O’Brien Submits Major Research Instrument Grant Proposal

If atoms are too small to see, how do scientists know the fundamental composition of things? How do they know if they’ve made something new? One of the most important tools for determining the arrangement of atoms in matter is a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Le Moyne has an NMR spectrometer, but it is limited to teaching purposes due to its low strength, 60 MHz. An interdisciplinary team of researchers hopes to bring a more powerful instrument to campus.

Principal Investigator (PI) Anna O’Brien (Chemistry) and her co-PIs Michael Masingale (Chemistry), Joseph Mullins (Chemistry), and Hilary McManus (Biology) have submitted a Major Research Instrument grant proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF). The proposal would fund the purchase of a 400 MHz NMR for the use of Le Moyne faculty and student researchers. Anna and her team were assisted by Lisa Lessun, Assistant Director of Foundation Relations and Academic Resources in the Institutional Advancement office and Chrissie Rizzo, Grant Writing Coordinator in the McDevitt Center.

A more powerful 400 MHz NMR provides sharper resolution than the 60 MHz NMR, and would enable faculty and students to conduct cutting-edge research projects that are not possible with the current instrument on campus. Through lab courses, hundreds of students would gain hands-on experience with an instrument they would likely encounter in graduate school and in jobs after graduation.

Holiday Open Houses This Week at the McDevitt Center

The McDevitt Center will be holding holiday open houses on Tuesday, Dec. 9, between noon and 3 p.m. and on WednesdayDec. 10, between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Please stop in to share some holiday cheer, meet Chrissie Rizzo (our new grant writing coordinator), and learn about the Center’s latest programs and initiatives for students and faculty from across the College.

Dr. Kenneth Miller to Address Evolution and Religion at Le Moyne

On Monday, November 17th at 7:00 p.m. in the Panasci Family Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus, Kenneth Miller, professor of Biology at Brown University, will present a talk entitled “Bringing Peace to the Tangled Bank: Evolution, God, and Science in America Today.” The talk is sponsored by the McDevitt Center.

Scientifically, biological evolution is the key to understanding the extraordinary diversity, beauty, and unity of life. However, for many Americans, evolution is a doctrine at odds with faith and is to be resisted at all costs. In this lecture, Dr. Miller will argue that this opposition is misguided, and even antithetical to the Christian tradition of seeing faith and reason as complementary ways of knowing. Ultimately, Miller contends, America’s religion and science debate is driven by a deep antagonism between extremists on both sides of the issue. The solution is not to split the difference, but to come to a genuine understanding and appreciation of the true depth of scientific and religious thought on the issues at hand. When this is done, both sides may come to realize, as Charles Darwin did, that there is indeed beauty, wonder, and even grandeur in the evolutionary view of life.

Kenneth Miller, Ph.D. received his doctorate from the University of Colorado. He has received 6 major teaching awards at Brown, the Presidential Citation of the American Institute for Biological Science (2005), and the Public Service Award of the American Society for Cell Biology (2006). In 2009 he was honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for Advancing the Public Understanding of Science, and also received the Gregor Mendel Medal from Villanova University. In 2011 he was presented with the Stephen Jay Gould Prize by the Society for the Study of Evolution, and in 2014 he received the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University.

Miller is the author of Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul (Viking/Penguin Press, 2008) and Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution (Harper Collins, 1998). He has also coauthored, with Joseph S. Levine, four different high school and college biology textbooks, which are used by millions of students nationwide.

To learn more about Kenneth Miller, we suggest listening to this brief podcast entitled “This I Believe: Evolution” or watching this short video on why evolution matters:

For more information about Dr. Miller’s lecture or the series of lectures on Science and Religion in Modern America, please contact the McDevitt Center at 315-445-6200 or mcdevittcenter@lemoyne.edu.

Terrence Tilley, Ph.D. To Speak on Faith, Science, and Religion

tilleyOn Thursday, October 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Panasci Family Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus, Terrence Tilley, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. Professor of Catholic Theology at Fordham University, will present a talk entitled, “Faith: Science and Religion.” The talk is sponsored by the McDevitt Center.

FaithIn this lecture Tilley will discuss how the science versus religion debates are matters of faith, not science or religion. He will build upon his book Faith: What It Is and What It Isn’t (Maryknoll, 2010) to show that conflict or convergence between science and religion is a conflict or convergence of a person’s or a community’s faith.

Terrence Tilley, Ph.D. received his doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Tilley is an accomplished lecturer and author, with over 100 publications to his name including The Disciples’ Jesus: Christology as Reconciling Practice (Maryknoll, 2008). At Fordham University, Tilley teaches classes on Roman Catholicism, religious thought, Christian social ethics, and issues in philosophy of religion and philosophical theology.

