Each spring, Bates students are given the opportunity to share their unique research projects with the rest of the Bates community at the Mount David Summit. This past Friday, March 23, Pettengill Hall was buzzing with academic energy as students presented their research projects in the atrium and more formal presentations in the classrooms below.
Beyond being a celebration of the impressive and important work that Bates students are doing, Mount David gives students a chance to interact with the research of their peers. Haoyu Sun ’19, who presented on the epigenetics of memory in her project, “Drug Discovery Research: TET1 Enzyme Inhibitor” in the atrium on Friday afternoon, enjoyed learning about the research her peers had been working on during the school year. “It allows us, different students working in the same lab, to communicate with each other. This is a really awesome opportunity because everyone is very busy, we get to get together and see what’s going on for each other.”
Raegine A. Clouden Mallett ’18 shared a similar sentiment. Clouden Mallett’s project, “Translational Efficiency of flaB from Borrelia burgdorferi: Effects of Change in Secondary Structure of mRNA Leader Region,” focused on Lyme Disease. Clouden Mallet explained that, in putting together her project for Mount David, she appreciated the opportunity to prepare and experience presenting her own research. “If I want to further my career as a researcher, as a scientist, I want to be able to present research.” In presenting on Lyme Disease specifically, she learned how prevalent the disease really is, even in the Bates Community. Lyme Disease is “a big thing for a lot of the students here at Bates.” Most students “know someone with it.” Clouden Mallet enjoyed doing research that felt personal to her own community. “It was cool in that aspect that I’m doing research to help further the understanding of it.”
Both Allison Greene ’20 and Hope French ’18 were excited to explain their experiences in their formal presentations on behalf of the Bates Theatre Departments. Greene, who assistant directed Bates Theatre Department’s production of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, was “excited to share” her unique experience working backstage in the production through her presentation, “Assistant Directing and Dramaturgy for Angels in America.” In being given the opportunity to present, Greene was grateful to hear what the audience thought of her presentation and “share more about the theatre world.”
Similarly, French wanted to “invite the audience into [the theatre] world,” in presenting her work, “Portraying Harper Pitt in Angels in America: A Process” at Mount David.
Beyond presentations centered on STEM research and projects from the Bates Theatre Department, this year featured a multitude of diverse work from the Bates community. Presentations from many varied majors were featured, including work from the music, politics, classical and medieval studies, and European studies departments. And after experiencing only a fraction of the presentations on Friday, I found that the magic of the Mount David Summit is based in its academic diversity.
While each Bates student has their own passions and academic pursuits, the community is granted the opportunity to join together and experience each other’s work during the Mount David Summit. Clouden Mallett truly encapsulated the spirit of Mount David when she remarked that, due to “the friendly faces of Bates students and Bates faculty and staff,” there was “only good energy,” in the Pettengill Atrium on Friday. Regardless of the prior knowledge on subjects of projects by presenters, “people are genuinely interested in hearing what [presenters] have to say.”