Origins Club!

USG has just granted official status to the CWRU Origins Club! Join us for all sorts of cool stuff!

The first meeting is Tuesday Aug 29 at 6pm in Rockefeller 221. Meetings are twice a month. This month’s schedule will be announced soon!  FMI: email Louis at

Origins Club is a diverse group of students interested in evolution, cosmology, astronomy and other origins topics, especially Origins Science majors, Evolutionary Biology majors and minors, and Anthropology, Astronomy and Physics students. Many of us work closely with faculty in a variety of areas from lab science to field biology and paleontology. Some of us have traveled to CERN in Geneva, numerous telescopes, and done fieldwork in the deserts of Mongolia, the jungles of South America, the remote outback of Turkana, Africa, the shores of the Galapagos, and other totally cool places working with world class scientists. You can too.
A few profiles:
OC President Louis Nastasi is deeply involved with entomology and spent the summer of 2019 reorganizing and helping curate the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s entomology collection. To do this he drew on his experience in a similar role at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. He is also describing a new species of solifuge or camel spider discovered while doing field work in Africa over spring break!
Evolutionary Biology and Anthro major and OC Sargent at Arms, Jeb Bugos has conducted field work on dinosaurs in the US and Mongolia. They have also worked on modern reptiles and amphibians, spending half the summer of 2019 on dinosaurs and half on modern herpetology.
Astrophysics is the career trajectory of Origins major Luke Robbins, who spent last semester in Munich conducting research on Cosmic Voids, the vast spaces between filaments (the largest-scale structures in the universe), which contain very few to no galaxies. Our own Milky Way galaxy is found in one such void, the KBC. Luke’s other focus is cognitive science.
OC Treasurer Katie Slenker spent the summer of 2017 working on a Miocene bone bed in Africa unearthing 4 new species of elephant. During the semester she works at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Origins major Garrett Riesz heads up OC’s social media. He has multiple publications forthcoming on his work toward developing a malaria vaccine. In 2016 he broke new ground with the first documentation of parenting behavior in the rare pied tamarin monkey. He logged many, many hours at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo painstakingly documenting the growth and development of the first pied tamarin babies born in captivity.
Pre-med Origins major and OC secretary Sarah Taekman has worked on diverse projects ranging from planetary materials to mathematical models to bioethics. She is also a champion competitive swimmer. Her broad scientific background will serve her well applying to med school.
OC VP Tim Fry and Origins major Spencer Schmidt discovered a 13-million-year-old primate mandible in Turkana, Kenya. Tim spent the summer of 2019 working at a dinosaur site in the Rocky Mountains. Spencer is pursuing a dual degree in Origins and Electrical Engineering and is a 2019 Orientation Leader. Spencer has also done field work at a paleolithic cave site in Israel, and is hard at work revising our understanding of the body size and ecological adaptations of the fossil ape N alesi.
Physics major Kevin Lu has wide-ranging interests from cosmology and astrophysics to fieldwork in the Gobi desert. He is a member of the Origins MultiSci team, working with scientists from around the world.