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Chemistry professor Anthony Chianese gets NSF grant for solar energy research

July 25, 2014
Melissa Barnard '15 and Tia Cervarich '16 work in the lab of Professor Anthony Chianese.

Melissa Barnard ’15 and Tia Cervarich ’16 work in the lab of Professor Anthony Chianese.

Colgate chemistry professor Anthony Chianese recently received a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue his research into how to convert solar energy into a liquid transportable form like methanol or ethanol.

Chianese and his student researchers are attempting to develop catalysts for chemical reactions that use the sun’s energy to convert low-energy chemical compounds into high-energy compounds that can be used as fuels, regardless of the sun’s strength and presence on a given day.

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Cancer research leads to publication and honors for Colgate students

June 28, 2014
Changchang Liu '15, works with biology Professor Engda Hagos on cancer research during a 2014 summer internship.

Changchang Liu ’15, works with biology professor Engda Hagos on cancer research during her summer internship. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Two Colgate students and their professor have been published in The Journal of Molecular Carcinogenesis for new research into the regulatory processes that maintains genomic stability, which is impaired in cancer cells. This could one day lead to new treatments.

Changchang Liu ’15, Stephen La Rosa ‘13 and Assistant Professor of Biology Engda Hagos received a grant from the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute at Colgate. Liu is the first author on the published paper, which Hagos says is huge for a student.

“In this field, it takes at least two or three, sometimes four, years to publish one paper. It’s not easy,” Hagos said.

For her published research, Liu was also one of 10 students nationwide to be awarded a Meritorious Honor at the ninth annual Undergraduate Students Caucus and Poster Competition of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Liu cited making new findings as the most exciting part of her research. “Doing the research and making this discovery is kind of like discovering a secret, like a treasure, that only you know, literally, because you just discovered it.”

In addition to Liu’s earlier research, she is now on campus for her third summer in a row working with Hagos. Under the mentorship of Hagos, Liu and two other students, Margaret Wolsey ’17 and Matt Szuchnicki ’15, are studying autophagy, a process by which a cell eats itself so that it can recycle its nutrients. This process has been implicated in many human diseases including cancer.

“He’s very patient and he really cares how you feel about your project,” Liu said about Hagos. “He makes sure you understand what you’re doing and the concepts behind what you are studying, which really helps me grow as a researcher. The close interaction is what made many of the ideas and the entire project possible.”

Liu will go straight from her research in the lab at Colgate to the world-renowned campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. As part of the Colgate NIH Study Group, Liu will take classes and study cancer cell multi-drug resistance in an NIH laboratory.

Hagos remarked, “She’s doing something important. She is one step ahead.”


Colgate Writers’ Conference fosters inspiration and camaraderie

June 26, 2014
Photo by Andrew Daddio

Faculty and participants engaged in lively discussion during daily workshops. Photo by Andrew Daddio

For Katie Rice ’13, last week’s 19th Annual Colgate Writers’ Conference served as a chance to escape noisy New York City and focus on her writing in the summer serenity of Hamilton.

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Professor Susan Thomson co-writes New York Times op-ed about Rwanda

June 17, 2014
Susan Thomson studies and writes about Rwanda at Colgate

Susan Thomson studies and writes about Rwanda as part of her research at Colgate.

Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies Susan Thomson held numerous events this past semester that examined the genocide in Rwanda that happened 20 years ago.

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Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute provides second round of funding to researchers

June 6, 2014
Sacred forest around Ethiopian church.

Researchers are investigating whether and how cultural and religious stewardship of sacred forests reduces negative impacts on these compromised ecosystems.

A second year of funding provided by the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute at Colgate will allow faculty researchers to further their exploration of the cultural and religious stewardship of sacred forest ecosystems in Ethiopia.

Damhnait McHugh, director of the institute, announced the award to Colgate professors Catherine Cardelús (biology), Eliza Kent (religion), Peter Klepeis (geography), Peter Scull (geography), and Carrie Woods (biology). They are collaborating with Izabela Orlowska and Alemayehu Wassie Eshete, both of Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.

The $90,000 research award will allow the researchers to continue their assessment of Ethiopian forests maintained as sacred sites around Christian Orthodox Tewahido churches.

