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!

A Tribute to Mr. Joassaint
Posted 05/23/2013 10:44AM


A Fitting Tribute to Mr. Joassaint

The spring the Art Option group of Christina Cohen, Annie Fraiman, Allegra Horstmann, Kevin Kang, Anna Kravtsova, Ali Malecka, Conor Ryan, and Mrs. D’Arco elected to find an answer to this question for their last project:  Whose smile will you miss the most next year? 

The group decided that Mr. Joassaint’s warm character and beautiful grin made him the obvious subject of their work and set out to make a large-scale portrait of him as a gift to Berkshire.

Before presenting the acrylic painting to the community at the assembly this morning, Annie Fraiman shared these quotes with the packed house in Allen Theater:

Aside from knowing where he is at all times (and explaining to my children every Wednesday that Santa is not in the hallway), his infectious laugh, comforting, genuine, and caring, best describes who he is. Comforting-- his laugh let's you know he truly listens.  Genuine-- his laugh comes from a place that is honest.  Caring-- his laugh assures you that he will do his best to help you.  As trite as it may sound, his laugh is something that I admire the most about him.Stuart Miller '97, fellow dorm parent

He embodies our motto, Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus.  In my three years as his student, not only has he taught me in class, but he’s also taught me how to live passionately, patiently, and how to persevere, and never take no for an answer. - Amelia Patsalos-Fox ‘14

He is one of the few people in my life that has given me the most perfect, useful and practical advise in those moments when I needed it the most. He usually tells me a story--first about his past, and then he tells me what he thinks I could do. He always finishes with "...but you do not have to listen to me. - Jesus Ibanez, fellow Foreign Language Department teacher

Mr. J. joined the group on stage for the big reveal, as the crowd rose for a standing ovation.  Congratulations on your retirement, we will all miss you dearly, Mr. J!

Berkshire School

245 North Undermountain Road
 |  Sheffield, MA 01257
 |  T: 413 229 8511

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