Michael Tounzen, senior biology major, and Darren Epperson, senior physical geography and human geography major, won second place in the undergraduate oral presentation category at the Kansas Academy of Science meeting on March 31 in Wichita, Kan. Their presentation, "Home Range and Habitat Selection of Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in a Mixed Hardwood Forest," was based on two years of research. Jim Taulman, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, served as faculty adviser for the project. Also at the meeting, Taulman made the presentation, "The Lottery: A Fair Game or Fool's Gold."


Miki KatuwaiMiki Katuwal, a senior biology and physical geography major and member of the Degree with Honors Program, was awarded the Dennis Boe Award by the Great Plains Honors Council Executive Board at its conference in Overland Park, Kan., March 30-31. As part of the conference, Katuwal presented her paper, "Enumeration of Escherichia Coli in Lake Waukomis, Platte County, Mo.," which was mentored by Carol Sanders, Ph.D., associate professor of biology. Katuwal was awarded a plaque and $200, and the Degree with Honors Program was awarded $500 for conference travel expenses next year. The conference was co-sponsored by Park with the help of Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of Park's Department of English and Modern Languages and director of the Degree with Honors Program, and Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of modern languages and assistant director of the Degree with Honors Program. Katuwal is the second Park student in the past three years to win the Boe Award.


Park University is now part of a partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City's School of Medicine to offer students the Medical Scholars Program. The program offers early and guaranteed admission to undergraduates interested in applying to medical school from participating universities. Students at selected institutions, including Park, can apply to the program at the end of their sophomore or junior year. Applications become available each year on May 1 and must be submitted by Sept. 1. An applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, with no grades below "B" in the sciences. This program offers special advantages over the traditional admission/medical school experience. Clinical experiences begin immediately, and enhanced research, clinical and study abroad experiences are available, as well as an option for early graduation from medical school. For more information, contact Donna Howell, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, at or (816) 584-6416.


Dr. Brian HoffmanA paper authored by Brian Hoffman, Ph.D., professor of biology and mathematics, has been published in PLoS: Currents: Influenza, a journal of the Public Library of Science. The article, "Influenza Activity in Saint Joseph, Missouri, 1910-1923: Evidence for an Early Wave of the 1918 Pandemic," reviewed data on pneumonia and influenza fatalities from 1910-23 extracted from death certificates for St. Joseph, Mo. The results provide one of the first confirmations of the existence of a "herald wave" of influenza activity in the United States prior to the recognized start of the H1N1 pandemic in spring 1918. This study is one of a few that measures the impact of 1918/1919 influenza in a particular location in the central U.S.