February 2016

STEMM Idol: Dr. Jim Olson

If you saw 20 images on a screen for 15 seconds, how many of those images do you think you could remember? Dr. Jim Olson did this test as part of his STEMM Idol Speaker Series presentation on Tuesday, March 1.

Dr. Olson has been with the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wright State University since 1986 and is the head of their research laboratory. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Emergency Medicine Foundation, among others.

"I am learning all the time," Dr. Olson said. "This past year I have learned more about how we learn."

During his presentation, Dr. Olson showed students the components of memory storage and why they may not remember something they have learned. He also did two fun tests, seeing what students would remember after being shown something on a screen.

"The memory quiz is to show how the memory system works and how students can use that to adapt the way they learn," Dr. Olson explained. "Students will be surprised with how much they can or cannot remember." 

Dr. Olson also had a cadaver brain to show students, who were interested in seeing it, and how the different lobes of the brain operate.  He also explained how students, with a desire to have a career in neuroscience, can take several course paths to get to that career.

"I started out as an engineer and then received my Master's degree in physics," Dr. Olson shared. "What I learned in engineering was how to solve problems; what I learned in physics was mathematics, and applying math to everyday life. From there I went into a biophysics program and then got a little more defined. I then went into neurochemistry and later, I went into neurology departments and studied acute brain issues."

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

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Capstone Holds T-Shirts to Dog Toys Drive

Seniors Taylor Bridgett, Olivia Brown, Carly Buchanan, and Emilie Nevius have a passion for animals. That’s why for their Senior Capstone Project, the group is holding two activities involving furry friends.

“Our project is all about helping animals in the local area,” Bridgett said. “We want to benefit local shelters.”

“Some of us did our junior year service hours at local shelters and even after the requirement was done, we kept going back to volunteer,” Buchanan added. “So we knew we wanted our Senior Capstone Project to focus on animals.”

Nevius noted, “I didn’t do my service hours at an animal shelter, but I love animals.”

On Monday, February 29, the group, in conjunction with Student Council, will be making toys for dogs that are at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. 

“We have old t-shirts and we are going to cut them into strips,” Brown explained. “We may use tennis balls and then tie the t-shirt strips into a braid style. We will wrap that around the tennis ball so they become a chew toy for the dogs.”

The Capstone group is also completing training so they can facilitate others volunteering at the Dayton Humane Society on a future Saturday.

“The local shelters have more than just cats and dogs,” Angela Ruffolo, the group’s mentor shared. “This group is very hard working and you can tell that they have a passion for animals. I think it’s great too that some of them have rescue animals as pets in their family.”

The seniors said they hope future Capstone groups continue to do projects that benefit the local shelters.

“These shelters do more than just take in an animal, they help find it a home,” Brown said. “I hope students continue helping shelters in their spare time.”

Walk to State: Men's and Women's Swimming

UPDATE: Moran placed 7th in the 500 and 11th in the 200 freestyle events. Zelina placed 12th in the 200 and 20th in the 100 freestyle events. Congratulations!

Road to State: To a school full of cheers, swimmers Macleary Moran '18 and Jorge Zelina '19 participated in the traditional "walk to state" around the CJ hallways on Wednesday, February 24.

"I am most looking forward to competition," Zelina said. He will be competing in the 100 and 200 freestyle events.

Moran, who participated the state competition last year, will be competing in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

"I am hoping to place higher than I did last year," Moran reflected. 

"Macleary has impressed me with her focus on what she needs to do to drop time and qualify," noted CJ Swim Coach Kate Whistler. "She puts that goal in her head and just does it. Her hard work is evident both in and out of the pool. She has been a fantastic role model to our other swimmers."

Whistler continued, "Jorge is a freshman and only 18 months into swimming combatively! His raw talent is unbelievable and we expect many great things from him as he learns how to race and train.  He will only get better."

Joining the pair in the walk to state was the entire men's and women's swim team.

"It is great to have them here," shared Moran. "They are super supportive."

Zelina agreed, "I am glad for the support and it is nice to have them with us as we walk to state."

Whistler added, "We have such a young team this year with only 4 seniors graduating. We anticipate a bigger state team next year and look forward to seeing what these young athletes can do!"

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CJ Recognizes National Engineers Week

What would happen if engineering disappeared for a day? Every day things we can take for granted like electricity in homes, to using computers, and even brushing teeth would no longer be of existence without engineers.

February 21-27, 2016 marked the 65th anniversary of National Engineers Week. As part of the STEMM Idol Speaker Series, CJ STEMM Coordinator Meg Draeger shared with students the difference engineers have made in the world today.

"I wanted students to think about how much engineering does impact our daily lives and how much we wouldn't have if it wasn't for engineers," Draeger explained. "Engineers make our lives easier and more fun." 

Draeger shared with students things that are possible thanks to engineers including athletic shoes, theme park rides, and computer-generated imagery, just to name a few.

Students who attended the presentation said they have an interest in engineering fields after CJ.

