William Jewell Department of Biology  



The William Jewell Department of Biology curriculum prepares students for success after graduation. Acceptance of our graduates to allied-health professional programs and graduate schools is at or near 100%.

Our students value the undergraduate research emphasis at William Jewell. Unlike many programs, Jewell’s Biology program involves students in research their first year of college. They work with peers and collaborate with professors on research. They learn to question, challenge and think critically. A number of students publish research articles in national journals, present papers and posters at national conferences, earn research grants at labs across the globe and compete intercollegiately on research presentations through a national biology honor society.

Following is a sample of some recent honors awarded to Jewell students.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Recipients                     
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. www.act.org/goldwater 

  • Sarah Haller ’05
  • Emily Abdoler ’06
  • Jenilee Morrison ’07
  • Joe Endicott ’11
  • Tim Perkins, honorable mention ’06
  • Jessica Schwalm, honorable mention ’10

2010 Hall Summer Enrichment Grants

  • Nicholas Wheeler, Oxbridge Molecular Biology major, researched novel drug/vaccine targets in the parasite Schistosoma mansoni, a blood disorder that is second only to malaria in World Health Organization rankings. He studied at a laboratory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that was integral to the final sequencing of the genome associated with the disorder. He hopes to pursue a career in medical research.
  • Catherine Compton, biochemistry and Spanish major, attended Spanish classes at the University of Guadalajara, with a goal of strengthening her Spanish language and comprehension skills and learning more about Mexican culture. She hopes to attend medical school and wants to be able to contribute to the needs of the Spanish-speaking population.

2010 Undergraduate Research Programs

  • MIT – Joe Endicott ’11
  • Baylor College of Medicine – Cameron Evans ’11
  • Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy Summer Fellowship Program – Stephanie Fogerson ’11
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Cassi Johnson ’12
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Internal Medicine-Diabetes – Chris Koehn ’11
  • Avila University – Luke Chambers ’12
  • Princeton - Jenna Christensen ’11

Presentation Awards

  • Missouri Academy of Science Presentation, 2009 (Sarah Henke ’10, 2nd place “Characterization of bacillus subtilis DivIVA localization in Escherichia coli”)
  • Tri-Beta Regional Meeting Presentation, 2009 (Jessica Schwalm ’10, 1st place: “Effect of introduced Falcataria moluccana and Eleutherodactylus coqui in Hawaii on arthropod communities”)
  • Tri-Beta Regional Meeting Presentation, 2009 (Julianne Schwerdtfager ’10, 3rd place: “The effects of Endothelin-1 on the Fas death pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells”)
  • Missouri Academy of Science Presentation, 2008 (Jill, 1st place)
  • Tri-Beta Regional Meeting Presentation, 2008 (Jessica ’08, 1st place)
  • Tri-Beta Regional Meeting Presentation, 2008 (Amy Schwindt ’08, 2nd place)
  • Tri-Beta Regional Meeting Presentation, 2008 (Chase Engel ’09, 3rd place)

Tri-Beta Research Awards
2010 – 4 student grants

  • Investigation of the Role of JNK in Plumbagin and Rapamycin Induced Cell Death in p-53 mutant U138MG Glioblastoma Cells. (Luke Chambers ’12 and Jason Kingsolver ’11)
  • An investigation of genetic divergence through population dispersal among the invasive species Eleutherodactylus coqui on the Big Island of Hawaii (Anura: Eleutherdactylidae). (Elizabeth Everman  ’11)
  • Investigation of the Nature and Timeline of the Progression of Autophagy and Apoptosis during Amino Acid Starvation or Amyloid Beta (25-35) Protein Exposure in PC12 Pheochromocytoma Cells. (Stephanie Fogerson  ’11)
  • The Effect of Na+, K+, and Ca2+ Flux on Apoptosis in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. (Michael  O'Bryan ’11)

2009 – 4 student grants

  • An investigation of the effect of the LG3 fragment of perlecan on fatty acid-inducted apoptosis in vascular smooth muscle cells. (Brittany Belke ’10)
  • Investigating the effect of the protein hormone Leptin on chemoresistance. (Cameron Evans ’11)
  • Evaluation of the interaction between p75NTR and A2A receptors in the presence of amyloid-β in PC12 neuronal cells. (Hannah Lewis ’10 and Kelsey Rogers ’10)
  • Effects of endothelin-1 on the Fas death pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells: Implications for atherosclerosis. (Julianne Schwerdtfager ’10)

2008 – 6 student grants

  • Effect of Falcataria moluccana in Hawaii on litter and aerial arthropod communities: Implications of coqui frog introduction. (Jessica Schwalm ’10)
  • The expression of the ALT pathway genes during autophagy in the human glioblastoma multiforme p53 mutant cell line U138MG after exposure to pro-autophagy drugs. (Trisha Stan ’09)
  • Does the presence of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids induce apoptosis in rat thoracic aorta smooth muscle cells? (Jenna Christensen ’11)
  • A mutational approach to understand Bacillus subtilis DivIVA and Spo0J/Soj interactions within Escherichia coli. (Sarah Henke ’10)
  • Effects of hydroxyethyl methacrylate and hydroxyethyl acrylate on mice L929 fibroblast cell membrane permeability.” (Trent McCord ’09)
  • Examining the effects of insulin and IGF-1 on apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells. (Chelsea Koehn ’09)



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