Bellevue University does not have traditional classes on Fridays, but the Science Center of Excellence is open from 8AM until 4PM each Friday during the term! This Open Lab format allows students and researchers full access to all facilities, faculty and staff, and equipment to learn laboratory operations, conduct research, study and just hang out with our resident scientists.

Free Lab Fridays are a great way for students, faculty, lab staff and collaborators to take full advantage of the BUNSCE facility in a fun learning environment. As Johnny Farnen the lab manager jokes, “We blow something up at least once a week around here…sometimes even on purpose!” From conducting live demonstrations for tour groups to collecting specimens in the field, interested students gain invaluable experience in addition to the high tech education they earn at BU.


Often, movies from BU’s “Science of Science Fiction” Course start at noon, making for an entertaining lunch break. There is nothing quite like viewing hard science fiction with actual experts and PhDs providing commentary!

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Forget the Oscars, if you are in scientific research, the Golden Goose awards where it’s at. Did you ever think basic research on chicken eggs or goose glands or on the imperfections of the human brain could lead to anything more than feeding scientific curiosity? Neither did the scientists initially studying these and yet now this research is considered foundational in immunology and human psychology.

Those are just some examples of the type of research honored at the yearly Golden Goose awards. Check out this years and previous awardees here:

The stories told in the short videos highlight the importance of continuing funding for basic research. Not only does it broaden our knowledge of the world, you also never know what will lead to a groundbreaking innovation. As Stanley Cohen describes it in the Golden Goose Award video: “Scientific discovery is like growing a tree. New things keep popping up along the way and create new branches, and then you have to explore the branches. Every once in a while you will find a branch with a lot of nice fruits, but you don’t know in advance which branch that will be.”

Keep following your basic curiosity in science!


Amiera Rayyan, who completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Bellevue University in June, has recently had two papers published in Microbiology Resource Announcements. The first paper is entitled Draft Whole-Genome Sequence of the Purple Photosynthetic Bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris XCP, while the second is Draft Genome Sequence and Brief History of Rhodovulum sp. Strain BSW8.

Rayyan served as the lead author of the papers. Co-authors are Terry E. Meyer from the University of Arizona and Bellevue University’s own Dr. John Kyndt. Rayyan’s accomplishment stands out beyond the publishing achievement itself:

  • They are the first papers published for Rayyan. Even at larger universities it is rather unusual for an undergraduate student to get a first author publication during his or her undergraduate studies.
  • They are the first papers by an undergraduate science student at Bellevue University where the research was done entirely in the University’s science labs.
  • It marks the first bacterial genome sequenced at Bellevue University.

“This is wonderful news,” said Mary Dobransky, Dean of the College of Science and Technology. “This achievement prompted me to think about the positive influence Bellevue University has on our students and society. While this is true of higher education in general, it is especially strong in Bellevue University’s student-focused, open-access, innovative environment. I greatly appreciate the work the entire College of Science and Technology team does to help our students succeed. Amiera’s success is our success.”

The papers emerged from Rayyan’s senior thesis project. She relished the opportunity to use the University’s new genome sequencer versus conducting a review of already completed research.

“At that point no one had used the MiniSeq yet,” she said. “I thought that sounded much more fun. It incorporated techniques that I could practice, so I thought that would be the better route.”

Amiera1-1024x683Rayyan, a graduate of Bellevue East High School with an undergraduate from Creighton University in Medical Anthropology in addition to her Bellevue University degree, is now weighing her career options.

“Whatever career I end up going toward, I think this is a great motivator,” Rayyan said of her publishing efforts. “It keeps the ball rolling for me. Let’s keep going to see if we can do more of it.”

In early 2017, Mike Hamilton, Design Principle at HDR Inc. (an Omaha-based firm specializing in architecture, engineering, environmental and construction services), sat down with Professor John Kyndt from Bellevue University for a dialogue about “how educators are adapting to the ever-changing education landscape.” Read More

In October of 2016 Bellevue University celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Omaha World Herald recorded the event and shared a few stunning photos of the science labs, professors and students, and the John B. Muller Administration Building and grounds. Read More

Taylor Fluellen, a senior, is very passionate about being a shark biologist. She is so enthralled with those mysterious, menacing sea creatures that Taylor spent her final year in the Biology program preparing a research thesis under the direction of Dr. John Kyndt, on the longevity of sharks. Read More

Crosston, Kyndt to Lead Nebraska Academic Decathlon

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Drs. Matt Crosston and John Kyndt have been named the co-Executive Directors of the Nebraska Academic Decathlon.  Crosston and Kyndt will succeed Dr. John Anstey, a retired professor from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Read More

A positive attitude and a Bellevue University bachelor’s degree in Sustainability are some great ingredients for starting a business. University graduates Matt Roen and Andy Severson, along with partner Scott Rynders, established Bellevue Produce as a Community-Supported Agriculture endeavor. The results have been some tasty eats and a sustainable business.

How Worms, Pride, & Politics Lead to Simple Science” presented by Bellevue University’s own Assistant Professor Dr. John Kyndt, a featured speaker at TEDxOmaha 2013. Dr. Kyndt shows in this recording of the event how outside influences can influence scientific research.

Dr. John Kyndt and his student researchers, Suchita Shrestha and Adam Rawson, discuss their experiments using corn stover and algae to develop biofuel.