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Biology Department
 

Biology Alumni

Our alumni can be found all over the world in many exciting and varied fields. Following is a list of some of our alumni and where they are now!

Benjamin Bechand '14Ben Bechand '14

After graduation from Skidmore I was hired as an introductory organic chemist at Albany Molecular Research Incorporated. I work in chemical development where I help design processes to synthesize compounds for later manufacturing. Everyday I perform large scale synthesis reactions and am always problem solving to try and improve the chemistry.

My biology major supplemented with chemistry courses helped me get this position because pharmaceutical companies look to recruit researchers who can walk between the worlds of biology and chemistry. My Skidmore biology major has helped me because I work in a lab where problems/roadblocks are the norm, and problem solving and creative thought are required skills. Also, the SEE-BEYOND award in biology gave me valuable research experience which prepared me for the responsibilities of working in this kind of lab. Having a biology background will allow me to relocate to different departments within AMRI if I later choose to do so, and it will benefit me when I return to school to study pharmacology.

THANKS SKIDMORE!

 

Cameron Fay '14

Cameron Fay will be entering the Iowa State Bioinformatics and Computational Biology PhD program in the fall.

"Skidmore introduced me to a vibrant community, supportive faculty, and intriguing classes. But what really set Skidmore apart were the utterly unique research opportunities. Those experiences allowed me to stand out from the competition and prepared me for higher level research. Without the opportunities I received in the Biology Department, I would not be moving in the direction I am now."

 

 

 

 

Cameron Fay '14

Keena Newton '13

Keena Newton will be entering the University of Hawaii at Hilo Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Masters program in the fall.

"I truly feel as though Skidmore's interdisciplinary approach to academics guided me to get my masters- I used the skills I gained with my Business minor to network with directors and professors from all over the country, my Biology major showed me what I am truly passionate about, and my work in arts administration ensured that my communication and presentation skills were regularly exercised. The small class sizes also gave me the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with many of my professors who were able to guide me to the place I am today!"

Keena Newton '14

 

David Steinberger '09 David Steinberger

Creative thought truly matters. On a daily basis, I have the privilege of carrying out Skidmore's mission by working closely with middle school science students at Fredericksburg Academy, a rigorous college preparatory school located in Northern Virginia. As a teacher, I continuously pull from my rich Liberal Arts background to make my curriculum engaging, personalized, interdisciplinary, and hands-on. With small class sizes, I am able to work closely with students, individualizing lessons based on learning needs and student interest. Designing and implementing these units takes both a critical and creative lens, and I encourage my students to treat their education in the same manner. Typical assignments in my classes ask students to apply key concepts to challenging problem sets, and make personal meaning from course curriculum through hands-on opportunities. Reflection, discussion, and application play a crucial role in the development of my students. Highlights of the Middle School science curriculum at Fredericksburg Academy include an overnight trip to the Chesapeake Bay to study watershed science and tidewater ecology, and an annual trip to Costa Rica to investigate responsible global citizenship through service work and ecological/environmental study.

The experiences that Skidmore provided me were invaluable in harnessing my passions and determining my career. The rich variety of course offerings and involvement in organizations like the Honors Forum demanded leadership and self-awareness, and pushed me to maximize my experiences as an undergraduate. I came to Skidmore passionate about ornithology, and studied this field under Dr. Corey Freeman-Gallant for four years, culminating in the publication of a co-authored paper in Animal Behavior. My involvement in the research led me to enrolling in the Tropical Field Studies course to Costa Rica with Dr. Monica Raveret-Richter, which opened my eyes to a career science education. I fell in love with the work that local non-profits were doing in Costa Rica to educate locals about science and the environment. This inspired me to pursue a Master's of Science in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England, and work as an environmental educator in Keene, NH. Before teaching full time, I also worked as an environmental consultant for NYC's DEP, utilizing my background in science to provide environmental guidance on the renovation of a NYC owned wastewater treatment plant in upstate NY. Along the way, my Skidmore education has served as a guiding beacon for problem solving, analysis, and creativity both in the field and in the classroom.

