Chemistry Students Take Science to Area Schools Local Youngsters Attend Mount Union Science Camp

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The ninth annual summer science camp was held on Mount Union’s campus last week. This five-day camp invites area fourth, fifth and sixth graders to campus to learn how they can put science into practice and have fun while doing it.

The camp features experiments throughout the week that emphasize various fields of science. The event was led by Mount Union faculty members Dr. Scott Mason, professor of chemistry and pre-health program director and Dr. Sheryl Mason, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. They were assisted by Dr. Keith Miller, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Marlington senior Sarah Mason and Andrea Williams, administrative assistant.

The camp’s first experiment consisted of performing the chemical reaction used commercially to make aspirin, collecting the aspiring product, and then performing another reaction to test its purity.

The next day, the group followed up with an experiment using five Mentos to one two-liter bottle of Diet Coke to make a fountain. Pairs of students were then asked to change one variable of the experiment and measure the height of the resulting fountain to see if the changed variable affected the height of the fountain.

On Wednesday, campers headed to Mount Union’s Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center to perform reactions of acids on different materials such as metals and marble. In addition, they collected water samples from different locations at the Nature Center and determined their acidity by measuring pH levels. The purpose of these experiments was to show participants the effects of acid on the environment.

On Thursday, students learned about physics as they created containers to protect eggs from a drop from the second floor of Bracy Hall to the first floor. Eggs that survived the initial drop were then tested by being dropped from atop Bracy Hall.

On the last day of camp, participants put on a demonstration program for family and friends. Each pair of students practiced a chemistry demonstration in the lab, then during the last hour of camp performed and explained it to the audience. The final demonstration consisted of making liquid nitrogen ice cream and serving it to the audience.

Some of the goals of the camp are allowing the students the opportunity to use a university laboratory, perform real experiments, learn about different fields of science, practice safety procedures and put what they learn into practice.

“It is fun to see them excited about science at such an early age,” said Sheryl.

All of the profits from the camp go toward the Arthur Murdoch Research Fund, which assists Mount Union science undergraduate students as they perform summer research.



Mount Union Presents Green Raider Awards

The University of Mount Union’s Sustainability Management Advisory Committee held its annual Green Raider Awards recently. During the ceremony, the committee announced its fourth group of award winners.

Awards were given to a faculty member, a staff member and a student who enhance sustainability on campus. These individuals showcase a strong awareness of living green through their dedication to promoting the principles of social, financial and environmental responsibility both to the University and the Alliance community. This year, the committee also gave one additional award, the Green Raider Sapling Award, to be presented toward a student who displayed a strong passion and promising contributions toward the committee. This year’s recipients were faculty member Dr. Chuck McClaugherty, professor of biology; staff member Abby Honaker, assistant director, Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement; student Hayley Buzulencia, senior environmental science and biology major and the late Matthew Popovich.

Since the summer of 1988, McClaugherty has been teaching on campus, where he immediately began placing high importance on sustainability.

“Without Chuck McClaugherty, there might not have been a movement toward sustainability at Mount Union,” said McClaugherty’s nominator.

In 1994, McClaugherty was named Great Teacher and in 2007 he was the recipient of Alliance’s Citizen of the Year and was recognized by the Environmental Education Council of Ohio. He is also the director of Mount Union’s Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center since its founding.

“To say that Chuck has made a mark at Mount in the area of sustainability is certainly understanding the facts,” his nominate wrote.

Honaker hosts the Mount Union Trash to Treasure sale each spring. While students are moving out, she has a team collect items they no longer want and then sell them at a garage sale from which all profits go to the Pay It Forward Program.

“Abby stands out as someone who not only engages others with her energy and positive attitude, but who represents the idea of sustainability with every breath,” her nominator said. “Her understanding of the concept and implantation of the practices in all of her activaties is an asset to the sustainability cause and to the University.”

Being a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a Regula Scholar and the cross country and track teams at Mount Union, Buzulencia lives a busy life, but she is never too busy to live green by using the campus refill stations to stay hydrated throughout the day.

“Hayley Buzulencia is well known among her colleagues as being a fantastic runner and she is well known among students as a fantastic student and she is well respected among the Green Raiders; being one who gets the job done and has a lot to say,” her nominator wrote.

A special award was given this year to Matt Popovich, who died suddenly this spring. Popovich was a freshman nursing major and a member of the University’s Sustainability Management Advisory Committee.

Mount Union to Host Buckeye Girls State

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union will again host the participants of the American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio’s Buckeye Girls State (BGS) from Sunday, June 14 through Saturday, June 20. This is the fifth consecutive year Mount Union has hosted this event.
BGS is a week-long program designed to educate Ohio’s young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of good citizenship. By getting involved in this active hands-on process, BGS delegates learn more about city, county and state government within one week. Nearly 900 rising high school seniors will be on campus participating.
Previous speakers have included Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and justices Evelyn Lyndberg Stratton, Judith Ann Lanzinger and Yvette McGee Brown, as well as Governor John Kasich.
For more information about Buckeye Girls State, visit

PA Students Find Love in the Laboratory

By Abigail Esposito

Photos by Sharpe Images Photography - Loren Jackson

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Across an array of microscopes, beakers, graduated cylinders and test tubes that decorated the Bracy Hall microbiology lab, senior biology major Brant Miller was mesmerized by the endearing grin of junior exercise science major Jana Sleutz.

