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Marshall University - Biological Sciences Newsletter
November 2014

A Course to Consider: Introduction to Arachnology

    This spring, Dr. Victor Fet will offer a new 3-credit course, Introduction to Arachnology. The course will cover the basic concepts of the structure, function, systematics, phylogeny, behavior, and ecology of organisms in the Class Arachnida. These common, terrestrial arthropods are notorious due to potent venoms, but are much less known than their insect cousins. The course will especially focus on scorpions, the unique relict creatures that have not changed much in 400 million years.

    If you're interested in arachnids (and who isn't?!), sign up for BSC 481/581: SpTp Arachnology.

MU Medlife Chapter Helps Low Income Families Worldwide

MU BSC students Ana Ramirez, Joshua Leonard, Anna Lefevre, Ashley Lyons, and Matt Blake during the mobile clinic in Lima, Peru this past summer.

    Marshall University Medlife is a chapter of the global organization MEDLIFE, which stands for Medicine,Education and Development of Low Income Families Everywhere. Medlife works to bring these services to places in need, both globally through mobile clinics, and locally through university chapters around North America. MU Medlife raises money and awareness for the main organization, in addition to partnering up with local organizations such as Golden Girls Home, where members provided guidance and support to young girls in the Tri-State area. Last summer five members of MU Medlife participated in a mobile clinic in Lima, Peru. There, they helped doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and educators improve the lives of the people in Pamplona, a poverty-stricken town of 4 million people. This summer we plan to take a group of students to participate in a mobile clinic in Tena, Ecuador. The next meetings for MU Medlife are Wednesdays October 29 and November 12, at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall room 139. Everyone is welcome! For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia Wolfe
The scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell.


Scholarships Available from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

    More than 90 different scholarships are available from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. The scholarships have various selection criteria, so scan those available to find out whether one is appropriate for you! Several are specific to science and math majors, and some, such as the Leopold and Elizabeth Marmet scholarship, are available to either undergraduate or graduate students. Many of the scholarships are based on need; for the 2014-2015 academic year, a total of $516,820 was awarded to 398 West Virginia students. Click on "How to Apply" for the list of scholarships, arranged first in a Quick Reference Guide, and then in alphabetical order with full descriptions.

    The deadline for application is January 15, 2015.

Have You Considered Attending Graduate School?

    Students already involved in BSC's Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) degree programs can tell you that education doesn't have to end after you earn your BS. Whether you've already been involved in research as an undergraduate, or whether you've just taken a course that ignited your interest, you may want to explore the graduate options available in BSC here at Marshall.

    The main page for our graduate program includes several related links on the right side of that page. The Department offers a number of Graduate Assistantships, on a competitive basis, which pay a stipend and at least the majority of your tuition. This is a good time of year to start considering whether you wish to be a member of our graduate program and to take the time to speak with faculty whose research areas interest you.

    If you have questions about the program, or what to expect from graduate school, feel free to email

Summer 2015 Study Abroad in Tanzania!

    This summer (June 8-July 12) BSC's Dr. Suzanne Strait will be teaching for the Marshall-supported KIIS study abroad program in the east African country of Tanzania. The trip includes classes and events in the capital city of Dar es Salaam, which borders the Indian Ocean. Major field trips include beach days, a Serengeti safari, Arusha, Mount Kilimanjaro, the early human archaeology site of Olduvai Gorge, Zanzibar, and snorkeling in the Indian ocean. Dr. Strait will be teaching a Tanzanian biodiversity course (about the natural history and conservation of the animals we will see there) and Physical Anthropology of East Africa (Tanzanian primates and human evolution of east Africa). Also available are two public health courses that might interest pre-health students: Global Health Service-Learning, which allows you to shadow health professionals, and Maternal and Child Health in Tanzania. For more information contact Dr. Strait (, visit the study abroad office in Old Main, or visit the KISS website.

Brag Box An abbreviated list of recent BSC student and faculty accomplishments:
  • Dr. Victor Fet attended the international 28th European Congress of Arachnology in Turin, Italy, in August 2014. Dr. Fet is a member of their Research Committee, and presented a review talk with nine coauthors (from Italy, Turkey, the US, and Canada) titled "The Euroscorpion revisited: Not-so-cryptic diversity of Euscorpius (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae)."
  • Selected BSC Contact Information

    Dr. David Mallory, BSC Chair S-350 (304) 696-2353
    BSC Graduate Program Information   (304) 696-2427
    BSC office, TA applications, various forms S-350 (304) 696-3148
    Susan Weinstein, BSC News S-204 (304) 696-2428

    Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right.

Department of Biological Sciences | One John Marshall Drive | Science Building 350 | Huntington, WV 25755 | (304) 696-3148