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Colgate joins Beckman Scholars Program

January 21, 2016
Student stands at a lab table, reading notes in Wynn Hall

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Colgate University has been named as a Beckman Scholars Program institutional award recipient for 2016.

The grant, totaling $104,000, will provide multi-year research funding for students majoring in biology or chemistry. Colgate joins a distinguished list of universities that received the award from the Irvine, Calif.–based Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 2016 — it includes Emory, Vanderbilt, and the University of Chicago among others.

“We are delighted to have been selected,” said Damhnait McHugh, Raab Family Chair and Professor of biology; director of the division of natural sciences and mathematics. “It offers our top students unparalleled opportunities to engage in extended scholarship.”

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Good Morning, Dolphins!

January 13, 2016
Tori Hymel stands on a platform looking down at a dolphin

Tori Hymel ’16 works with dolphins during an extended study trip to the Florida Keys (Photo by Krista Ingram)

(Editor’s note: Fourteen students accompanied Associate Professor of Biology Krista Ingram on an extended study trip to the Florida Keys during winter break to study marine mammal cognition, behavior, and conservation at the Dolphin Research Center. They chronicled their full experience on the off-campus learning blog — here’s a sample, written by Elly Hilton ’17, Madeleine Tsao ’17, and Lacey Williams ’16 on day two of their trip.)

We began the day as usual with a walk around the docks to each lagoon, waving and saying hello to each dolphin. We were still amazed to see the eagerness with which each dolphin approached us, seeming to recognize us from the day before. From the far side of every lagoon the dolphins would swim over to us as soon as they spied us walking down the docks, swimming the length of the dock and eyeing us with a curious sense of recognition and interest. After the rounds we headed over to the front lagoon to prepare for our second dolphin encounter.

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$500,000 NSF grant funds sacred forest research in Ethiopia

November 30, 2015
A sacred forest rises from farmland in Ethiopia

A view of a sacred forest in Ethiopia’s northern highlands (photo by Peter Klepeis)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $500,000 in funding to an interdisciplinary team of Colgate faculty, led by Associate Professor of Biology Catherine Cardelús, to continue investigating the status and conservation of sacred forests in Ethiopia’s northern highlands.

Christian Orthodox churches emerged in Ethiopia some 800 years ago. Today, thousands of these sites protect some of the region’s last remaining native forests, which stand out in a landscape otherwise dominated by agriculture and rangeland. Sacred forests have survived in spite of changes in societies and the ways in which humans use their land.

“Priests, monks, school children, and others are constantly walking and working in these forests, using them for everything from worshipping to schooling,” Cardelús said. “I hope to learn from those who already use ecosystems sustainably and leverage their methods to help others.”

To that end, Cardelús has tapped colleagues at Colgate and beyond to conduct an interdisciplinary study that will determine the current ecological health of the forests as well as changes in their structure and the perceptions of nearby populations over time.

She is joined on the project by Peter Scull, associate professor of geography; Peter Klepeis, professor of geography and geography department chair; and Carrie Woods, former visiting professor at Colgate, now visiting professor of biology at the University of Puget Sound. The team has also hired two scholars — Ethiopia historian Izabela Orlowska and Alemayehu Wassie, a forester and Christian Orthodox Tewahido Church priest — to operate full-time in country.

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Student helps county earn federal funding for clean wells

November 4, 2015
A GIS map of karst topography in Madison County, N.Y.

One of several GIS maps created by Kayleigh Bhangdia ’16 during her summer internship with the Madison County Department of Health.

Thanks in part to research conducted by a Colgate geography and environmental studies student, Madison County will receive more than a half-million dollars in federal funding for well-water testing and remediation to take place during the next five years.

Kayleigh Bhangdia ’16, of Poughquag, N.Y., worked with the Madison County Department of Health this summer, via Colgate’s Upstate Institute, to examine where private drinking wells may be threatened by known contaminated sites, spills, agricultural runoff, and bulk storage locations.

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Xintao Ding ’17: Looking at the genetic makeup of poodles

July 27, 2015
Xintao

Xintao Ding is a molecular biology major from Zhenzhou, China

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I am on campus working with Professor Barbara Hoopes in the biology department. Our lab is conducting research on genes that determine size variation in poodles. Read more


Students present summer research

July 24, 2015

Poster-presentations_WEB

From photochemical pathways to early animation devices to homosexuality in the Arab world — undergraduate research topics explored this summer by students and faculty were presented at yesterday’s poster session.  Read more


Warren Dennis ’16: Preparing for NASA’s future by understanding its past

July 13, 2015
Warren Dennis

Warren Dennis ’16 in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I’m interning for the History Program Office of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington, D.C. By providing easy access to information about its past successes and failures, the history office helps NASA to grow and better prepare for future situations. Read more


Madison Paulk ’16: Conducting social research in South Africa

July 6, 2015
Madison Paulk '16, a political science and African studies double major from Buffalo, N.Y. atop the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, built for the 2010 World Cup.

