The Synapse

Updates from the Sciences at Loyola University Maryland

Big picture

September 2022 | Issue 47

The September issue of Synapse reflects the beginning of the academic year, the beginning of Loyola experience for our new students, the beginning of teaching at Loyola for our new faculty, and a renewed commitment in search for truth through learning. We all are starting the year together, and by going all the way in our teaching and learning efforts, we ensure a great year ahead.

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha

Share your news, photos, inspiring stories, and upcoming events for a future issue. Please send any feature suggestions to Bahram Roughani at


Welcome new NAS faculty members

Hoang Bui, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science

Hoang Bui received the B.S and M.S in Computer Science in 2004 and 2007 from Midwestern State University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2012 from the University of Notre Dame. From 2012 to 2015, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Rutgers University. He spent the last seven years at Western Illinois University where he often taught programming and system courses as an Associate Professor. He is excited to join the Loyola Computer Science department this Fall as an Associate Professor. In addition to teaching, his research focuses on big data, storage, high-performance computing, and parallel and distributed systems.

Craig Myrum, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology

Craig Myrum comes to us from the NIH, where he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) here in Baltimore. After earning a BA in Biology from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, he moved to Norway, where he obtained an MS in Medical Cell Biology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, both from the University of Bergen.

Much of Dr. Myrum’s graduate work focused on Arc—a gene that is essential for long-term memory formation. That research took a multi-disciplinary approach to better understand Arc function—from examining Arc genetic variation and transcription/translation regulation to identifying novel protein-protein interactions and characterizing the basic structural properties of the Arc protein. Using animal models, his work at the NIA examined whether Arc might contribute to cognitive outcome in aging. More recently, Dr. Myrum has focused on how sleep duration and quality can influence cognitive capacity later in life, and this line of research will be a major focus of his here at Loyola.

At Loyola, Dr. Myrum will be teaching neurobiology, introductory biology courses, and other courses of interest. Outside of work, he enjoys long-distance running, the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his wife and one-year-old son.

Anson Xuan, Assistant Teaching Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Anson Xuan was born in China, came to this country and got a Master’s degree in math from Arizona State University. Since then he’s mostly worked in Salt Lake City Utah where he also became a registered nurse (RN). His academic interests are in graph theory and stochastic point processes, and his hobbies are running, swimming, reading, and hiking.

Sudeshna Basu, Ph.D. Assistant Teaching Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Sudeshna Basu grew up in Kolkata,India. She is a mathematician by training and her current research interests are in Geometry of Banach spaces and operator theory. She is trained in music and performs all over the world . Her hobbies include reading, listening to music, watching films, and travelling

Hillevi Ets, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology

Hillevi began teaching in 2016 after earning her Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Physiology from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, she taught at Salisbury University, in Salisbury, MD, and Montgomery College, in Rockville, MD. She sees teaching as a dynamic, evolving challenge that requires persistent reevaluation—much like the process of science itself! Outside of work, Hillevi enjoys hiking, admiring different types of lichen, and practicing yoga.

Hoyeon Kim , Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor of Engineering

Dr. Hoyeon Kim came from South Korea in 2011. Dr. Kim received his M.S and B.S. degree from the department of mechanical engineering, Korea University, Korea, in 2010 and 2008 and the Ph.D. degree from Drexel University, PA in 2016. From 2016 to 2018, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He was a head of R&D in the robotic company, York Exponential Co. Before Dr. Kim joins Loyola University Maryland, he had been an adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, and York College of Pennsylvania. His research interests are autonomous navigation, motion control, mobile robot, microrobotics and collaboration robotics.

Nicola (Nicky) McDougal, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Below is how Dr. McDougal likes to introduce or re-introduce herself:
Hi everyone, I'm Nicky McDougal and I'm back at Loyola teaching chemistry for the third time. I just love it here! I first started teaching at Loyola back in 2011.

So a bit about me. I was born and raised in England and graduated with my PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Cambridge. At that time I wanted to travel the world and do really exciting things, so I joined the UK government as a scientist/analyst. I have lived in several countries and continents, done really exciting things, and I met my American husband along the way.

In 2011, I left the government and settled in the US and started the next exciting adventure of my life, teaching undergraduate chemistry. I love chemistry, and I love teaching it! I taught at Loyola until 2014, and then we left to live in Wiesbaden, Germany for a couple of years. I came back in 2016 until 2021. I have spent the last year with my family in the UK but now I am back and raring to go.

I teach a variety of chemistry courses and if you are a student reading this, the chances are you will have me teach you at some point in the future. Outside of teaching chemistry I enjoy running, hiking, kayaking (a new found hobby), and spending time with my pets - Victor the dog (who you may meet, as he comes in occasionally), and Linus the cat.

I am really looking forward to meeting and working with you all!

Big picture

The new cohort of CPaMS Scholars (class of '26)

We are excited to welcome our largest and most diverse class of 34 incoming CPaMS Scholars. This year was also the most competitive year for admittance to our program, as we had the largest number of applicants in our history. CPaMS Scholars is based on building a community for students majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, or Physics. As a cohort, Scholars share certain activities and courses during their four years at Loyola, while also having a group of mentors and advisors to guide them through college life and to inform them about opportunities beyond Loyola. We look forward to getting to know our new scholars better! You can read more about the program at

Mark Your Calendar: Grand Seminar, November 8, 2022

Grand Seminar event for 2022-23 academic year, a signature annual lecture organized by the division of Natural and Applied Sciences, will be held on November 8, 2022 at McGuire hall at 6:00 pm.

