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!
Female Athlete of the Week: Jeanne Morin
Excelling in net for France and Berkshire
Three years ago I received an e-mail from a mother who was trying to help her daughter find a place in the United States where she could receive a great education as well as pursue her passion of ice hockey. I followed up with a return e-mail and the connection was made. In the fall of 2010, Jeanne Morin arrived at Berkshire School from Le Gets, France. It was not Jeanne’s first experience with prep school and the United States. Her brother had gone to the Winchendon School for a PG year and this was how she was introduced to the opportunities that would await her at boarding school in the US.
Before Berkshire, Jeanne was playing for Morzine Avoriaz, a boys’ team in the D1 U15 league. Education was extremely important to Jeanne and so the opportunity to build upon her experiences on the ice and in the classroom is what led her to look at Berkshire. When asked why Berkshire, Jeanne had the following to say, “I went for the experience of a life in America. I was focused on improving my English, but I also came for the hockey level (especially women), which is higher and more organized than in France. I came to Berkshire having no idea what it was going to be or even look like. Now, if I could go back, I would do it again.”
Jeanne is a competitor and contributes to the school in many ways outside of the rink. She is a senior captain on the field hockey team and one of the team captains of the Grey team in the newly restored Green and Gray Traditional battle. In the classroom she has challenged herself with an advanced course load that includes 3 AP courses. While taking her regular course load at Berkshire School, Jeanne has also been studying for the French part of the Baccalaureate scientific session. She passed her first round of tests in History and French this past summer and continues to prepare herself for future tests.
This past summer, Jeanne was invited to try out for the U-18 French National team. She attended camp near her home town in France and received word that she had made the team. "I was so pleased to know that I was part of French national team. I look forward representing my country during world events, and hopefully helping to bring Team France to another level.” After receiving the good news about Team France, Jeanne was invited to the International Ice Hockey Federation U-18 High Performance Camp where she took the ice with several top women from elite programs in Canada, the United States, Finland and Sweden. Jeanne enjoyed that experience and took what she had learned with her to the Senior National team tryouts back in France.
Before heading off for school this fall, Jeanne received word that she had been named to the team’s roster. She missed competition earlier in September because she wanted to return to Berkshire and continue with her goal of graduating and going to a strong academic college.
Jeanne has just recently finished competing with the U-18 team in the World Qualifiers in Great Britain. She was in goal for three of her team’s five games during the tournament and came away with three wins. Her final game of the tournament was against China. If her team won, they would qualify for the World tournament to be held later in December and January. Jeanne helped her team earn a bid to the World tournament by knocking off a tournament favorite. She has helped her country begin to make a name for itself in the world of womens’ hockey. In a couple of months, Jeanne will compete against many of the world’s up and coming best players. She has been named to the Olympic development roster for Team France and continues to push herself on a daily basis to make her dream of playing a high level of college hockey come true.
When asked about the whole Berkshire experience, Jeanne had this to say, “Berkshire is an amazing experience, and I never stop learning from teachers, friends and coaches. I love the close community, where you know every one, and everyone knows you. I also love the setting of the mountains around us, and the buildings (ex: the math/science, the rink, and the fields). I feel so lucky to be here.”
-- Sylvia Gappa, Head Coach, Girls Varsity Ice Hockey, and math teacher