The Center for Vocational Alternatives will host Club COVA meetings this summer from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 3770 N. High St.

The Center for Vocational Alternatives will host Club COVA meetings this summer from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 3770 N. High St.

The sessions, led by a COVA staff member, are aimed at helping participants ease the transition back to work. Group members will have a chance to share their own recovery stories and to ask questions.

Topics for June and July are:

June 3: First Impressions on the Job

June 10: Job Development for Ex-Offenders

June 17: Financial Literacy

June 24: Reading, writing, pre-GED and GED classes offered by the Columbus Literacy Council

July 1: What to Expect When Starting a New Career

July 8: Internet Tools for Your Job Search

July 15: Disability Application Assistance

Participants are encouraged to suggest topics for future meetings. Topics are posted monthly on the group's Web site,

Research conducted at Ohio Wesleyan University suggests that wild songbirds may help spread a difficult-to-treat and dangerous bacteria that sometimes is associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Max R. Schroeder, a 2009 OWU graduate, conducted the research, with funding from the American Society for Microbiology, the National Science Foundation and OWU.

When such risks are identified, steps can be taken to minimize exposure, Schroeder said.

According to a news release from OWU, Schroeder caught 128 wild songbirds in mist nets in central Ohio between April and June 2008. Samples of contaminants carried on their feathers were collected, grown in laboratory cultures and then tested for bacteria resistance. The birds were banded before being released.

Schroeder presented his research May 19 at the 2009 ASM annual meeting in Philadelphia. His work was conducted in collaboration with OSU zoology professor Edward H. Burtt Jr., and scanning electron microscope technician Laura Tuhela-Reuning.

Schroeder, who earned a bachelor's degree with a major in microbiology and a minor in chemistry, hopes to continue his research as a graduate student. He plans to pursue a doctorate in environmental or medical microbiology.

The "MACnificent Art Affair," a fundraiser for the future Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington, will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, May 29, in the showroom of King Business Interiors, 6155 Huntley Road.

The evening will feature a silent auction of original works by central Ohio artists, as well as an arts center store. Entertainment will be provided by The Saxmen and hor d'oeuvres and drinks will be provided by Monaco's Catering.

Tickets are $25 in advance or at the door. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (614) 431-0329.

The Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington has announced the last chance to purchase commemorative granite "Star Tiles," to be featured on the ground floor of the new building, scheduled to open this fall.

May 31 is the deadline for individuals and organizations to purchase tiles. Tiles are $500 each and will be featured on the theater lobby floor. Tiles will be engraved with the donor's name, or can be used to honor someone special. Purchase tiles online at www.worthingtonarts .org or call (614) 431-0329.