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Some early birds might steal the worm

August 19, 2016

New research from Colgate University demonstrates how biologically determined “early birds” are more likely to make risky or unethical decisions in the afternoon, while biologically determined “night owls” often make the same missteps in the morning.

The research, published in the journal Nature (Scientific Reports), titled “Molecular Insights Into Chronotype and Time-of-Day Effects on Decision-Making,” is authored by Colgate biology professors Krista Ingram and Ahmet Ay along with three undergraduate co-authors: Soo Bin Kwon ’16, Molly Gordon ’15, and Angela Escobar ’15.

Professor Krista Ingram sits at her desk

Professor Krista Ingram (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

“It is an interdisciplinary study on how oscillations in our circadian clock genes (and whether we are a morning person or an evening person) affect our ability to make ethical or risky decisions,” said Ingram. “We found that if your clock genes cycle early (morning person), you are more likely to make unethical or risky decisions in the afternoon, while the same can be said about a night owl making unethical decisions in the morning.”

The study included 139 participants, who were split into two groups based on a survey that helps gauge preference for morning or evening hours. Researchers determined the daily RNA profile of circadian clock genes and identified individuals whose clocks cycled early (RNA larks) and late (owls). Participants were then given a risk-taking test and an ethics test.

The risk assessment is known as the Balloon Analog Risk Task. In each round, participants could earn money for pumping up a virtual balloon, but they would lose all of the money from the round if the balloon bursts before taking payout. The ethics test challenged participants to match and add numbers in a time trial, with payments earned for each successful match.

Results show that RNA-determined night owls are more than three times as likely to cheat on the matching test in the morning, compared to their early-bird peers, while early birds are more likely to cheat at night. When it comes to risky decisions and the balloon test, early birds are far more likely to push the envelope in the afternoon, while night owls are only slightly more likely to take more risk in the morning.

“Just imagine a judge or investment banker, who are larks, making their decisions in the late afternoon,” Ingram said.

Related:
Nature (Scientific Reports)
Department of Biology
Ahmet Ay
Krista Ingram


A senior in the city, preparing for the real world

August 18, 2016
Ryan Diew stands on stage and speaks to panelists

Ryan Diew speaks to a panel of entrepreneur experts at Colgate’s Entrepreneur Weekend 2016. (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

Editor’s note: Ryan Diew ’17 is already preparing for graduation next May. In a series of posts during the upcoming academic year, Diew will track his progress through the Center for Career Services’ Real World program — signature events and workshops that prepare seniors for life on the other side of the commencement stage. Real World events are also powered by the Colgate Professional Networks.

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Colgate Seniors in the City event in San Francisco. Seniors in the City is a networking program — part of the Center for Career Services’ Real World series — that provides students, parents, and alumni with a venue where they can talk and make lasting connections in order to help ease the transition after graduation.

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland to be specific — Go, Warriors!), so I was impressed and incredibly excited to meet so many Colgate alumni who have ventured out west.

I was able to connect with professionals working in careers that intersected with each of my school activities, interests, and experiences: I am a computer science major and a member of the Colgate Men’s Basketball team. I am also a part of Link Staff and Colgate’s Google Student Ambassador. Most recently, I founded my own company, Trippie, through Thought into Action. Trippie is a mobile application that helps travelers better navigate airports. (We expect to be in the App Store this Fall, so be on the lookout!)

I had the opportunity to interact with athletes and fellow entrepreneurs, as well as professionals who have worked for some of the biggest tech companies in the world. In addition, I was able to strengthen connections with classmates who are also interested in starting their professional careers in the Bay Area.

One of the reasons Colgate is so special is because of its amazing alumni network. During my time at Colgate, I have been afforded numerous opportunities and have made many lasting connections. This was reinforced multiple times at Seniors in the City, when an overwhelming majority of alumni encouraged us to reach out to other alumni for opportunities as well as advice. They emphasized that Colgate grads would be more than excited to help if we reached out. A simple LinkedIn message or e-mail introduction could really change a life. Seniors in the City underscored the beauty of the Colgate connection. Colgate alumni really look out for one another.

It’s great to know that, based on conversations I had in San Francisco, I will enter the professional world having forged strong relationships and alliances with those who are also transitioning into the “real world.”

Related:
Center for Career Services
Thought Into Action
Trippie – The Answer to Tired, Hungry and Grumpy


Summer internship blog series: a capital experience

August 18, 2016
Doug Whelan '19 in his Washington, D.C. office

Doug Whelan ’19 in his Washington, D.C., office

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. Doug Whelan ’19, from Webster, N.Y., wrote about his legislative internship in the nation’s capital.

This summer, I was lucky enough to work as a legislative intern in the Washington, D.C., office of my home-district congresswoman, Louise M. Slaughter, gaining valuable experience in government and politics.

I was doubly fortunate to be working in the office of one of the most experienced leaders of the House of Representatives. Representative Slaughter is the oldest woman in Congress and has represented the Rochester, N.Y., area for nearly 30 years. She currently sits as the ranking member of the Rules Committee, which she chaired from 2007 to 2011. During that time, she was instrumental in moving landmark legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, through Congress.

My job as an intern varied from day to day, but primary tasks included answering phone calls; replying to constituent inquiries by researching policy issues relevant to their questions and then drafting response letters; providing tours of the Capitol building to visiting members of the district; and relaying information that I gathered at policy briefings to legislative staffers.

