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: Bella Sinsigalli '13
Posted 02/12/2013 11:00AM

Athlete of the Week: Bella Sinsigalli '13

Described by her coach and advisor Mrs. Gappa as a hard-working, rough-edged animal lover, Bella Sinsigalli is a four-year Varsity Hockey player from Redding, Connecticut and is nominated as Athlete of the Week. A hockey player from the age of 4, she has been an instrumental contributor to the team, and has especially stepped up this season. She described her season so far as good, but believes that her team needs to get through a rough patch of losses. Playing a solid defense, she has also been developing her offensive skills and stepped up as an offensive defense player. With nearly three quarters of the season now over, she has been crucial to key moments in games, such as power plays. Mrs. Gappa gives high praises to Bella. “She is a really dedicated athlete and puts a lot of time into pushing herself to the next level. This has brought her the success that she has had in ice hockey.”

Click here to see a short video about Bella. 

Last year, Bella committed to Northeastern University and will join other former Berkshire Bears on the team, including Kendall Coyne '11. She was also chosen as a New England Division I All-Star, and one of the top two defensive players in the league.

Bella loves animals, and has more pets than Mrs. Gappa could think of. Mrs. Gappa also added, “She has a rough exterior, but is a really caring individual. If you get to know her, you will find that she is quite funny.” Mrs. Gappa has been Bella's advisor and advisee for years and the two have shared many great moments together. Mrs. Gappa attributes their successful relationship to mutual honesty saying, “I think that that relationship is one that you hope to be able to develop with students, and is one that I have enjoyed being a part of.”

When asked about Bella, her teammates Sandra Stephan ’15 and Alli Sugar ’16 described her as “a star,” “a great girl,” and “a good captain.” “She’s funny,” said Sandra “She’s a great girl.” “Love her,” Alli added. 

-- Colleen Devanney, Sports Information and Broadcasting team

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