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!
Social Entrepreneurship Talk
Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. in Bellas/Dixon Lecture Hall
This Thursday, October 18, social entrepreneur Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, a member of Berkshire's Class of 1985, will speak to members of the community at 7 p.m. in Bellas/Dixon Lecture Hall. He will also work with economics classes throughout the day.
Mr. Rodriguez Arregui is currently the co-founder and managing partner of IGNIA, an entity based in Monterrey, Mexico, described as, “an impact investing venture capital fund for Latin America focused on commercial enterprises that serve the base of the pyramid.” For this venture and for other efforts, he has received numerous prizes and awards. Recently, he was selected for Forbes Magazine’s Impact 30 List – a list of the world’s top 30 social entrepreneurs, a term that Forbes defines as “a person who uses business to solve social issues.” And just this summer, he was awarded a SEN (Social Enterprise Network) Sustainability Award for Economic Justice. We are especially fortunate to have Mr. Rodriguez Arregui speak considering Berkshire's commitment to inspiring a community of global citizens.
Mr. Rodriguez Arregui credits Berkshire for sparking his interest in business which began in teacher Rick Bellas's Economics class. Another of his lifelong passions started with his decision to join Berkshire's crew team during the fall of his fifth-form year: He went on to row for the Mexican Olympic team, was a Pan-American rowing medalist in 1991, and placed eighth in the World University Games in 1989. In fact, he’s still competing today and will row in the Head of the Charles this weekend. When he retired from elite rowing after the '92 Olympics, he reports, “I wanted to retire at the Head of the Charles because it was where I began my competitive rowing. So when I retired in 1992, I wore my Berkshire racing shirt.” In another case of life tending to come full circle, we are thrilled to welcome Mr. Rodriguez Arregui back to the Berkshire community this fall.