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!
Kellogg Grants Announced
At today’s much anticipated all-school meeting, Associate Head of School Bill Clough awarded Janet Bouteiller, assistant to the Director of Facilities Management and Dr. Clive Davis, director of music, a Kellogg vacation grant. The Kellogg Vacation Fund was established by Elizabeth Kellogg in 1983 "in loving memory of her late husband, James C. Kellogg III, Class of '33, in order to continue the excitement and kindness he gave to others during his lifetime. He loved Berkshire School as a student, as a member of the Board of Trustees, and finally, as Chairman of the Board." Income from this endowment is awarded annually to two members of the Berkshire faculty or staff. Created to recognize the strong work ethic of the Berkshire community, the criterion states, "It is sincerely hoped that this money will be spent on vacation away from the School and enjoyed by the recipient and any family involved...on something that is absolutely fun and relaxing." Mr. Clough’s remarks on both well deserving individuals are below. Congratulations!
A member of the Berkshire community since 2001, this Kellogg grant recipient lives in the local community, and she's very active in community service in both. She is one of the organizers of Berkshire's all-school community service initiative, Gracious Living Day, and is the tournament director of the annual Kare Bear invitational, a golf tournament to benefit the children of Southern Berkshire County.
She started her Berkshire career in the Post Office and later moved to her current role as administrative assistant to the director of facilities management where she is a key player, juggling many tasks and running the day-to-day work of the office. Colleague Tiffany Mooney says, "You know if you ask her to do something, it will happen."
Tim Fulco describes her this way: "She is a breath of fresh air -- honest, frank, straightforward, candid, and forthright. She is a worker and has an old-school work ethic that is hard to find nowadays." A member of the Wilkinson family, whose roots run deep in this area, it's likely she inherited her work ethic from her father Bud Wilkinson, a carpenter who worked on Spurr dormitory. The family now has Berkshire roots as well: her son Charles was in Berkshire's Class of 2003, and her daughter Nikki was just on campus last spring to celebrate her 5th Reunion. Please join me in congratulating Janet Bouteiller on being awarded a 2013 Kellogg Vacation grant.
A graduate of Boston University, this winner of the Kellogg grant is fluent in German. He came here in 2000 after teaching at Cardigan Mountain School. He can build a rocket with his bare hands, and has shared this talent with faculty children to their sheer delight and amazement.
A talented musician and composer, he is skilled in classical, modern, jazz and contemporary; vocal and instrumental; traditional and digital; performance-based and music theory. Art department chair Paul Banevicius sings his praises: "Along with his indispensable partner, Tasia Wu, he has developed a first-class music program that has consistently distinguished itself during concerts, recitals and competitions. He has been the colleague that every teacher (and definitely this department chair) dreams of: always willing to help out his fellow teachers, interested in collaborating, and passionate about sharing ideas."
Kristina Splawn notes the activity in their house: "Clive and Tasia have opened their home to their students. They are loyal and dedicated. As far as I can tell, their free time is given entirely to their students and the school generally. Even their children are part of the gig."
Fresh from performing with the band in the knock-out production of Anything Goes, I am proud to award Clive Davis with this year's Kellogg Vacation grant.