Biology - creative projects

In the Developmental Biology (BIOL 410) class, students were required to make a creative representation of a class topic. Although all the projects were fantastic, the ones that could easily be transferred to the web are shown below:

 Poem on Regeneration (by Cara Grazette):

I think I’m gonna talk about regeneration..
Planaria are full of stem cells,
That’s why they regenerate without much hassles,
But newts have a different version.

Is it easier or harder? Now, that’s the question.
The cells of the blastema orchestrate the new limb.
They never just go out on a wimb..
But it’s crazy they had to go through amputation.

Now it sucks that humans can’t do this too.
But it seems we’re missing this thing - CD-50
Though, if I could I’d just order some in a jiffy.
Human regeneration? Just continue to pursue.
Maybe one day we’ll solve the mystery.

Caffeine in a College Life (by Tayde Quinto)

Caffeine pulsing through veins
Blocking adenosine receptors
Coffee, candy, chocolate
In an attempt to wake my brain

Neurotransmitters are awaken
Transmitting signals from cells to cells
Trying to fix homework mishaps
Thinking I’ll finish perhaps

Increase of dopamine happen
My mood becomes better
Motivation starts to kick in
My fingers begin to prance
Across the keyboard in an eloquent rant

Acetylcholine improves my memory
And finally everything makes sense
Biology is no longer a blur
Proteins, genes, I all comprehend
Pathways, lab reports I too understand

But now serotonin levels begin to decrease
Words run together the more I stare
I come to the end
I got to print and just as I hit send
I realize I did the wrong thing
This leads me to now sleepy and stressed.

Achondroplasia (by Cherriese Thompson)

A short problem you see.
With a name a paradox to reality.
One may inquire why.
Well, small stature is the affair
Obvious to the eye.
Yet, kept low in the air
A disharmony.

The long bone remains small,
Desiring to be tall.
What is its pickle?
An imbalance in the womb?
Maybe the environment is fickle.
Or development not given a chance to bloom.
But it’s none of that at all.

A kinase of tyrosine
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3.
An unfortunate mutation in its gene
Causing its over-activation in the cells.
Effects eventually seen.
The phenotype tells
of an activity obscene. 

Normally FGFR3 has a negative goal
of regulating endochondral ossification in its sole.
But this over expression
is too much activity.
It causes a depression
resulting in proliferation deficiency.
Chondrocytes now stopped at this toll.

What can be done?
Or what should be undone?
Doctors have done a lot
like surgery to lengthen the bone.
To normalize the plot,
there is human growth hormone.
But still trying to find the golden one.

Let’s hope research does its part
to prompt growth to restart.
I’ve said all I could say
and the ball is in their court
To solve it sooner these days,
and the time needed as short.
So now, I depart.

Acrylics (painted by Megha Verma).

The colors in the red and yellow one, fading to white around the baby, represent the flow of nutrients from the mother to the baby - sometimes at the expense of the mother. The other painting is more abstract and is mother and baby, with the blue and green representing the colors of life.

Megha picture1

Megha picture2

STEM University

Welcome to STEM University!

STEM U is over for the 2014-2015 year. We hope that you have enjoyed your experiences this year, and that you will continue to be a part of STEM U next year. If you wish to obtain a hard copy of the STEM U Survival Guide, please contact Dr. Villanueva. For a pdf of the STEM U Survival Guide, click here.

What is STEM U?

STEM University (STEM U) is a learning community designed for students majoring in the following STEM fields: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Mathematics.

What can STEM U do for you?

  • Enhance your academic success. Studies have shown that students who participate in programs like STEM U earn better grades (1,2).
  • Increase your chances of being accepted into the graduate program or career of your choice. The higher your GPA is in your science classes, the more attractive you will be to recruiters seeking to fill limited numbers of positions for jobs or in graduate or professional programs.
  • Help you to make friends with students in your major.
  • Make it easy to collaborate, when appropriate, with your classmates on projects and group assignments.
  • Make it easy to participate in study groups, which in turn will increase your chances of doing well in your classes.
  • Help you form, with your classmates and professors, relationships which will continue long past your graduation from Washington Adventist University (WAU).