This year's Grand Seminar will be presented by Kartik Chandran, Ph.D., professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia University in the city of New York. He is a global leader in sustainable wastewater treatment and engineered resource recovery. Chandran’s work is enabled through understanding and harnessing the biochemical potential and metabolism of microbial communities and developing appropriate technologies towards addressing global environmental and societal needs. He received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2015 (the so-called MacArthur Genius Award) and was named a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation in 2013.

The reception leading to the lecture will be at 4:30 pm, and it will include Hauber Summer Research posters. More details about this year's Grand Seminar will be shared in the October issues of the Synapse. We hope you mark this on your calendar and show your support for NAS programs and your interest in sciences by joining this important annual NAS event. Moreover, updates related to the November 8, 2022 Grand Seminar, including link to registration for this event, will be included in the Grand Seminar page by October.

NAS faculty and staff may sign up for a 5-minute NAS Photo Session on November 8, 2022, Tuesday, 3:00 - 4:30 P.M. in Donnelly Atrium/Memorial Garden. Please click here to register.

Local Environmental Research by Faculty and Students

This panel will explore the environmental impacts of pollution on our local streams, rivers, and air through science, art and philosophy. Faculty and students will discuss their research and experiences studying air quality in Baltimore, coal mines in West Virginia, water quality of the Anacostia River, and the Stony Run stream that flows through our campus. Together we will reflect upon the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to complex environmental challenges.

Big picture

A talk at the intersection of Arts and Sciences

Joseph DePasquale, the Senior Data Imaging Developer at the Space Telescope Science Institute will present his work on how he turns data sets into the beautiful astronomical images we have recently been seeing from the James Webb Space Telescope. He will also discuss his career path that led him to his position as Senior Science Visuals Developer at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

His presentation, co-sponsored by Fine Arts, Physics, and NAS, will be Tuesday, November 1st from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the McManus Theatre.

Loyola Sciences in the News

Paige Sim is a (5'4"?) giant Student-Athlete & a Hauber Fellow:

Loyola women's soccer's Paige Sim has big dreams on and off the field (

Paige participated in 2021 Hauber Summer Research program mentored on her research project by Professor Thompson. During her presentation the entire Women Soccer team attended her talk, which shows how much she is liked, admired, and supported by her teammates. This article about her provides more interesting point about Paige as a great student-athlete.

Reminder: Strategic Planning Town Hall - Wednesday, Sept. 14

In a recent email president, Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D. invited everyone to participate in the upcoming townhall meeting discussing strategic planning. Information about this Town Hall copied from his email is shown below.

Strategic Planning

Over the summer, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been shaping the plans for our planning process, which we will launch publicly with an in-person Town Hall from 1:30 – 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in McGuire Hall. You can register to attend the Town Hall through this registration link.

A virtual Town Hall for fully remote employees, graduate students who are not able to attend in person, and alumni will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, on Zoom. You can register to attend the virtual Town Hall through this Zoom registration page.

Upcoming Campus Events

Career Center Opportunities

The Rizzo Career Center will be hosting the STEM Career Fair 2022 in person on Wednesday, October 5, from 3-5 pm in McGuire. Students can register on Handshake. Students may access the preview page through the following link:

To register for career-focused events and opportunities, visit Handshake.

Refectory Seating Area Open for Staff, Faculty, and Administration!

The Refectory's seating area has reopened for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. The Refectory is currently not serving food, but the seating area will be open from 11:00 am - 1:30 pm Monday-Friday. The seating area is reserved only for Staff, Faculty, and Administration.

The Bridge

Visit The Bridge for upcoming campus meetings and events.

Training & Development Sponsored by Human Resources

  • Preventing Workplace Harassment - 9/7/2022, 11/16/2022, 11:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Sellinger VIP Lounge.
  • Employee Assistance Program Training for Supervisors-10/20/2022, 12/1/2022, 12:45 p.m.-1.15 p.m., College Center Rm 114
  • Creating a strategy for Career Progression, 9/27/2022, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Online Webinar, registration link is here
  • Creating an Inclusive Team and Promoting Culture of Respect, 10/25/2022, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Online Webinar, registration link is here
  • Unconscious Bias and Microaggressions, 11/8/2022, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Online Webinar, registration link is here
  • Emotional Intelligence for Success, 12/6/2022, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Online Webinar, registration link is here

Additional Training and Development Opportunities for Employees and Students

OUTLoyola SafeZone Training

Green Bandana Brigade

Brown Bag Lunch Series

Gender Diversity and Inclusion Training

Thursday Sept. 15, 2022, Noon – 1:30pm.

Facilitators: Beth Berenson, LCPC, and Ryan Sappington, Ph.D., of the Counseling Center

Navigating Interpersonal Allyship

Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, Noon – 1:30 pm.

Facilitators: Stepf Diaz of the office of student life and Tim Cherney of the Rizzo Career Center

Gender Inclusive Practices for the Classroom

Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Facilitators: Marianna Carlucci, Ph.D., Equity and Inclusion Faculty Fellow, and Emalee Quickel, Ph.D., director of clinical professional counseling

Gender Diversity and Inclusion Training

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Facilitators: Beth Berenson, LCPC, and Ryan Sappington, Ph.D., of the Counseling Center

Find more information on the Brown Bag Series and register to attend on the Upcoming Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Events page.

Govans Farmers' Market returns for 11th season

Loyola University Maryland’s York Road Initiative (YRI)is hosting the 11th season of the Govans Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays from 3 – 6 p.m. between June 1 and Sept. 28, 2022. The market is located in the parking lot of Loyola's Transportation and Public Safety complex at 5104 York Rd. The side entrance on Notre Dame Lane will be the main point of entry.



Fall Semester Resources

Academic Calendar

Coronavirus Resources

  • Loyola Coronavirus Updates - General university information for all students, faculty, staff including reopening plans, COVID-19 dashboard, FAQs, policies, and resources

Student Support Resources

Employee Support Resources