The Williams College Sports Information department delved into what Eph student-athletes who chose to stay on campus this summer are up to. From doing research in a lab to interning at Mass MoCA here's an inside look:
Tristan Colaizzi: Cross Country and Track
I'm preparing for my thesis exploring the ways in which cardiac function may be affected by head injuries as part of Professor Noah Sandstrom's Neuroscience lab. We look at questions ranging from how head injuries may change drug self-administration to how interventions including exercise and dietary manipulations can influence the recovery process. I'm interested in the public health side of concussions; therefore, my thesis will explore how a new tool may be helpful in the diagnosis and monitoring of different types of injuries. To get data, we will be giving fall athletes heart rate monitors to track how certain injuries affect their bodies.
Justin Nelson: Football
I am working in the Makerspace Room in Sawyer Library. My job is to ensure that our 3D printers are working, and to print any requests people have over the summer. I chose this job primarily because it was something I was interested in doing as a hobby. I've always been curious about how 3D printers work, and working in the Makerspace gave me an opportunity to learn. Being on campus has also been beneficial because I have full access to all the training equipment I need in order to stay in shape for next season.
Ilana Albert: Women's Soccer
I'm doing physics research in Professor Kealhofer's lab where we're working with ultrafast laser pulses in order to create a map of the atomic structure of a sheet of graphite. This requires a high level of precision, so I have been helping to create computer models of our experiments such that, once implemented, we can be sure they will behave in the way we want. I decided to do research because I wanted to understand the life of a professional scientist. Additionally, I wanted to stay in Williamstown so that I could experience the community without the stress that the school year brings.
Will Bock: Men's Lacrosse
This summer I'm working in a computational chemistry lab with Professor Peacock-Lopez. For my project, I'm using computer simulations to study a system of chemical reactions where the concentrations of all of the different chemicals oscillate as the reactions proceed. Specifically, this field of research intends to explain how long chains of biological molecules, such as DNA, came to be made up of molecules of only one 'handedness', which is the reason for DNA's helical structure. After taking chemistry this year I realized that I'm interested in the subject and I wanted to learn more about the research side of chemistry.
Veronica Wolff: Swim and Dive
I'm interning for the Education Department at MASS MoCA. I give both highlight and spotlight tours of the museum, help out in Kidspace, do research for current and future exhibitions, and help plan out future art projects for kids who visit the museum among other things! I chose to work at MASS MoCA this summer because of my interest in Modern and Contemporary Art and I knew that working here--as opposed to a more "established" museum--would allow me to make more of an impact and to explore more aspects of museum work than I would get to at other art institutions.
Sarah Kelly: Women's Soccer
This summer I am working at the Williamstown Farmers Market! I am working with the market manager on the social media and website for the market as well as helping to set up a program that allows for more collaboration between the market and the Williamstown community. I also am at the market information booth every Saturday to help ensure that the market is running smoothly. In my free time I am training for the upcoming fall season as well as getting started on research for my senior thesis (which I will be doing for my Psychology major).
Michael Armstrong: Men's Hockey
I'm doing Geoscience research working with Dr. Jose Constantine and Jay Racela as well as the Hoosic River Watershed Association to conduct temperature studies on the Green River in Williamstown. I'm doing a combination of work with arcGIS, Excel, and other software as well as daily field work taking samples from the Green to use for lab work where I'm trying to isolate various substances in the river in lab. I chose to do this because it was a great opportunity to spend the summer outside while improving my background and skill set working with rivers.
Laura Westphal: Swim and Dive
I'm working with Professor Amie Hane this summer doing developmental psychology research related to the Family Nurture Intervention(FNI) and the still-face experiment. Basically my job is to watch videos of infants and their mothers interacting, and to code them for different elements of their behavior. I chose to work with Professor Hane because she spoke about her research during the course I took with her and it sounded fascinating. I'm interested in developmental and educational psychology so this was a great opportunity to learn how research in the field is done and how it applies to real families.
Alexandra Isley: Track and Field
I'm working as a research assistant in the Economics department for Professor Matthew Chao. In his research, Professor Chao focuses on Behavioral Economics, and is currently working on a handful of different projects ranging from in-group favoritism to monetary incentives and physicians' disclosure in the medical system. As a research assistant, I am helping him survey the literature on these topics, as well as analyze and review the data from his recent experiments.
Marshall Borrus: Track and Field
I'm working with Professor Alice Bradley (Geoscience) in her Sea Ice group, beginning the research that will become my senior thesis. Sea ice can cover 15% of the world's oceans, growing and shrinking with the seasons. In the Arctic, this means for many months of the year the northern coastline has an attached ice sheet which extends into the sea which is used by Indigenous people for hunting. I'm using seismic data and community records to see if we can detect when sea ice becomes landfast (attached to the shore).
Daniel Renwick: Track and Field
I'm studying why charities accept and even sometimes prefer in-kind donations to cash with Professor Jacobson in the Econ department. We're also looking at how in-kind donations and donations with restrictions can cause inefficiencies within a charity. I'm conducting a survey over the phone and also writing STATA code to help work with the data. I decided to do research on campus because I liked the professor who I'd be working for and the topic sounded interesting. Also, a lot of my friends were going to be on campus and I knew it'd be fun to hang out with them all summer.
Ryan Rilinger: Men's Lacrosse
I'm working in Professor Matthew Clasen's Neuroscience Lab. We have two projects running concurrently, and both are using rat models to examine factors that affect the animals' susceptibility to opioid addiction. One project is assessing whether or not unhealthy, high-sugar diets increase the likelihood of forming an addiction and the other is looking to see whether giving the rats the pharmaceutical liraglutide helps them reduce drug self-administration. We hope that the results from our research expand understanding of addiction and suggest new possibilities for treating the addiction crises seen in America and around the world.
Brianna Bourne: Cross Country and Track
I'm interning at the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation this summer, which (among other more bureaucratic tasks) basically means spending a lot of time outside teaching kids about local wildlife and geographical features. I'm potentially interested in pursuing a career in education, so I enjoy teaching the kids about the world outside the classroom and discovering how they learn at different ages. Also, I'm lucky to be in Williamstown because it's a runner's paradise in the summer, with the abundance of forested trails and refreshing streams for natural ice baths!
Luke Anselmi: Wrestling
I'm working for Williams alumnus and Director Emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Thomas Krens. His company, GCAM (Global Cultural Asset Management), consults international governments, institutions and foundations that are seeking to entrench themselves in the global cultural sphere. In addition to working within the art world, GCAM leverages cultural assets in order to spur economic development and break down political barriers in the United States and foreign countries. As a Political Science and History double-major, I'm drawn to the numerous ways in which GCAM actively engages with the politics and the histories of the regions/countries that it works with.
Emily Chang: Women's Basketball
I am working in Professor Clasen's neuroscience lab doing research for student theses, which investigate various factors that may influence the likelihood of drug taking behavior, as well as explore novel therapeutic interventions for drug use and abuse. I am a biology/psychology major with a neuroscience concentration, and my thesis will study whether diet history (a healthy chow diet vs a high fat/sugar diet) and pattern of feeding (ad-lib consumption vs binging) will influence intravenous self-administration of oxycodone in rats.
Georgia Lord: Women's Soccer
I'm working with the Sports Information department as an assistant this summer. I have many different projects to do, but so far it has mainly consisted of going through the archives and updating/making record books, writing "Eph Profiles" on football players for their gameday programs, and working with Photoshop to make layouts for the social media during the school year. I chose to work here because I really enjoyed working with them through the school year and I thought it'd be a great way to get introduced to the sports marketing world.
Mara Kipnis: Softball
I'm working with Professor Nate Kornell in his cognitive psychology lab. His area of focus is learning and memory. The project has to do with mnemonic and mental imagery memory devices as a technique for long term memory storage. I'm learning how to program studies and get them ready to be launched so that people can actually take part in them. It has been really interesting for me to see how many different avenues psychology research can take, even if it seems like the focus is pretty narrow. I've also really enjoyed being in the Williamstown community this summer!
Sarah Michels: Women's Ice Hockey
I am beginning my senior thesis work in Professor Tom Smith's organic chemistry lab. Williams is a new collaborator with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), an international organization working to develop safer, more effective, and lower-cost treatments for neglected tropical diseases. As part of DNDi's global network, we are working on the organic synthesis of a class of compounds targeted to treat Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by sandflies and causes a malaria-like illness. One billion people are at risk worldwide, of which 50% are children. I am interested in both the chemistry and public health perspectives of this work.