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!
Brigham Ski League Giant Slalom Championships, Ski Sundown, New Hartford, CT
Total of 11 Varsity teams and 87 athletes.
Over the past summer, the private school race league dedicated and re-named itself to become the Brigham Ski League. The league honors Robert Brigham, whose determination and leadership helped guide and direct the league for the past forty years of competition. Bob, or "Briggy" as he's called by the ski team, has returned to Berkshire School to assist in his coaching and teaching endeavors. We are lucky to continue to benefit from his continued governance in the league, Berkshire Skiing and in the classroom alike.
Thus the drama unfolded on Wednesday, February 6th, when the Berkshire teams felt an obligation to honor Bob through team titles, and based upon the depth of our Girls and Boys' Varsities, we knew wins could be achieved. While ski racing is many ways an individual sport, led through individual performances, team titles are earned through strong skiing in which a number of athletes have to provide strong finishes. One Berkshire athlete, for example, advised that he was "pulling a Bray" in reference to our 2012 Ski Team Captain Bray Wilcock ‘12, whose selfless, team-first attitude always had him approaching the start thinking about finishing the course to provide the necessary team points rather than seeking individual glory. And while this theme resonated with both our Varsities, the results clearly highlighted the depth and breadth of this program.
...And when the snow settled, our Girls’ Varsity dropped five of our eight girls in the Top-11. Eliza Stichter ’16 led the girls’ charge, skiing a careful yet aggressive run to finish in 2nd for the girls. Also landing on the podium following her strong runs was Berkshire's Elise Chavuel ‘15 in 3rd. After some really aggressive skiing, Julia Slyer ’14 was disqualified following a rather nasty crash towards the finish—fortunately, she is okay. The following barrage of Berkshire skiers highlights the depth with four of our girls finishing all within eight tenths of a second in separation, led by Katherine Frick ‘16 in 6th, Annette Key ‘16 in 8th, Caroline Slyer ‘16 in 10th and Emily Barclay ’15 in 11th. Finding trouble on the pitch, Krissy Govertsen ’15 finished in 17th. These results provided the Girl's Varsity with the Overall Title of 2013 Brigham Ski League Giant Slalom Girls Team Champions!
...And in like fashion, the Boys’ Varsity mirrored the Girls by also dropping five of our athletes in the Top-11. However, not to be outdone by the girls, the boys actually placed all eight Varsity skiers in the top-18! Captain Jackson vanZon-Borwick ‘13 led for the boys, and mirrored Eliza's consistency to finish in 2nd Overall. In fact, the top two boys separated themselves by over three seconds on the field, and the top spot was claimed by Taft's Eli Cooper. Congratulations to Eli and the fine Taft program! The Berkshire Boys stormed into the next top spots, though, led by George Frick ’14 in 3rd, Bryce Schuler ’15 in 4th, Nate Mackenzie ’14 in 8th, and Ian Rasmussen ’14 in 10th. It should be noted that Ian was 3rd after the first run, before finding some trouble and falling on the 2nd run. Adhering to the plan of the day, Ian continued on and earned valuable team points for the Bears! Ian was then followed by Troy Bernier ’14 in 13th, Bryan Bohaty ’13 in 14th and David Watkins ’13 in 18th. The Bears coaches are happy to announce that Boys’ Varsity claimed the 2013 Overall Title of Brigham Ski League Giant Slalom Boys Team Champions!!
Team Results (Girls):
1st Berkshire (Girls) - 187*
2nd Ethel Walker - 587
3rd Miss Porters - 686
* It should be noted, that with the Berkshire Girls team scores, they would have finished 3rd Overall if included with all boys and co-ed teams!
Team Results (Boys):
1st Berkshire (Boys) - 67
2nd Taft - 154
3rd Suffield - 192
Salisbury - 207
Trinity Pawling - 334
Loomis - 382
Avon - 424
Kingswood - 525
A great effort by all teams and congratulations to the new 2013 Brigham Ski League Team Champions; Berkshire Girls and Berkshire Boys Varsities!