Tracy Young-Pearse '97

Tracy Young-Pearse '97

Tracy Young-Pearse is an Assistant Professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She began her independent research laboratory in the fall of 2010. Her lab uses molecular approaches to study the functions of genes involved in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. She received her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College in her hometown of Saratoga Springs, NY. She then went on to enter the Biomedical and Biological Sciences (BBS) program at Harvard Medical School where she received her Ph.D. in genetics. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Dennis Selkoe.

"I entered Skidmore in 1993 with an interest in science and math, but without a clear idea of what I wanted to do as a career.  I loaded my schedule with math, biology, chemistry and physics classes.  I enjoyed the classes but what I loved even more was the research that I was able to do.  I had an excellent mentor at Skidmore who showed me how exciting and interesting biology can be when you apply the concepts you've learned in class to answer a question and learn something new about the world that previously was unknown.  I was amazed that doing scientific research could be a career.  In addition to spending two of my summers in the lab at Skidmore, my mentor encouraged me to do research outside of Skidmore during the summer of my junior year in order to begin to appreciate the huge range of topics that are being studied throughout the world.  I knew from these experiences that what I most wanted was to pursue a career in biology and to ultimately one day have a lab of my own.  I was lucky to have such a wonderful mentor, and I encourage all young scientists to make finding the right mentor a top priority."

The Young-Pearse lab aims to understand the in vivo functions of certain genes identified in neurodegenerative and developmental disorders of the human brain such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, lissencephaly, autism and mental retardation.  We use a variety of molecular and biochemical techniques in conjunction with modeling in rodents and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to understand the normal and pathological functions of genes involved in these disorders.  By elucidating the normal functions and mechanisms of action of these genes and how mutations cause pathology, we hope to better understand both the fundamental causes of these devastating diseases and the normal development and functioning of the brain.

Skidmore alumnus Katie Murphy '14 worked in Young-Pearse's lab.

Sarah Benton '03

Has completed several internships since graduation. One internship was at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH, which she highly recommends to other Skidmore students. Currently, she is living in Alexandria, NH and is working at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center as a Guided Discoveries Instructor. She works with school groups and the general public. Sarah also enjoys working with the native wildlife of NH, including porcupines, skunks, owls, hawks, and turtles.

Stephanie Brubaker '96

Graduated from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 2001 with a MS in Genetic Counseling. She is currently working as a genetic research assistant at the Medical College of Ohio. The study she is involved in is trying to find a genetic link to lung cancer, and is funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Jillian Emmons '01

Is a graduate student at Dartmouth College working on a dendritic cell based cancer vaccine for Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most common adult malignant brain tumor.

Scott Hayes '98

Received his MA in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2002 and completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arizona in 2006. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Duke University and Duke Medical Center. He is currently a faculty member in the Neuroimaging Research Center and the Memory Disorders Research Center at the Boston Veteran Affairs Medical Center. His research focuses on the investigation of the neural mechanisms of human memory using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with young adults, older adults, and patient populations.

Matt Heidtman '96

Is a graduate student/researcher in the Biochemistry department at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, NH.

Dylan Hirsch '94

Received his DVM from Ross University in 2001. He is currently working as a veterinarian in Westbury, New York.

Anne (Foss) Innis '96

Is currently writing her Biology Ph.D. thesis. She did her work at the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Anne received her Master's degree from the University of Maryland in 2003. She currently lives in Boston, MA and is a Smithsonian Fellow.

David Joyal '97

Iis currently living in Hoboken, NJ. He is practicing intellectual property law in New York City for the NY office of Pitney Hardin, LLP. After Skidmore, he spent 3 years in Boston working as a lab technician, first for 2 years at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and then for a year at the Harvard AIDS Institute. He went to law school from 2002-2003 at Emory in Altlanta, and also interned with the American Cancer Society and the CDC while there.

Martiza Martinez '98

Is a medical student at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine in Setauket, NY.