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Colgate professors create video about benefits of liberal arts education

June 5, 2014

Colgate professors Spencer Kelly and Yukari Hirata have produced the first in what will be a new series of videos designed to communicate the broad societal benefits of a liberal arts education, as well as the particular ways Colgate students learn and grow.

This first episode of the Looking Through the Liberal Arts series addresses “How Learning a Language Transforms You.” Read more


Colgate’s Roger Rowlett named to lead Council on Undergraduate Research

June 4, 2014

Colgate professors are not only beloved by students and alumni of Colgate, they often are chosen to lead their professional organizations. That honor has most recently come to chemistry professor Roger Rowlett, who has been elected to serve as president of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) for 2015–2016.

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Professor Chad Sparber releases more research on H-1B visa program

May 30, 2014

As debate over immigration policy continues in the nation’s capital and across the country, research by Colgate professor Chad Sparber and two colleagues continues to add to the dialogue.

In 2013, Sparber began research showing that an increase in H-1B visas — a program for U.S. companies to bring in skilled immigrants — did not harm U.S. workers or the U.S. economy.

In fact, the research found that “inflows of foreign H-1B workers may explain between 30% and 50% of the aggregate productivity growth… that took place in the US between 1990 and 2010.”
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Colgate professor Jessica Graybill wins prestigious Fulbright award

May 26, 2014
Vladivostok, Russia, site of Jessica Graybill's base for her Fulbright research

Vladivostok, Russia, will serve as the base for Jessica Graybill’s  Fulbright research.

Jessica Graybill, associate professor of geography, is heading to Russia. The winner of a Science and Innovation Fulbright award, Graybill will spend a year studying the social and cultural geographies of climate change in Vladivostok. The biggest city in Russia’s Far East, Vladivostok is the center for fishing and shipping and home to the Russian Navy.

Graybill studies sustainability and its impact on the Arctic. Read more


Colgate faculty members to take an interdisciplinary walk on the Camino de Santiago

May 19, 2014
The El Camino de Santiago walkers

The El Camino de Santiago walkers

Colgate faculty members will join together to walk the Camino de Santiago, the route to the shrine of the apostle St. James who is said to be buried in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

The interdisciplinary experience is made possible through the Kallgren Fund, an endowed fund created to support faculty members at Colgate.

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Colgate’s Marjorie Bradley Kellogg earns award from NYC Theatre Development Fund

May 15, 2014
Marjorie Bradley Kellogg

Marjorie Bradley Kellogg was honored by the Theatre Development Fund. (Photo courtesy of Live Design)

Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, associate professor of English and scene designer at Colgate, was recently awarded The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design. The prestigious award was presented by the Theatre Development Fund earlier this month at the Hudson Theater in New York City.

Kellogg was presented with the award by Kenny Leon, the director whose most recent Broadway work includes  Holler If Ya Hear Me, A Raisin in the Sun, and Fences.

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Professor Susan Thomson discusses Rwanda on Academic Minute

May 2, 2014

April marked the 20 anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. Colgate Professor Susan Thomson, author of Whispering Truth to Power: Everyday Resistance to Reconciliation in Postgenocide Rwanda, recorded a segment on the Academic Minute to commemorate the 20th anniversary.

Listen to the segment here.

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Professor Jennifer Tomlinson examines peril of putting romantic partner on a pedestal

April 29, 2014

What are the consequences when one partner feels over-idealized by another?

Jennifer M. Tomlinson, assistant professor of psychology, set out to examine whether there is a limit to the benefits of feeling idealized.

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Professor Ellen Percy Kraly interviewed on radio show Take Two

April 24, 2014

The hosts of Take Two radio interviewed geography professor Ellen Percy Kraly for an Earth Day episode called “Impact of the population on the planet is more than a numbers game.” The five-minute segment can be heard here.

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Colgate seniors present research to leading scholars in Japan

April 16, 2014
J&M traveling_WEB

Jessica Huang ’14 and Michael Manansala ’14 presented their research at Kobe University in Japan and also had time for some independent travel.

Over spring break, Jessica Huang ’14 and Michael Manansala ’14 put the capstone on a research project that they’ve been working on for much of their Colgate careers. Traveling to Kansai, Japan, the seniors presented their research titled “Does observing or producing different types of hand gestures help second-language auditory learning of Japanese short and long vowels?” Read more