In the last movement of her dance performance titled Wires, April Bailey ’14 (pictured in pink) breaks free from the group and moves independently — just as she’s demonstrated academically. Read more
“We are truly exploring new territory,” wrote Kara Vadman ’14 and Mikhaila Redovian ’15 after the research vessel they boarded in January headed into uncharted waters near Totten Glacier, Antarctica. Read more
During winter break I discovered that working on an interdisciplinary research project in a foreign country is one of the most interesting ways to learn about a new culture.
Research that combines natural science, social science, and humanities is rare to find, but Colgate is a university where collaborations like this happen, and I was lucky enough to get involved. Using the Alumni Memorial Scholarship granted to me upon admission, I spent three weeks of my winter break in Ethiopia working with Professors Catherine Cardelus and Carrie Woods from the Department of Biology, Peter Klepeis and Peter Scull from the Department of Geography, and Eliza Kent from the Department of Religion, studying the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Forests.
Before last summer, Arielle Sperling ’14 hadn’t so much as gone fishing, never mind touched a fish. But during her internship in Ashton, Idaho, Sperling found herself hip-deep in trout. The environmental studies major from White Plains, N.Y., was the only Colgate student in a group of researchers who were looking at the habitat selection of adult rainbow trout.
Every year, Colgate sends a student to intern with the Henry’s Fork Foundation through a fellowship program funded by the late Jeffry Timmons ’64 and his wife, Sara. This year’s group was trying to gain a better understanding of where the fish feed and to determine the water variables (depth, temperature, flow rate, and substrates) of those spots.
Colgate student researchers met with community members recently to discuss a problem that affects not only the town and village of Hamilton, but the entire nation — the overpopulation of white-tailed deer.
The students presented their findings from a semester-long research project that was an integral part of the Community-based Study of Environmental Issues course they are taking with Assistant Professor of Biology Catherine Cardelus.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by peace and conflict studies major Sarah Dickson, of Wayne, Penn.
In January 2011, almost a month after street protests broke out in Tunisia against high unemployment rates and government corruption, the nation’s president gave in to protesters’ demands and fled the country. The Tunisian revolution’s success is believed to have ignited the regional “Arab Spring” movement.
As a peace and conflict studies major concentrating on the Middle East and North Africa, I was extremely interested in the events happening in Tunisia. And, as someone who has studied French for many years, I was eager to practice my language skills in the French-speaking North African country. So, I set my sights on going to Tunisia.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by sociology/anthropology and women’s studies major Evan Chartier ‘14, of Oak Park, Illinois.
Almost everyone has known a nursing assistant. They might take your vitals at the hospital or help with daily activities that someone cannot do on their own. They care for our children, our sick, and our injured as well as our elderly. But, how many of us really know who these amazing individuals are, and what drives them to perform this essential work? This was the question that I set out to explore during the summer of 2013.
The first step in my journey to understanding the people behind this crucial work was to become a nursing assistant myself. So I enrolled in a nursing assistant course and traveled a daily four-hour round-trip commute to learn the skills that many of us take for granted when we are being cared for. I completed the course and am now a certified home health aide and nursing assistant.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by molecular biology major Brandon Fiegoli, of Bedford, NY.
Every day, you hear about an infamous disease called cancer. You are constantly reading about celebrities with breast cancer, kidney cancer, and many more. You may even have friends or family members fighting the disease. But what do you really know about cancer? Where does it come from? Why does it occur and how does it harm us?
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Casey Sherman ‘14, of Vancouver, who is a psychology major.
Each day you see hundreds of different stimuli. You pay attention to certain environmental features, but not to others; some things change, and others stay constant. At the end of the day, you’re left with an array of memories. You’ll forget some details from the day, but other memories remain with you for future use.
My thesis research, supervised by Professor Douglas Johnson, is intended to explore several questions about memory. How does attention to experiences affect your memory of them? Are changes or consistency in the environment more readily remembered? Are changes in the environment processed differently depending how much attention you pay to them?
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Jia Zheng ‘14, of the Bronx, who is an environmental studies and educational studies double major.
