Advanced Math/Science Research Update
by Dr. April Burch, Director of the AMSR program
January 15, 2013
Since our last update, Berkshire School hosted student researchers from Belmont Hill, and all-boys prep school outside of Boston, for a 1-day mini-symposium on Student Biomedical Research. The goal was to foster collaboration, communication and community outreach with our students. AMSR students Liza Bernstein '13, Sissi Wang '13, Lars Robinson '13, Elsie Guevara '13, Ernest Yue '13, and Nate MacKenzie '14, gave short talks about their work in the new Bellas/Dixon Math and Science lecture hall. The talks were followed up by break-out sessions where Belmont Hill students described their research projects and students discussed commonalities between the projects and future goals.
The second semester of AMSR started with some terrific news. The AMSR program was awarded a grant from The Chinchester Dupont Foundation for the purchase of an EVOS fluorescence microscope. This piece of equipment will expand the types of experiments and analyses that can be done by AMSR students this and future years. The microscope should arrive shortly, and Dr. Burch has invited everyone to stop in for a look next time they are on campus.
One new, exciting project that is underway in the winter season of AMSR in the afternoons is being spearheaded by Elif Kesaf '14. Elif is from Turkey and seeks to identify novel viruses of non-pathogenic strains of Legionella bacterium from travertines in Pamukkale. In collaboration with Dr. Sunny Shin at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she will be working to isolate viruses of this bacterium with the hope of identifying new agents to combat Legionnaires' disease caused by a pathogenic form of Legionella.
Look for more news from Dr. Burch in the next issue!
This fall, the Art Department has been fortunate to have Tilly Strauss working with us while Linda D’Arco
has been taking a maternity leave. Ms. Strauss has been teaching both
Studio Art and Digital Art at Berkshire, and although she will be
leaving us at the Thanksgiving break, she has already made a powerful
and lasting impression on both the students and her colleagues. She
immediately immersed herself in all aspects of our busy school life
(including creating the striking design of the poster for our recent
fall play, “Reckless,”) working with students on both their classroom
artwork and with portfolio preparations.
Sixth former Cassie Richards commented that Ms. Stauss “is very nice, and she allows us to freely express ourselves in class while incorporating interesting art styles. For example, she had us use cardboard, charcoal, and even coffee. I’ve never thought about using those materials before.”
Tilly, a resident of nearby Amenia, NY, is an active member of the local arts scene, as a member of the Board of the Dutchess County Arts Council, a founder of the Arteast Studio Tours and a member of the 14th Colony Artists group. She has taught at the Kildonan School, the Mill Street Loft (in Poughkeepsie, NY) and privately.
“The Art Department is one the key places where students are
encouraged to take risks and allowed to salvage the consequences," says
Ms. Strauss, a passionate and articulate advocate for the arts. “They
need to be creative thinkers in order to have effective and fulfilling
Click here to see a slideshow of select student work from this fall's Studio and Digital Art classes.