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!
Athlete of the Week: Samone DeFreese
Samone DeFreese of Bergenfield, New Jersey, a first-year sophomore on the Girls Varsity Basketball team, has been nominated by her coach, Wil Smith, as Player of the Week. Mr. Smith described her as a hard-working player who is very competitive when she drives to the basket. She will do what it takes to become better and is willing to listen to and take critical advice, an asset that every coach looks for in a player. When asked about a quality that Samone possesses that exemplifies the true spirit of Berkshire, Mr. Smith said, “… the intensity and competitive spirit she brings to the game. She really wants her team to win. She wants her teammates to do well. I think that everything about her exemplifies the Berkshire spirit.” Speaking about Samone's role in the Kent game before the Winter Break, he said, “She showed a lot of poise for a first year player." In the first two wins against Kent and Hotchkiss, Samone scored a total of 38 points, with 21 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks.
When asked about her outside hobbies, Samone said that she plays volleyball and softball, and enjoys hanging out with her friends. Coming from a basketball-playing family, the sport is something that she has always enjoyed. Her older sister, Samantha ’12, was a league all-star at Berkshire and is now playing at Northeastern University.
Click here to view a video about Samone, produced by Livi Robinson '15, a member of the Sports Information and Broadcasting team this winter.
When asked to describe season, Samone said it is “good so far.” The team has a combination of new and returning players. Even though some of the girls came late the season due to the Varsity Soccer semifinals, the team still managed to come together by the time they played their first game at Kent. She described the team’s chemistry as “going really well.” She was surprised that Mr. Smith chose her as Player of the Week because it is her first year at Berkshire. She gives credit to her friends and fellow teammates, specifically Hannah Cooke ‘14 and Kristalyn Baisden ‘15. Without her team behind her, she knows that she would not be as successful of a player as she is now.
-- Colleen Devanney '15, Sports Information and Broadcasting team