Dr. Craig Albertson is an Associate professor in the Biology department here at UMass Amherst. The Albertson Lab focuses on the development and evolution of complex morphologies. In other words, How do complex structures and shapes develop from a single-cell embryo? What makes the human hand different from the horse’s hoof, the bat’s wing, or the flipper of a whale? Dr. Albertson is looking for two bright and passionate high school students to join his team and work in his lab alongside faculty and graduate students.
Dr. Cowden grew up working on his family's farm in Southern Illinois, learning a sense of control and innovation from an early age. As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, Dr. Cowden studied management information systems and political science. He credits management information systems with helping him learn how logic works and how to create a system, and notes that political science forced him to ask big questions and look at problems from multiple angles. After undergrad, Dr. Cowden went on to get his PhD in business administration from St Louis University.
Dr. Ludmila Tyler grew up in the Carolinas. She attended college at Auburn University in Alabama and went on to Duke in North Carolina to get her PhD. Dr. Tyler was always interested in the life sciences. She thought she wanted to be a doctor, but when she began working in a plant biology research lab, she realized that working with plants was a better fit for her. Dr. Tyler got her PhD with a focus on plant genetics and development. She found teaching very rewarding and worked as a TA (teaching assistant) throughout the process of getting her PhD. Now, Dr. Tyler is a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology here at UMass Amherst, where she combines her love of teaching with her passionate interest in plant biology.
I met with Naaz Sheikh and Maddie Stump, two wonderful students from Jump! 2015, to check in, catch up, and reflect on the days when it wasn't -10 degrees and we were hanging out on mountains and cavorting around the warm and empty UMass campus over the summer. I met these two while working as the Student Activities Coordinator for Jump!, which is a four-week transitional program for incoming UMass students that gives them a head start on everything from credits to campus life.
Sarah Berquist is a lecturer in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst . She focuses on sustainable agriculture and food systems, and will share her incredible knowledge and experiences outdoors with select high school students this summer in her one-week Sustainable Farming and Food Systems program through UMass Summer Pre-College!
Last week, I left work and walked to Hampshire Dining Commons, my absolute favorite dining hall on campus, to meet up with two former Jump! students who I got to know last summer while working as a Student Activities Coordinator for UMass Summer Programs. Jump! is a 4-week summer program for incoming undergrads at UMass Amherst that gives students a head start on everything from college credits to campus life. Jason Zhuo and Nick Pontes are both friendly, outgoing students whose presence in the Jump! program was nothing but positive, so I was excited to see them again!
Dr. Allison Butler is a lecturer and advisor in the Communications Department at UMass and is the Director of the Media Literacy Certificate program. She grew up in Maryland outside of Washington DC and has been working to expand her own critical understanding of media since Middle School, when she began participation in a Magnet program focusing on Media Literacy, an interest that has stuck with her through her academic career. Dr. Butler got her undergrad degree at Fordham University and got her MA and her PhD at NYU and now makes her home in the Pioneer Valley where she co-runs Mass Media Literacy, a grassroots organization supporting legislation for teacher training in media literacy.
Media is all around us and has a huge influence on our society and our selves, yet in high school you were probably never given an opportunity to learn about the language of media. As in most things, it is important to be able to be critical of our media.
Dr. Erik Cheries is an assistant Professor of Psychology in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst and runs the Infant Cognition Lab on campus. He is looking for a select few high-school-aged research assistants to join him in his lab this summer as a part of UMass Summer Programs' Six-Week Research Intensives Program that places ambitious high-school students in research labs with distinguished faculty members.
Dr. Rebecca Spencer is an associate professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst. She studies the neuroscientific relationship between memory and sleep, both in children as it relates to learning and adults as it may relate to the loss of memory. Dr. Spencer is looking for up to five high-school-aged research assistants to join her in her lab this summer as a part of UMass Summer Pre-College's six-week Research Intensives program that places ambitious high-schoolers in research labs with distinguished faculty members.
Dr. Brokk Toggerson is a lecturer in the Physics Department here at UMass. He grew up outside of Atlanta and as young "Science Nerd" (his words, not mine), he attended a summer program at the University of Arizona and got interested in Astronomy. Because of his interest, he decided to get his undergraduate degree at University of Arizona. However, when he got there and took stellar astrophysics and hated it, he realized that particle physics was his true passion and talent. Dr. Toggerson moved to Geneva, Switzerland to work on his PhD and to work at the CERN laboratory, the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.
Professor Geng-Lin Li teaches and does research at UMass Amherst. He grew up in Anhui Province, China and got his Bachelor’s degree at Beijing Normal University and his PhD at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Li has always been interested in math and physics, but found himself studying Biology as an Undergrad in Beijing. When we met in his lab Professor Li recounted to me his dislike of some subjects and absolute frustration at having to identify various types of leaves at school. Luckily, he was able to get into the field of Neuroscience, specifically Neurophysiology, using his knowledge of biology and his natural talent in mathematics and physics to study the hard science behind our brain functions and the messages that our brains send.