templeton took Second Place, with soprano Rachel Newton earning an Honorable Mention. In the Upper College/Private Classical Women's category, soprano Michelle Law came in Second Place with Third Place going to mezzo-soprano Kiana Bell.

Music
09
Apr

On Tuesday March 3, 2015, Point Loma Nazarene University business students Matt Herskowitz, Chad Krause, Blair Messner, Sam Sadler, and Trevor Shaw led their team in victory over SDSU, USD, and UCSD teams, winning the San Diego CFA Institute Research Challenge for 2015.  PLNU faculty advisor, Dan Bothe, Dean of the Fermanian School of Business, supported their countless hours of preparation and accompanied them to the competition, returning with an impressive team trophy, now on display at the Fermanian School of Business!

As a result of this victory, the PLNU student team will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia on April 15, all expenses paid by the CFA Institute, to compete in the Americas Regional event against universities from across North America.  The winner from each regional competition - the Americas; the Asia Pacific; and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions - will advance to the Global Final, where one team will be declared global champion of the CFA Institute Research Challenge.

About the CFA Research Challenge:

As stated on their website, The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis.  Students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded company - sometimes even meeting face-to-face with company management.  Each team writes a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation and may be asked to present and defend their analysis to a panel of industry professionals.

About the Winning PLNU Team:

Matt Herskowitz is a senior majoring in Finance and he currently holds the position of Director of Finance for ASB.  He has accepted a position this summer at Stratford Partners Real Estate Investments.  Chad Krause is a senior majoring in Finance, having spent a summer internship at Lloyds of London in Great Britain.  Blair Messner is a senior with an Accounting and Finance double major in addition to being a Student Accounting Society officer.  She has accepted a full time position with Deloitte in their tax division.  Sam Sadler is a senior with an Accounting and Finance double major; he serves as president of PLNU's entrepreneur club in addition to playing baseball for the PLNU team.  Sam has accepted a full time position in public accounting with Ernst & Young.  Trevor Shaw is a senior majoring in Finance, while serving as PLNU's Finance & Investments Club president.

External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU
08
Apr

On Tuesday March 3, 2015, Point Loma Nazarene University business students Matt Herskowitz, Chad Krause, Blair Messner, Sam Sadler, and Trevor Shaw led their team in victory over SDSU, USD, and UCSD teams, winning the San Diego CFA Institute Research Challenge for 2015.  PLNU faculty advisor, Dan Bothe, Dean of the Fermanian School of Business, supported their countless hours of preparation and accompanied them to the competition, returning with an impressive team trophy, now on display at the Fermanian School of Business!

As a result of this victory, the PLNU student team will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia on April 15, all expenses paid by the CFA Institute, to compete in the Americas Regional event against universities from across North America.  The winner from each regional competition - the Americas; the Asia Pacific; and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions - will advance to the Global Final, where one team will be declared global champion of the CFA Institute Research Challenge.

About the CFA Research Challenge:

As stated on their website, The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis.  Students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded company - sometimes even meeting face-to-face with company management.  Each team writes a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation and may be asked to present and defend their analysis to a panel of industry professionals.

About the Winning PLNU Team:

Matt Herskowitz is a senior majoring in Finance and he currently holds the position of Director of Finance for ASB.  He has accepted a position this summer at Stratford Partners Real Estate Investments.  Chad Krause is a senior majoring in Finance, having spent a summer internship at Lloyds of London in Great Britain.  Blair Messner is a senior with an Accounting and Finance double major in addition to being a Student Accounting Society officer.  She has accepted a full time position with Deloitte in their tax division.  Sam Sadler is a senior with an Accounting and Finance double major; he serves as president of PLNU's entrepreneur club in addition to playing baseball for the PLNU team.  Sam has accepted a full time position in public accounting with Ernst & Young.  Trevor Shaw is a senior majoring in Finance, while serving as PLNU's Finance & Investments Club president.

Business