College of Arts and Science, Miami University
Alumni Update
June 2018
Student orientation
Student Orientation Undergraduate Leaders (SOULs) are busy running orientation and transition programs
for new incoming students on campus this summer
Supporting our students in the preparation for their future
Dear Alumni and Friends:
It was a pleasure to meet and converse with many of you at the various class reunions and receptions this past Alumni Weekend. I was especially delighted to see so many alumni in attendance -- nearly 2,000 total -- who were happy to share news about their lives and reminisce about their days as CAS students at Miami.
As a way for us at CAS to better preserve your memories and experiences and learn about the things that bring you happiness in your world, I would like to offer a new way for you to keep in touch. It would also help us improve the experiences of our current students, both in and outside the classroom, especially as they prepare for their future beyond Miami.
In our new CAS Alumni Survey, we ask the following questions:
  • What Miami and CAS experiences have had the most positive impact on your lives?
  • If you could give a current or future CAS student a piece of advice, what would you say?
  • How can CAS improve our students' preparation for the future?
  • How would you like to support our students now?
Take our 2018 CAS Alumni Survey
One key way that you can take a more direct role in our students' college experiences is to participate in our series of programs that professionalize the liberal arts -- our popular Inside study away workshops, the Ohio Public Leaders program, internships and preceptorships for our pre-med and pre-law students, other internships, career panels, and much more.
Please take a few moments to reflect on your Miami experiences and share your thoughts with us. They really help make a difference.
Chris Makaroff
Dean and Professor of Chemistry
P.S. There's one more important way you can help support our students: by clicking the Support CAS button below and making a donation to the program of your choice. As always, thank you!
Support CAS
Beyond the lava: Miami experts focus on volcanic hazards to people, ecology
As volcanoes in Hawaii and Guatemala simultaneously spew lava and belch toxic plumes of ash, experts at Miami University focus on the impact to humans and ecology in the surrounding area.
“There are a number of hazards in Hawaii right now that are above and beyond what most people think of when they see all these amazing pictures of the lava flows and lava fountaining,” said Elisabeth Widom, the Janet & Elliot Baines Professor and chair of the department of geology and environmental earth science.
Widom just returned from a conference in Spain, where about 100 volcanologists discussed volcanic hazards while Hawaii’s Kilauea was grabbing headlines for lava bombs and unusual blue flames rising from the lava due to the presence of methane gas.
Her Miami colleague, Jessica McCarty, an assistant professor of geography, is part of a NASA project analyzing the effects of volcanic gas and thermal emissions from Kilauea on the surrounding landscape. Continue reading.
CAS student spotlights and achievements
Krystina Hird, Matt Morris named 2018-2019 Beckman Scholars
Bob Krueger Jayne Orleans Rebecca Wyma
Student Spotlights: Bob Krueger, Jayne Orleans, and Rebecca Wyma
CAS faculty news
Crowder's research focuses on beta-lactams, which are the largest class of clinical antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections. Bacteria commonly produce beta-lactamases, enzymes which inactivate most, if not all, beta-lactam antibiotics.
Increasingly more bacteria have begun producing metallo-beta-lactamases, which cannot be combatted with any available drugs. New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamases (NDMs) have mutated into at least 20 different variants found in patients. Crowder and his research team, made up of groups from Miami, Case Western Reserve University, and University of Texas, have isolated and characterized 17 of these NDM variants.
"Metallo-beta-lactamases are a huge clinical concern," Crowder said. "This research provides explanation for why NDMs are evolving to be an even more significant clinical problem."
CAS alumni news and spotlights
David Gammel
David Gammel
Eric Washington
Eric Washington
Kyle Denman
Kyle Denman
Jonathon Dreeze
Jonathon Dreeze
  • David Gammel (’92) was named a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives.
  • On March 16, Cindy Oppenheimer Bishop (‘81) crossed the finish line at the Antarctica Marathon. Cindy was also the 2nd American woman to run all Six World Marathon Majors: New York City, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin, and Tokyo. She has qualified for the Boston Marathon three times and ran Boston in 2011 and 2014. 
  • Jim Westerkamp ('90) founded Cliniceval Solutions, a global clinical research site assessment organization whose mission is to connect clinical trial stakeholders to expedite the development of novel therapies for patients in need.
  • Associate professor of history Eric Washington ('93) has been voted Professor of the Year 2017-2018 at Calvin College.
  • Amanda Kovach ('10) has just completed her first year teaching high school biology, which included a section on human environmental impacts. Her husband Matthew ('07) is working on a local marsh restoration project with The Nature Conservancy, and together they hatched a plan to get her students out on site to help out.
  • John Beall ('75) attended the annual symposium of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, where professor emeritus Donald A. Daiker received the MidAmerica Award. 
  • Fashion designer Kyle Denman ('16) was named 2018 Young Fashion Designer of the Year and Grand Prize Winner of the Project Runway Remake It Work Contest.
  • Spotlight: Jonathon Dreeze (BA, 2011: Russian Area Studies and History) teaches courses on Russian-Soviet history as a PhD candidate in History at Ohio State University.
Submit our online Alumni Spotlight form to be featured.
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