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!
During Reunion, Head of School Pieter Mulder was pleased to announce this year's recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award as Rhonda Bentley-Lewis, '86. A doctor and active member of her community, Bentley-Lewis is recognized for outstanding work in her field, as well as for her service and community involvement.
Dr. Bentley-Lewis has a physician spouse, Eldrin Lewis, a Cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and three children, Christian (16), Candace (13), and Christopher (5 ).
Currently an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Bentley-Lewis’ clinical practice focuses on diabetes prevention, management, and diabetes in pregnancy. Her clinical research includes patient-oriented investigations of mechanisms by which diabetes in pregnancy may promote subsequent maternal cardiovascular disease risk.
Bentley-Lewis also returned to Berkshire to serve as a member of the Advisory Board from 2005-2009. In 2010, she joined the Board of Trustees. As a member of the Board, Rhonda served on both the Human Resources and the Student Life committees.
About her classmate, Lara McLanahan reports: “Precise with her words, Rhonda’s thoughts have always revealed a higher intellect. I never had any doubt that Rhonda would be successful in whatever career she chose. As a fellow female board member, I truly admire her ability to find a balance between work, family and giving back to causes dear to her, like Berkshire.”
The School congratulates Rhonda Bentley-Lewis '86 for this well-deserved award!
See her bio here.
Read Head of School, Pieter Mulder's introduction here.