South Carroll alumnus earns doctorate


January 07, 2000|By Donna Abel | Donna Abel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MOUNT AIRY residents Jerry and Judy Casey are proud parents.

Their son, Ryan Casey, at 26, received his doctorate in environmental toxicology from Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., on Dec. 16.

Ryan attended Mount Airy Middle School and graduated from South Carroll High School in 1990 when he was 16 years old. He was an honor roll student all four years of high school.

According to his mother, he was always interested in science.

"His high school chemistry teacher, Robert Foor-Hogue, made a strong impression on Ryan," Judy says.

Although Ryan received a scholarship to attend Loyola, he wanted to go to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., because it offered the courses he wanted. He worked to help pay the costs of attending Virginia Tech.

At Virginia Tech, he tutored freshman chemistry students. In his senior year, he became a teaching assistant and taught a freshman-level chemistry class. He was also a member of Gamma Beta Phi, a fraternity that focuses on community service projects.

He graduated in 1995 with honors and received a bachelor's degree in chemistry. During his undergraduate training, Ryan was in a work co-op program with the federal Food and Drug Administration in alternating semesters, working one semester and attending college the next.

Ryan then focused on his doctorate, enrolling at Clemson University in an intensive program that allows students to go directly from a bachelor's degree to a doctorate. His project concerned wetlands and how they remove impurities from water.

"We are so proud of him," says Judy. "He set a goal for himself and he attained it."

Ryan works for the department of environmental toxicology at Clemson University. He and his wife, Terrie Casey, who holds a degree in biochemistry, met while they were attending Virginia Tech.

Last spring, the couple visited Germany, where Ryan was a presenter at a conference for the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, to which he belongs. He was recommended for the presentation by his college adviser.

He recently returned from Jamaica after being one of three people chosen from his laboratory to teach a course in environmental science.

For his postdoctoral work, Ryan will go to the University of Delaware, Newark, Del., where he will conduct research similar to his doctoral work.

Weight-loss class

First Place, the health program at St. James Episcopal Church, 204 N. Main St., Mount Airy, began its weight-loss-Bible study support group Wednesday and invites members of the community to join the group.

The 10-week class will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesdays in the coffee room at the church and will be led by Sharon Hansen.

Janice Wolcott of St. James says the class is based on a well-balanced diet combined with daily Bible study to keep people focused on their goals.

"It's simply based on the food pyramid and principles of good eating," says Wolcott. "The class teaches people how to eat without gimmicks and encourages them to put Christ first in their lives, and that includes their health."

In the last 10-week session, 79 pounds were lost within the group, including 12 by a spouse who followed the program at home.

The initial cost for the program notebook is $79, which includes a cookbook and Bible journal. Each weekly Bible study class is $15. Information: Janice Wolcott, 301-829-0928.

Karate class offered

Taekwondo-Arnis Academy in Mount Airy will hold Tuesday and Thursday classes beginning Tuesday at Mount Airy Elementary School. Classes run for 12 weeks.

Beginner and intermediate classes for ages 7 to 12 are $79 and will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Advanced classes for ages 7 to 12 and classes for teen-agers and adults at all levels are $99 and will be held from 7: 15 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m.

Tae kwon do is a Korean martial art and an Olympic sport. It emphasizes physical fitness, courtesy, perseverance, self-control and integrity. Arnis is a Philippines martial art geared toward practical self-defense. Both forms will be taught in the class.

Donna Abel's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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