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!
Another summer, another week in the saddle for college counselor Paul MacKenzie. As he has each of the past four summers, Mr. MacKenzie joined 15 colleagues from around the country to tour a group of colleges by bike, this year in Ohio. Starting from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, the group traveled to Oberlin, College of Wooster, Kenyon, Denison, Otterbein, Ohio Wesleyan, and The Ohio State University. At each school, the group toured campus, met with admissions officers, and had a meal with students and, in many cases, faculty and administrators. “It’s a great way to see the schools and the surrounding areas,” said MacKenzie. “We definitely get the attention of the admissions offices, and they all go out of their way to support us.”
This year’s highlights included an impromptu jazz performance by three conservatory students at Oberlin, sharing bike paths with Amish buggies in Holmes County, and enjoying the unparalleled hospitality of Wooster, OH. In addition, MacKenzie was able to meet up with Berkshire alum Tony Amolo, ’13, at Kenyon. Tony is working for the Kenyon admissions office as a tour guide this summer, having finished a successful freshman year as a student and soccer player. He and Berkshire classmate Sam Clougher, ’13, quickly became key members of the Lords’ team, with Amolo finishing the season as the team’s leading scorer, and Clougher starting 23 of the team’s 24 games.
Now that he is back in Sheffield, MacKenzie is collating the notes from his visits and recovering from the 425 miles he rode in his week’s travels. “The riding is fun, but it does take a bit out of you by the end of the week. It’s nice to be back on campus and have a few days off.” Next year’s route has yet to be finalized, but Virginia or the Pacific Northwest are the most likely destinations.
See a slideshow from this year's trip here:
See a video of the concert at Oberlin here: