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Math Prof Wins Fellowship to Study ?-Loop Spaces

Professor Angélica Osorno [math] has won a Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The fellowship aims to give junior faculty the resources needed to aid their scholarly research and academic growth by offering support for twelve months of research and writing.

Prof. Osorno’s area of research is algebraic topology—the study of space and the properties of spaces that are preserved under continuous deformations. In particular, she will study how to construct infinite loop spaces (spaces of great importance in algebraic topology) from specific categorical inputs.

Prof. Osorno earned her PhD in math from MIT and taught at MIT and the University of Chicago before coming to Reed in 2013.

Students nab prize for work on “hunger hormone”

Peckish? Ghrelin is probably flooding your hypothalamus right now.

A trio of Reed psych majors won a prize at a scientific conference last month for their research into ghrelin—sometimes known as the “hunger hormone.”

Biochem major Eliotte Garling ’18, bio-psych major Lia Zallar ’16, and psych major Hannah Baumgartner ’16 won the Neuroscience/Psychology Poster Prize at the 24th annual Murdock College Science Research Program held in Vancouver, WA, for their research into the mechanisms by which ghrelin affects appetite, metabolism, stress, and reward signaling.

Working with Prof. Paul Currie [psych], the students performed a series of experiments on rats to investigate the effects of ghrelin when injected into different parts of the brain.

Reed Profs Win $2.2M in Grants, Set 10-Year Record

Prof. Suzy Renn won big NSF grant to study voluntary starvation among mouth-brooding fish.

Professors at Reed won a total of $2,251,849 in research grants in fiscal year 2014-15, the highest figure in at least a decade (and possibly longer).

The eleven professors are pursuing a remarkable range of projects from the venom of parasitic wasps, to the compounds of bismuth, to the Moroccan diaspora.

Prof. Suzy Renn [biology 2006-] won a $618,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate a striking example of maternal behavior—voluntary starvation among African cichlid fish. Her research could shed light on the evolution of maternal instincts and deepen our understanding of metabolic and feeding disorders.

Psych prof wins $73K NIH grant to study alcoholism

Prof. Kristen Anderson [psychology 2007-] won a $73,000 grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to fund two years of a study entitled, “Facilitating Adolescent Self-Change for Alcohol Problems.”

The objective of Prof. Anderson’s research is to enhance understanding of the role gender plays in outcomes from an adolescent alcohol prevention program.

In adults, gender differences in substance use patterns and consequences have led researchers to explore whether gender-specific treatments for women are preferable. Research indicates that women-specific groups lead to greater treatment satisfaction.

Bio Prof Studies Insect Arms Race

WHEN WASPS ATTACK. This parasitic wasp is about to lay eggs in fruit-fly larva. A movie you don't want to watch.

Prof. Todd Schlenke [biology 2013-] has won a $373,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, division of the National Institutes of Health, to study one of nature's most unforgiving arms races-- the struggle between fruit flies and venomous parasitic wasps.

Prof. Schlenke's project is titled “A Model System for Host-Pathogen Interactions: Drosophila and Its Parasitic Wasps” and will explore how parasites suppress host immune responses, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and its natural parasitic wasps as a model host-parasite pair. The work will identify and characterize the venom (virulence) proteins that wasps use to suppress conserved aspects of host innate immunity. By characterizing venom repertoires across a phylogeny of wasps, patterns of parasite virulence strategy evolution will be uncovered.

Drosophila melanogaster is a model system for the molecular genetics of innate immunity, but little is known about the life history and virulence strategies of its natural parasites. Parasitic wasps can infect fruit-fly larvae at frequencies greater than 50% in natural populations, and are highly amenable to laboratory and field study.

Math Prof Wins Grant to Study Infinite Loop Spaces

Prof. Angelica Osorno [math 2013-] has won a Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians in the amount of $35,000 from the Simons Foundation to study infinite loop spaces.

An infinite loop space is a topological space that has a multiplication that is associative, commutative, and unital up to all higher homotopies. Infinite loop spaces are closely related to generalized cohomology theories, and are thus of great importance in algebraic topology.

Prof. Osorno is the principal coordinator on the project, “Categorical inputs for infinite loop machine spaces,” which centers on two aspects of infinite loop space theory: infinite loop space machines for 2-categories and equivariant infinite loop space machines.

Anthro Prof Wins Fulbright for Moroccan Diaspora

VIRTUOUS CYCLE. Prof. Paul Silverstein will investigate the Moroccan diaspora in Belgium.

Prof. Paul Silverstein [anthropology 2000-] has won a Fulbright fellowship to investigate historical genealogy, lived experience, and political engagements of Belgian citizens of Moroccan Berber heritage.

His teaching and research fellowship will take him to Belgium to the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre of the Anthropology Department of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven from September 2015 to June 2016 on a project entitled, "Moroccan Miners, Berber Activists, and the Future of Belgian Cosmopolitanism."

