Bryn Mawr Biology majors are having an exciting summer, working at variety of jobs on campus, off campus, and out of the country! Here is a sampling of how some of our students are spending their summers...
Muna Aghaalnemer (BMC ’13) … is working as an intern at home with the Palestinian Cleft Society, where she spends her time working with healthcare providers and children with congenital anomalies. Muna is coordinating the surgery schedule, learning in the OR and conducting research about Cleft Palate and Lip in Palestine. Muna tells us: “I am also trying to maintain a balance between internship and vacation by going on trips to new cities and sites to explore home a little bit more with friends and family. I also am fulfilling my love for languages and currently learning Hebrew and truly enjoying it. “
Jessica Arbon (BMC ’14) … is spending her summer in California working as an intern in a parasitology lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The focus of her lab is on parasites affecting snails, crabs, mollusks, etc. and even birds at different sites along the coast of California. The snail that is generally studied is Cerithidea Californica, more commonly known as the California Horned Snail. Jessica’s job is to create a density map of these snails within the channels at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. She is working with two lab technicians from UCSB, and each day they make transects within the channels and count snails; their goal is to get 25-30 depending on the transect width, and they also occasionally measure the snails to determine the size frequency distribution. Jessica says: “The marsh is beautiful to work in and I am having a wonderful time so far! I have had the opportunity to work with dissections of the snails and have become familiar with identifying the parasites that affect them. The people I work with here are a blast, and it’s exciting to be a part of such a large and detailed (albeit arduous!) project.”
Eleanor Frye (BMC ’14) … is working as a clinical volunteer with chemotherapy patients at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, PA, as a way to give back to the place where her grandmother received treatment years ago. Ellie spends her time visiting with the patients, keeping them comfortable, greeting patients at the door, and other logistical and/or clerical duties as they come up. In addition, Ellie tells us that she is also working as a waitress, training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November, and living in my own apartment for the first time.
Leah Grady Sayvetz (BMC ’14) … is working on a small organic vegetable farm at home in Ithaca, NY. The farm is part of a project to educate youth about sustainable food production while at the same time supplying local organic food to school children. You can find some of Leah’s blog posts at The Youth Farm Project’s web site: youthfarmproject.weebly.com. 25 high school students run the farm during the summer and the food that is grown goes back to the local elementary and high schools and two community centers. Leah says: “I'm loving the hard work that farming is and getting really interested in agro-ecology!”
Kristina Kronauer (BMC ’13) … writes from her campsite on a hillside by a cattle pasture in the woods beside a brook. She has been working with an equine vet in the Upper Valley, and a dairy vet who travels up to three hours to service rural farms in northern New Hampshire. Kristina tells us: “When I'm with the dairy vet I spend a lot of time palpating cows whose withers are taller than I am. In my spare time - days when the vets don't have a lot of work - I help out at a small dairy farm with Devon's milking cows, a rare heritage breed. I milk the cows, help make cheese, work in the fields, and run the booth at the farmers market.” She is also helping out at a slightly larger dairy farm where they milk 30 cows instead of 12; both of these dairy farms make cheese, as compared to other farms that have 100-1500 milking cows and just sell milk to companies like Cabot or Hood. Kristina also had the interesting experience of castrating an 8 yr old stallion with the equine vet (“they like to do it at 4 months old...”) and then disected its testicles.
Laudita Kuswanto (BMC ’13) … is conducting research at Thomas Jefferson University in Dr. Steve McMahon's lab, where she has been working for the past couple of years. Dita is currently working on two projects focusing on p53, which is a tumor suppressor gene that is commonly lost or mutated in cancerous cells. Her first project focuses on the mutant p53 proteins and their ability to get acetylated on lysine 120, while the second project is to distinguish genetic programs that mediate either cell cycle arrest or apoptosis (cell death) by p53. Laudita tells us: “We are wrapping up the first project and are currently in the process of putting everything together and writing sections for a paper.”
Emily Lemieux (BMC ’14) … is spending her summer working on campus for Dining Services, specifically at Wyndham and UnCommon Grounds. In her free time, Emily is also volunteering in the Bryn Mawr Hospital's outpatient surgery center, aptly named the "Surgicenter”, where she is assisting with both pre-and post-operation care as well as sanitation and stocking.
Val Viertel (BMC ’14) … is spending her summer working for the Neuroradiology division at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Thanks to funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Val has the opportunity to work on a project investigating whether a new type of pulse sequence called Amide Proton Transfer (APT), a type of Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) imaging, will help to better differentiate protein from blood in the cystic component of craniopharyngiomas. Outside of work, Val says: “I am going to Orioles games, volunteering for Marriage Equality in Maryland, and taking boxing classes.”
Students conducting research in the Bryn Mawr Biology Department include:
Nicole Bowman (BMC '14) - Brodfuehrer lab
Tara Chatterjee (BMC '13) - Greif lab
Sara Fielder (BMC '13) - T. Davis lab
Abby Hochman (BMC '13) - T. Davis lab
Vicky Lopez (BMC '13) - Greif lab
Su Oner (BMC '14) - Brodfuehrer lab
Sarah Schnellbacher (BMC '13) - T. Davis lab
Celia Tong (HC '13) - T. Davis lab