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The SOU STEM Division proudly presents
Friday Science Seminars 

This weekly seminar series will cover a wide variety of topics from academic, industrial, commercial, and non-profit sectors in the fields of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science. 
  • The lectures are usually scheduled on Fridays from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in the SOU Science Auditorium, Science Building room 151
    (please note that lectures are held during academic terms only - we do not schedule presentations during break periods), however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, some FSS maybe offered via Zoom or livestream

  • These events are free and open to the public. 

  • Keep in touch! If you would like to receive a weekly announcement of our upcoming lecture, please email your request.

Spring 2021 Virtual Seminars

  • May 21 - Healthcare Panel Discussion with SOU Alumni

Southern Oregon University’s STEM Division invites you to a virtual panel discussion with SOU Alumni currently working in the healthcare field. This event would be of great benefit to all high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. Our SOU Chemistry and Biology alumni will share their educational backgrounds and professional pathways, provide advice, and field your questions. Our panelists include a current allopathic medical student, a certified physician assistant specializing in dermatology, a doctor of osteopathic medicine specializing in psychiatry, a doctor of allopathic medicine specializing in surgery, and a naturopathic physician specializing in pediatrics.

All individuals interested in learning more about healthcare professions are welcome to join this free event on Friday, May 21st at 3:30 pm, Zoom link:


  • April 23 - Synthesis of Small Natural Products and New Mechanism of Cell Survival
The talk will touch upon the synthesis of a new small natural products that has potential use in
Multiple Sclerosis. The molecule consists of two rings and synthetic approaches involving building each
ring separately and then combining them will be discussed. The second part of the talk will be on new
mechanisms for how cells can avoid apoptosis. Cells undergo apoptosis (cell suicide) under various
conditions (e.g., when deprived of nutrients). Adding a derivative of corticosterone (a steroid hormone)
prevents cells from undergoing apoptosis. Approaches to elucidate this novel mechanism of apoptosis
inhibition will be discussed.

Zoom link:

  • April 16 - Friday Science Virtual Seminar with STEM Faculty

    Division meeting will be held to share out actions faculty and/or programs have taken in the 2020-2021 academic year to create a more supportive course environment. 

    Zoom link:

Winter 2021 Virtual Seminars

  • February 19 - Friday Science Virtual Seminar with Dr. Megan Sassin of the US Naval Research Laboratory - 

    In this 30 minute presentation, Dr. Sassin will cover the basics of electrochemical charge-storage in the context of the aqueous power sources (batteries and supercapacitors) and she will also share her career path to becoming a research chemist. A question and answer session will be held after the presentation. Hope to see you there on February 19th at 3:30 pm!  

    Full page photo Sassin
    Megan B. Sassin received her B.S. in Chemistry from Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX) and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine under the direction of Professor Reginald M. Penner.  In 2008, Dr. Sassin joined the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow in the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section and was hired as a staff scientist in 2010 and subsequently awarded the Jerome and Isabella Karle Fellowship to investigate three-dimensional (3D) architectures for electrostatic capacitors.  In 2012, Dr. Sassin received the Rising Star award from the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society for her work on aqueous asymmetric electrochemical capacitors.  Dr. Sassin’s research interests are presently centered on the design, fabrication, and characterization of multifunctional 3D electrode architectures for energy-storage/conversion applications, including electrochemical capacitors, aqueous rechargeable batteries, all-solid-state 3D batteries, and fuel cells.  Dr. Sassin is the National President of Iota Sigma Pi, an honor society for women in chemistry and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry (SEAC).

    Zoom link:


    Free Virtual Screening: noon - throughout the day on Tuesday, January 19 – January 22

    Live Panel Discussion: Friday, January 22, 3:30 – 5:00 PM

    SOU’s STEM Division is hosting a complimentary virtual screening of the documentary, PICTURE A SCIENTIST.  You will be able to view the film anytime Tuesday, January 19, through Thursday, January 21.  Following the screening, SOU X-Factor, a group that supports the advancement of underrepresented faculty at SOU, will lead a virtual live panel discussion on Friday, January 22, 3:30-5:00 PM.

    PICTURE A SCIENTIST, an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, is a feature-length documentary chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists.  Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights.  Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. Here is a link to the Trailer and more information about the film.  

    Although there is no charge, registration is required.  Click here to go directly to a short Google form to register.  Watch your email Tuesday morning, January 19, for information on how to log into the virtual screening room and join the virtual panel discussion.  

    After viewing the film, please join SOU X-Factor for a live panel discussion moderated by SOU Professor of Biology Emerita Carol Ferguson with SOU Faculty Alison Burke (Criminology and Criminal Justice), Arielle Halpern (Biology and Environmental Education), Chris Lucas (Communication), Prisicilla Oppenheimer (Computer Science),Jacqueline Strenio (Economics), and Maggie Vanderberg (Computer Science).