"I'm interested in how to build stuff and math," commented Mykala Ross '18. "I want to be an architect 10 years from now."

Antonio Moore '18 added, "I don't know what my career will be, but I like to see how things are made like computers and engines in cars."

"At CJ, we now have three 3D printers," Draeger noted. "We also continue to have new STEM initiatives and competitions."

After the presentation, students had the opportunity to be engineers themselves using Legos and other building materials.

You can learn more about National Engineers Week here.

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Capstone Brings Awareness to Mental Health

Seniors NyJia Lott, Laura Neff and Ayreon Wilkinson have each seen someone struggle with depression and the toll it can take on a family. That's why for the trio's Capstone Project, they wanted to share the signs of the disorder and remove some of the stigma associated with it.

"We made a power point presentation to show to all the homerooms," shared Neff. "In the power point, we explained depression, its symptoms, causes, and the different methods of treatment."

"Many young adults struggle with depression, and if we can lessen the stigma associated with it and make it something people talk about more, we may be able to help those who are struggling and make a difference," added the capstone group's mentor AJ Grimm. "To let those who are struggling know they are not alone is important. And also, if we can teach others what signs to look for in order to reach out to a friend in need, that could make a world of difference as well."

The group said they felt it was important to give their presentation to their classmates and share how there are many forms of depression.

"We outlined different methods of treatment and the symptoms so that students will be able to recognize depression in their peers and offer help and so that students who are currently struggling with depression have more knowledge on the available treatments and resources for them to reach out to for help," Neff explained.

"The group decided on their own to do a pre-test and post-test to see what students learned from their presentation," Grimm noted. "I thought this was a great idea and a good tool to use to measure the effectiveness of their presentation. This should provide some quality information for their presentation at the Sr. Stang Symposium as well."

All Senior Capstone groups will be presenting their projects during the Sr. Stang Symposium on Thursday, April 14 at CJ.

Students' Artwork Showcased at the Packard Museum

On Thursday, March 3, students in the Art I class will be recognized at an art exhibition and awards ceremony presented by America's Packard Museum. Drive: An Art Exhibition will be held at the museum from 6-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

"I am always seeking new and innovative ways to incorporate art into the world outside of the classroom," art teacher Marysa Marderosian said. "Every morning on my way to school, I would pass the Packard Museum and think that it would be such a great experience for my students to be able to take their drawing boards over and draw the cars from observation." 

Marderosian is one of the newest teachers to CJ in conjunction with an expanded partnership with K12 Gallery. The idea for the art exhibition came after Marderosian held her Art I winter final exam at the Packard Museum.

"I wanted to provide my students with an unique and memorable experience, and also one that I myself had never been given as an art student," Marderosian explained."Looking across the street, I saw a golden opportunity for the students.  Drawing from observation is one of the main focuses of Art I, but drawing from small still life objects can prove monotonous at times.  I knew this would be a serious challenge for them, but one for which they would be prepared."

"My exam at the Packard Museum was definitely a fun experience," shared Haley Kraft '19. "Not many people can say that they got to draw antique cars for their exam. It was fun to be able to draw such unique cars and be in your own little zone, then have it count as an exam. "

"I enjoyed learning about what cars looked like in the past," Diamond Bronaugh '16 noted.

Chloe Brzozowski '19 added, "I thought that our exam 'prompt' was very interesting. It got us out of the classroom and challenged us a bit. I am excited for everyone's art to be on display for the public and represent CJ."

Packard Museum officials were so impressed with the students' artwork that they selected 10 students' drawings to be put on display for Drive: An Art Exhibition. Five students were chosen from each of Marderosian's two Art I classes. Those students are:

  • Rachel Boll
  • Diamond Bronaugh
  • Chloe Brzozowski
  • Nikki Gabriel
  • Haley Kraft
  • Brandi Melson
  • Sara Peters
  • Zane Shrewsbury
  • Audrey Springman
  • Katie Zopff

Two students (one from each class) will be chosen as the top winner for their class. Some of the drawings will remain on permanent display at the museum. 

"I am looking forward to seeing the top works of art on display and knowing that I have a piece of art in a museum, which is something I can say that's really cool," Nikki Gabriel '18 shared.

"I cannot wait for my students to see their work framed and on display," Marderosian added. "It is a huge accomplishment for them as young artists to have this opportunity.

"This event wouldn't be possible without the innovative minds at the Packard Museum, namely Dan Badger, the museum director.  He is equally excited to foster a partnership with Chaminade Julienne, and has some great ideas on how to further pursue this.  Be on the lookout for our next John Marshall inspired-project which will link our art students and engineering students with 3-D design! "

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Seniors Recognized As National Merit Achievers

Update: February 22, 2016: Will Huffman was named a National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Congratulations!


September 30, 2015 - Four seniors were recently awarded honors by the National Merit Scholarship Program.  

Will Huffman was named a Semi-Finalist and Allison Huffman, Thomas Krug and Cameron Woodard were named Commended Students. The students were chosen based off the index score of their Preliminary SAT test.

