UA Kicks Cancer Soccer Tournament

The mens’s club soccer team and Akron Against Cancer held a charity tournament where all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. This was the second event like this as the women’s varsity soccer team held this same event last semester.


I got a chance to speak with assistant coach Josh Kay, who spoke about the event and how much money was raised. To this Josh said, “The event went great, the weather was a big factor in that. We raised nearly $500 after 10 teams had joined.”

In regards to whether this will be an occurring thing for semesters to come Josh said, “We are already planning for next semester. We had a chance to learn and look forward to improve based on the experience we gained from this event.”

To understand the club more, I asked Josh what the club team is about and how to join as a player or as part of the administration. Some of the benefits he listed included high competition levels, continuing to play soccer at a high level, and getting a chance to gain real world experience as an officer or coach.

The team labeled this event a success, and as mentioned look forward to hosting it once again next semester.

For the overall club, it is currently their offseason, but information on tryouts for anybody interested in a player or administrative role will be posted in the coming months.

If you want to contact the team about future events or for information on joining, you can email them at mensclubsoccer.ua@gmail.com. Also, you can give them a follow or contact them on their twitter, @UAMensClubSoccer.

Browns Offseason Breakdown

Story by Savannah Griggs—-

Giving us more action in the off-season than on the field, the Cleveland Browns have definitely made some power moves in the last week. While we had to say our farewells to Joe Thomas, Danny Shelton and DeShone Kizer. With open arms we welcomed Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall.

While Taylor brings leadership, efficiency and productivity, Landry on the other hand brings competition and passion. In the past two years Landry has had over 100 catches and numbers don’t lie. Landry is the fire power that our offense needs. Last but not least, we move on to Damarious Randall, Green Bay’s most consistent defensive back.

Randall brings tackles, interceptions, deflected passes and youth to the table. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, rumors have surfaced that general manager John Dorsey is reaching contract agreements with Chris Hubbard, and Donald Stephenson who would offset the loss of Joe Thomas. Dorsey has also been able to come to terms with Carlos Hyde to shore up the Browns’ backfield.

Although catching abilities and injuries are a concern when it comes to Hyde, he’s still a great addition to the team. General Manager Dorsey said, “anytime you can have a chance to acquire three good football players right off the bat in the trades, you’ve got to do it.” And that’s exactly what he did, making some additions and subtractions.

The Browns still managed to hold on to all five of Cleveland’s picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. The Browns have the No. 1 and No. 4 picks and they have three in the second round. With St. Patty’s Day around the corner, it looks the Browns got lucky this offseason. Sorry fans, it doesn’t look like we’ll be having a losing parade this time around.

Eye Spy a Breakthrough in Neuroscience at the University of Akron

Photo courtesy of Dr. Jordan Renna

 

When most people think about science and research coming from The University of Akron, they tend to think about polymers or plastics. We are the once “rubber capital of the world” and still labeled the city of invention, but that is not all that The University of Akron is limited to.

Recently, from our department of biology, Dr. Jordan Renna has made a breakthrough discovery in neuroscience. He had originally started working on this project with Dr. Maureen Stabio, the lead author, and several other researchers when he was at Brown University’s Berson Lab. It was with their research and gathered data that, while at the University of Akron,  Dr. Renna was able to discover a new relationship with a melanopsin ganglion receptor, known as the M5 cell, that was never before understood. Yet, to understand its importance, one must understand what these are. Most people have heard of the concept of rods and cones in the eye. These photo receptors are what most people are familiar with when learning basic biology in high school, but there is actually a third photo receptor, the melanopsin ganglion cells. Unlike the rods and cones which drive image forming pathways, like color, contrast, motion, and depth, the things that allow us to navigate our environment, these melanopsin ganglion cells serve a different function. These neurons process information that regulate when our pupils react to light or when we get tired or wake up, affecting our circadian rhythm. Dr. Renna and his team had been specifically studying the melanopsin ganglion receptor known as M5.

The discovery and breakthrough found while doing his research was that the M5 cell does not only move information to the brain concerning regulation, like how our eyes react to a bright light or no light, but it also shares information about imaging such as color and contrast. The big deal about this to the scientific community is that until now, we have never found a cell in the eye that did both, and with this knowledge, it allows us to study this specific M5 cell more with a greater understanding. Dr. Renna explained that, “…one of aspects about melanopsin ganglion cells that makes them extremely interesting is they seem to be able to survive different ocular diseases like glaucoma.” This provides an opportunity and interest to further study ocular tissues, and attempt to discover if similar cells exist in primates or humans.

His lab at The University of Akron is studying how neurocircuits are formed, and how they wire up between rods, cones, and the ganglion cells, and how these connections are formed early on. His focus is the mechanisms that connect them in development, and better understanding the complexities of these connections. This current research is how to form new connections and perhaps repair them.

The importance of these breakthroughs have yet to show their true gravity, but in many cases in science, each discovery truly is the door to a new series of breakthroughs. A virtual maze of unknowns in the human body is always unwinding with the hard work and dedication of researchers and scientists. Some may just be for information giving us clarity on why things happen, others could be the catalyst to the secret of fighting a disease or combating them later. The point is, these amazing breakthroughs in science do not happen somewhere in a mysterious lab like in a SciFi movie. They happen right in our backyard with people we pass regularly as they work to better our understanding of the world around us.