For more information about Dr. Tilley’s lecture or the series of lectures on Science and Religion in Modern America, please contact the McDevitt Center at 315-445-6200 or mcdevittcenter@lemoyne.edu.

Paul Allen, Ph.D. To Speak on Christianity and Darwinism

AllenOn Thursday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Panasci Family Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus, Paul Allen, associate professor of theological studies at Concordia University (Canada), will present a talk entitled, “How to be a Christian Darwinist.” The talk is sponsored by the McDevitt Center.

Allen’s talk will build upon non-reductionist readings of evolutionary theory to show that Darwinism does not necessitate a materialist worldview and is, in fact, conducive to a Christian understanding of creation, to moral endeavor, and to the idea that we are saved by God because it helps bring to light the person of Jesus Christ in a fresh way through giving us new insight into self-sacrifice and bodily resurrection.

Paul Allen, Ph.D., who received his doctorate in theology from from L’Universite Saint-Paul in the University of Ottawa, is the author of two books, numerous refereed articles, and two forthcoming texts: Catholic Responses to Scientific Anthropology (2015) and Creaturehood Ascendant: Sin and Science in Theological Anthropology (2016). Allen’s scholarly interests include theological anthropology (sin, redemption, and the soul); the science-theology dialogue; Bernard Lonergan; St. Augustine; faith and culture; and political theology.

For more information about Dr. Allen’s lecture or the series of lectures on Science and Religion in Modern America, please contact the McDevitt Center at 315-445-6200 or mcdevittcenter@lemoyne.edu.

Elizabeth Drescher, Ph.D. to Speak on the Prayer Practices of American Nones

DSC00110On Tuesday, September 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Panasci Family Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus, Elizabeth Drescher, professor of religious studies and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University, will present a talk entitled, “Praying Between the Lines: Prayer Practices of American Nones.” The lecture is sponsored by the McDevitt Center and is being offered in conjunction with a course developed with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Enduring Questions grants program, What Does Prayer Do?

Drescher’s talk will discuss what it means when the religiously unaffiliated, including Nones who self-identify as agnostic, atheist, or humanist, report that they “pray.”

Elizabeth Drescher, Ph.D., is a senior contributor to Religion Dispatches magazine, and a leading expert in many aspects of contemporary American religion, including new digital media and religion, changing patterns of religious identification and affiliation, and Christian responses to violence. She has written for the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Sojourners, Salon, and other leading newspapers and magazines, and her work has been highlighted by National Public Radio, Radio Australia, and the BBC. She is the author of Tweet If You © Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation and Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones, and co-author of Click to Save: The Digital Ministry Bible. Dr. Drescher teaches in the areas of religious studies and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University.  She holds a doctorate in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union and a master’s degree in systematic theology from Duquesne University.

For additional information please contact the McDevitt Center at 315-445-6200 or e-mail mcdevittcenter@lemoyne.edu. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Rev. George V. Coyne Addresses Colgate Graduates and Receives Honorary Degree

Renowned astronomer and McDevitt Chair in Religious Philosophy, Rev. George V. Coyne, was recently the baccalaureate speaker at Colgate University’s 193rd commencement ceremony where he was also awarded his 10th honorary degree. Coyne’s address spoke of the freedom to which a liberal arts education can lead and challenged Colgate’s graduates to have the compassion, graciousness, and dignity to liberalize themselves.

Those also receiving honorary degrees from Colgate University this year were Gloria Borger, chief political analyst at CNN; George Avakian, music historian and innovator in the jazz recording industry; Mark Golden, CEO of Golden Artist Colors in New Berlin, N.Y.; and Lorie Slutsky, president of the New York Community Trust

Rev. Coyne’s baccalaureate speech

Photo by Andy Daddio

McDevitt Scholars Houck and Klee Conduct Research at Cornell University

20140530_120532-1 copyMcDevitt Scholars in Ecology, Steven Houck ’14 and Christopher Klee ’15, spent the past weekend in Ithaca, New York. There, they visited the archives within the Kroch Library at Cornell University where, under very tight security, they double-checked their digital data on bird migration in the Cayuga Lake Basin with the original records, some dating back to 1903.

0-1Following their archival research, they headed to the Finger Lakes National Forest for an afternoon in the field learning to identify birds with Dr. Charles R. Smith, Senior Research Associate (retired) at Cornell University. Under Dr. Smith’s direction, Houck and Klee received training in the accurate identification of bird species by visual and acoustical cues and learned details of their natural history.  This training complements their investigations of the effects of climate change on bird migration in upstate New York and central Massachusetts, directed by McDevitt Research Associate Dr. Donald A. McCrimmon. Dr. Smith will continue to mentor Houck and Klee this summer and provide additional field-based observational opportunities.

