News - 2/8/10

Valpo Goes Red 2010 draws hundreds

The University yesterday hosted Valpo Goes Red, a fundraising event for the American Heart Association that drew hundreds of people in from the community and from around campus to enjoy a heart-healthy breakfast, listen to speakers and learn valuable information about heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in the United States.

Proceeds from the ticket sales were donated to support medical research, plus awareness, education and community programs to help women live longer, stronger heart-healthy lives.

Dr. Lynne Braun, nurse practitioner and professor in the Department of Adult Health Nursing of Rush College of Nursing, was one of the speakers who addressed Valpo Goes Red attendees. Dr. Braun said the American Heart Association began its concerted effort to educate women on heart diseases in the late 1990s.

“Heart disease used to be considered a man’s disease,” she said. “Four hundred thousand women in America die from cardiovascular disease every year; that’s one every minute."

Dr. Braun said cardiovascular disease is 80 percent preventable, and women should be their own advocates and listen to their bodies. Prevention of risk factors, such as diabetes, smoking, stress, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and high cholesterol is key to keeping heart disease at bay.

"Move, eat healthy and live tobacco-free," she advised.

Valparaiso University professors win funding for their studies

Three professors have received grants for research projects that include facilitating drug delivery and disease diagnosis through nanoscience technology, analyzing the emission of radon and improving health equity in rural Nicaragua.

Dr. Andrew Richter and Dr. Shirvel Stanislaus, both associate professors of physics and astronomy, were each awarded $10,000 Wheat Ridge Foundation grants by Valpo’s Committee on Creative Work and Research to support their research during the coming year. Dr. Amy Cory, assistant professor of nursing, was the recipient of a Wheat Ridge Foundation grant totaling $7,500.

Dr. Richter’s award will support his collaborative project “Biotemplated Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery and Sensor Applications.” The project is studying the structure of nanomaterials to develop a design approach for tailoring and improving their performance.

Dr. Richter is exploring two types of nanomaterials: nano-capsules and nano-thin films. Nano-capsules are well-defined polymer cages useful for ferrying drugs throughout the body and releasing them at specific locations. Nano-thin films allow only specific molecules, such as biomarkers for disease, to block the pores of the film, which can then be detected by a change in the flow of electricity through the film.

Dr. Richter is working in collaboration with researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Dr. Stanislaus will use the grant for “A Study of Indoor Radon Gas – A Cause of Lung Cancer.” He will analyze the indoor radon concentrations in Northwest Indiana houses as well as carry out a scientific study of the parameters involved in the underground emission of radon.

Radon is a naturally radioactive, inert gas that is found in soil, water and in both outdoor and indoor air. Exposure to radon accounts for more than 50 percent of the annual dose people receive from natural radioactivity and is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths after tobacco smoke.

The grant for Dr. Amy Cory’s project “Beyond the Volcanoes: A Community Partnership for Health in Rural Nicaragua” will fund ongoing research to improve health equity in rural Nicaragua through social transformation that uses community-based participatory action research. Health inequities related to gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geography are commonplace in rural Nicaragua, and the project aims to address those issues.

Wheat Ridge Grants support faculty work on projects relating to the healing arts and sciences.

Faculty, student recital showcase Saturday

The Department of Music will present a showcase recital featuring faculty and students. The free performance will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in Duesenberg Recital Hall and is open to the public.

Dr. Gregory Maytan, assistant professor of music, and Dr. Joseph Bognar, chair of the Department of Music, will perform movements from Maurice Ravel's sonata for violin and piano.

Featured students include senior church music major, Andrew Stoebig, Plymouth, Minn., who will sing "Ah! Un foco insolita" from Donizetti's Don Pasquale; and senior chemistry and music major, Christopher Mueller, Cedarburg, Wis., who will perform the Concerto for Clarinet by Artie Shaw, assisted by junior music education major, Alexander Keim, LaPorte, Ind., on percussion.

Additionally cellists Cortney Sourwine, senior music performance major from Crestwood, Ky.; Julia Wen, first-year music performance major from Barrington, Ill.; and Christian Rippe senior, mechanical engineering major from Ashburn, Va., will premiere a work for a cello trio by first-year music composition major, Zane Winter, Uniontown, Mo.

Members of the University Chorale will sing selections under the direction of Dr. Christopher Cock, professor of music and director of Valpo's Bach Institute.