Purpose of the scholarship: Ashland University has been awarded a grant from the State of Ohio to provide Choose Ohio First (COF) Scholarships to outstanding students with interests in the natural and physical sciences. These scholarships support academically strong students who plan to pursue careers in graduate school, health related professional programs or through direct employment in STEM industries after completion of the Bachelors Degree. The goal of this State-funded program is to encourage Ohio residents to enter STEM disciplines and join the Ohio workforce. There are currently 30 students in this program at Ashland University.
Amount of award: $3,000 per academic year for four years in addition to any other University awards. Total award of up to $12,000.
We are currently recruiting students for our entering Fall 2018 class
Requirements of COF Scholars:
- Minimum requirements to receive award:
ACT 25 or greater
High school GPA 3.5 or greater
- Must maintain a major in Biochemistry, Biology (including Forensic Biology), Chemistry, Environmental Science, Forensic Chemistry, Geology, Physics or Toxicology
- Minimum GPA to maintain scholarship:
3.0 by the end of the 1st year
- Ashland University hosts a number of STEM related guest speakers each year. COF Scholars must attend at least three of these guest lectures or events per semester.
- COF scholars participate in a peer-mentoring program that partners incoming students with junior and senior scholars. This support is in addition to your regular academic advising from faculty.
- While independent research projects and/or professional internships are not required of COF scholars, opportunities to do these will be available and will be encouraged. Ashland University science faculty members actively involve undergraduate students in their research programs. Local research laboratories such as Charles River Laboratories and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center are active partners with our program and host COF scholars as interns..
- The program provides additional career training and advice. Attendance at STEM related career fairs/social events is encouraged.
Contact the COF Program Director
Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the "Science Scholars Program” allows students pursing undergraduate degrees in a natural science discipline to receive scholarship and academic support designed to engage, retain, and graduate academically talented students. The program provides renewable scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 annually.
We encourage you to work closely with your faculty advisor in the Department and the Professional Advisors on the 7th floor of the library when planning your academic career at Ashland University and beyond. Below are a number of websites that we use when advising students.
- Ashland Science News Blog - find research internship opportunites and department news
- Office of Records and Registration list of approved core courses
- Office of Records and Registration forms
- Center for Academic Support - advising and tutoring
- The Career Center for Life Calling - also see the wiki page below on job searching in the sciences
- Professional health programs - advice and information on preparing for and applying to health professional programs
- Advice for entrance to graduate school
- Student research grant and scholarship opportunities
- Study abroad opportunities for science students
- Job searching in the sciences
We strongly encourage our majors too pursue research and internship opportunities to gain real-world experience in science and science-related careers. The following tips will help you to identify and successfully apply to these opportunities:
- Talk with your biology faculty advisor early about your interest in research and internships so that they can help you. You will be assigned an advisor as soon as you get to campus your freshman year and can always request a different advisor by filling out a single form in the Office of Records and Registration.
- Attend our regularly scheduled research talks by Ashland students and faculty to find out what kind of research opportunities there are in the department. You can also hear students give presentations on research and internships they performed at other universities, companies or at parks and zoos.
- Set up a time to talk with a faculty member in the department about their research and ask if they are interested in working with you in their laboratory. Your faculty advisor can help you identify other faculty that may be taking on new research students.
- Read the Ashland Science News blog to find out about summer internship and research opportunities.
- Make an appointment to talk to someone in the Career Development Center to discuss possible internship opportunities.
A primary mission of the department of biology/toxicology is to prepare you for a great diversity of careers in science, while also giving you the transferrable skills that will make you successful in any career. The following resources are available to you:
- Advice from your faculty advisor, who you will meet during the spring semester of your freshman year.
- Professional preparation class taught by one of our faculty members that will help you to identify potential careers and discover how to start them, whether it is admission to professional or graduate school or applications to jobs straight out of college.
- The professional help of councilors in the University's Career Center for Life Calling.
- Our wiki page with science job searching resources.
- A LinkedIn networking group for Ashland University science students, alumni, faculty and friends. This group was started in June of 2010 and will provide a valuable platform for networking with graduates who have already gone on to develop careers in the sciences.
This honor society for biology majors is a great way to connect with other students in service and social activities and to help improve the understanding of biology.
In 2013, Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer was contacted by Perry Gottesfeld of Occupational Knowledge International with a question about the safety of cookware. Mr. Gottesfeld was working with colleagues at an NGO (see: http://www.crepdcm.com/) in Cameroon to reduce toxic exposures from lead paint, when questions were raised about the possible hazards of the aluminum cookware that most people there use. In Cameroon, and throughout the developing world, the recycling of scrap aluminum into cookware is a widespread practice. After a preliminary investigation we learned that source materials can include items such as old engine blocks, radiators, and computer parts.
Pots awaiting sale in a Cameroon marketDr. Weidenhamer and several AU students – Peter Kobunski, Alison Biro, and Meghann Fitzpatrick – along with AU colleagues Dr. Rebecca Corbin and Dr. Michael Hudson, set out to investigate the hazards of this cookware by looking at the metals that leached from the pots in dilute vinegar solutions that mimicked mildly acidic solutions that are often used for cooking. Working with Mr. Gottesfeld, and beginning with cookware from Cameroon and then ten other developing nations, they found a number of cookware items that released toxic levels of lead during simulated cooking. The worst was a pot from Viet Nam that yielded more than 1400 micrograms of lead per serving. Other metals detected in the leachates of some pots included arsenic and cadmium, and almost all of the items released levels of aluminum that exceed World Health Organization guidelines.
The studies, which have been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, have encouraged researchers in Cameroon, South Africaand other countriesto conduct follow-up studies to assess the...Read more
Dr. Daiva (Gerbec) Mitchell (’13) completed her MD at the University of Toledo School of Medicine (MD) in Spring 2019, and is currently a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Daiva writes,
“Ashland University was the perfect school to prepare me for medical school and my career as a physician. With the small class sizes, I was able to get to know my professors and easily find mentors and research opportunities. Also, with Ashland's wide variety of clubs and groups, I was able to develop my professional and leadership skills while in college. Finally, with Ashland's focus on Christian values, I grew in my compassion for others which has impacted the way I care for my patients now.”
Dr. Aaron Tipton (’13) also completed his MD at the University of Toledo School of Medicine (MD) in Spring 2019, and is a General Surgery resident at the Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Aaron writes,
“The experience at Ashland University prepared me for medical school in many ways from knowledge, critical thinking and a love for learning. Every class was taught by a professor who was passionate about the subject. They inspired me to become a lifelong learner, which is one of the most important traits of becoming a physician.”
Dr. Kayla Prokopakis (’15) completed her DO at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spring 2019, and is an Emergency Medicine resident at Mercy Health -St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital in Boardman, Ohio.Kayla writes,
“Ashland University prepared me for medical school and my professional career in more...Read more
Cillian writes that the feedback she received will be useful for other presentations of her research in the coming year, and that she was able to see projects that that Honors Students around the country are working on. While in New Orleans, Cillian had the opportunity to check out a couple of museums related to her scientific interests – the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Death, which has memorabilia related to famous crimes among other forensic-related topics.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (photos below) was located in a pharmacy that was founded in the 1800s. The building housed old pharmaceutical equipment and various questionable medications. Tinctures ranged from mixtures of cocaine and red wine, to heroin and sodas. In addition, there was no shortage of heavy metals, including lead coated pills for the rich, and lead baby bottles to sooth young ones. Overall, Cillian found the museum was very educational and interesting, particularly for Toxicology majors.