This summer, I was awarded a research apprenticeship through the Division of University Studies. For 10 weeks, I assisted environmental studies professor April Baptiste and educational studies professor Melissa Kagle with a section of their long-term research that focuses on bringing together modern scientific understanding and indigenous understanding of climate change in regions of the Caribbean and the Arctic. Read more
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by art history major Hannah Bjornson ‘15, of Westport, Conn.
This summer I held a faculty-sponsored research position in the Department of Art and Art History. I assisted Professor Padma Kaimal in putting together her book about the eighth-century Kailasanatha temple complex in the southern Indian city of Kanchipuram.
A new Mountain Lake PBS segment features the research of Colgate biology professor Tim McCay and four students who spent the summer studying invasive earthworms and their impact on native species in the Adirondacks.
“Its mission, to boldly go where few, if any, worm researchers have gone before; to seek out and identify earthworms of all kinds, wherever the professor and his intrepid students can find them,” said PBS host Ed Kanze.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by English major Carlie Wetzel ‘14, of Lancaster, Pa.
This summer, I held a faculty-sponsored research position with the Colgate Living Writers program, where I worked closely with Professors Jane Pinchin and Jennifer Brice, who teach the Living Writers course.
I’m continuing my internship this fall by helping facilitate the actual events. I will assist with the public readings, field questions sent in from online participants, assist with the Living Writers course, and have the opportunity to dine with the course’s featured authors.
Every year, Colgate invites nine to ten prominent authors from all over the world to campus to speak about their work. Each author converses with the sixty students enrolled in the Living Writers course for a full class period. Then, each author holds a public reading open to the whole campus and community. Several of the authors also participate in an online discussion available to alumni, parents, and friends taking part in LW Online.
This summer my research included carefully reading each of the selected works and compiling approximately 50 resources for each author—including book reviews, interviews, videos, biographies, and other works. I created a Moodle site for the course which listed the best resources I could find for each author; I also included the schedule for their readings and on-campus events.
This year’s group of authors is really stellar. The works include short story collections, fiction works, a poetry collection, as well as two works of non-fiction.
During my summer research, I brainstormed connections between the works that would be interesting and relevant to students, a project I found to be fascinating. During my reading, I also considered issues of class, race, modern technology, and the human condition, which all intertwine in this fall’s provocative pieces.
Our special initiative this year is Colgate Reads 2013. We met our goal by recruiting over 2,013 people to pledge to read a short story written by our first Living Writers author, George Saunders. I helped facilitate conversation on a special blog made for this initiative. It was really interesting to discuss Saunders’s works with students, faculty, and alumni in an online community forum.
Saunders will talk about his short story collection, Tenth of December, this Tuesday, September 10, at 4:30 pm in Memorial Chapel. The event will also be livestreamed. I hope many people will come together in person and online to join the event!
Colgate students working with professor Jason Meyers for the past four years have been searching for the answer to why stem cells in certain parts of zebrafish, the same fish you might find at a local aquarium shop, regenerate when their sensory cells are damaged.
Because similar human cells do not regenerate, and their loss leads to permanent deafness, this work has implications for trying to understand how scientists might some day be able to promote regeneration in humans, Meyers said.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by history major Caitlin Sackrison ’15, of Minnetonka, Minn.
This summer I conducted research on over 75 19th-century French political cartoons found in the Colgate archives. I was funded through a grant from the Division of Social Sciences and advised by Professor Jill Harsin of the History Department, who helped me as I translated, identified, and analyzed each cartoon.
My initial goal for the summer was to study these cartoons, since they had yet to be thoroughly analyzed.
The Colgate archives contain over 200 political cartoons that were created during the Second Empire in France (1850-1870), and I chose to analyze only those cartoons containing depictions of women to narrow my focus.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by economics and geography double major Chris Esposito ’14, of Santa Cruz, Calif..
I remember a striking quotation from Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist. Usually academics write carefully and with narrow focus, but Krugman was blunt and far-reaching: “Old ideas are viewed as boring, even if few people have heard of them; new ideas, even if they are probably wrong and not terribly important, are far more attractive.”