Since the 1980s, Western European media and governmental reports have consistently represented ethno-racial and religious diversity as an existential challenge to national coherence. The prevailing narrative is that when immigrant groups are integrated into social and cultural norms they will assimilate the identifications and loyalties of the state. When groups resist assimilation it creates anxieties. Since September 11th, these anxieties have centered largely on those Muslim citizens of North Africa, South Asian, and Turkish descent.

Student wins Watson to report on Soviet ruins

History/lit major Sasha Peters ’15 won a Watson Fellowship to explore ruins in the former Soviet sphere. Photo by Chris Lydgate

History/literature major Sasha Peters ’15 won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to explore abandoned sites and cities in the Soviet sphere through the medium of radio.

Sasha's project is titled Radio in the Ruins and will take her to Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, Bulgaria, and Germany. "The Soviet Union and its influence produced an impressive array of buildings, monuments, and sites that embodied communist ideology," her proposal states. "After the Soviet Union’s fall, many of these places became inessential or unsupportable and were abandoned. Some of those places, decaying as they are, remain today. For my Watson year, I will travel to ruins in the Soviet sphere and make radio pieces about each of them. I aim to encapsulate the rich histories and eerie beauty of these ruins with sound."

Her friend Rennie Meyers ’15 also won a Watson Fellowship.

Senior wins Watson Fellowship to study coral reefs

Environmental studies-history major Rennie Meyers ’15 has won a Watson Fellowship to pursue a year of independent study after graduation. Photo By Chris Lydgate

Environmental studies-history major Rennie Meyers ’15 has won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the formation of artificial coral reefs.

Rennie's project is titled Deep Water, Horizons: Artificial Reef Communities, Above and Below the Water Line and she will pursue it in the Canary Islands, Fiji, Brunei, and Japan.

"From oil rigs to submerged eco-art to coral farms, coral growth occurs at the hands of humans with or without their intent," her proposal states. "By exploring interactions between human and non-human communities above and below artificial coral habitats in four island nations, I will engage artificial or anthropogenic reef habitats and the humans who have (sometimes accidentally) created and lived with them. I hope to better understand the ways in which humans continue to alter the marine landscape, to photo document those landscapes, and to consult with the human communities responsible for these new habitats in the face of global climate change."

Two Reedies Win Watsons

Reed students Watson Fellows.

Reed students Sasha Peters and Rennie Meyers won Watson Fellowships to pursue a year of independent study after graduation. Photos by Chris Lydgate

We're thrilled to announce that two Reed seniors have won Thomas J. Watson Fellowships for purposeful, independent study outside the United States.

Environmental studies-history major Rennie Meyers ’15 won a fellowship to study the formation of artificial coral reefs and history/literature major Sasha Peters ’15 won a fellowship to explore abandoned sites and cities in the Soviet sphere through the medium of radio.

Coral Reefs

Sophomore Wins Poetry Prize

Reed College poetry prize

English major Hannah Fung-Weiner ’16 nabs the Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Prize.

Congratulations to English major Hannah Fung-Weiner ’16, whose poem “Pact” won this year’s Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Prize.

The Reed contest was judged by poet Paulann Peterson, a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, who has written six full-length collections of poetry, most recently Understory (Lost Horse Press 2013).

Fung-Weiner wrote “Pact” for her fall semester creative writing class with Prof. Samiya Bashir [creative writing 2012–]. “I was given this list of 10 nouns (brick, chair, artichoke, branch, pine, shrapnel, paper, avocado, corn, iguana) alongside a prompt for a love poem,” she says. “My first draft of 'Pact' contained each word; several iterations later, none survive.”

Davis Winner Hatches Scholarship Plan

Desmond Rgwaringesu ’14

Desmond Rgwaringesu ’14
Photo by Randall Barton

To win the Davis Project for Peace, Desmond Rgwaringesu ’14 had to count his chickens before they hatched.

This summer he plans to return to his native Zimbabwe and raise chickens to support village kids going to school.

Now in its sixth year, Davis Projects for Peace awards $10,000 to undergraduates to implement grassroots projects that promote peace.

Having won the prize, Desmond will return to Gokomere, a myriad of villages scattered around a farm founded by Jesuit missionaries in the 19th century. The area is served by two primary schools and a Catholic high school where most of the students are boarders.

There is a serious achievement gap between those students whose families can afford to board them and the day-scholars that walk to school each day from home.

Our Brilliant Students

With the flowering of the cherry trees on Eliot Circle comes the notice of the spring crop of student awards and fellowships. We salute the following Reed students for their scholarship, dedication and inventiveness.

Davis Projects for Peace

Two seniors in biochemistry and molecular biology, Gabe Butterfield '12 of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, and Michael Gonzales '12 of Round Rock, Texas, have designed a grassroots project in Nicaragua this summer for Davis Projects for Peace.

Reedie Wins Gates Scholarship

IMG_1165.JPG

Elizabeth Honor Wilder '11 has won a prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship, recognizing exceptional academic achievement and the capacity for leadership.

The award will allow Elizabeth to spend a year at Cambridge pursuing Victorian ideas about wardship, education, the family, and the individual.

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