If this interests you, make sure to take Dr. Renna’s classes. In the fall, there is Neuroscience and Health and Disease, where you can learn how neurons work, how neurological diseases affect the mind, and even how to read MRI images; in the spring, you can take his Research Techniques of Neuroscience course.

Tips to land scholarships

What is the number one thing that college students think about? Money. Students often ask questions like how to pay rent, pay for lunch, afford gasoline, and of course, how to pay for tuition and textbooks.  Well, college students are lucky because finding the funds is actually a lot easier than most people realize. The number one source of money that is readily available to tons of college students is scholarships.

During the spring semester, The University of Akron and a lot of organizations, both within the university and outside, start accepting applications and handing out checks. While scholarships are widespread and readily available, surprisingly, not many students utilize them. The hardest part of applying for scholarships is finding them. Where can students get this money? Lots of places, actually. A source of scholarship money is actually through The University of Akron. The University offers a wide variety of scholarships for different majors, interests, and achievements. The best place to start is by searching uakron.edu/scholarships. On that page, students can find a variety of categories for which one can be eligible, such as transfer students, graduate students, and continuing students.

In fact, for continuing students, is there one quick and easy form to fill out each year that automatically applies students to private and endowed scholarships made available through the university by the Office of Student Accounts. Also, there are several opportunities for scholarships through each college, such as the College of Arts and Sciences or College of Applied Science and Technology. More scholarships can be found through each school at the university and for individual majors as well. Scholarships can also be found through places like the Office of Accessibility or for students who are also veterans.

Scholarships may be available through student organizations as well. Not only are scholarships recognized in nationwide organizations like the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, but student organizations can help give students some edge on a resume or application too.

Scholarships are also made available through organizations outside of the university. Many corporations like Walmart or Starbucks offer scholarships for students who work for them, and some even offer scholarships for students whose parents work at certain corporations. Also, students might find the most random scholarships for things like being incredibly tall or living in a certain region. A simple Google search will return tons of results that might apply to you.

The next step is collecting the materials you need. Each scholarship has different requirements, so make sure to read instructions very carefully. Some require essays, others cover letters, resumes, transcripts, letters of recommendation, samples of work, or other materials. Make sure you know what you need to include so that you can prepare. Also, be wary of due dates and deadlines for applications.

Applying for scholarships can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for many students. But there are some ways to ease the strain. It is important to keep in mind that not many students actually apply for scholarships. So even if you think you do not have a good chance of receiving it, apply anyway. Your chances might still be pretty great.

Also, the University of Akron has lots of services that can help students improve their work. For example, if a scholarship requires an essay or cover letter, the university has two writing labs where students can take their work to get feedback and help from tutors. The career center on campus also offers services like helping craft resumes and cover letters. Another piece of advice is ask for letters of recommendation early. When asking a professor, employer, advisor, or whoever else for a letter of recommendation, the standard amount of time to give them is  two to three weeks before the deadline of the application. This gives them plenty of time to write a good letter and get it back to you on time.

Many organizations and places at the University of Akron are beginning to open up their scholarship applications for the next academic year, so now is the perfect time to look for them. Applying for scholarships benefits for students, from paying for school and textbooks to being another bullet point on a resume. Scholarships are far and wide, and can apply to so many students, so if you are looking for money now you know where to look.

 

Student Organization: 2380 Film Club

Movies, they’re something everybody tends to enjoy. It is also something that generates a lot of opinions. Luckily for the students at the University of Akron, there’s a club to join. The 2380 Film Club is a place where students who have this passion have a way to experience it with their fellow students.

A little history behind the clubs name comes from the fact that Hollywood is 2,380 miles from Akron, Ohio. The club does things such as write short films. The most recent of these films being “Pizza Diety”, a short film that is a parody of the stereotypical high school romance film. Along with this film, the following list of other short films the club has made are “The Gentleman Vs. Death”, “Feast of Fools”, and “One Last Chill”.

For the past few years, the club has also participated in hosting a film festival at The Nightlight Cinema, located on high street. The film festival features films the club themselves have made, along with films from other independent filmmakers across Northeast Ohio. The founders of the 2380 film club even found careers at the cinema following their graduation from the university.In order to join the club there are many options, the first being that you join their meetings. The 2380 Film Club meets in the College of Arts and Science building in room 134, every Wednesday. The other way would be to simply sign up on their Facebook page at ‘Facebook.com/The2380Project’.

The club has no shortage of movies to watch. They do it all from older movies to seeing the most recent film to enter the theaters. For example, I talked to the President of the club, Glenn Booth. He stated that ” as a club, the most recent film we saw was ‘Blade Runner: 2049′”. As an insight as to what being in the club is like, I asked Glenn to describe his thoughts of the movie to me, to which he had to say “If you are a fan of the original Blade Runner, this movie isn’t for you. However, if you have never seen it, then this film may be enjoyable”.

Movies will always capture the heart, emotions, and attention of the interested fan. They have a way of making people feel lost in the story being told right in front of them. Movies will always be around, and while they’re around there will always be debates. While there are opinions on movies, there is a place to go here at the University of Akron.