Higher education with higher purpose.
Spring 2013 Newsletter

Dear Alumni,

As I write this message, my wife and I are preparing to leave on our annual Habitat for Humanity trip with Roberts students. This marks the tenth consecutive year that we’ve had the privilege of taking students on this trip. Although this trip is a highlight for me, it does add to the many other tasks that compete for my time. As the spring semester is now in full swing, I find myself wishing I could extend the hours in each day to catch up on coursework, administrative work, research, and time with family. Balance is such a hard thing to maintain on a daily basis. Even now I’m getting ready to brew a cup of coffee in hopes of infusing some energy in my sleep-deprived state. Interesting enough, I just read an article in C&E News highlighting recent concern over caffeinated energy drinks and individuals taking in much more than the recommended daily milligrams of caffeine. According to the article, ‘the annual number of emergency room visits associated with energy drinks increased to 20,000 in 2011, a 36% boost from the previous year’ (C&E News, Feb. 4, 2013, p.9). As I think about our students, it is not uncommon to see many of them walking around with a 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Mountain Dew drink in their hand. It seems as though we have definitely become a culture that tries to do too much with our time and then try to use caffeine to help compensate for our lack of sleep. As a scientist, I’m intrigued by the current research mentioned in the article examining various biochemical pathways, caffeine metabolites, and specific toxicity levels trying to get a better handle on necessary daily caffeine limits. Continuing to further our understanding of the world around us is what I find so fascinating about teaching and conducting research in the biological and chemical sciences. It is exciting for us to share with you some of the amazing activities taking place within our department.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


God Bless
Jason Taylor, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Amy Kovach
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