Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Awards and Honors

March 2021 - BIO Undergraduate student, Caleb Lumsden, received a prestigious Fellowship in Conservation Horticulture from the Garden Club of America. He will be working on a Hemlock Breeding program at The Holden Arboretum this summer. Caleb is working with Dr. Emily Rauschert on his honors project focused on biotic homogenization.

January 2021 - EVS MS student, Audrey Atzel, was recently awarded a research grant from the Ohio Invasive Plants Council. Audrey’s research is focused on the management of an invasive plant, lesser celandine. Audrey and Dr. Emily Rauschert are working in collaboration with the Cleveland Metroparks to better manage this plant invasion.

August 2020 - BIO Undergraduate student, Caleb Lumsden, is the recipient of the prestigious Ohio EPA and Ohio Academy of Sciences Scholarship. Caleb’s proposal was focused on his work in Dr. Emily Rauschert’s plant ecology lab. Caleb’s research is about biotic homogenization of plant and soil fungal communities in parklands across an urbanization gradient. Caleb will receive a $5,000 scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year.

March 2020 - EVS MS student, Megan Hermann was awarded the Katharine M. Grosscup Scholarships in Horticulture by the Garden Club of America. 

December 2019 - EVS MS Spring 2019 graduate, Keri Plevniak, has been selected to receive the Outstanding Master's Thesis Award in Research in Natural Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics. This award is granted to Cleveland State University graduate students for research conducted for a master's thesis which has the potential to make a substantial contribution to the field. The reviewers were extremely impressed with Keri's work for her thesis, “Functional diversity and restoration of meadows in Northeast Ohio”, and wish her continued success in her research and other professional endeavors.

August 2019 - Milos Simovic, EVS MS student, was selected for the 2019 ESA Physiological Ecology Section Poster Presentation Award for his presentation at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Louisville, KY, “An assessment of co-variation among anatomical, morphological, and phenological traits of 9 tree species growing in urban conditions.” Milos received an award letter stating, "There were several excellent entrants this year and yours stood out as outstanding and deserving of the award. Congratulations again, we look forward to following your future endeavors".

May 2019 - Rachel Andrikanich, EVS MS student, is conducting one of the first complete surveys of mollusks in the Cuyahoga River. Her work was featured in an article on CSU's ENGAGED Tumblr page

March 2019 - Nikkhil Velingkaar, BIO Ph.D. student, earned the College of Graduate Studies Outstanding Award. As such, the Regulatory Biology doctoral student qualified for the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools on March 20-22.  The regional 3MT Competition was held during the 2019 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, where Velingkaar competed with peers from more than 60 colleges and universities. Velingkaar described his experience:

"Participating in the 3MT competition was a valuable and memorable experience and representing CSU at the Mid-West level was a proud moment for me. It was inspiring to meet participants from other universities and hear them share their passion for research. Being a graduate student from the Department of Biology, we get opportunities to present our research work at conferences wherein we are able to connect ourselves with a science-based audience and are not afraid to use scientific jargon. The 3MT competition presents us with a unique challenge to not only summarize our research in 3 minutes but also use relatively simple terms and explain the significance of our work to a non-specialist audience. We get to learn a lot from this competition and it helps us improve our public speaking skills. I would like to thank my Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Roman Kondratov, Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, for encouragement and support in this competition. I definitely recommend every graduate student to participate in 3MT and learn to be effective and have fun while presenting."

March 2019 - Keri Plevniak, EVS MS student, received a small grant with Dr. Emily Rauschert for their work on meadow restoration and plant functional diversity. Keri also received a Garden Club of America Fellowship to support her work. Keri recently wrote an article for the Geauga Parks Newsletter about her work. She will be defending her thesis in April.