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!
Mrs. Lloyd comes to Berkshire from the Island School. We caught up in the new art wing of Berkshire Hall recently to talk about teaching, art, and coming back to New England.
Read the full interview here:
When did you start teaching? When did you know that that was what you wanted to do?
I started my teaching career in 2004. Guiding hiking and climbing trips for the university outdoor program center and Adventure Treks is what initially piqued my interest in teaching and gave me the drive and confidence to pursue Education as a profession. After graduation, I began teaching art and outdoor education at Voyageurs Expeditionary High School in Bemidji, MN.
What kind of art is your personal specialty? Which art courses are your favorites to teach and why?
I love creating both 2D and 3D art, but most recently I’ve been working with a variety of metals and found objects to create jewelry and small sculpture.
I enjoy teaching all forms of art making such as printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture and digital arts. What I really love is teaching students how to utilize art as form of communication. For example, art can carry a personal message, address a social or environmental issue or explore a passion for a particular topic. Through this, the artist will be able to relay a message or personal perspective to the audience.
Do you have any memorable teaching moments with particular classes?
I love seeing my students’ artwork on display. One of my favorite teaching experiences was taking a small group of art students to Moab, Utah where we spent a week hiking and creating on-site art. In the end, the students assembled their artwork into a beautiful show at the local art center. The show included plein air paintings, mixed-media drawings, photography and sculpture.
Where were you teaching before coming to Berkshire?
For the past three years I’ve been teaching Art at The Island School, a semester program located in Eleuthera, Bahamas. We were fortunate enough to have Berkshire students attend our semester program, and through their rave reviews and recommendations, my husband and I thought Berkshire would be an excellent fit. The mission of the school, Pro Vita, resonates with me as an artist and an educator and I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Berkshire community!
What will you teach at Berkshire?
At Berkshire, I will be teaching two sections of Studio Art and two sections of Digital Art. In addition, I’m excited to be the assistant Rock Climbing coach this fall.
How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy as an arts instructor is to provide students with the resources to succeed, while allowing them to explore their own creative process through inquiry. In return, students develop divergent-thinking skills and the confidence necessary to carry out a vision: a skill that is applicable to much of their lives.
Could you tell us some of your goals for this year and beyond - for you and your students?
My primary goal is to have a lot of fun teaching and learning alongside the students. I hope that my students will develop a passion for art that extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom. I’m excited to coach students through creating art beyond their pre-conceived artistic abilities and share it with the community in the new on-campus galley. In addition, I’m looking forward to getting to know the Berkshire area by hiking and running through the trails near campus.
Tell us a little bit about your family.
My immediate family is from Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana. I grew up in Fargo, ND and enjoy returning to visit family and friends. My sister and brother-in-law live in rural Montana where they raise four kids, coach swim team and operate a small rock quarry. Overall, I have six niece and nephews who I love to spend time with! My husband Rob and I were married in 2011 and I’m excited to live closer to his family in New England.