There are four components of STEM U:

  1. Student mentors: Dedicated student mentors will be available for the freshmen science courses and in the residence halls (Halcyon Hall and Morrison Hall). These student mentors will be successful science majors that you can talk with about your science classes or about other questions related to being a science major.
  2. Workshops: Various workshops will be offered throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. These workshops will cover topics such as goal setting, career planning, test-taking strategies, and other issues related to your success as a student interested in the STEM fields.
  3. Residential and non-residential learning communities:
    • As part of the STEM U program, you will also have the opportunity to live on the STEM wing in the residence hall. Here, you’ll be living next door to other students in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, math, and computer science. Since these students are all participating in the same program, you will easily be able to meet with fellow science students for study sessions or just to share survival tips.
    • If you’re not planning to live in Halcyon Hall or Morrison Hall, you will have the opportunity to join the STEM commuter students' group, which also meets for study sessions and other science activities.
  4. Survival booklet: A survival booklet will provide a listing of campus resources that will be helpful to you as a science major.

STEM-U components


For more information on this program, please check us out on Facebook (, or contact Dr. Villanueva (; 301-891-4462) or Mr. Randolph Robin (

Welcome to WAU and STEM U, where science is champion!



1. Tampke DR, Durodoye R. 2013. Improving Academic Success for Undecided Students: A First-Year Seminar/Learning Community Approach. Learning Communities Research and Practice, 1(2), Article 3. Available at:; accessed 6/13/14.

2. Price DV. 2005. Learning Communities and Student Success in Postsecondary Education. A Background Paper. New York, NY: MDRC. Available at; accessed 6/13/14.




"Explore Your World" summer camp

Camp "Explore Your World" is back for its fourth year!

Registration is closed for Camp "Explore Your World"!

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Camp "Explore Your World" has been cancelled for the weeks of July 1 and July 8.

If you have any questions, please call 301-891-4462.


Camp Explore Your World, sponsored by the Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science departments, offers students ages 6 - 13 the opportunity to explore topics in biology, chemistry, physical science, math, and computer science in unique and exciting ways. The day camp runs from June 24 to July 12, Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm at Washington Adventist University. For information on registration fees, please see below, and check back soon to see what exciting topics students will be investigating each week!

Registration for the full day is $300 per week, while registration for the half day is $180 per week (the registration fee includes the lab fee). Before- and after-care is available by special request, with at least 24 hours advance notice.

Registration discounts may also apply:
Multiple children enrolled = $25 discount per additional child enrolled
Employees of WAU, WAH, GC, G.E. Peters = 25% discount
Registration for all four weeks of camp = 10% discount

The schedule each week will be as follows:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9am-noon: Biology Math Biology Biology Field trips
1pm-4pm: Math Computer Science Math Computer Science Computer Science

The weeks of June 24-28 and July 8-12, the students will be investigating intelligence. The week of July 1-5, the students will be investigating camouflage, vision, and detection.

This summer we're also looking for student volunteers (ages 15 and up) to assist us. If you're interested in earning community service hours while getting to do science experiments and learn about computers, please fill out the WAU volunteer form; please remember that if you're under 18 years-old, a parent or guardian must co-sign your volunteer form. Please send the completed the volunteer application, to Dr. Melinda Villanueva:
Fax: 301-270-1618
Mail: 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

For more information about the summer camp or the volunteer opportunities, please call 301-891-4663, or email

The camp registration forms are available as pdfs which may be mailed or faxed; once payment is received, your spot is reserved.

Registration and Medical Information forms

Service Day, Fall 2103

Service Day at the Food Pantry

By Ms. Karrol-Lee Richards

Karrol-Lee Richards at Service Day, Fall 2013Karrol-Lee's Service DayIn all my years being at Washington Adventist University (WAU), I have made it my priority to participate in each Service Day. Spring semester of 2013, I decided to not participate in Service Day which made me feel as though there was someone out there who was depending on me and I failed to help them. So, Wednesday, October 2, 2013, I made sure I was up and ready to do my part in Service Day although I tirelessly slept through my alarm. As a final year student at WAU, I made it my duty to participate in the “Takoma Park Emergency Food Pantry” activity along with a group of roughly 20-30 students.

