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Biology students earn prestige

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Michelle Loggia
Staff Writer

Three biology students from the University of La Verne were selected to have their individual abstracts presented May 14 and 15 at California State University Long Beach by the Southern California Academy of Sciences.

The SCAS selects abstracts displaying superior research and findings of students who submit their abstracts from colleges and universities throughout California. Those students are then invited to the SCAS’s annual symposium.

“It is one of the more prestigious [science] organizations of the state,” said Dan Merritt, professor of zoology at ULV. “There are two parts to the academy, Northern and Southern California.”

The SCAS distributes newsletters and publications to its members as well as providing educational grants to its qualifying members.

The ULV students who had their works featured were seniors at the time of the SCAS annual presentation. They have since graduated.

The students who had their works featured were Faysel Bell, Victor Delgado and Tom Hatch, all biology students.

To have an abstract selected for presentation, it must undergo review by a selection committee.

An editorial board that reviews the abstracts decides if they are up to the quality required for presentation, Merritt said.

Last May was the only time three students have been selected from ULV at the same time.

“It represents an effort the department has made to modernize the department and encourage students to enter their research into competition,” Assistant Professor of Biology Christine Broussard said.

At the academy, students presented their abstracts in poster sessions. The posters displayed highlights of the research that the students attained.

Hatch presented research titled, “The Effects of Excess Zinc on Developing Murine Thymocytes.”

“He was looking at what effects too much zinc has on t-cells, which fight off diseases,” Broussard said.

Hatch won an award for his research for best poster in his category, molecular biology. He received a $200 prize.

Delgado’s presented research titled, “E. Coli and Enterococcus in Surface Waters of East San Gabriel River Watershed: Levels of Contamination in Three Flood Control Channels in San Dimas Canyon Creek.”

“He studied the contamination of water in our water shed by looking at bacterial contamination in the local water shed,” Merritt said.

Bell presented research titled, “Puddingstone Reservoir Plankton Population Studies, October 2002-April 2003.”

“Bell studied plankton in the Puddingstone Reservoir,” Merritt said.

“What is interesting is that all other poster sessions were by graduate students. I think our students were the only undergrad students,” Merritt said.

Michelle Loggia can be reached at

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