Current news

A series of portraits by UWL art professor Jennifer Williams. Williams and other members of the UWL community found a variety of ways to cope with COVID-19 this summer. Summer success stories Posted 1:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 See how the UWL community spent the summer of COVID-19 Read more about Summer success stories Zach Heinkel, '18, a composite materials engineer with the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is part of a four-person team using 3D printers to produce masks, visors and hands-free door openers for employees at various naval facilities. Engineering solutions to COVID-19 Posted 2:10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 Alum says dual degree program ‘opens many doors’ Read more about Engineering solutions to COVID-19 James Burkhart, ‘68, received the Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his extensive work in radon science.
Read more →
Superb Scientist Posted 3:13 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 Burkhart recognized as a radon leader Read more about Superb Scientist Professor Taviare L. Hawkins, chair of the Physics Department, works directly with students in a physics lab. Hands-on experience and specialized classroom attention are just two reasons UWL issued an average of 35 degrees annually between 2015-17, making it No. 1 in the nation among bachelor’s degree-granting institutions according to the American Physical Society.
Read more →
No. 1 nationally Posted 1:46 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 UW-La Crosse Physics Department is tops in awarding degrees Read more about No. 1 nationally Read more →
Six to receive distinguished alumni awards Posted 2:32 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 Alumni from five decades earn awards from Alumni Association Read more about Six to receive distinguished alumni awards Shelly Lesher, associate professor of physics, will be on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 school year. Awarded the Yale Presidential Fellowship, she will be a visiting associate professor of Physics at Yale University where she will teach her unique course on the atomic bomb. Lesher has taught physics at UWL since 2009. 
Read more →
Lesher earns Yale Fellowship Posted 1:46 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 Unique UWL class on the atomic bomb to be taught at Yale University this fall Read more about Lesher earns Yale Fellowship Taviare Hawkins and Deb Hoskins. 
Read more →
UW System honors Posted 1:46 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 UWL's Hawkins, Hoskins earn diversity, inclusion kudos Read more about UW System honors Connie Arzigian, Archaeology/Anthropology, teaches a workshop on “Making Bones Speak” during the Girls in Science camp. Photo by Greg White, News8000. 
Read more →
UWL team prepares the future of math, science Posted 1:47 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 Dozens of faculty, staff, students join to teach summer camps at UWL Read more about UWL team prepares the future of math, science UWL student Gina Wade says she thinks students learn the most by doing — conducting an experiment and proving a theory to be true instead of listening to someone tell them it is true.
Read more →
Video: Learning by doing Posted 1:47 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 Science education at UWL is growing, changing and providing transformational experiences Read more about Video: Learning by doing Read more →
Science & Health News Posted 1:47 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 Probe the latest in UWL’s largest college Read more about Science & Health News

Physics kudos

Shelly Lesher

Shelly Lesher, Physics, was interviewed by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) of AAAS Science & Human Rights Coalition on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Dr. Lesher was interviewed as part of the series, Responding to COVID-19: Science and Human Rights series by the AAAS. As the past-chair of the Committee on the International Freedom of Scientists (CIFS) of the American Physical Society (APS) she discussed two of the ways physicists used their skills during the initial months of the pandemic.

Submitted on: Aug. 12

Shelly Lesher

Shelly Lesher, Physics, presented "Nuclear Physics and You" at Physics of Atomic Nuclei Summer School on July 27 in virtual. She was invited to give the opening lecture to 24 high school students at the Physics of Atomic Nuclei Week long summer school sponsored by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics.

Submitted on: Aug. 3

Shelly Lesher

Shelly Lesher, Physics, presented "What health professionals need to know: Teaching nuclear physics without calculus" at American Physical Society Virtual April Meeting on Tuesday, April 21 in Washington, D.C. The invited talk was part of the Increasing Nuclear Literacy for the Public and for Professionals session sponsored by the Forum on Education and the Division of Nuclear Physics.

Submitted on: April 21

Harold Hart, Loren Hough, Thomas Lee, Kathryn P. Wall, Cynthia Paige and Taviare Hawkins

Harold Hart, Physics '19; Loren Hough, Thomas Lee, Kathryn P. Wall and Cynthia Paige, all University of Colorado Boulder; and Taviare Hawkins, Physics; presented "C-Terminal Tail Polyglycylation and Polyglutamylation alter microtubule Mechanical Properties" at Biophysical Society Annual Meeting on Feb. 19 in San Diego, California Convention Center. Microtubules are biopolymers that perform diverse cellular functions. The regulation of microtubule behavior occurs in part through post-translational modification of both the alpha- and beta- subunits of tubulin. One class of modifications is the heterogeneous addition of glycine and glutamate residues to the disordered C-terminal tails of tubulin. Due to their prevalence in stable, high-stress cellular structures such as cilia, we sought to determine if these modifications alter the intrinsic stiffness of microtubules. Here we describe the purification and characterization of differentially-modified pools of tubulin from Tetrahymena thermophila. We found that glycylation on the alpha-C-terminal tail is a key determinant of microtubule stiffness, but does not affect the number of protofilaments incorporated into microtubules. We measured the dynamics of the tail peptide backbone using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We found that the spin-spin relaxation rate showed a pronounced decreased as a function of distance from the tubulin surface for the alpha-tubulin tail, indicating that the alpha-tubulin tail interacts with the dimer surface. This suggests that the interactions of the alpha-C-terminal tail with the tubulin body contributes to the stiffness of the assembled microtubule, providing insight into the mechanism by which glycylation and glutamylation can alter microtubule mechanical properties.

Submitted on: Feb. 24

Shelly Lesher

Shelly Lesher, Physics was interviewed by APS News on Dec. 15, 2019.

Submitted on: Dec. 19, 2019