Dordt College News

Summer Seminar Series offers learning opportunities for employees

July 14, 2011

Even though most students and some faculty are away from Dordt for summer break, the campus comes alive every Wednesday at noon for the Summer Seminar Series.

The Summer Seminar Series, held in the Science and Technology Center, is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to learn, share ideas, and enjoy fellowship during the summer months. It is a venue for faculty and summer research students to present their work to the Dordt community.

“We are hoping for the series to stimulate thinking and collaboration about better teaching practices,” said Tony Jelsma, biology professor and original coordinator of the seminar series. This year, administrative assistant Sarah Groneck is arranging the speaker schedule and setting up the weekly events.

Three presentations will be held this week. Senior biology student Erica Lieuwen will present on the function of Cux1 in mouse testes. “I am using a process called immunohistochemistry to determine which proteins are present with the Cux1 protein,” says Lieuwen. “The outcome of my research is complicated and not exactly what we expected.”

Fellow senior biology student Will McClain will continue the discussion on the Cux1 gene in the presentation Chromatin Immunoprecipitation of Potential Gene Targets of Cux1 during Spermatogenesis. “The purpose of my research project is to find out what genes Cux1 regulates during spermatogenesis,” says McClain. “Because no one knows what Cux1 does in spermatogenesis, this research is important because knowledge about what other genes Cux1 regulates could lead to discoveries relevant to areas such as birth control and infertility.”

Zack Petersen, a senior majoring in biology and environmental studies, and Michelle Alkema, a junior majoring in environmental studies, will share their research on genetic diversity in butterfly milkweed using molecular ecology techniques. This study has included butterfly milkweed from the Dordt College prairie, as well the Brewer prairie, Steele prairie, and Freda Haffner Kettle Hole.

The summer series has an average of 30 attendees each week and a large number of willing presenters.For more information on the event, please contact Sarah Groneck (

Brief descriptions of past sessions are available.

Media Access: Download Word Version | High Resolution Image: 1