One of the most enriching elements of my time in Washington was the opportunity to listen to famous speakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. At the end of the internship, I completed a research project on a piece of pending legislation of my choice. The project included a set of memos to be delivered to the congresswoman.

While my internship was full of unforgettable memories, I will always remember the days following the tragic shooting in Orlando, Fla., when I sat in the House gallery watching Representative Slaughter participate in the gun control sit-in. It was a rare opportunity to witness civic action firsthand at the highest levels of our democracy.

Spending the summer on Capitol Hill affirmed my commitment to public service as a personal passion and long-term career goal. While I was sad to leave a place that so often felt like the center of universe, I know I’ll be back in the future to build on the experience I’ve gained.

Whelan wasn’t the only person interning in Congress. Here are a couple posts saying thank you to Colgate students for their work during the summer.

Related:

Summer internship blog series: little dogs living longer
Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages
Career Services: Summer internship funding
Colgate University Center for Career Services


Colgate rolls out new custom cruisers

August 17, 2016
The new Colgate Cruisers are not making the rounds around campus, and in the Village of Hamilton. The service is free and open to the community.

New Colgate Cruisers are now making the rounds on campus and in the Village of Hamilton. The service is free and open to the community.

If you’re looking to grab a ride on the university’s free shuttle service around campus and throughout the the Village of Hamilton, you’ll need to look for a new color.

White shuttles have been replaced with a new fleet of maroon buses operated by First Transit.

“These new cruisers are all handicap accessible, have bike racks, and are equipped with special route signs above the windshield to make it easier to know whether or not it’s the shuttle you want to take,” said Colgate Director of Purchasing Alan Leonard.

New GPS systems are being installed in the buses to provide more robust route tracking in the mobile app, but that process is ongoing, Leonard said. The cruisers are currently stopping at the same designated pickup locations on and off campus, including the Colgate Bookstore, Parry’s Hardware, and Price Chopper. Visit colgate.edu/cruiser for detailed route information.

First Transit, which is also providing Colgate’s separate on-demand shuttle service to local airports, train stations, and nearby cities, is now staffing an office on campus to help assist with the community’s bus needs. For questions about service, call 315-228-4287 during regular business hours. For after-hours assistance related to the on-demand service, call 315-269-3874.


Lauren Schmetterling ’10 earns gold in Rio

August 14, 2016
Lauren Schmetterling '10 (forth from left) earned gold in Rio on Saturday as part of the US Women's Rowing Team.

Lauren Schmetterling ’10 (fourth from left) earned gold in Rio Saturday as part of the US Women’s Eight team.

RIO DE JANEIRO – The United States Women’s Eight and crew member Lauren Schmetterling ’10 won the gold medal Saturday morning in the 2016 Olympic Women’s Rowing final.

“All of Colgate is extremely proud of Lauren for this great accomplishment,” said Colgate Vice President and Director of Athletics Victoria M. Chun ’91, MA’94. “Lauren is a great example for our student-athletes. She has put in the time and work necessary to reach her dreams. It has been fun cheering along with the races and it was truly inspiring to see the nine members of the boat come together and perform so well on their way to victory.”

The Americans finished the race in 6:01.49, defeating silver-medalist Great Britain by 2.5 seconds at Lagoa Stadium.

Schmetterling became the first Patriot League student-athlete to win an Olympic medal in the 26-year history of the league.

Schmetterling is also the first Colgate athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics, and third overall Olympic medal winner since Frank Castleman won the silver medal in the 200-meter hurdles at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri and Dick McGlynn won a silver medal with the United States Hockey Team at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

For Schmetterling, it is her first Olympic appearance after winning gold medals at the 2013 and 2014 world championships.

The United States Women’s Eight have now won three straight gold medals dating back to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and four overall gold medals in the event.

Women’s Eight Final Standings
1. United States 6:01.49
2. Great Britain 6:03.98
3. Romania 6:04.10
4. New Zealand 6:05.48
5. Canada 6:06.04
6. Netherlands 6:08.37

(Editor’s note: This post, by Kevin Noonan, originally appeared on Gocolgateraiders.com.)


Summer internship blog series: little dogs living longer

August 11, 2016
Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. Josh Winward ’18, from Scarsdale, N.Y., wrote about his research.
portrait of Josh Winward ’18

Josh Winward ’18

I am on campus conducting research with Professor Ana Jimenez on the effects of oxidative stress, which scientists believe is one of the leading causes of aging in animals. This is a fairly new topic of study, because scientists did not connect oxidative stress to aging until the late 2000s.

Oxidative stress deals with the balance between pro-oxidants — molecules that damage cells and membranes — and antioxidants, which stop damage. Both are produced during cellular respiration, the main mechanism by which bodies turn food into energy. When the process works correctly, it produces antioxidants, but less than 2 percent of the time it produces pro-oxidants instead.

Our research deals with oxidative stress and aging in dogs. Small dogs tend to live longer than large dogs, even though small dogs have slower metabolic rates and in almost every other mammalian species, animals with slower metabolism have shorter lifespans than animals with faster rates. We believe oxidative stress is behind this aging anomaly.

The summer was split into two parts. During the first two weeks, my lab partner, Alex Ionescu ’19, and I familiarized ourselves with mountains of journal articles on oxidative stress and its effects. We also asked vets from central New York for dog skin samples.

