Colorado Higher-Education Interdisciplinary Program - Colorado State University GK-12 Program: A multi-disciplinary research and teaching program in biomedical engineering for discovery and understanding of cell communication

2009-2010 (Year 1) Graduate Fellows

Steve Benoit

Steve Benoit
Mathematics
I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department at CSU. Before I came to CSU, I earned degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. After graduating, I spent twelve years in industry working as a programmer and systems architect, and started a number of small companies in Michigan and Colorado. Now I'm back in the academic world, hoping to move in to a career in science research.
I am the lead software developer for CSU's PACe Program, an online system for delivering pre-calculus mathematics to undergraduate students. The program serves several thousand students each semester, providing video lessons, homework assignments, pre-tests, proctored exams in a secure testing center, and web access to all course materials and reports. My Masters research focused on a technique for desalination of seawater, and my doctoral research is divided between modeling molecular structures and modeling cell migration in the developing brain.
I am married, with one son, and two Basset hounds. I enjoy carpentry, brewing, medieval history, and historic combat martial arts.

Zach Cashero

Zach Cashero
Computer Science Department
I received my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Toledo.  During this time, I did five internships to get more than two years of experience in the work field.  This is an important part of my background because it gave me a different perspective to be able to see all of the concepts I learned in school applied in real-world situations.  It also gave me the chance to travel around and left me with many unforgettable experiences and good friends.
I am now pursuing my Master's degree in Computer Science at Colorado State University and have just completed my first year.  My research focus is Artificial Intelligence and applying computing to biological applications.  You can check out the project that got me interested in this area here (http://www.cs.colostate.edu/eeg/index.html).  It is a Brain Computer Interface using EEG signals that my advisor, Dr. Chuck Anderson, is working on.
My role in this biosensor project is on the back end.  I will be taking the signals from the microchip and develop a computer program to visualize the data.  I also plan to apply algorithms to help with the data analysis.

Allen Chen

Allen Chen
Electrical and Computer Engineering
I am pursuing my M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins. I received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2009 from Colorado State University. My research interests are analog, mixed-signal, and RF integrated circuit design. My role in this GK-12 project is to design the electronic front-end and back-end of the biosensor chip.

Megan Easterly

Megan Easterly
Chemistry
I am a third year graduate student in Chuck Henry's group at Colorado State University working on my PhD in analytical chemistry. I am one of twelve members in the group. Our group focuses on creating biosensors and micro-fluidic devices. Most of the research in the group is to build measurement devices that are able to observe the interaction between chemistry, biology and the environment. My part of the research is to build an electrochemical device that is going to be able to observe nitric oxide (NO) in the brain. So far in the group I have fabricated electrodes to detect caffeine in coffee along with working on an enzyme based electrode to detect glucose.
My favorite part about science is how interdisciplinary it is. I especially love how biology and chemistry are so closely related therefore I love using chemistry techniques to detect biologically relevant compounds, which is why I got chose to work with Chuck. I enjoy learning about the biomedical research that is currently going on. I also enjoy reading up on how chemistry is being used to detect chemicals that are polluting our air, soil and water.

Cheryl Hartshorn

Cheryl Hartshorn
Biomedical Sciences
Cheryl Hartshorn is a graduate student in the Biomedical Sciences department at Colorado State University in a research-based masters program. She is working in Dr. Stuart Tobet's lab studying estrogen signaling in murine pituitaries and its influence on inducing a luteinizing hormone surge that is fundamental to reproduction. Cheryl grew up in Washington State before moving to Colorado for her undergraduate degree at CSU in Biological Sciences in 2007. When not in the lab, Cheryl loves to be outdoors running, skiing or biking. She is thrilled to interact with high school students and participating in this NSF grant.

Ryan Hoppal

Ryan Hoppal
Electrical and Computer Engineering
I am one of the two Electrical Engineering students on the project. Currently, I am a first year masters student at Colorado State University. I graduate with my bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Colorado State University in Fall 2009. My emphasis in school has been the design and analysis of analog and digital circuits. Eventually, I hope to become an analog or mixed signal designer in industry.

Matt Stratton

Matt Stratton
Biomedical Sciences
Matt Stratton is a graduate student at Colorado State University in the Cell and Molecular Biology PhD program working under the tutelage of the esteemed Dr. Stuart Tobet. His current research focuses on the development of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. This is a grouping of specialized neurons in the brain that regulate various functions including food intake and stress response. Commonly used techniques in his research include fluorescent video microscopy and immunohistochemistry. Matt graduated from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa with a Bachelors degree in Biology (2001) and received a Masters degree in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming (2006).