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November 22, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Duquesne honors SRU's Birckbichler

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Paul Birckbichler, associate professor of chemistry, has been named a recipient of the Regional Undergraduate Leadership Award from Duquesne University for his work with undergraduate researchers.

The award will be presented at 5 p.m., Dec. 3, at the 2013 Pittsburgh Regional Undergraduate Leadership Award Dinner hosted by Duquesne in the African Ballroom of its Student Union.

Also receiving the award will be Caryl Fish from St. Vincent College.

The award is given to faculty from the southwestern Pennsylvania regional institutions who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and sustained excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

Birckbichler, chair of SRU's chemistry department, has shown consistent growth of undergraduate research programs in an effort to ensure that young undergraduate students present their findings at regional and national conferences.

He has been involved with 56 undergraduate students who conducted research under his tutelage since 1999.

The students have presented at 57 peer-reviewed local, regional and national venues.

"Of the students we have been able to keep track of, 29 have gone on to graduate school, six work in industry and three went to medical school," wrote Susan Hannam, dean of SRU's College of Health, Environment and Science, in presenting his nomination.

"I have witnessed Dr. Birckbichler spending many long, patient hours with aspiring student researchers. In fact, he even avails himself to high school students who demonstrate an interest and commitment to the hours necessary to conduct research. His student researchers hold him in high regard and respect his vast knowledge in the field," Hannam said.

Birckbichler joined the SRU faculty in 1999. He earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Duquesne. At SRU he has taught biochemistry, general chemistry and independent research courses and laboratory sections.

He holds patents for: "Method for Detection of Factor XIII in Plasma," serial number 114,630, with KN Lee and MK Patterson Jr., as patent number 5,015,588, and for "Transglutaminase Gene" with BM Fraij, MK Patterson Jr. and RA Gonzales as patent number 5,726,051.

His membership affiliations include the Southeastern Oklahoma Science and Engineering Fair, awards chairman of the Breakfast Optimist Club, vice president of the Breakfast Optimist Club, president of the Ardmore School Math Curriculum Committee, member of the Ardmore School Science Advisory Committee, Ardmore School Science Curriculum Committee, Southeastern Oklahoma District Science and Engineering Fair Inc., board of directors and charter member of the Ardmore School Science Enrichment Committee.

He is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Tissue Culture Association, Central States Branch, president of the American Association for Cancer Research Oklahoma Academy of Science and chairman of its Biochemistry/Biophysics Section.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.