Madison Paulk ’16, a political science and African studies double major from Buffalo, N.Y., atop the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I am in Durban, South Africa, conducting research with Congolese refugees through first-hand communication. Read more


Alexandria Dyer ’14 awarded a Fulbright to conduct research in Ghana

May 6, 2015

Alexandria Dyer ’14, of Portland, Ore., has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to travel to Ghana to study public health.

Dyer will conduct research on the empowering social space of women’s hair salons and will then develop a pilot women’s health workshop for these informal settings.

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Sara Reese ’16 named a 2015 Udall Scholar

April 20, 2015

Sara Reese ’16, of Midlothian, Va., is one of just 50 students nationwide to be awarded a Udall Scholarship in 2015.

The Udall Scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to the environment or to American Indian nations. The scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

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New system recovers helium for laboratory use

March 19, 2015
Matt LeGro ’15 and Professor Ken Segall are using helium in their research studying the behavior of Josephson junctions (small electrical circuits) to see if they can model neuron behaviors in the brain. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Matt LeGro ’15 and Professor Ken Segall are using helium in their research studying the behavior of Josephson junctions (small electrical circuits) to see if they can model neuron behaviors in the brain. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Party balloons can no longer be taken for granted: there’s a worldwide shortage of helium. Prices quadrupled between 2000 and 2012, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. But a new helium-recovery system will put Colgate’s science laboratories at the forefront of efforts to conserve the dwindling supply of this increasingly expensive gas. Read more


Professor-student team discuss preliminary research findings on eating local

December 8, 2014
Colgate professors and students

Sarah DeFalco ’15, Professor Christopher Henke, Stephanie Chen ’16, and Professor April Baptiste

Turns out, it’s more affordable than you would think to be a “locavore” (eating locally produced food), at least in Madison County. This observation is based on preliminary research findings by Professor Christopher Henke, Professor April Baptiste, Stephanie Chen ’16, and Sarah DeFalco ’15.

The group gave a presentation titled “Can Everyone Be a Locavore? Food Access for Low-Income Residents of Madison County” at the Hamilton Public Library on Tuesday, November 18.

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Longyear Museum presents exhibition featuring Native American baskets

November 12, 2014

The Longyear Museum of Anthropology will celebrate the opening of the exhibition Weaving Identities: Native American Baskets in the Longyear Museum Collection with a reception on Thursday, November 13, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The reception will feature a Q&A by 15 students who researched the baskets as a project for the course Native Art of North America.

Basket weaving is an ancient Native American art, which has been practiced continuously over millennia and has developed various regional distinctions based on materials, form, and technique.

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Students gain access to world-class telescope in New Mexico

October 1, 2014
Colgate students will be able to use the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 meter telescope.

The Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 meter telescope.

Colgate students will have the opportunity to get closer to the stars thanks to a three-year arrangement that provides them with valuable access to a world-class telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. Read more


National Science Foundation grants foster faculty research

September 12, 2014
Professor Michael Loranty was among several Colgate professors in Siberia photo by Logan Burner I've also included a photo of thawing permafrost (which is relevant to the proposal), the person under the bug jacket is me and the photo was taken in Siberia by Logan Berner. studies permafrost

Geography professor Michael Loranty studies permafrost in Siberia. Loranty was one of several Colgate professors who recently received an NSF grant. Photo by Logan Berner

Professors researching a wide array of subjects — from privacy software to fieldwork in the Galapagos — recently received National Science Foundation grant awards totaling $1,328,055. Read more


Natasha Torres ’15 assesses study abroad experiences of students of color

September 8, 2014
Natasha Torres '15

Based on her own experiences studying abroad, Natasha Torres ’15 developed her research project about how other students of color navigated their experiences.

Colgate students are reflecting on their summer research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Natasha Torres ’15, an educational studies major and women’s studies minor from Cleveland, Ohio, who was given an award for outstanding research at the fall student poster session.

My study abroad experience, which included a semester in Italy and extended study to South Africa, was life changing — in far more complicated ways than I had expected. My two experiences were drastically different, but both informed the reasons for conducting my research and are deeply embedded within my project. Read more


Ben Mandell ’14 spends summer as assistant director/producer of LONEtheater

September 1, 2014
Ben Mandell '14 played a role in the performance titled "Pact," part of LONEtheater, for which he also served as assistant director/producer.

Ben Mandell ’14 played a role in “Pact,” part of LONEtheater, for which he also served as assistant director/producer.

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Ben Mandell ’14 who, after graduating with a theater major and Spanish minor, discovered a unique type of theater that combined both of his academic pursuits.

LONEtheater was a theatrical experience different than any other. Read more


Shan Wu ’15 finds direction in assisting Professor Kaimal with book manuscript

August 25, 2014
Shan Wu '15 helped Professor Padma Kaimal with her book manuscript as part of summer research.

Shan Wu ’15 helped Professor Padma Kaimal with her book manuscript as part of summer research.

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Shan Wu ’15, a double major in art history and the classics, from Hangzhou, China.