Before arriving at the site, I had a mindset that told me, all there was to do at this site was pack a few bags and that would complete my day of service. Little did I know or think that there was more to the up keep of this program. Once the bus arrived at the site, we all exited the bus excited and ready to lend a hand to people in need. The director of the program came and greeted the group and told us what he needed assistance with. We were told he needed four groups, one group was to do data entry, the other group was needed for distributing flyers around Langley Park to inform people about the program, the next group was needed for making phone calls, and the last group was needed for packing bags.

I participated along with 15 other students packing bags. The majority of the bags that were packed contained a can of meat, a bag of pasta, a can of vegetables, a can of tomato sauce, and a can of fruit. After a while, people began to feel a certain way about the type of food that was being prepared for distribution. My response was, “be grateful for what you have. The people who receive this food are more than grateful for the meal they are receiving.”

Once I made that comment, I thought to myself, “Why do I complain about the food that is handed to me in the cafeteria on campus?” It was then I realized I learn a valuable lesson each time I participate in Service Day. This past Service Day I learnt to be thankful for what I have and for what I do not have. The director was grateful and elated for the work we completed. We packed over 500 bags, leaving absolutely no room to store them. My wish is that we have more than one Service Day a semester because it takes more than a day to help those in need.

School of Health Professions, Science & Wellness

Mission Statement

The School of Health Professions, Science & Wellness supports the mission of Washington Adventist University by seeking to provide a Christ-centered learning experience that fosters the growth and development of moral leaders prepared for service in science, technology, mathematics, wellness, and the health profession.


View programs offered here.



The School of Health Professions, Science & Wellness employs a philosophy that balances practical training and theory in approaching education for future health sciences professionals. Faculty are accomplished practitioners, as well as distinguished scholars, allowing them to bridge the gap between concept and practice.



WAU Students Attend "Health Across Borders" Conference

On Thursday evening, September 18, 2014, Ms. Shawntez Smith and Ms. Vallery Victor accompanied Dr. Joan Francis to a conference at the University of Maryland. The conference, "Health Across Borders: Migration, Disease, Medicine, and Public Health in a Global Age", included a presentation by Dr. Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States. After the presentation, both Ms. Smith (pictured below) and Ms. Victor were able to meet Dr. Satcher.  Ms. Smith and Ms. Victor are senior biology majors at WAU.

 Shawntez with Satcher



WAU Biology major, Cherriese Thompson, was the Maryland HOSA flag-bearer at the 2014 National Leadership Conference!

Washington Adventist University is starting a new chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) – Future Health Professionals.  As part of the planning for the new chapter, Ms. Vicki Rosette and Ms. Cherriese Thompson attended the 2014 National Leadership Conference from June 25 – 27, 2014 in Orlando, Florida where Ms. Thompson was selected to carry the Maryland state flag in the Parade of Nations in the Opening Ceremonies.  The Opening Ceremonies can be watched at

Ms. Thompson is a senior biology major who will be attending medical school in a year and embodies the 2014 theme: “The Future Starts Now”.

Ms. Thompson is the president of the new chapter, which will include both WAU and Takoma Academy, under the direction of Ms. Rosette (Respiratory Care) and Dr. Villanueva (Biology).  Mr. Ro Puia is the president-elect, while Ms. Christina Rosette is the recorder.  Additional officers will be chosen during the first meetings of the year.  Come on September 8, 2014, to the first meeting to learn more details about HOSA – Future Health Professionals.

For more information about HOSA – Future Health Professionals, contact Ms. Thompson (, Ms. Rosette (, or Dr. Villanueva (

  • Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_Cherriese_Thompson.jpg Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_Cherriese_Thompson.jpg
  • Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_Cherriese_Thompson2.jpg Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_Cherriese_Thompson2.jpg
  • Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_Thompson_flags.jpg Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_Thompson_flags.jpg
  • Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_flags.jpg Click to enlarge image HOSA_2014_flags.jpg



For news and stories, please see below:

**Biology Major Sets New Standard for Ministry**