Andy Moeller '02

Is currently living in Boston, MA. He is working in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital running the DNA Synthesis lab. This lab provides the research community in and around the hospital with custom and modified oligonucleotides for use in a broad range of research topics.

Andrew Pattison '99

Received his MPA from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2006. He is currently a Research Associate for the Wirth Chair in Environmental Policy at the University of Colorado at Denver. The group researches and advocates for sound greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies at the local, state, and national level. More info on the Wirth Chair can be found at http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/Initiatives/Sustainability/Pages/UCDWirthChair.aspx. Andrew is also working on a Ph.D. in Public Affairs with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Law at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver.

Jordan Schaul '96

Serves as the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Wildlife & Environmental Health at Western University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Los Angeles, CA. He completed his PhD in Veterinary Microbiology/Parasitology with an emphasis in zoo & conservation medicine at Ohio State's CVM in July 2006. Jordan conducts epizootiological & behavioral research on captive mustelids (fishers), procyonids, & free-ranging and captive bears. He collaborates with over 120 zoological parks on four continents in an effort to assess the health & welfare of all 8 species of bears His research involves the study of infectious diseases of captive bear populations held in zoological parks. Jordan is also very active in many organizations and publications related to his field of study. More information on Jordan's research is available on his website at www.bearconservationmedicine.org. He would be delighted to talk with current and perspective Skidmore students in regards to careers in wildlife biology or conservation medicine. Please feel free to contact him at jcschau@aim.com.

Dario Shuster '94

Received his MD from St. George's School of Medicine in 2005. He is currently a second year Psychiatry Resident at Cooper University Hospital. Dario resides in Galloway, NJ.

Eric Steinberg '96

Received his DVM from Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003, and his Masters from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 2005. He currently resides in Forest Hills, NY. Eric is the Clinical Veterinarian at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology. He also works as a relief and exotic veterinarian at four emergency practices in NYC and Long Island. Along with traditional medicine, Eric advocates supplementary holistic and organic approaches with all his patients. He would be happy to speak with any Skidmore students interested in a career in veterinary medicine.

Brian Stevens '00

Is a graduate student in the Biochemistry department at Dartmouth College in Lebanon, NH. He is working in the lab of Dr. Amy Anderson, and his project involves structural studies, via x-ray crystallography, and redesign of enzymes responsible for antibiotic synthesis. In July 2001, he married Skidmore classmate Jessica (Stormont) Stevens '00.

Dana Warren '98

Received a Masters from Cornell University in 2003. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell studying the nutrient cycling and fish ecology in stream ecosystems.

Elliot Wasser '98

Received his MD from the University of Connecticut in 2005. He is currently living in Providence, RI, where he is a third year resident physician at Brown University. Elliot works in Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology with a research interest in minimally invasive approaches to cancer treatment. He is happy to speak with Skidmore students who are interested in attending medical school.

Sharma Yashoda '95

Received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2005. After graduate school, she did post-doctoral work at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, working on hematopoietic stem cells. After completing her post-doctoral work, she became a project manager for the Genetic Resource Science Department at the laboratory. Sharma notes that Jackson Laboratory is the premier institute for the study of mammalian genetics and mouse models of human diseases. They also offer highly competitive summer internships for first and second year undergraduate students. Sharma currently resides in Ellsworth, Maine.


Michael Zwillman '83

Received his MD from Ross University School of Medicine in 1988. He completed residency at UMDNJ/Beth Israel in Newark, NJ and a Critical Care Fellowship at University of Toronto/Sunnybrook Health Science Center in Toronto, Canada. He worked for a time in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX. He is still at Methodist Hospital, but now works in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, where he provides post operative care to tumor resections, vascular bypass, bleeds (traumatic and vascular etiology), strokes (ischemic and hemorrhagic) as well as hemodynamic and ventilator management of patients with myasthenic crisis, Guillain Barre, and intractable seizures.

We want to hear from you!

Are you a Biology Department Alumni? We want to know more about where you are now! Please take a few moments to e-mail us and let us know about your life after Skidmore. All information will be kept confidential unless you give permission for it to be posted on this website.

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