The recognized students shared who or what has been their biggest influence at CJ.

Will Huffman said, "My biggest influence at CJ has been the many teachers who have encouraged and inspired me."

Allison Huffman agreed, "The teachers at CJ have really helped me excel. They are willing to work with me and help me reach success."

Thomas Krug said, "In terms of standardized testing, I think the competition between students has been my biggest motivator."

Cameron Woodard shared, "All of the classes I've taken, whether I enjoyed them the least or the most, have increased my knowledge in a positive way. All of the people I've interacted with have given me another perspective to think about."

All four said they are still considering which college to attend, but some top choices were Notre Dame, Princeton,  University of Chicago, Duke, Vanderbilt, Ohio State University and the University of Dayton.

The students also shared advice to others who will be taking the PSAT on October 14.

"I would recommend studying for it," Allison Huffman said. "My mom really pushed me to study and even an hour or two made a difference."

Thomas Krug shared the same sentiment, "Study hard- it's worth it! Also take the practice test and give yourself normal time conditions, but finish all the problems."

Will Huffman agreed, "I would become familiar with the test. I did well because I already took the SAT beforehand and there were no surprises on test day."

Cameron Woodard said, "My advice is the same as the advice that countless others have given me regarding the PSAT: don't stress over it."

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Senior Golfers Passing on the Torch

The Class of 2016 women golfers will not be playing for CJ in the fall, but their dedication to the team is still seen when they attend current CJ golf practices.

"We hope to carry on the legacy," shared Lizzi Yeazel '16. "It's nice to see all the new girls and how excited they are to play. I hope that I can help build up their work ethic and hopefully inspire them to work really hard."

Head Coach George Menker '55 said current seniors and golfers who have graduated have always been welcomed back for the winter, spring and summer practices.

"The older girls have their swings down," explained Menker. "They can teach the younger girls and the younger girls can watch the graduates, because they can learn a lot just by watching them swing."

This fall, the Eagles finished their season 22-2 and placed first in the GCL, sectional and district tournaments. They placed third in the DII state tournament. 

Chloe Brzozowski '19 just finished her first year of playing golf for CJ.

"The senior class showed me that you can start out not the best player but then you can progress and really do great things in life," Brzozowski said.

Menker said he hopes to continue seeing the seniors and graduates come back to share their expertise with the current golf team.

"It  shows the graduates are dedicated to the team, the school, and they want to see the program continue to grow," noted Menker.

Brzozowski added, "It's like we're one big family and we all like to keep our roots together as long as we can."

Yeazel agreed, "When it comes to CJ, it's cool because even though after graduation, you don't have to leave the team. You make sure all the girls are doing well and share advice when they need it. I think that's what makes CJ unique."

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STEMM Idol: Molly Wakeling

A Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force spoke to students on Tuesday, February 16 as part of the STEMM Idol Speaker Series.

Molly Wakeling is also a physicist and graduate student working on her Master’s degree in nuclear engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).

“I have always loved science,” Wakeling shared. “What I love about science is that there is still so much to know but we can do the experiments to figure it out. I love that there is a lot of beauty in it as well.”

Wakeling is a native of Spokane, Washington and graduated Cum Lade from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics. While working on her undergraduate degree, Wakeling spent three summers as an intern at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California doing nuclear physics experiments.

“It’s challenging but if I wouldn’t do something as challenging, it wouldn’t be as fun,” Wakeling told the students.

After graduating from AFIT in March, Wakeling plans to be a LADAR (laser radar) research scientist.

“I’ve been involved with a lot of nuclear physics the past couple years so I’m looking forward to exploring a new area of physics and working on a technology that benefits the military.”

Students can view Wakeling's presentation here.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

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Pratt Signs with Cincinnati Christian University

Smiles of proud friends, family and coaches filled the library on Thursday, February 11 as Derson Pratt ‘16 signed to play football at Cincinnati Christian University.

“He’s going to be hard to replace,” said CJ Football Head Coach Marcus Colvin. “Derson really grew in four years, both academically and physically. Those are all the things you want at CJ. I’m proud that he is going to go on and has a good foundation to continue playing in college.”

Also attending the signing ceremony were coaches from Cincinnati Christian University.

“Having the coaches here showed how great CCU is and how great my coaches are going to be,” Pratt shared. “There are a lot of similarities at CCU to CJ.”

“We know CJ has an emphasis on community service,” CCU Defensive Line Coach Trevor Zeiders explained. “We are involved in community service and will be doing things in the community, so it did play a part in choosing Derson. He’s a better fit for us overall.”

“Derson has a good character, and that is shown through his behavior and his respect,” Colvin noted. “He has great parents and you can see that shine through in everything he does.”

Pratt said he would like to major in business or athletic training. He will most likely play on the defensive line for CCU.

When looking ahead to next school year, Derson said, “I’m most definitely going to miss my friends and teachers, and everything about CJ spiritually.”

"We are excited for Derson and excited for his opportunity,” Zeiders added. “August will be here before we know it!”

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