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!
For six weeks during the summers of 2013 and 2014, I’ve moved from rural Sheffield, MA to the upper west side of Manhattan to pursue a MA in Private School Leadership at The Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Along with 49 other independent school educators from around the world, I’ve delved into John Dewey’s seminal works, tackled the legal issues surrounding the creation and adjudication of independent schools, learned about different leadership mantras, redesigned faculty meetings during design days, visited numerous schools in the New York City region, and reflected upon my own values and culture and their influence on my own leadership style. Transformational, to say the least.
it’s been a joy to be a student again, to get to learn and be challenged by others, and to meet and connect with so many thoughtful and engaged educators all equally committed to the common good. I was reminded constantly by both the scintillating class discussions led by my professors and informal discussions with colleagues outside of class as to why I love being an educator.
Refreshed, recharged, and energized with new ideas and new confidence, I’m ready to bring what I've learned back to campus just in time for the new academic year to begin!