Eastern Mennonite University

Stephen Cessna

Stephen Cessna

Office Phone: (540) 432-4403

Email:

Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: SC 023


Stephen Cessna in the news:

USDA Aids Valley-Grown Blueberries

Student-professor research focuses on quality of life the world over

Associate Professor

MA in Biomedicine

Professor

Chemistry Dept

Steve received his BA in chemistry and biochemistry in Colorado in 1991 and then taught middle school math and science in Lesotho in southern Africa, with the Mennonite Central Committee, a relief and development organization of the Mennonite Churches. After returning to the US in 1995, getting married and moving to Indiana, Steve finished a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2000. His graduate research included genetically altering tobacco plants so that they express a gene from a bioluminescent jellyfish. Cellular calcium concentrations and hydrogen peroxide could then be easily measured in these glow-in-the-dark plants. At EMU, Steve continues this research, involving EMU students in the study of oxidation/anti-oxidation in plant stress, with applications in sustainable agriculture and invasive species ecology. Steve teaches courses in biochemistry, chemistry, and sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Cessna’s research interests include:
- Developing and assessing multiple min-research projects for use in teaching labs
- Developing and assessing strategies for teaching the nature of science and higher order cognitive skills
- Comparing antioxidants in blueberries grown in different soil types and conditions
- Comparing photosynthesis and growth of various native and invasive vine species
- Testing gardening techniques in terms of their impacts on produce yield and nutritional quality

Education

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Purdue University (8/2000)
B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder (5/1991)

Publications

Peer reviewed publications in the past ten years (For a list including previous publications, see scholar.google.com):

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

Past ten years (* indicates an undergraduate researcher):

S Cessna, Teaching the Nature of Science through Inquiry in Chemistry, an invited presentation for the Summer Physics and Chemistry Modeling Workshops for High School Teachers , Ohio State STEM Outreach, New Albany High School, New Albany, OH, 6/27/2013

S Cessna, T Kishbaugh. Promoting learning through authentic and relevant research experiences in environmental monitoring and remediation across ten chemistry and biology courses. Invited poster presentation to the NSF/AAAS TUES/CCLI Primary Investigators Biannual Meeting, Washington D.C. 2/2013

S Cessna, T Kishbaugh. Workshop: Authentic Research Projects in the Teaching Lab: Inception, Implementation, and Assessment for Learning, NSF/AAAS TUES/CCLI Primary Investigators Biannual Meeting , Washington D.C., 2/2013

S Cessna, L Leaman. Promoting learning through authentic and relevant research experiences in environmental monitoring and remediation across ten chemistry and biology courses. Invited oral presentation to the 244th Biannual Meeting of the American Chemical Society , Philadelphia, PA, 8/2012

T Kishbaugh, S Cessna, D Graber Neufeld. Service learning to enhance the environmental chemistry curriculum. Oral presentation to the 22nd Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education, State College, PA, 8/1/2012

S Cessna, T Kishbaugh. Tracking the development of the nature of science understanding over an undergraduate STEM career. Oral presentation to the 22nd Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education, State College, PA, 8/1/2012

S Cessna, T Kishbaugh. A report on using copper phytoremediation projects for teaching second semester general chemistry concepts and skills. Invited oral presentation to the 22nd Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education, State College, PA, 7/31/2012

T Kishbaugh, S Cessna. Implementing a ‘Research Across the Curriculum’ program in the chemistry and biology departments. Oral presentation to the 22nd Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education, State College, PA, 7/29/2012

S Cessna, T Flanagan, D Graber Neufeld, SJ Horst, T Kishbaugh, L Leaman, M Siderhurst. Promoting Learning through Authentic and Relevant Research Experiences in Environmental Monitoring and Remediation across Ten Chemistry and Biology Courses. Poster Presentation: Biennial meeting of the NSF-CCLI Primary Investigators, February, 2011.

Flanagan, Horst, Leaman, Cessna. Cross-disciplinary collaboration on rubric development. Panel Presentation: The Annual Conference of the Virginia Education Research Association, September, 2010

Leaman, Siderhurst, Cessna, Flanagan, Graber Neufeld, Horst, Kishbaugh. Collaborating for Rubrics. Panel Presentation: EMU Fall Faculty and Staff Conference; EMU, August, 2010

Cessna, Matsumoto, Lamb*. Characterization of hyper-osmotically induced calcium ion fluxes in tobacco. Poster: American Society for Plant Biology, Boston, 2006

Calcium signaling in plant cells: Signature or switch?. James Madison University Department of Biology, Harrisonburg, VA, Fall 2006

The phytoremediation of copper-contaminated soil as an interdisciplinary learning problem for a General Chemistry II lab. Poster: ASPB, Boston, 2006

Heatwole*, Roggie*, Shirk*, Cessna, Kishbaugh. Stream health assessment of the Black’s Run river. Poster: American Chemical Society, Washington D.C., 2005

Wurku*, Cessna. Tryptophan fluorescence intensity and anisotropy measurements reveal a unique unfolding intermediate in human serum albumin. Poster: UMBC Undergraduate Symposium, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2004

Lamb*, Cessna, Bolduc, Brisson. Cytokinin-induced calcium signaling measured in aequorin-transformed tobacco cells. Poster: UMBC Undergraduate Symposium, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2004

Sachs*, Boer*, Cessna. Fluorescence studies on the binding of folate to bovine serum albumin. Poster: UMBC Undergraduate Symposium, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2003 (Martha Sachs won second place for her poster presentation)

O’Connor*, Bittar*, Rice*, Steiner*, Wenger-Hochstedler*, Cessna. Hyperosmotic stress induces externally-derived Ca2+ influx followed by calcium-induced calcium release leading to salinity tolerance in tobacco cells. Poster: UMBC Undergraduate Symposium, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2003

Cessna, O’Connor*, Bittar*, Rice*, Steiner*, Wenger-Hochstedler*. Hyperosmotic stress induces externally-derived Ca2+ influx followed by calcium-induced calcium release leading to salinity tolerance in tobacco cells. Poster: American Society for Cell Biology, San Francisco, 2003

Church, Community and Professional Service

(2012/13)

  • Associate Editor: Natural Sciences Education
  • Editorial Board: ISRN Education
  • Ad hoc reviewer:
    – Journal of Chemistry Education
    – The Journal of Experimental Botany
    – Chemistry Education Research and Practice
  • Active member of Community Mennonite Church
Honors, Awards and Grants
Professional Memberships

(2012/13)

  • American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences
  • Council on Undergraduate Research
  • American Society for Agronomy
  • American Chemical Society
EMU Service

(2012/13)

  • Faculty Scholarship Committee
  • Academic Review Committee
  • Honor’s Committee
  • Pre-Professional Health Sciences Advisory Committee
  • Graduate Dean and CJP Executive Director Search Committee
  • Physics and Pre-Engineering Faculty Search Committee