The second part of our summer has consisted of lab work. When we receive a sample from the vet, we isolate the primary fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) in our lab. Fibroblasts are easily manipulated. By using chemicals to break the tissue into a solution, we can then use a centrifuge to separate those cells from everything else. We then plate the separated cells in specialized flasks and incubate them to grow for a week before we analyze them.

Once we have enough cells, we run different tests to measure rates of oxygen consumption and glycolysis, antioxidant content, pro-oxidant content, and amount of membrane damage. All of these measurements help us to determine what it is about small dogs that let them live longer than large dogs.

As a rising junior, I am grateful for the opportunity to do primary research, and this experience has made me want to continue down this path after I graduate.

Related:

Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages

Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids

Career Services: Summer research funding

Colgate University Center for Career Services


Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages

August 8, 2016
Portrait of Brynne Becker ’17

Brynne Becker ’17

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Brynne Becker ’17, an English and history double-major from West Chester, Pa., conducting research in preparation for Colgate’s bicentennial celebration in 2019.

I first became interested in the history of Colgate while writing about the topic for a paper in my history workshop class in 2014. In the process, I discovered how little I knew about the past of the place that I have called home for the last three years.

Now, I’m working with a team of researchers, including Emily Wong ’18, Professor Jennifer Hull, Professor Jill Harsin, and James Allen Smith ’70, to help tell the history of Colgate in a way that includes people, trends, and events that may not have appeared in traditional stories of the university.

This position provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about Colgate’s past, while simultaneously improving my research skills. I am focusing particularly on the history of coeducation and Title IX at Colgate. It is fascinating to learn about the history of women who have made a difference at this school — to my surprise, it begins far earlier than the official advent of coeducation at Colgate in 1970.

There are too many to single out any one of them as “most important.” Through my research, I have met individuals like Mabel Dart Colegrove, Colgate’s first official coed, who attended Colgate during the 1880s; veterans’ wives, who took classes after World War II; and the women in the graduating class of 1974, who were the first women to start as freshmen at Colgate and graduate from the school.

I have encountered members of the Women’s Coalition, Women at Colgate, and the Women’s Caucus of the 70s and 80s; members of the women’s hockey team in the 90s, who sued the university for violating Title IX. I have learned about the female faculty members and administrators who worked to turn this school from an all-male university to a coed institution — then, from a place where female students felt marginalized, to a school where I have never questioned my place or rights as a student.

Aside from conducting interviews and working on a few other projects, I do most of my research in the Special Collections and University Archives section of the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology. My work involves identifying, summarizing, and organizing documents of interest that are found either in the archives or through Colgate’s digital collection.

This is a process that requires a lot of patience and perseverance. There are times when it is very difficult to find information on particular topics, and sometimes the information in these documents differs from what I thought I might find. However, this is also what makes this work so interesting and rewarding.

Working in the archives is like trying to put together a puzzle without having seen the illustration on the front of the box. In the end, I hope that the rest of the team and I can piece together these documents into a narrative that sheds light on an important part of Colgate’s past.

Related:
Summer internship blog series: (NBC)Universal skills
Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids
Career Services: Summer Internship Funding
Colgate University Center for Career Services


Class of 2015 reports strong one-year outcomes

August 1, 2016
Tenth-grade student Radha and Amanda Brown '15 pose for a photo at Life Vision Academy in Nepal.

Tenth-grade student Radha and Amanda Brown ’15 pose for a photo at Life Vision Academy, which is supported by the non-profit Children and Youth First, in Nepal.

A non-profit in Nepal is the recipient of a $10,000 KIND Cause award, thanks to the efforts of a Colgate alumna and a little help from the Colgate community.

Children and Youth First USA Executive Director Amanda Brown ’15 said that the funds won in the KIND contest will help her organization launch a new science, technology, engineering, and math program for women and girls in Nepal.

Read more


Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids

July 26, 2016
8 Mariam Nael Headshot

Self-described Third Culture Kid and researcher Mariam Nael ’18

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Mariam Nael ’18, a women’s studies major from Singapore, completing a student-initiated research fellowship with the university studies division. 

My parents are Pakistani, but I have lived in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and New York City. The way I see myself has changed a little since I arrived at Colgate — I think my race and ethnicity have become stronger facets of my identity.

One day, I was chatting with some friends from high school about our cultural identity, and I realized that studying the shifts would be an interesting summer research project. Luckily, Colgate has a great program to conduct student-initiated summer research (with funding).

I quickly reached out to Meika Loe, professor of sociology and women’s studies. She helped me focus my idea and supported my proposal, and, fortunately, my proposal was accepted.

According to sociologist David Pollock, a Third Culture Kid (TCK) is defined as someone “who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside [their] parents’ culture.” The “third” culture refers to the mixing of the host country’s culture (the country in which he or she lives) and his or her parents’ culture.

The purpose of my research is to learn about how Third Culture Kids form their personal and cultural identity, especially in college, and whether they experience a shift in the way they self-identify. Additionally, I am interested in whether there is a difference in the formation of identity with non-white TCKs and white TCKs.

Throughout the last month, I have been conducting 45 to 90 minute interviews in Singapore with Third Culture Kids between the ages of 18 and 24. Additionally, I have begun transcribing interviews and systematically coding them for themes. The next step is to analyze them and write a research paper.

It has been fascinating hearing their stories and seeing the similarities and differences not only between the interviewees, but with my own experience as a TCK.

This has been a tough, but valuable, learning process. I wish to continue studying TCKs and identity formation throughout the next few years, hopefully using different methods as well. I am planning to write a research paper, and hopefully, down the line, will try to present or publish it.

Related links:

Summer internship blog series: (NBC)Universal skills

Summer internship blog series: a relentless pursuit of justice

Career Services: Summer Internship Funding

Colgate University Center for Career Services


Summer internship blog series: (NBC)Universal skills

July 14, 2016
Beni Geisler '18 at NBC News Group headquarters in New York City.

Benji Geisler ’18 at NBC News Group headquarters in New York City.

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Benjamin Geisler ’18, an art and art history major from Groton, N.Y., interning at the NBC News network.

This summer, I am working at NBCUniversal in New York City as a creative marketing intern for the NBC News Group. (Even though technically I am an intern for NBC News network, I often work on projects for MSNBC as well.)

As a creative marketing intern, I get to work under the creative directors, producers, and editors in the NBC News and MSNBC marketing departments to help produce promotional spots for television. These are the videos – aired on NBC News and MSNBC – used to advertise upcoming programs, network specials, and more.

The two programs I primarily work with are the TODAY show and Nightly News with Lester Holt. It is my job to pull specific archival footage at the request of the marketing producers for upcoming spots. I also log the programs and create written transcripts that can be used to recall specific segments or moments of the show, and their respective time codes, when looking for future promotional material.

One of the best parts of my job is getting to see the finished spot on television once it has been delivered. Working under so many different producers and editors for various programs means it can be hard to keep track of every project, but it is really rewarding to see an NBC News or MSNBC spot on television knowing I helped produce it.

It is an incredibly exciting time to work at NBCUniversal, especially with the News Group, this summer. Between the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio (to which NBCUniversal has exclusive rights), MSNBC’s twentieth anniversary, the political conventions, and the presidential election, there is a lot of material to cover, market, and produce.

Even working in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, surrounded by some of the most talented professionals in media and entertainment, has been a great opportunity. Just this Monday, I had the chance to hear Colgate graduate and president and CEO of NBCUniversal Steve Burke ’80 speak and give professional advice.

My work as a creative marketing intern at NBCUniversal has provided me with a great insight into the creative production processes behind television marketing. This is only my first summer at NBCUniversal, but I would love to return sometime in the future, possibly as a page.

Related links:

Summer internship blog series: a relentless pursuit of justice

Summer internship blog series: 4th down and 24 hours to go

Colgate University Center for Career Services


Flaherty Film Seminar shapes Colgate classroom experience

July 14, 2016
Flaherty Film Seminar participants sit outside and engage in conversation

Conversations that begin at the Flaherty Seminar will continue in Colgate classrooms (Photo by Amy Jenkins, courtesy of The Flaherty)

They came. They saw. They confabbed — on culture and identity politics, the ethical responsibilities of a documentarian, and the proper balance of race and ethnicity in a program lineup. Then, the 170 attendees of this year’s Flaherty Film Seminar, held at Colgate from June 18 to 24, disbanded.

For the university — Flaherty’s home base during the past nine summers — that’s just the trailer. The full story plays out during the fall and spring semesters, because six to eight Colgate professors have also had the opportunity to attended the seminar each year, meeting filmmakers and broadening their understanding of the international documentary film landscape.

Read more


Summer internship blog series: a relentless pursuit of justice

July 11, 2016
Madison Bailey '18 is pictured infron of the offices of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project headquarters

Madison Bailey ’18 at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project headquarters

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Madison Bailey ’18, a peace and conflict studies major from Wayne, Pa.

This summer, I am the development intern for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project (PIP) in Philadelphia. The PIP is a legal nonprofit that works to exonerate those convicted of crimes that they did not commit and to prevent wrongful convictions of innocent people.

I had heard about the Innocence Project before, most notably from its work with Steven Avery and the Netflix series Making a Murderer. The Innocence Project has revolutionized the criminal justice system in using DNA testing to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. In Pennsylvania alone there have been 57 exonerations since 1989 — four through PIP since its office was established in 2009 — with a total of 576.6 years lost by clients.

As the sole development intern at the PIP, I help to manage all marketing, communications, and advertising projects that arise. My responsibilities, therefore, vary greatly from day to day. In the few short weeks that I have been here, I have crafted graphics and marketing materials for fundraisers; managed social media accounts; built part of the website; created a Wikipedia page for our branch; written e-mails that were sent to 10,000+ supporters; and drafted press releases. On June 27, I was given the honor of drafting the official press release announcing the release of exonerated PIP client Crystal Weimer.

One of the most moving jobs that I have been involved with is helping a former client, Kenneth Granger, with his personal campaign for reintegration after he was wrongly imprisoned for 28 years. I work with Granger on a day-to-day basis, and I have found our interactions transformative, as they show me the current faults that exist in our criminal justice system. My interactions with Granger have also taught me that people who have been wrongly imprisoned in Pennsylvania receive no compensation from the state, a fact that I found startling.

I feel that I am making a difference in the world with the work that I have been a part of this summer, and it has helped me to narrow down what exactly I would like to do after graduating from Colgate. As I enter my junior year at Colgate, I know that I will take advantage of available resources to enable myself to potentially pursue a career in humanitarian law.

Related:
Internships from Career Services
The Center for Outreach and Volunteerism at Colgate
Summer internship blog series: 4th down and 24 hours to go

 


Reflections on Elie Wiesel at Colgate

July 8, 2016
Elie Wiesel stands with professors and administrators in front of staircase in Merrill House

Elie Wiesel visits Colgate in 1998. (Left to right) Dean and Provost Jane Pinchin, Balakian, Wiesel, Miriam Grabois and President Neil Grabois, Director of Jewish Studies Steven Kepnes

Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Chair in the humanities in the Department of English. He was the first director of the Center for Ethics and World Societies. His book Ozone Journal won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

I first met Elie Wiesel when my friend and English department colleague Terrence Des Pres hosted him for a lecture at Colgate in 1982. Terrence, who had written a trailblazing and best selling book The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps was a leading scholar in Holocaust studies and had worked with Elie in the planning phases of the U. S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Washington.

At a reception on the great green slope of Terrence’s yard at Olmstead House, where he lived on the lower knoll of Preston Hill Road, I spent an hour talking with Elie about survivor experience, Armenian and Jewish experiences of diaspora, Turkish government denialism of the Armenian genocide, and so forth. It was the beginning of a collegial friendship of more than 30 years.

Read more


Summer internship blog series: 4th down and 24 hours to go

July 7, 2016
Jacob King '18 in the lab.

Jacob King ’18 in the lab at Colgate

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Jacob King ’18, a molecular biology major from Burlington, Conn.

This summer, I’m on campus completing research with biology professor Krista Ingram. Professor Ingram is a leading researcher on circadian rhythms — physical, psychological, and behavioral patterns that roughly follow a 24-hour cycle in humans.

These rhythms influence important aspects of life, like sleep-wake cycles and hormone release. Researchers have also found a correlation between abnormal circadian rhythms and health issues like obesity, cancer, and psychological disorders.

When Chloe Weiss ’18, Celine Marlin Andrews ’18, and I walked into the lab on our first day, we had no idea what to expect. Unlike some research interns, we began at square one, learning about the current findings in the field in order to form a hypothesis that had not already been addressed. We decided that we want to see how student-athletes’ circadian rhythms could influence their performance, both physically and academically.

Our schedule consists of two types of days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do sampling on human participants: the football players who are on campus for the summer. We have the players complete a physical and cognitive task for us, then collect biological markers, which are physical measurements of effort. In our study, we look at heart rate and a stress hormone found in saliva.

The second type of day occurs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and consists of mostly processing the saliva we collected, taking the raw data from participants’ task scores, and correlating their performance with their circadian rhythm by looking at the expression levels of certain clock genes.

Clock genes are a set of genes that influence the body’s ability to cycle within 24 hours. Measuring their expression involves looking at the subject’s RNA; the more RNA a subject has at a certain time of day, the more the gene is being expressed.

Then, we have the participants complete a survey that asks about certain daily routines and sleeping habits and allows us to predict what type of rhythm they have.

We have been able work through every aspect of a researcher’s life and get to see the results within the same summer, which is incredible. We hope to have our research published in the months ahead.

Going into my junior year at Colgate, I can easily say that I will be looking into research after I graduate.

Related:

Summer internship blog series: recipe for business at Chicory

Summer internship blog series: fighting frontotemporal degeneration


Growing hope

July 5, 2016

Sunrise Camp residents wave from the window of their new treehouse

Caroline Danehy ’19 never expected to appear on national television. But a stroke of inspiration at a special summer camp offered her the chance to make an appearance on the Animal Planet series Treehouse Masters.

Two years ago, Danehy, then a junior in high school, decided to spend a summer day volunteering at Sunrise Day Camp in Pearl River, N.Y. The camp, one of six Sunrise camps located worldwide, cares for children with cancer, providing a refuge in nature for them and their families, and offering fun and healing away from lonely hospitals and painful treatments.

“It’s such a good thing for the kids,” Danehy said. “They’re in a place now where they don’t have to be worried about doctors or medicine, and they can just be kids and have fun. It’s taking them out of the hospital and into nature, which is such a healing environment.”

It was this unencumbered view of nature that first struck Danehy upon her arrival at the Pearl River camp. Specifically, she remembers the multitude of trees, which brought to her a sudden inspiration.

“I was reminded of earlier that morning when I had been watching the show Treehouse Masters, and I just thought of what an amazing place this would be for a treehouse,” Danehy said.

treehouse3

A room with a view, brought to Sunrise by Caroline Danehy (center) with Arnie Preminger (right) and Pete Nelson (left)

After approaching camp management for the green light on the project, Danehy took action, first reaching out to a local construction company to ask for a donation of one of their treehouses. When they were unable to provide one, she turned to the very people who inspired the project, the team at Treehouse Masters. Danehy sent an e-mail to the show’s casting director, never expecting to receive a response.

“But sure enough,” she said, “I got an e-mail back saying they loved this idea, and they wanted to set up a meeting with me and Arnie Preminger [the director of the Sunrise Foundation].”

From then on, Danehy acted as a liaison between the camp and the show’s production team, and after a casting call, she was chosen to appear in the episode for an interview with Preminger and Pete Nelson, the show’s host.

But Danehy’s involvement with the project didn’t end on screen. She also organized a fundraiser with her school’s lacrosse team to raise approximately $2,000 toward the nearly $200,000 in funds needed to build the wheelchair-accessible structure complete with a peek-a-boo roof and plenty of room for games and activities.

On June 21, 2015, Danehy’s dream came to fruition when camera crews filmed the reveal of the treehouse to the eager campers waiting below. Nearly a year later, on June 2, 2016, she received the Sunrise Champion Award at the Sunrise Association’s Third Annual Dare to Dream Benefit recognizing all of her hard work in bringing the treehouse to life.

Danehy’s commitment to activism has only grown since attending Colgate. In 2015, she and her brother, Jake Danehy ’16, pitched their idea for Fair Harbor Clothing at Colgate’s Entrepreneur Weekend, gaining $5,000 in funding. Their business sells environmentally sustainable beachwear, including board shorts crafted from recycled plastic bottles.

Related:
Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE)
Fair Harbor


Picture this: science at Colgate

July 1, 2016

First place winner by Claire Kittock ’17 and Noor Anvery ’17

Veins of neon green trace a path across a stark black background in a photo taken by Claire Kittock ’17 and Noor Anvery ’17, displaying a web of microscopic neurons within the brain of a genetically altered fruit fly.

Kittock and Anvery captured the photo through a microscope while researching the cellular architecture of different animals with Mala Misra, assistant professor of biology. The photo later earned first place in the Cooley Science Library’s first ever photo contest.

Kristi Mangine, Colgate’s science library coordinator, thought of the idea for the contest because she wanted to decorate the library’s bare walls and was inspired by several student workers whom she knew were passionate about photography.

“The student photographers have great perspectives on what’s going on around campus,” Mangine noted. “So I thought a photo contest would be great to highlight how [the students] see science at Colgate.”

Second place by Geology professor William Peck

In early February, Mangine and Peter Tagtmeyer, associate science librarian, e-mailed students, faculty, and members of the Colgate community asking for photos that represented their vision of “science at Colgate.”

After receiving 30 photo submissions, Mangine turned again to the community, this time for a vote to determine the six winners whose photos would be placed on permanent display in the library.

The winning photographs varied widely in subjects, techniques, and fields of study.

Geology professor William Peck’s jewel-toned photomicrograph of a moon rock took second place in the contest. The rock was collected by the Apollo 12 mission to Oceanus Procellarum in 1969. Peck receives a set of lunar samples from NASA every spring for use in his Geology 202 class, and this year’s sample, Lunar Basalt 12005, contained minerals that settled out of the moon’s lava lake approximately 3 billion years ago.

Third place by Leda Rosenthal ’18

In third place was a portrait of an inquisitive dairy cow snapped by Leda Rosenthal ’18. Rosenthal’s photo came from her time spent at the Durfee dairy farm in Chittenango, N.Y., where she worked as an agricultural economic fellow for Colgate’s Upstate Institute last summer.

Mangine noted that the contest had the added benefit of exposing little-known research projects on campus. “That’s the thing about Colgate,” she said. “There’s such amazing research going on behind closed doors. This contest lets you see it.”


Summer internship blog series: recipe for business at Chicory

June 30, 2016
2Web

Erica Pais ’17 at Chicory headquarters in New York City with founder Joey Petracca ’13

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Erica Pais ’17, a sociology and educational studies double major from Sharon, Mass., interning at Chicory — a startup launched by Yuni Sameshima ’13 and Joey Petracca ’13. 

This May, I moved to New York City to work as a marketing intern at Chicory. Chicory makes recipes shoppable by connecting recipe websites with online grocers, allowing consumers to have their ingredients delivered. At Colgate, I’m a member of Thought Into Action, which inspired me to intern at a startup and also put me in touch with Chicory’s founders, who mentor through TIA and are Colgate alumni. I’m an avid baker and cook, so I was thrilled to find a company that has food at the forefront of its mission.

As part of the Marketing Team, I help manage all social media outlets, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We use social media to promote our food bloggers and our own written content, as well as to create a community among our recipe partners. I also contribute to the company blog and create weekly e-mail newsletter content.

Now that I’ve been here for four weeks, I’ve learned that marketing is about a lot more than just posting on social media. Our team actively pursues potential recipe partners while maintaining relationships with current partners. Chicory pays attention to detail and ensures that our partners feel a personal connection to the company.

With only seven full-time employees in our office, Chicory is a small company, and I’m able to interact with everyone on a daily basis. The company culture is fun and friendly, but professional at the same time. Chicory has struck a nice balance on that front. I love that the whole team eats lunch together every day to catch up and check in with one another. We even have a Ping-Pong table in the office. All of the employees are amazing players, so they are collectively training me!

Being a small startup, Chicory is the perfect place to learn about many aspects of a company. I have been offered opportunities to participate in sales calls and even to learn about how our technology works. Working at Chicory has been a fantastic experience, reaffirming my passion for working in a food-related field.

Although I don’t know exactly what career I hope to pursue, being here has shed light on multiple possibilities. Going into senior year, I’m still figuring it out, but am sure I will find my way. I look forward to learning more throughout the rest of my internship!

Related:

Erica Pais ’17 on making connections through baking

Summer internship blog series: fighting frontotemporal degeneration


Jess Blank ’11 and Adam Weisbarth ’10 to the rescue

June 29, 2016

Portrait of Jessica Blank, Adam Weisbarth, and their rescue dogUpworthy.com producer/editor Jess Blank ’11 and her boyfriend, Adam Weisbarth ’10, volunteer as foster “parents” for Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, a four-year-old group that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in the South. Without its own facility, the rescue relies on foster care until dogs are adopted, which can take anywhere from one week to several months. So far, the couple has fostered four dogs: Ezra Klein, Ellen Page, Tara Chambler, and Sally Finkelstein (Badass dogs are named after celebrities and characters). Blank tells us what they’ve learned along the way.


