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Student Awards at the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges 

The 2020 Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Midwest regional programming competition just ended, and the College of Science’s Brendan Purcell (2021), Sarah Nign (2021), and Anthony Kuczwara (2021) earned second place in the Regular division. In addition, COS students Uwemedimo Ekong (2022), Zachary McCauley (2022), and Alia Alramahi (2024) took first place in the novice division.  The CCSC Midwest region consists primarily of Eastern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, and Northern Kentucky.  This is a highly competitive annual programming competition which draws students from these surrounding states, making this a very exciting accomplishment for our students.

American Physiologist Society Student Awards

Faith Donner and Ismail Sayeedi received the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Outstanding Abstract Award from the American Physiological Society. The awards are presented annually to undergraduate students who are presenting their research at the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology (EB).

Ismail Sayeedi was a finalist for the Robert Gunn award for outstanding research in the Cell and Molecular Physiology section of the American Physiological Society. Mr. Sayeedi’s work was considered alongside that of outstanding medical and graduate students.

CS StudentsPhysioNet / CinC Challenge

Andrew Demonbreun (class of ’20) and Prof. Grace Mirsky earned 20th place out of over 200 teams in the annual PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge, an international competition involving a new challenge at the intersection of cardiology and computing each year.  The 2020 competition focused on the automated classification of 12-lead electrocardiograms on a large, geographically diverse dataset, with the entry from Demonbreun and Mirsky utilizing wavelet analysis and deep learning for classification.



Faculty News

The College of Science is proud to welcome new faculty and staff to our family. Dr. Lindsey M. F. Mao, Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in Biological Sciences, received her PhD from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation title was tbx5a functions in anterior lateral plate mesoderm specification and migration in zebrafish embryos. Dr. Madhavan Narayanan, Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Dept. Physical Sciences received his Ph.D. from Temple University. His dissertation title was Understanding photoinduced electron transfer in fluorescent nucleobase analogs and DNA photolyase. Dr. Regina Schurman is Assistant Professor (Professional faculty) in Biological Sciences and has assumed the role of Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program. Joining Dr. Schurman is Ms. Jennifer Salutric who serves as Pre-health advisor.

Drs. Leeann Smith, Tiara Perez Morales, Jim Fackenthal, Mark Poch, and William Carvell were awarded a SEA PHAGES grant. The grant supports a 2-lab sequence asscociated with identifying bacteriophages through bench work and identifying the a phage genome through the genomics and bioinformatics portion. Faculty and students particpating in the project will attend the annual Phage conference to present the findings.

Dr. Leigh Anne Harden received an $80,000 grant from Leigh Anne Harden, Ph.D.Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife entitled, “Survey for copperbelly water snakes (Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta) in northern Indiana” (with PI J. Milanovich and B. Struecker).


College Kudos

In the tradition of special Masses for members of particular professions, the second annual Gold Mass for Scientists was celebrated at Benedictine University. The Mass was celebrated by our Mesa Campus Chaplain, Father Alex Juguilon, OSC. Father Alex also provided his reflections on Faith and Medicine. The first "Gold Mass" for Catholic scientists was held on November 15, 2016, in the chapel of the MIT. Last year Benedictine University hosted the first Gold Mass to be celebrated in the state of Illinois.

Ultraviolet Charge-Transfer-to-Solvent Spectroscopy of Halide and Hydroxide Ions in Subcritical and Supercritical Water. Timothy W. Marin, Ireneusz Janik, and David M. Bartels. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2019, 21, 24419-24428.

Revised estimates of Taung’s brain size growth. McCarthy RC, Zimel E. South African Journal of Science 116 (7/8): 5963. DOI:

Stanley, C.E., Adams, R., Nadolski, J., Amrit, E., Barrett, M.,  Bohnett, C., Campbell, K., Deweese, K., Dhar, S., Gillis, B., Hill,  C., Inks, M., Kozak, K., Larson, A., Murtaza, I., Nichols, D.,  Roberts, R., Tyger, H., Waterbury, C. and Cooper, R.L. (202). The effects of tricaine mesylate on arthropods: Crayfish, crab and Drosophila. Invertebrate Neuroscience. 20, Article number 10 (2020)

Potter, S., Sifers, J., Yocom, E., Blümich, S.L.E., Potter, R., Nadolski, J., Harrison, D.A. and Cooper, R.L. (2019) Acute and chronic effects of inhibiting dTOR by rapamycin on development, behavior, and physiology in Drosophila. Biology Open 2019 8: bio046508 doi: 10.1242/bio.046508

Jose Herrera, Renée E Haskew-Layton, Madhavan Narayanan, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Ari Jumpponen, Y Anny Chung, Jennifer A Rudgers (2020) Improving Instructional Fitness Requires Change. BioScience, Volume 70, Issue 11, November 2020, Pages 1027–1035, 

Mrinalini C. Rao and Jayashree Sarathy, Chapter 101 Intestinal Electrolyte Absorption and Secretion, pp 1611, June 2020, Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease- 2 Volume Set, 11th Edition, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management, Authors : Mark Feldman & Lawrence S. Friedman & Lawrence J. Brandt;Elsevier. ISBN: 9780323609623

C. Buell, A. Helminck, V. Klima, J. Schaefer, C. Wright and E.Ziliak, Orbit decompositions of Generalized Symmetric Spaces for SL2(Fq). Communications in Algebra (January 20, 2020


Alumni Acts, Accolades and Achievements

On Tuesday, Nov 5, the College of Science hosted a special Careers in Science panel featuring Women in Science. Joining the panel was Jessica Tyrus Mackay, Patent attorney and Partner at Green, Griffith & Borg-Breen LLP (Chemistry; 2006), Vivian Sullivan, Program Manager at Argonne National Laboratory, Rebecca Robbins, Senior Principal Scientist Color Chemistry, Mars, and Eryn Pondo, Forensic Scientist with the DuPage County Forensic Science Center (Chemistry; 2015). Approximately 65 students attended to learn more about the variety of careers associated with the STEM disciplines.

The next Careers in Science panel is slated for Thursday, Nov. 21st from 12:20-1:20 PM in Birck-112.

Laurence Lissak attended Quigley Seminary North and received degrees in Physics from St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University) and Washington University, St. Louis. In the 70's he taught at Benet Academy and then went on to develop medical software for Datacron and 3M before retiring in 2007. He was ordained a deacon for the Joliet Diocese in 1997. Besides being active in his parish and P.A.D.S. he is a docent and volunteer at the Oriental Institue of the University of Chicago. He has been on the 1998, 2000, and 2001 Bolivian missions and brought leadership to the Navajo Mission since its origin in 2002.

Scholarship Corner

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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119