This summer I have been assisting Professor Padma Kaimal with her book manuscript Many Paths to the Divine. It analyzes one of the canonical monuments of Indic architecture: the eighth-century Kailāsanātha temple in Kanchipuram, a city in India’s southern-most state of Tamilnadu. Read more


Colgate students invited to take part in New York Six research conference

August 19, 2014

Colgate University students are invited to participate in the fourth annual New York Six Undergraduate Research Conference that will be held Saturday, September 20, at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y.

The conference is sponsored by the New York Six, a consortium of upstate New York liberal arts institutions that comprises Colgate, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College. Read more


Eli Goberdon ’16 brings to light techniques for lighting the stage and the screen

August 18, 2014
Eli Goberdon '16 and Junghyun Seo '16 worked with Professor Elodie Fourquet on a project to improve lighting in 3D environments.

Eli Goberdon ’16 and Junghyun Seo ’16 have been working with Professor Elodie Fourquet on a project to improve lighting in 3D environments.

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Eli Goberdon ’16, a computer science major from Scranton, Pa.

I have a fascination with storytelling, especially storytelling through the use of computers. One way stories are conveyed through computers is 3D graphics software. Read more


Intern’s research contributes to HIV/AIDS awareness in Tanzania

August 13, 2014
Paul Sirma '15

Paul Sirma ’15 interned with the Ifakara Health Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Colgate students are participating in internships in a variety of fields and locations this summer. This post is by Paul Sirma ‘15, a mathematical economics major from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania who is interning with Ifakara Health Institute.

This summer, I interned with Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), an independent, non-profit organization that conducts a wide range of health-related research in Tanzania. I first started to develop an interest in public health during my first year at Colgate in my scientific perspectives class, CORE AIDS, taught by Jun Yoshino.  I was fascinated by how little I knew about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in my home city, Dar es Salaam.

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An easier route: Katie Williams ’15 researches optimal walking tour

August 11, 2014
Katie Williams '15, a history and geography double major from Washington, D.C., leads a tour for prospective students and their families. Williams conducted research for her Geographic Information Systems course to determine the best campus tour route.

Katie Williams ’15 leads a tour for prospective students and their families. Williams conducted research for her Geographic Information Systems course to determine the best campus tour route. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Taking a tour is one of the best ways for prospective students to get a feel for campus, to learn about the student experience, and to discover what Colgate has to offer both inside and outside the classroom. It’s also a bit of a hike.

As a tour guide and summer intern with the Office of Admission, Katie Williams ’15, a geography and history double major from Washington, D.C., decided there had to be a better way for tour groups to tackle Colgate’s legendary hillside.

In true Colgate fashion, Williams turned this question into a research project for her Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course with Professor Peter Scull.

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Jane Trask ’16 studies Colgate’s past to inform future knowledge, as part of summer research

August 11, 2014
Jane Trask's summer research project was titled Colgate Envisioned, studying the university's past in order to inform the future.

Jane Trask’s summer research project was titled “Colgate Envisioned,” studying how the university presented its self-image in the past.

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Jane Trask ’16, a history major from Springfield, Ill.

This summer, I’m researching Colgate’s self-image through its own published materials from 1832–1908. I’ve spent most of my time in the University Archives examining the course catalogues, yearbooks, viewbooks, photographs, prints, and other documents from this period to explore how Colgate has understood itself as a place and presented this understanding to the public. Read more


Plant power: summer research on traditional medicine

August 4, 2014
Peter Juviler ’15, Mae Staples ’15, and Kelly French ’15,

Peter Juviler ’15, Kelly French ’15, and Mae Staples ’15 in Colgate’s greenhouse, where they’ve been growing plants to study their medicinal properties.

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Peter Juviler ’15, Mae Staples ’15, and Kelly French ’15, who are being advised by Frank Frey, associate professor of biology and environmental studies.

For centuries, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people have used plants to treat a variety of physical ailments. We are studying those plants that are native to New York State — specifically their ability to kill certain human-infecting bacteria. Read more


Light years ahead: Katie Karnes ’17 studying quasars as part of summer research

July 28, 2014
(L to R): Joshua Reding '15, Zachary Weaver '17, Luna Zagorac '16, Anneliese Rilinger (Williams) '17, and Katie Karnes '17.

Students conducting summer research in Colgate’s Foggy Bottom Observatory (L to R): Joshua Reding ’15, Zachary Weaver ’17, Luna Zagorac ’16, Anneliese Rilinger (Williams ’17), and Katie Karnes ’17. Photo by Matt Johnson ’15

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Katie Karnes ’17, an astrogeophysics major from Cincinnati, Ohio.

It’s 3:45 a.m. on a Thursday and I’m staring at the four monitors in front of me, trying to focus on saving the files correctly. Although sunrise is still hours away, the sky is beginning to lighten and this night of collecting data is coming to an end. This summer I am spending 10 weeks on campus working with Professor Tom Balonek in the physics and astronomy department. Read more