Featured Students

khomtchouk2-2012Bohdan Khomtchouk

Molecular Biology/Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics

Bohdan is one of just 25 students worldwide – and one of only four in the United States – to be awarded a fellowship at the prestigious Swiss government research facility. He will not be satisfied with just following the lead of others. Read More

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Bohdan Khomtchouk, a graduating senior and Scholar at Benedictine University, will be completing his education with a triple-major in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry, Mathematics, and Physics in May 2013.

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In the summer of 2012, he was one of 25 students selected around the world to conduct research at the internationally renowned École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. His summer research thesis is entitled: Mathematical analysis of surface-based biosensing for micro and nanoscale bioanalytical systems.

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As a member of the Scholars Program, Bohdan is completing a 4-year interdisciplinary Scholars research thesis entitled: Wave Genomics: The Mathematical Physics of the Human Genome under the guidance of Dr. Preston Aldrich of the Biological Sciences Department and Dr. Timothy Marin of the Chemistry and Physics Department. In the summer of 2011, Bohdan conducted research under the guidance of Dr. Preston Aldrich on the genomic analysis of noncoding DNA and Zipf’s Law, which resulted in publication. Bohdan’s publications include:

  • Khomtchouk, B., Aldrich, P.R.: A Laplacian Derivation of Zipf’s Law. Mathematical Sciences International Research Journal (2012) (in preparation)
  • Khomtchouk, B.: Curing the Bombay Syndrome: N-Dimensional Analysis of ABO Blood Biochemistry. The Macrotheme Report (2012) (accepted)

In addition to his studies, Bohdan has done presentations at the Argonne National Laboratory 21st Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics; the 91st and 92nd Annual Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America (ISMAA); the Honors Council of the Illinois Region; and the Association Colleges of the Chicago Area Student Research Symposium (ACCA).

Bohdan is a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics Honor Society), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society), and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). On campus, he has been involved with the American Chemical Society/Society of Physics Students (ACS/SPS) club, the American Medical Students Association (AMSA), the Benedictine University Men’s Golf Team, and mathematics tutoring at the Student Success Center.

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Bohdan balances his studies with his hobbies in chess and synchronized translation in four languages.

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horsley2012Robert Horsley

B.S. in Molecular Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Bob has been an active member of the Benedictine Community since his freshman year working as a laboratory technician in the chemistry and biology departments, physics and mathematics tutor, and pharmacy technician. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the University's highest honor, the Procopian Award.

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Robert Horsley, referred to by many as “Freshman Bob,” is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major from Bolingbrook, IL. Bob has been an active member of the Benedictine Community since his freshman year working as a laboratory technician in the chemistry and biology departments, physics and mathematics tutor, and pharmacy technician.

horsley-procopian2012Bob is the 2012 recipient of the Procopian Award, the highest honor that Benedictine University can bestow upon a graduating senior. The Procopian Award is given for consistently outstanding curricular and extracurricular activities while at Benedictine University. The award signifies that scholarship (a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average) and service are exemplified by the student. The selection is made by the University Honors Committee from a pool nominated by faculty.

Early on in his colligate studies; Bob participated in the Summer Research Program under the supervision of Dr. Preston Aldrich. He worked with Dr. Aldrich and several students on the application of network methods to problems in systems biology. He was quick to learn Perl and the various other software packages put before him by Dr. Aldrich for network analysis. This early project started the process to be published in the journal Plant Biosystems. The primary research project for the summer involved analysis of gene promoter networks in bacterial regulons. Bob spent many hours studying the topology of these systems and contributed substantially to the research efforts that culminated in two separate publications, one in the journal Gene Regulation and Systems Biology, and another in the journal Symmetry.

List of publications:

  • Aldrich PR, Horsley R, Turcic S (2012, in press) Hybridization network for the system of woody plant gene pools in the United States. Plant Biosystems.
  • Aldrich PR, Horsley RK, Turcic SM (2011) Symmetry in the language of gene expression: A survey of gene promoter networks in multiple bacterial species and non-σ regulons. Symmetry 3: 750-766.
  • Aldrich PR, Horsley RK, Ahmed YA, Williamson JJ, Turcic SM (2010) Fractal topology of gene promoter networks at phase transitions. Gene Regulation and Systems Biology 2010(4): 75–82.

In addition to his science responsibilities, Bob was also part of the Scholars Program. The Scholars Program offers academically talented students from across the University special opportunities to develop their skills as thinkers, readers and writers through a coordinated program of seminar-style coursework that emphasizes discussion and debate about vital intellectual questions. He successfully presented his paper on "Autism Spectrum Disorder and Music Therapy.”

horsley-legion2012Extracurricularly, Bob was the President of the American Chemical Society/Society of Physics Students and BU Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club, and the Treasurer of Club 350, an environmental club on campus. He is also a member in good standing of the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society for students majoring in a Biological Science with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Bob is also an Eagle Scout.

This highly awarded individual is also the recipient of the American Legion Award. This honor recognizes qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service in students. The awardees are considered outstanding examples of good citizens. Other awards include the Flo Grebner Instructional Assistant/Tutor Recognition Award, which recognizes students who rendered outstanding service as an instructional assistant or tutor; the Rev. Cyprian G. Tomecko Chemistry Achievement Award in Chemistry; the ACS POLYED Undergraduate Award for Achievement in Organic Chemistry, and the St. Catherine Award, which recognizes sophomores who demonstrate leadership qualities.

Bob will be continuing his education at UIC College of Medicine.

sps_ffp_logoSociety of Physics Students Club

Faculty Mentors: Andrew Wig and Keri Stone

Activities to encourage an interest in physics have gained the BU chapter of the Society of Physics Students recognition. The society’s national website praised the Benedictine students for innovative activities to encourage interest in science.

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Activities to encourage an interest in physics have gained the BU chapter of the Society of Physics Students recognition. The society’s national website praised the Benedictine students for innovative activities to encourage interest in science. One of the activities was a Murder Mystery which used physics and chemistry related clues to solve the case.

Physics students have joint meetings with the American Chemical Society group, which also won a Certificate of Achievement from the national society for their work. At the joint annual banquet held each spring, society alumni and parents are treated to presentations on current student research and other endeavors.

“We really enjoy doing all the physics and chemistry events together and so it is a real honor to be recognized by the national groups,” said chapter President Bob Horsley.

Certificates of Achievement for the clubs are displayed on the third floor of Birck.

Selection Criteria:

SPS Outstanding Chapters, selected by Zone Councilors and Associate Zone Councilors, are determined by carefully reviewing the information, photos and supporting material presented in the annual Chapter Reports. Criteria include:

  • The chapter's involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings and other professional meetings
  • Participation in SPS programs
  • Outreach efforts to the grades K-12 or the general public
  • Participation in community service
  • Contributions to student recruitment and retention
  • Participation in social events, and
  • Interactions with the department's alumni
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Jennifer-Green2Jennifer Green

M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology

Activities to encourage an interest in physics have gained the BU chapter of the Society of Physics Students recognition. The society’s national website praised the Benedictine students for innovative activities to encourage interest in science.

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