Celebration of Science

The Celebration of Science poster show
School of Sciences graphic

October 20-21, 2022

TWU's Celebration of Science returns October 20-21, 2022, in the Scientific Research Commons (SRC) and the Ann Stuart Science Complex (ASSC)

This year's Celebration begins with the alumni reception on Thursday evening, Oct. 20, on the first floor of the SRC. Click here to register for the reception.

On Friday, Oct. 21, the Celebration moves to the ASSC.


Thursday, Oct, 20

5 p.m. - Alumni Reunion and Poster Viewing (SRC lobby)

Friday, Oct. 21

8:30 a.m. - Continental Breakfast and Poster Viewing (ASSC atrium)

9:30 a.m. - Welcoming Remarks (ASSC room 259)

9:30 a.m. - Courtney Johnson, PhD (ASSC room 259)

10:30 a.m. - Raven Gallenstein, MS Candidate (ASSC room 259)

10:45 a.m. - Anne Davenport, PhD Candidate (ASSC room 259)

11 a.m. - Break (ASSC atrium)

11:15 a.m. - Career Panel and Discussion Forum (ASSC room 259)

1:15 p.m. - Welcome to Afternoon Session (ASSC room 259)

1:15 p.m. - DiAnna Hynds, PhD (ASSC room 259)

2 p.m. - Manal Omary, PhD (ASSC room 259)

2:45 p.m. - Break (ASSC atrium)

3 p.m. - Plenary Talk: Sherine Obare, PhD (ASSC room 259)

4 p.m. - Concluding Remarks

Plenary speaker: Sherine O. Obare, PhD

Sherine O. Obare, PhD

Dean, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and Professor of Nanoscience at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Obare received a BS in chemistry from West Virginia State University, obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of South Carolina and was a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University before beginning her academic career. Obare was an assistant, associate and full professor of chemistry at Western Michigan University from 2004-2014. In 2015 she became the associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at WMU. In 2016-2018, she served as WMU’s associate vice president for research, prior to joining the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in 2019.

Obare is an environmental chemist whose research focuses on the detection and remediation of environmental contaminants as well as understanding the fate, transport and toxicity of anthropogenic nanomaterials. She has published over 100 articles. She is the co-editor of two new books titled Green Technologies for the Environment and Power and promise of Early Research. Her research work has garnered over $18M in grant funding. 

Speaker: Courtney Johnson, PhD

Courtney Johnson, PhD

Postdoctoral associate

Johnson earned her PhD in chemistry from Duke University, developing new 3D live-cell microscopy methods in the lab of Kevin Welsher. As a founding member of the Welsher lab, Johnson spearheaded the design of 3D-FASTR, a new method for 3D point-scan imaging, and led the development of the multi-modal 3D-trIm microscope for visualizing virus-cell interactions, from an empty optical table to fully automated operation.

Before coming to Duke, Johnson earned her BS in chemistry from Texas Woman’s University. She is a postdoctoral associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, studying adaptive optics in the lab of Hari Shroff.

Speaker: DiAnna Hynds, PhD

DiAnna Hynds, PhD

Biology professor, Texas Woman's University

Hynds' research is focused on elucidating the signal transduction mechanisms that mediate axon growth and guidance in neurons. This work is important for understanding both normal neuron development as well as for developing therapeutic strategies to improve function after traumatic or neurodegenerative disease. Axon growth and guidance are mediated by rearrangements of the cytoskeleton in a specialized structure located at the tip of an extending axon called the growth cone. She is investigating the role that small guanine nucleotide triphosphatases (GTPases) of the Rho subfamily play in axon growth and guidance by dissecting their mechanisms of activation, effect on growth cone extension and navigation, and regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics in growth cones.

Hynds received her BS in biology and mathematics from Hillsdale College and her PhD in pathobiology from Ohio State, and did postdoctoral work in neurobiology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Speaker: Manal Rawashdeh-Omary, PhD

Chemistry/biochemistry professor, Texas Woman's University

Rawashdeh-Omary is an inorganic/materials chemist specializing in designing coinage metal complexes and functional coordination polymers and studying their bonding and spectroscopic properties towards their potential utilization in a variety of energy and environmental applications. Rawashdeh-Omary earned her PhD from the University of Maine followed by post-doctoral training at Texas A&M before starting her independent career at TWU, building on her research training in fundamental spectroscopy and inorganic chemistry to navigate her own niches and build new components in “green” and materials chemistries.

She has received several awards including the Young Faculty Award, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (only awardee to receive the award in the history of TWU; all other awardees came from top tier one research PhD-granting universities in the US), the Mary Mason Lyon Award (recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship) and early promotion to associate professor followed by full professorship.

Her research accomplishments have included the first patent filing in the history of TWU and a recent article on “Green Chemistry” recognized on the top-ten list of most read articles in the month in “Inorganic Chemistry,” and being featured on journal covers and journal websites (a “testament to undergraduates and women in science” for an article published in “ChemComm,” the top communication of the Royal Society of Chemistry).

Rawashdeh-Omary has been an investigator on many grants and contracts from DARPA, the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund and National Science Foundation, as single-PI research proposals or collaborative/team departmental proposals for research and/or instrumentation/infrastructure. Her work has resulted in more than 200 products (peer-reviewed publications, patent disclosures, conference proceedings, invited seminars and graduate degrees supervised. She has supervised 25 graduate and more than 50 undergraduate student scholars.

Speaker: Raven Gallenstein

Student, Texas Woman's University

Gallenstein graduated from Fossil Ridge High School, and recently graduated with a bachelors in environmental chemistry from Texas Woman's University. She is pursuing her masters in chemistry at TWU.

Her research includes recycling polycarbonate with microwave synthesis using green chemistry principles. She also works with the chemistry divisions on increasing NAAN-NHPI students in science fields with the IKE^2 alliance.

Speaker: Anne Davenport

Student, Texas Woman's University

Davenport grew up in Rockwall, Texas, east of Dallas. Her father was an engineer who encouraged her to pursue her interest in geology, astronomy, meteorology and chemistry. When she graduated from high school, she decided to pursue a degree in teaching with an emphasis in science and went on to teach high school after graduating from East Texas State University.

She taught a variety of science courses before deciding she wanted to go to graduate school. Her original plan was to get a masters degree in biology so she could teach at the college level but that goal changed when she began doing research on a neurodegenerative disease called Mast Syndrome during her graduate studies. After finishing her master’s degree, she began pursuing a PhD at TWU in molecular biology in a collaboration with Dr. Dianna Hynds and Dr. Venu Cheriyath. She conducts her research in Cheriyath’s lab at Texas A&M-Commerce, studying mechanisms of migration and metastasis in breast cancer cells. Cheriyath’s lab is a cancer biology lab which studies mechanisms of acute myeloid leukemia and breast cancer. Anne studies an interferon stimulated gene called G1P3/IFI6 which is upregulated in some breast cancer and is a poor prognosticator of survival.

She has presented her research at local and state symposiums and won awards including TWU Chancellor’s Research Scholar, first place at the Federation Symposium and first place at the TAMUC graduate research symposium. She is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology and presents a poster of her research every year at their national convention. She has co-authored two peer-reviewed papers and was selected as a recipient of the Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship in 2022.

For more information

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Page last updated 10:27 AM, October 21, 2022