New agreement launches Singapore exchange program

June 24, 2016
A new agreement between Colgate University and the Naitonal University of Singapore will create new off-campus study options in 2017.

Representatives from Colgate University and the National University of Singapore sign a memorandum of understanding creating a new student exchange program in 2017. (photo by Alice Verdin-Speer)

Students looking for a dynamic off-campus experience that also allows them to engage in scientific research will have more options in 2017, thanks to a new agreement between Colgate University and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

After more than a year of exploration and development, representatives of Colgate and the NUS signed a memorandum of understanding June 7, creating a new exchange program to benefit students from both institutions, and to act as a catalyst for future faculty collaboration.

The agreement affords new research options for students in the departments of mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, and physics & astronomy. Jason Meyers, associate professor of biology, will lead the first group of Colgate students to Singapore in the fall of 2017, but unlike other full-semester study groups, Meyers will accompany students for just a few weeks before returning to campus in Hamilton, N.Y., to teach.

In the spring, NUS students, already acquainted  with students from Colgate, will then come to Hamilton, N.Y., to take courses, conduct research, and experience the liberal arts.

“We really wanted to build on the successful National Institutes of Health program in Washington, D.C., in which students take two courses and independent research for credit,” said Nicole Simpson, professor of economics and associate dean of the faculty for international initiatives. “Undergraduate research isn’t common at large institutions internationally, so there was a short list of places that are rigorous and strong in the sciences, but that also applaud undergraduate research.”

Simpson said that, because NUS has existing relationships with Yale and Cornell universities, their faculty and administrators are already familiar with the liberal arts, and their curriculum has rigorous standards akin to Colgate’s.

The new partnership was developed, in part, thanks to Ed ’62, P’10 and Robin Lampert P’10, whose generosity supported the founding of the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs at Colgate. The Lamperts have made a $2.5 million commitment to internationalization, and they also offered to match additional gifts of $500,000 up to $2.5 million for international initiatives.

NUS Professor Roger Tan, vice dean and faculty of science, education and special duties, said he hopes this new endeavor will create more opportunities for cooperation in the future between the two institutions of learning.

“[NUS] students will certainly benefit from your broad-based liberal arts education,” Tan said during a visit to Colgate earlier this month. “I hope we give them an unforgettable experience.”

Professor Damhnait McHugh, Colgate natural sciences and mathematics division director, said that when she visited NUS with Meyers, Simpson and four other faculty in the natural sciences on their fact-finding mission this past January, it became abundantly clear that the university had extensive support systems and a strong commitment to welcoming international students.

“We want our students to really make the most of their social and cultural experience as well, and we hope for international faculty collaborations to develop in the coming years,” McHugh said. “We are very excited about the possibilities.”

Related:
Off-campus study
Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs
Colgate Study Groups


Summer internship blog series: fighting frontotemporal degeneration

June 23, 2016
Laynie Dratch ’17 (left) and Meghan Healey ’11

Laynie Dratch ’17 (left) and Meghan Healey ’11

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Laynie Dratch ’17, a neuroscience major from Ambler, Pa., conducting research at the Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

This is my second summer at the Penn FTD Center, which brings together an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers with common goals of studying frontotemporal degeneration spectrum disorders as well as providing care and support to patients and their caregivers.

Frontotemporal degeneration is a term used to describe a continuum of disorders marked by progressive brain cell loss in the frontal and temporal regions of the brain — the most recognizable disorder is Alzheimer’s disease. Few realize that similar dementias exist. Disorders such as primary progressive aphasia and corticobasal syndrome often present as changes in personality, gait, or language, rather than memory loss, and are challenging to diagnose. These atypical dementias, which can be confusing and frustrating for patients and their families, often appear in people in their 50s and 60s.

Places like the Penn FTD Center are rare, and I am proud to be part of a team that is leading the research and patient care for this struggling population that is still looking for a cure. A bonus: I have the pleasure of working with Meghan Healey ’11, a graduate student in the center.

This summer, I am involved in a project that compares typical Alzheimer’s to its atypical variants by studying differences in imaging biomarkers throughout disease duration. Working at the Penn FTD Center has provided me with countless other educational opportunities: I have participated in lab meetings, presented papers, served as a control in experiments, learned computer skills, observed a brain autopsy, and attended the center’s annual FTD Caregiver Conference, bringing together patients, caregivers, researchers, clinicians, and advocates for a day focused on practical information and the state of the science.

There are few, if any, centers that can match the resources, ability, and compassion that allow the Penn FTD Center to both care for and learn from its patients. The underlying themes of Penn’s success are collaboration and compassion. Every member of the team is important, and everyone contributes. Working at the center among the field’s brightest doctors, researchers, and nurses has taught me so much, both professionally and personally. I entered the center with absolutely no biomedical research experience, and now understand all of the different contributors to what is a much bigger and more complicated process than I ever imagined. I learned that my strengths include collaboration and analysis, while coding and statistics are my next areas to focus on improving. Most importantly, my time at the center has shown me that I work best in a collaborative environment, and has provided me with a network of support comprised of some of the field’s top academics and medical professionals. This experience has also shown me that I want to work in a sector of the field that has contact with, or direct impact on, the lives of patients and their families.

