How Centre folks are spending the summer: Part 1
RELEASED: July 12, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—At Centre, even a small request can generate a huge response. When the call went out to faculty, staff and students to tell us how they're spending their summers, it came as no surprise that the responses were quick, plentiful and interesting! Here's Part 1 of a multi-part series showcasing the cool ways in which the Centre community is spending the summer.
Jackie Soenneker, senior, Clarkson, Ky.
I'm at the University of South Florida doing artificial intelligence and robotics research. The project I'm working on involves an autonomous robot that needs to be able to recognize terrain based upon data from a laser range-sensor. My task is to create and train a neural network to take the laser data and decide which of about eight terrain types the robot is currently looking at. I'm about halfway through this research experience, and we're making pretty good progress so far! My project director, Dr. Robin Murphy, is prominent in the field of robotics, and she and her search-and-rescue robots have helped out after events such as 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Tammy Lundblad, senior, Richmond, Ky.
I'm doing research at Texas A&M for the summer. I'm researching a specific protein that could potentially be used as an anti-HIV drug. I'm doing a lot of protein work and learning a ton in the lab. I'll be doing a poster presentation, an oral presentation and writing a thesis paper at the end of my summer experience.
Allaire Ryan, senior, Lexington, Ky.
I'm a second-year intern at Taylor Made Sales Agency in Lexington, Ky., where I do pedigree research for the largest Thoroughbred sales agency in the world. My research job allows me to understand the various business aspects of the industry, and I work in the development of online equine portfolios, following pedigree updates, completion of appraisals of the horses prior to sales, etc. Being a third-generation horseperson, I've grown up in Lexington with a passion for horses—both racing and riding—and my interest in the Thoroughbred industry has grown evermore over the years. I've learned a great deal since I started working at Taylor Made last summer, and my experience here is very valuable to me as I plan to pursue a career in the Thoroughbred industry after I graduate from Centre.
Claudette Anne Accime, freshman, Dorchester, Mass.
I'm in South Africa volunteering with middle school students. I'm running my own class and we're doing autobiographies and computer skills all in one. I'll be doing that for the next five weeks.
Molly Lindle, junior, Louisville, Ky.
I'm doing research this summer with Keith Dunn, associate professor of chemistry at Centre, studying vacuum systems, and I do a ton of things with my friends: we play soccer three days a week, we never miss Dollar Scoop Tuesday at Baskin Robbins and tonight we're off to see the midnight showing of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.
Katie Bouvier, senior, Lexington, Ky.
I'm interning in Washington, D.C., for the Department of Labor. I just spent the weekend in New York City for the LIVE EARTH concert. On July 4th I got to watch George H.W Bush and every big name in golf at the Inaugural Tiger Woods Golf Invitational at the Congressional Country Club in D.C., and then later the fireworks over the Mall. Last week I also got a private West Wing tour of the White House.
Talia Harris, senior, Billings, Mont.
Earlier this summer, I went to Japan on a 26-day exchange trip through the university in my hometown. My dad is a professor there and led the trip. We visited Tokyo, Hakuba (in the Japanese Alps), Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, and spent 10 days doing a home stay in Kumamoto where we also attended classes at the Prefectural University of Kumamoto.
Since returning home to Billings, I've been working as an assistant pyrotechnician. I work for a man who runs most of the big fireworks shows in Montana and Wyoming. I help "squib" the fireworks (attach the shells to electric match-heads so they can be set off electronically instead of lighting them all by hand), set up the mortars, load the fireworks into the mortars and wire them, and clean up and tear down afterwards. It sounds pretty glamorous, but actually it's a lot of "grunt" work. On days we have shows, I usually work 17-19 hours (not including travel time). However, it's definitely worth it to be only 100 feet from the mortars when the show is going off! Since I don't work on a regular schedule, though, I have a lot of free time to read and see my family.
Ande Loveless, senior, Paducah, Ky.
I started my Centre-in-Strasbourg program and then did some independent travel for three weeks in Italy and Spain. Now I'm in Segovia, Spain, with the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) program, and I'm staying with a host family. This summer has been amazing! I met Ana McMurtry '10 through the KIIS program.