“I was captivated by her cute, innocent smile,” Brant said. “She was so different, but she stole my heart from across the lab.”

During the 2014 spring semester, Brant and Jana shared two courses together: microbiology and immunology. Both aspiring physician assistants (PA), their undergraduate paths crossed.

“I first noticed him in microbiology lab because he was the loudest,” Jana said. “He noticed me noticing him. I was in awe of him at first because he was so outspoken and different from anyone I’ve ever dated and I loved that he was never afraid to speak his mind and give his opinion.”

After hanging out together with mutual friends, senior Bethany Herman and junior Hayley Buzulencia, the couple enjoyed their first date in Italian style at Carrabba’s in North Canton, Ohio, and then began dating a few days later on April 9, 2014.

“We were too good to be true,” Jana said. “Everything had aligned too perfectly.”

Jana’s hometown is Kidron, Ohio, where she grew up about 30 minutes away from Brant’s hometown of Millersburg, Ohio. Sharing more connections than they realized, Jana’s grandfather was Brant’s parents’ high school principal at West Holmes High School. Also, Jana’s father was the bus driver for the same high school and drove Brant’s sports teams to games when Brant attended West Holmes High.

“We are alike in things that matter and different in the things we need,” Brant said.

While undergrads, the Raider couple frequented B&B Café for dinner dates, took romantic strolls around campus and relaxed in the townhouses watching their favorite movie, “Frozen."

“We love to go biking together – it’s the only activity where I can keep up with her,” Brant said with a laugh. “We also love to cook seafood together.”

May 2014 rolled around, marking their one-month anniversary, when Miller was emailed about the senior class gift: personalizing the brick walkway around the campus lakes.

“I immediately had the idea to use my brick to propose to Jana,” Brant said. “I just had a feeling that this relationship was it, I knew she was special. So I prayed, and I knew in my heart how I wanted to personalize my brick to propose.”

Deciding to personalize his brick with “Will you Marry Me? B.M.,” Brant began planning his proposal.

“Her birthday is December 15, she had just been accepted into the PA program and it was the end of finals,” Brant explained. “I had it all planned to propose that Friday, December 12. I even had an exam that morning.”

At this time, construction at Gallaher Hall had recently been completed and Brant invited both of their families to come to Mount Union to show them the new facility. Under this guise, Brant was able to ensure both of their families were present to witness the proposal.

Covering all of the details, Brant enlisted the help of one of his PA classmates, Nicholas Calvin, and close friend, Nathan Dreger, to take pictures and a video of the proposal. Additionally, all of Brant’s PA classmates were positioned in the North Reading Room of the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center to witness the magical moment.

The chilly but calm day of December 12 played out flawlessly to create a beautiful, unforgettable memory for all. Both Jana and Brant’s parents were aware of Brant’s perfectly constructed arrangement and arrived under the pretense of touring the PA program floor of Gallaher Hall.

“When we were in Bracy Hall, I noticed one of Brant's PA classmates, Nick, walking around outside by the lakes,” Jana said reflecting on that day. “I was so confused as to why he would be standing out in the cold since he just finished his last final of the semester and I didn't know he was part of the plan!”

Following the tour of Gallaher Hall, Brant led Jana out to the campus lakes while their parents slipped away to position themselves for the big event.

“We started walking on the senior class gift pathway from his graduation year,” Jana said. “Brant stopped halfway down the path and asked me if I wanted one of my birthday presents right then. When I said yes, he told me I was standing on it!”

The moment Jana looked down at the brick, happy tears instantly filled her eyes and when she turned her attention back to Brant, he was down on one knee with the brightest smile on his face.

“He asked me to marry him, and amongst the tears of course I said yes!” Jana recalled. “It was easily the best day of my life; this pathway will always hold a special place in my heart.”

As soon as Jana said yes, their family and friends rushed out to celebrate with them.

“My PA classmates came pouring out of the library toward us cheering,” Brant said. “Our parents and everyone were so impressed, I have never been happier.”

Once hugs and congratulations had been shared all around and pictures had been taken, the newly engaged couple and their families celebrated the occasion with dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

“We are family people and we like to involve them in major decisions and special moments,” Brant explained.

The Mount Union couple has chosen August 22, 2015 as their wedding date. The ceremony and reception will be held in Jana’s hometown of Kidron, Ohio with the pastor from Brant’s church officating the marriage.

Once married, Jana and Brant plan to return to Alliance, to both finish the PA program at Mount Union, to pass the PA exam and to obtain careers closer to their hometowns and families. The couple has also chosen to take a Caribbean cruise for their honeymoon over the upcoming Christmas break.

“It's crazy to think that this beautiful woman has come into my life,” Brant said. “Words cannot describe how blessed I feel right now and how happy she makes me.”

And with that, Jana smiles her sweet, innocent smile that captured Brant’s heart.

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