Related:
Career Services
Jobs and Internships


Summer internship blog series: Greening Glimmerglass

June 16, 2016
Grace Thomas ’17 stands with Bob Sutherland outside of a barn at Mohican Farms

Grace Thomas ’17 with Bob Sutherland of Mohican Farms (Photo by Karli Cadel)

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Grace Thomas ’17, interning at the Glimmerglass Festival, where Francesca Zambello ’78, H’12 serves as artistic and general director.

I am fortunate to be working this summer as a member of the Summer Field School within the Upstate Institute, pursuing my interests in environmental sustainability.

This opportunity blends academic research with a more traditional working setting. My goals for the summer are to assess and advise the staff at the internationally famous Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y., on a variety of sustainable initiatives, from water use to energy efficiency, with a host of projects in between.

Read more


The linguistic lawyer

June 15, 2016
Portrait of Clarissa (Polk) Shah ’10 standing in front of conference room doors

Clarissa (Polk) Shah ’10 (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

It all started on a St. Louis, Mo., elementary school library shelf. Clarissa (Polk) Shah ’10 discovered her love of Chinese culture at age 10 with a book of short stories. That fascination blossomed into a career, as well as advocacy work.

Although she studied Spanish throughout middle and high school, those short stories — written by Chinese authors and translated into English — had a hold on Shah. When her Spanish teacher told her, “So much is lost in translation,” she wanted more than ever to read them in Chinese. “I wondered, what am I missing?” she said.

At Colgate, Shah finally had the opportunity to learn Chinese. “Professor [Gloria] Bien made the language fun and accessible,” she said. Shah added that “the entire department was great,” and because it is small, each of the three professors (including John Crespi and Jing Wang) “helped with my development.”

Read more


Message to community regarding vigil for Orlando shooting victims

June 13, 2016
Pride Flag

Photo by Andrew Daddio

To the Colgate community:

I write to express sorrow and sympathy on behalf of Colgate University following Sunday morning’s tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. Our thoughts and prayers go to all those affected and to everyone who feels the pain of this tragedy in a deeply personal way.

We grieve this senseless loss of life and injury, with echoes of, and links to, other acts of historical violence as well as contemporary terrorism. It is a tragic instance of the violence that LGBTQ people continue to suffer despite many recent legal gains for the community.

I write, as well, to affirm the values of this institution in creating and maintaining an inclusive, welcoming, and safe place for all — a place where we recognize injustice, challenge intolerance, and combat hate. As Omid Safi, former Colgate philosophy and religion professor, told our graduating Class of 2016 in his baccalaureate address, “Continue expanding your circle of compassion until every sentient being and every human being is included.”

In that spirit, the Colgate community is invited to join a vigil of contemplation, reflection, or sharing this evening outside Memorial Chapel on the Academic Quad at 8:30 pm. In case of inclement weather, the gathering will take place at the ALANA Cultural Center. Staff from the LGBTQ Initiatives Office will be present to assist, counsel and refer.

Members of the counseling center (315-228-7385) staff are available to talk with any students on campus for the summer who are feeling distressed or troubled about this tragedy or any other concern.

Sincerely,

Jill Harsin

Interim President


Summer internship blog series: Tips from career services director Teresa Olsen

June 10, 2016
Kevin Costello ’16 hands a file across a desk in the office of Congressman Richard Hanna

Last summer, Kevin Costello ’16 worked as an intern for Congressman Richard Hanna on Capitol Hill after participating in Colgate’s Washington, D.C., study group. (Photo by Kanji Takeno)

As we get ready to kick off Colgate’s annual summer internship blog series, which will highlight students at work in a variety of fields around the globe, we’re featuring internship advice from a WalletHub interview with Teresa Olsen, assistant vice president of institutional advancement and director of career services. Read more


An immersion in public arts and humanities

June 8, 2016
group portrait of students, faculty, and alumni standing on the Highline in New York City

(L to R) FRONT: Bonnie Zhou ’18, Chelsea Mohr ’17, Jane Trask ’16, Kate Dugdale ’16, Monica Hoh ’16 MIDDLE: Elizabeth Johnson ’16, Woohee Kim ’18, Miranda Gilgore ’18, Emily Wong 18, Professor Claire Baldwin, Jason Alexander ’17, Bennie Guzman ’17 BACK: Julia Wolf ’17, Jim Smith ’70, Robert Dorf ’80, Professor Georgia Frank (photo by: a kind stranger on the Highline)

Editor’s note: Last spring, Miranda Gilgore ’18 took part in Colgate’s public arts and humanities immersion trip to New York City. As she prepares for her summer months as a camp counselor in the Adirondacks, Gilgore reflected on the experience and how it has changed her outlook on her majors, her hobbies, and her long-term career planning.

A marble-tiled museum, a pretty show with nice music and gorgeous costumes, an old house that used to belong to a wealthy family. That’s what a lot of people would probably think of when they heard a definition of ‘public humanities,’ the work of individuals and organizations to provide community access to the arts, history, philosophy, and more.

I did, too, before going on the public arts and humanities immersion trip to New York City, sponsored by Jim Smith ’70 and Robert Dorf ’80, during Spring Break 2016. From March 13 to 16, I traveled with 11 other Colgate students and two professors to NYC in order to bridge the gap between our academic experiences in the humanities and the “real world.” Prior to departure, we had a seminar class to discuss articles and case studies regarding nonprofits related to the arts and humanities, and we also met to discuss trip logistics.

Thinking deeply about dance performances, museum exhibitions, archive center holdings, theater performances — all of which we did in fact deeply engage in during the trip — opened up the doors to some amazing discoveries.

Read more