McDevitt Center Appoints Endowed Chair and Visiting Professor of Computer Science

Following a national search, the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation has named Dr. Marcus K. Rogers as an endowed chair and Dr. Carl Landwehr as a visiting McDevitt Professor of Computer Science.  Dr. Roger’s appointment will begin in Fall 2014 and Dr. Landwehr’s in Spring 2015.

“We are extremely pleased to have two individuals with such exemplary experience and expertise join the McDevitt Center,” said Le Moyne Provost Dr. Linda LeMura. “It’s a powerful statement about the growing reputation of the McDevitt Center that Le Moyne was able to attract individuals of such high caliber, who are both internationally recognized as leaders in the field of cybersecurity.”

RogersIn his role as endowed chair, Dr. Rogers will plan and implement six master lectures and three panel discussions during the 2014-15 academic year. He is the director of the Cyber Forensics & Security Program in the College of Technology at Purdue University and professor and fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Among his past achievements are international chair of the Law, Compliance and Investigation Domain of the Common Body of Knowledge committee, chair of the Planning Committee for the Digital and Multimedia Sciences section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, chair of the Certification and Test Committee of the Digital Forensics Certification Board, and former advisory board member of the Digital Forensics Certification Board. A former police officer, he also served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Digital Forensic Practice. He has authored several books, book chapters and journal publications in the field of digital forensics and applied psychological analysis and his research interests include applied cyber forensics, psychological digital crime scene analysis, and cyber terrorism. Dr. Rogers received his Ph.D. in psychology-forensics, his M.A. in psychology-personality, and his B.A in psychology/criminology, all from the University of Manitoba MB.

131206 CLAmong other academic responsibilities, Dr. Landwehr will teach “Cybersecurity for Future Presidents” in spring 2015.This course is designed as an inter-disciplinary course for undergraduate non-majors.  The course will examine how future presidents (of the U.S., but also of multi-national and domestic corporations) will need to understand the science and technology behind cybersecurity well enough to make informed decisions when provided advice and options for action.

Dr. Landwehr received his B.S. from Yale University in engineering and applied science and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in computer and communication sciences. His graduate work included development work on the MERIT computer network, which eventually became the Internet. After teaching computer science at Purdue University, he joined the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), where his interest in understanding how we can have confidence in what a computer program does led him to a 23-year career in what is now called cybersecurity research and development.  After leaving NRL in 1999, he spent 12 years developing, funding, managing, and guiding national cybersecurity research programs for the National Science Foundation, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In addition to his contributions to the research literature, Dr, Landwehr served four years as editor-in-chief of IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine.  He is an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to cybersecurity and was in the first class of 11 individuals inducted into the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame in 2012.

Fourteen Students Receive Competitive McDevitt Summer Internship Grants

The McDevitt Summer Internship Grants Program was developed by the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation in order to enhance Le Moyne’s support for student internships.  The program awards grants of $3,000 each to as many as 20 students per year who are majoring in Computer Science, Management/Information Systems, Philosophy/Religious Studies, and Physics and who secure high-quality unpaid internships, paid internships that involve unusually high costs, or research opportunities in labs.

For the summer of 2014, fourteen students have been awarded these competitive Summer Internship Grants.  The McDevitt Center congratulates:

Ryan Bonk ’16, Physics (Pre-Engineering) and Mathematics
Dara DeGennaro ’15, Management/Information Systems and Business Analytics
Taylor Glausen ’15, Religious Studies, Biology (Neurobiology concentration), and Visual Arts
Thomas Hilgenberg ’15, Management/Information Systems
Acheampong Johnson ’15, Management/Information Systems and Computer Science
Alexsis Long-Ekomin ’15, Religious Studies
Samantha Maggio ’15, Philosophy, Chemistry (Pre-Engineering), and Mathematics
Alexander Marji ’17, Philosophy
Robert McCall ’15, Philosophy, Psychology, and History
Akash Mitra ’15, Management/Information Systems
Maria Ramirez ’15, Religious Studies, Biology, and Environmental Studies
Joseph Shupperd ’16, Physics (Pre-Engineering) and Mathematics
Spencer Stuckey ’16, Physics and Chemistry
Zachary Tucker ’16, Management/Information Systems and Finance

Supporting initiatives in Computer Science, Management/Information Systems, Philosophy, Physics, and Religious Studies at Le Moyne College.


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