I can see Krugman’s words in the research that I have been conducting this summer. I have been working with Professor William Meyer from Colgate’s geography department, and the old, “boring” idea in our research is the Chicago model of urban form.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by computer science major Michael McConville ’16, of Hingham, Mass.
I spent this summer researching the Bitcoin protocol with computer science professor Vijay Ramachandran. Bitcoin is an electronic cryptocurrency that has recently exploded in popularity. The total market cap is over $1 billion, spurred largely by speculation and illicit activity.
One of the most novel aspects of Bitcoin is that everyone has access to a ledger of every transaction ever made. This is a massive amount of data: more than 20 million transactions constituting over 11 GB of data.
(Editor’s note: This story is by Omar Aquije)
In a single day, two Colgate students will observe thousands of Muslims in mid-day prayers, Jews celebrating the start of Shabbat, and Franciscan monks leading processions through the streets of Jerusalem.
This happens each Friday in the streets of Old City in Jerusalem, where Christina Crowley ’14 and Rebecca Fine ’14 are living this summer to complete a project designed to promote peace in a place long embroiled in conflict.
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Emily Rundlet ’14, a biochemistry major from Watchung, N.J.
In the natural sciences, structure is related to function, so if we can establish the conformation of these enzymes, we will be able to better understand their binding sites and catalytic mechanisms.
Summer certainly means pool parties, lazy afternoons, and hot dogs on the grill. At Colgate, summer also means time for some serious research.
A sampling of about 150 students conducting summer research on campus presented their findings at the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center last week. The research on display spanned a wide range of disciplines, from biology and neuroscience to geology and sociology, to name a few.
In celebrating the Year of ‘13, we are posting a story or list that pertains to our lucky number on the 13th of each month. This month, we’ve compiled a list of summer research projects. There are more than 100 students on campus conducting research, including some who just finished their first year at Colgate, so this is only a small sampling of the academic work happening right now on campus. (See a complete list.)
1) Faith Benson ‘14, international relations major, is working with Bruce Rutherford, associate professor of political science.
Project: The Effect on Gender Roles in Human Trafficking in the Middle East
2) Joshua Hair ‘14, geography, is working with Peter Scull, associate professor of geography.
Project: Church Forests in Ethiopia: A Land Cover Change Analysis Using Historical Aerial Photography
Professor Michael Loranty and Kira Yasuda ’15 are currently in Healy, Alaska, examining the effects of permafrost thaw on ecosystem water and nutrient cycling.
The study is in conjunction with St. Olaf College, Woods Hole Research Center, and the University of Florida. The Healy sites, run by the University of Florida and the Woods Hole Research Center, include places where permafrost thaw is occurring naturally as well as an experimental manipulation to artificially thaw the permafrost. Read more
“Did you hear the one about the new restaurant NASA is building on the moon? It has great food but no …”
This was the kind of question asked of undergraduates during Physpardy, the “geekiest of competitions” (according to Professor Enrique Galvez) that was held at the annual Rochester Symposium for Physics Students. Colgate placed second in the Jeopardy knockoff, competing against college teams from Houghton, Rochester, West Point, SUNY, and Siena.
The Colgate contingent was led by physics professors Enrique Galvez and Ken Segall. Galvez brought the juniors Carrie Brurgess ’14, Fiora Cheng ’14, Brett Ross ’14 to talk about quantum optics. Segall led seniors Matt Brunetti ’13, Sean Guo ’13, and Ryan Freeman ’13, to talk about their research in physics.
“I was really impressed with the research being done by undergraduates at other universities,” said Freeman, “but I have to say that I really think that Colgate’s undergraduate research stands out.” He said that is likely due to absence of graduate students at the university, who would likely draw the attention of professors.
“We, as undergraduates, are a more integral part of the research being done here,” Freeman said.
Galvez, a leader in the field of teaching quantum mechanics, was recently featured in a Scientific American roadshow.
Other questions at the event included:
In the category Alphabet: “Speed of light in a vacuum.”
In the category Newton’s gravity: “The number of “g’s” you’d experience if you’re on a planet with half the earth’s radius and half its mass.”
In the comment field, add your answers — in the form of questions of course.