Sun and SURF: Amherst Researchers Stay for Summer

by Bill Sweet

For an increasing number of Amherst College students, summer isn’t the time to get away; it’s the time to get cracking on their research.

Soon after Commencement and Reunion, students representing numerous disciplines in the sciences and humanities come back to campus to dig deeper.

At a geology lab in the Beneski Earth Sciences Building, Mollie McDowell ’14 has been crushing, grinding, burning and testing soil sediment from Ireland, for a research project with Professor Anna Martini.

“We both wanted to fill in some data gaps that I didn’t have time to fill in during the year,” McDowell said.

About 100 students—undergraduates and recent graduates doing postbaccalaureate research—are staying at Amherst for the summer. They are funded by several programs, including the Summer Science Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (SURF), the Gregory S. Call Student Research Program (SRP), individual academic departments, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Tutorials, among others.

Mollie McDowell ’14 in the lab Mollie McDowell ’14, summertime researcher

Yvonne Green ’17 is 2016 Beinecke Scholar

Submitted on Monday, 5/9/2016, at 10:09 AM

Yvonne Green

Yvonne Green ’17, Amherst’s 2016 Beinecke Scholar, plans to use the scholarship to pursue her goal of becoming a history professor.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native is among 20 college juniors receiving the scholarship.

Our Stories: The Humans of Amherst College

Submitted on Monday, 9/28/2015, at 12:25 PM

Humans of New York, the slice-of-life photoblog that has inspired a number of homages and parodies, has a counterpart at Amherst with its own campus-based spin.

Amherst is a small, tightly knit community, but sometimes students get so focused on their studies that they can lose sight of their peers, said Eugene Lee '16, the current caretaker of Humans of Amherst College, a photoblog accessible through Tumblr and Facebook.

Gone in 100 Seconds: A Historic Look at Pluto

Field Telescope in New Zealand

by William Sweet

This summer three Amherst students traveled to the other end of the world to glimpse the other end of the solar system.

Carolina Carriazo '18, Jason Mackie '17 and Aaron Resnick '16, on an internship with the Southwest Research Institute, trekked to New Zealand and Australia to spend 100 seconds watching Pluto block a distant star, affording once-in-a-lifetime views of the dwarf planet’s atmosphere.

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Scholars Around the Globe: the 2015 Fulbrights, Carnegie and Gates

Submitted on Friday, 6/19/2015, at 2:26 PM

This year, ten graduates of the Amherst College Class of 2015, and two graduates from 2014, will travel abroad to teach English or conduct research projects through Fulbright Fellowships. Two students have been named alternates, meaning they may yet receive Fulbright offers.

In addition, two Amherst graduates have been selected as Junior Fellows with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and one has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Future Food: Students are “Hooked on Aquaponics”

Submitted on Tuesday, 5/12/2015, at 9:15 AM

Plans for the greenhouse by Bill Sweet

Right outside of Amherst College’s dining hall, a new student club is exploring what just might be the future of food.

This spring, the Hooked on Aquaponics club has been constructing a greenhouse outside of Valentine Dining Hall. Their ultimate goal is to have a self-sustaining, soil-free aquaponics operation raising fish and plants.

Senior Thesis Performance Highlights Racial Injustices

Bryce Monroe '15
Bryce Monroe '15 rehearses his senior thesis performance The Lower Frequecies.
See more photos on Flickr.

“This is me telling a story based on my experience as a young black man in America,” says Bryce Monroe '15 of his senior thesis performance in theater and dance. Titled The Lower Frequencies and inspired by Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man, Monroe's one-man play aims to shed light on the realities of racism in America through a series of powerful, witty and tragic vignettes.

"Murdering" Ahmet Mithat: Translating A Turkish Classic

Submitted on Wednesday, 4/1/2015, at 4:05 PM

by Bill Sweet

Long a fan of the great European novels of the 19th century, Melih Levi ’15 has a treat in store for his fellow bookworms: the first English translation of an 1875 novel from his native Turkey.

Syracuse University Press has confirmed that it will be publishing an English translation of Ahmet Mithat Efendi’s 1875 novel Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi. Melih Levi and Monica M. Ringer, associate professor of history and Asian languages and civilizations, are co-translators. According to Ringer this will be the first published translation of the book in any European language.

The Next Generation of Art Historians: Amherst Students Present Research at Regional Event

March 31, 2015
By Madeline Ruoff '18

Law, Morales, Johnson
Maggie Law '15, Pablo Sebastián Morales '16 and Rachel Johnson '15

Three emerging art historians at Amherst College have been recognized for their research. Maggie Law '15, Pablo Sebastián Morales '16 and Rachel Johnson '15 gave presentations on 17th-century European art at "Baroque Brilliance," a series of two inaugural student symposia held at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conn., and moderated by art history scholars from Manhattanville College and Columbia University. According to the museum's press release, Law, Morales and Johnson were three of only eight student speakers from prestigious art history programs selected to present. 

See Amherst Students' Award-Winning Experimental Films

March 18, 2015
By Rachel Rogol


by Miranda Dershimer ’15E


Exposure (Thoughts Occasioned By)
by Jose Rodriguez 15E








At this year’s Five College Student Film and Video Festival, hosted by Hampshire College, Amherst students Miranda Dershimer ’15E and Jose Rodriguez ’15E won awards for short films they wrote, directed, filmed and edited. 

Dershimer won in the Best Experimental category for her visually evocative film Presentiments, and Rodriguez’s Exposure (Thoughts Occasioned By) was named the best submission from Amherst College. Both films were awarded in the “experimental” category, a category previously dominated by Hampshire College students’ films since the festival’s inception in 2007.

Amherst Play Poses Tough Questions About Sexual Respect on College Campuses

March 12, 2015

Performance of Probably.jpg Five College students Aine Hegarty ’15 (UMass), Isaiah Holloway 17, Noelle Micarelli 14 (Hampshire), Lilly Mommens 18, Rob Thoma 17 and Denzel Wood 18 present a staged reading at Amherst’s Powerhouse.

Sexual assault. Denial. The truth. These and other topics are at the heart of Probably, an original play by Amherst graduate Owen Davis 14 that is as captivating as its subject matter is difficult. 

Focusing on a fictional character named Katie as she tries to cope with the memory of a traumatic evening, its a story fraught with complexities that are front and center in todays national debates. And it poses tough questions: How do we broach the subjects of sexual violence and sexual respect on college campuses? How do students talk about these matters with each other? Where does personal responsibility begin and end?

Senior Thesis: From Being Homeless to Graduating Amherst

March 4, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Graduation scene from "Destiny" Lola Fadulu ’17 rehearses a scene from Destiny. See more photos via Flickr.

Daejione Jones ’15 is writer and director of a one-act play titled Destiny, set at Amherst College. The play centers on an Amherst student named Destiny, who, when not on campus, experiences chronic homelessness and must live on the street.

Jones, a theater and dance major and pre-med student from Oakland, Calif., describes the character as “a cipher to the members of her community back home and at her new school.” Destiny is somewhat in limbo between two disparate worlds: the academic institution she attends and the underprivileged neighborhood she calls home. “She’s a member of both communities without being or feeling a part of either," says Jones. "For her hometown, she’s Amherst. For Amherst, she’s her hometown.”