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!
Art Students Garner National and Regional Honors
Berkshire art students had great success at this year’s prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, with two students receiving medals at the extremely competitive National level and 13 students honored at the regional level.
Fourth Formers Elsie Guevarra and Unyime Udoh will be honored at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on May 31 for their nationally recognized work. Unyime will receive a Silver Medal for her photograph entitled “Adult-Friendly,” and Elsie will receive a Gold Medal for her ceramic sculpture entitled “Spine.” Only 1500 works are chosen nationally from over 185,000 submissions. Steve Soden, Elsie’s ceramics teacher, comments that “the quality of her work is a result of both the attention she pays to the technical aspects of her work as well as the conceptual approach she takes to each one of her pieces. The gold medal is a testament to Elsie's drive as a student, acute artistic eye, and love of the creative process. Only a sophomore, her best is yet to come.” Paul Banevicius, who works with Unyime in photography, notes that “what makes Unyime unique as a young artist is her strong sense of self. She already has a clear vision of what she wants to create, and her images have a strong sense of personal identity.”
Winners at the regional level were honored in Boston in March. Berkshire’s recipients included:
Theo Friedman: 1 Gold key for Photograph, 1 Gold key for Senior Photography Portfolio and 1 Honorable Mention for Photography
Roya Daemi: 1 Gold key for Ceramics
Jacqueline Pape: 1 Gold key for Photography
Hattie Waldron: 1 Gold key for Ceramics
Sam Cabot: 2 Silver keys for Photography
Eli Merritt: 1 Silver key for Sculpture and 2 Honorable Mentions for Sculpture
Hunter Lucey: 1 Silver key for Ceramics and 1 Honorable Mention for Ceramics
Ruby Fee: 1 Silver key for Ceramics
Elsie Guevarra: 1 Silver key for Ceramics
Tyler Kraft: 1 Silver key for Ceramics
Unyime Udoh: 2 Honorable Mentions for Photography
Kai-An Huang: 1 Honorable Mention for Ceramics
Joshua Ibanez: 1 Honorable Mention for Ceramics
-- Paul Banevicius, Art Department chair