Ashland University Science Graduates Continue Science Work

Chelsea Kaminski, who is in the graduate occupational therapy program at Chatham University, poses in front of one of the many volcanoes in Ecuador. She traveled to an orphanage, nursing home, adult day care and various free clinics to provide occupational therapy services during her time in Ecuador.

8/12/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Three recent Ashland University science graduates have continued their careers in the science field beyond their undergraduate degrees at AU.

Chelsea Kaminski, who majored in biology and graduated in 2013, is in the graduate occupational therapy program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“I just finished a fieldwork with children at DePaul School for Hearing and Speech and am beginning another fieldwork experience at a hospital, UPMC Montefiore,” Kaminski said. “In 2015, I will be doing fieldwork at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital's Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.”

Kaminski said that in early August of this year, she went to Ecuador with a select few students from her class. 

“Both occupational and physical therapy students from Chatham University spent 10 days in Ecuador providing free services. Some of the places we provided therapy included a free clinic, an orphanage, nursing home and homeless shelter,” Kaminski said.

“I am also working with some other students in my class to adapt restaurants in the Pittsburgh area to create a sensory-friendly dining experience for children with ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorder),” she said. “This involves adjusting the environment, training the staff and creating sensory rooms that the children can go to with their family if they need a break for some sensory input. We hope to improve community awareness and acceptance of families with children with ASDs.”

While at AU, Kaminski was involved in toxicology research with Dr. Doug Dawson, professor of biology and toxicology, and also spent time as an assistant in the Career Services Center.

Zachary Il'Giovine, who majored in biochemistry at Ashland University and graduated in 2011, is a medical student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University.

“I am starting to put together my application for residency, which is due in September,” he said. “I'm finishing up my third year and have one year left to go.”

Il'Giovine said this year has been all patient care. “We are out of the classroom, so I have especially enjoyed it. I have continued doing research, mostly focused on Traumatic Brain Injury,” he said.

He said he had the opportunity to present two posters in San Francisco last month, and recently submitted both manuscripts for publication. “I will also be presenting in Frankfurt, Germany, at the end of this month, and our poster won a prize. I think AU gave me a solid foundation for doing research in those years; I appreciate it,” he said.

While at AU, Il'Giovine played soccer and worked on a number of research projects with Dr. Perry Corbin, associate professor of chemistry, and also worked for one summer with Dr. Dawson.

Daphne Guinn, who double majored in biology and toxicology at AU and graduated in 2011, is a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research associate in the Biomedical Science Graduate Program at The Ohio State University.

“I am currently finishing up my third year of my Ph.D. and I passed my candidacy exam about a year ago,” she explained. “I am done with most of my classes, so I am in the lab full time.”

Guinn said she works in a translational research lab that works primarily on developing new therapeutics for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

“It’s a very large lab of over 50 people. I am co-mentored by Dr. John Byrd and Dr. Amy Johnson and my work involves studying transcriptional profiles associated with Bruton’s tyrosine kinase,” she said. “I am currently writing the manuscript for a first author publication.”

While at AU, Guinn conducted separate research projects with Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Dawson.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###