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December 13, 2006

WINS Supports Science Learning Opportunities

For Dana Reznik ’07, Ohio Wesleyan has helped to bring her future into sharp focus.

As she applies to graduate schools in programs ranging from applied genetics to pharmacology, Reznik knows her experience with OWU’s scanning electron microscope magnifies the probability that she will achieve her career goal of studying the roles of antimicrobial agents in health-care products.

“Having access to an electron microscope is a big deal,” says the Strongsville, Ohio, resident. “Most students don’t have access to this tool as an undergraduate. Usually, students start to use these microscopes as graduate students.”

While at Ohio Wesleyan, Reznik has used the microscope to examine everything from pudding to parasites. She parlayed her experience into an internship this summer at the University of Rhode Island, where Reznik worked to refine protocols for growing and studying ocean microbes in a laboratory setting. The university was seeking to refine the protocols as part of its efforts to study the activity and growth of the microbes on the cold, dark ocean floor.

Reznik says Ohio Wesleyan also has provided her with the opportunity to take educational field trips and to hear important lecturers. And she is helping to support the continuation of these activities through her involvement with the Women in Science (WINS) organization.

Reznik has been president of the student group for two years. In February, WINS is supporting two lectures by Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Colwell will speak at 4 p.m. on February 8 in Room 163 of the Schimmel/Conrades Science Center as part of the OWU Science Lecture Series. She also will speak to WINS members and other interested students at noon February 9 in Room 161 of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center.

During Colwell’s tenure with the NSF, she oversaw initiatives including the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. Colwell also established major initiatives involving nanotechnology, biocomplexity, information technology, and the 21st-century workforce.

To help support such educational programs and opportunities for students, WINS has produced a 2007 calendar using images created with “Big George,” the nickname for OWU’s scanning electron microscope. The microscope is named in memory of George W. Burns, a former OWU botany professor, vice president and dean, and acting university president. Cost of the calendars is $5 each or three for $12. For more information or to purchase calendars, please contact Reznik at dmreznik@owu.edu.

Cole Hatcher