Conrad Shiba, associate professor of chemistry
I just returned from 11 days in Costa Rica on a volcano tour sponsored by the Geological Society of America. We visited four volcanoes, a geothermal energy plant, hot springs, and rain forest, cloud forest and dry forest areas. At Volcan Arenal, we were able to watch lava flowing down its flanks at night from our room and from the dining room.
Later this month I'll be going to the Original Dulcimer Players Club Funfest in Evart, Michigan. This is a huge gathering of dulcimer players where, in addition to workshops, concerts, and jamming, we'll attempt to break the record for the largest number of hammered dulcimers playing together at once (305).
Brittany Camenisch, junior, Stanford, Ky.
Currently I'm interning with a pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas. I’m staying with my aunt an hour outside of Houston. I get to go to the operating room every weekday to see such surgeries as rhinoplasties, craniotomies and tissue expansions. We've seen patients with such things as cleft lips or pallets and several rare syndromes (VATTERS syndrome). After finishing here, I leave for a leadership conference at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. After the conference, I plan to go camping in Pisgah National Forrest with my family for two weeks.
Kathryn Lorenzo, junior, Lawrenceburg, Ky.
I have possibly one of the most rewarding summer jobs ever! I'm teaching horseback riding lessons to girls (ranging in ages 8-16). I recently taught at our Natural Horsemanship camp that focused on forming close-knit and trusting relationships between the girls and the horses. They learn to form the type of bond that allows the horse to trust the rider enough to put himself in situations he would ordinarily avoid.
Laura Behrendt, junior, New Philadelphia, Ohio
I’m spending the summer in Alaska working for a lodge on the Kenai Peninsula. I have the opportunity to hike, fish and raft daily. I look out from my tent each morning and see snow-covered mountains. It’s really been an amazing experience. In a week or so I’ll be going to Denali National Park to visit Mt. McKinley. I've already been to Seward, seen the Mount Marathon on July 4th and taken a cruise on the Kenai Fjords National Park. I'll also be traveling to Homer soon. I've caught over 20 lbs. of red sockeye salmon. It has really been a unique summer.
Ali Lindon, senior, Lexington, Ky.
I'm headed to Eustis, Fla., next week to play with kids at Camp Boggy Creek. Boggy is a member of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Association that provides safe, medically sound camps for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I spent three weeks at camp last summer as a volunteer cabin counselor and I've been counting down until my return this summer. I'll be joining several Centre students there this summer (Nick LeFevre '09, Sarah Couch '09 and Wes Young '07). Other Centre students and alum are working at Hole in the Wall Gang Camps all over the world including Nicole Wendschlag '09 at Victory Junction in North Carolina and Josh Potter '07 at Barretstown in Ireland. I’ll be volunteering my time as a part of my Summer of Service for the Bonner Program (the Bonner Leaders Program helps students develop leadership skills in a community-service context). I get to spend the next four weeks celebrating life with young people who exhibit amazing strength and perseverance. I've heard that "laughter is good medicine," and I firmly believe that's true at Boggy.
Milton Reigelman, J. Rice Cowan Professor of English
Much of my time this summer is being spent on planning an international scholarly conference on Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad in the Hanseatic seaport of Szczecin, Poland. As the American co-chair, I've been reacting to paper proposals from 80 leading Melville and Conrad scholars from 27 countries, working each morning to try to learn more Polish (using the highly effective "Rosetta Stone" system), and anticipating the unexpectedly zany problems that so many different cultures and scholarly approaches might create. The only undergraduate to have a paper accepted for presentation was recent Centre graduate Karen Biscopink ’07. The conference is scheduled to coincide with the end of the Tall Ships race that begins in Denmark and goes to Sweden and Finland before ending in Szczecin the day our conference begins. We've received substantial funding from the American Embassy in Warsaw and Conrad and Melville societies in England and the United States. Czesc!
Jamie Prewitt, admission visit coordinator
My daughter Olivia auditioned in April for Music Man Jr . and made it. She has practiced so hard these past couple of months for this production that we've waited anxiously to see her perform.
Her first performance was last Thursday and she was excellent! She brought me to tears she was so good. Karen Logue and Alice Berka, the directors, have been great! Danville should be so proud to have West T. Hill Theatre! What a great experience for the kids to have had this opportunity!
The final round of Music Man Jr. is this weekend: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening at 8 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.
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Ande Loveless ’08 and Ana McMurtry ’10 in Toledo, Spain.