Professor brings pioneering research knowledge to classroom
Several Lakeland College students enrolled in upper-level science courses this semester have been learning concepts before they hit the textbook thanks to pioneering research conducted by one of their teachers earlier this year.
Professor of Biology Kathy Rath Marr spent the spring 2013 semester on sabbatical working as visiting scientist in the Comparative Veterinary Pathology Lab at the Harvard Medical School – New England’s Primate Research Center in Southborough, Mass.
For more than three months, Rath Marr conducted important research in the Primate Center’s lab, and she spent time outside the lab meeting with several key researchers in the fields of HIV and Alzheimer’s disease. This fall, she’s been sharing what she learned with her students, giving them an opportunity to understand how a trained researcher works with cutting-edge technology.
Rath Marr analyzed tissue from the brains of healthy rhesus monkeys, and those that had been infected with SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
Previous research has documented that SIV- and HIV-infected monkeys in the later stages of HIV/SIV also exhibit Alzheimer’s disease. The presence of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) are markers that show cognitive impairment changes.
Rath Marr was identifying a way to find those markers in various regions of the brain so researchers can learn more about changing insulin levels with the goal of slowing down Alzheimer’s.
For Rath Marr, who’s in her 27th year at Lakeland, it was inspiring work. “It never occurred to me that I would get the chance to do cutting-edge research this late in my career,” she said. “These monkeys are so similar to humans in showing the same symptoms and progression of these diseases.
“This research opportunity has brought me a new and renewed sense of laboratory biology and an insightful look at state-of-the-art research that is broadening my teaching in my human anatomy/physiology and neurobiology classes.”
Rath Marr’s neurobiology class will cover memory pathways next week, and she will present her research data as part of the discussion. Students in scientific reading and analysis read and discussed three key research articles that precipitated her project.
During her sabbatical, Rath Marr provided the center with the protocol for some her research since it had not been previously performed. She also taught an intern how to perform the immunohistochemistry analysis so the research could continue.
In October, during Lakeland’s fall break, Rath Marr returned to Harvard to finish data analysis. She is currently writing an article about her work, which most likely will be published in the Journal of Primate Research.
Rath Marr’s work was set in motion by her daughter, Amanda Marr Podles, who did her post-doctoral research at the Primate Center.
Lakeland professor recalls JFK's campus visit, assassination
President Arthur Krueger in the left of the frame after he introduced JFK, who was giving a speech in Founder’s Gym.
J. Garland Schilcutt was relaxing in the campus trailer he called home on that March day back in 1960, when he noticed a plume of dust rising from the nearby road.
“I looked outside and saw a caravan of six or seven cars and a bus,” recalled Lakeland College’s longtime professor of business administration, who then was in just his second year of teaching at the school.
“I wasn’t that political at the time, but I made my way over to Founder’s Gym, where then-Sen. Kennedy was speaking. It was very crowded, mostly with town folk. Of course, his entourage was milling about in there.”
Schilcutt stood at the back of the room, next to a national reporter who was covering John F. Kennedy’s campaign visit to Lakeland. About eight months later, the Democrat Kennedy defeated Republican Richard Nixon for the Presidency of the United States.
Schilcutt said he doesn’t remember details of Kennedy’s speech that day, other than noting that Kennedy was a “nice-looking guy who spoke funny," referring to Kennedy's Massachusetts accent.
“I didn’t see any kind of aura about him,” Schilcutt recalled. “I have to be honest.”
But Schilcutt did vote for Kennedy, noting with a smile, “I didn’t like Nixon, and I thought Jackie (Kennedy’s wife) was prettier than Pat (Nixon’s wife). Those were the things I thought about back then.”
Almost exactly three years after his victory, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, sending shockwaves across the nation. That was a school day at Lakeland, and Schilcutt remembers it much more clearly than Kennedy’s visit.
“I was in the Muskie Inn, which back then used to be our snack bar, down in the basement of (Jubilee Hall, now William A. Krueger Hall),” Schilcutt said. “And suddenly, someone came running in yelling, ‘Did you hear? Did you hear? President Kennedy’s been shot!’
“We were all shocked, grief-stricken really. There were tears shed.”
As he sat in his office this week, talking about Kennedy’s visit and sudden death, Schilcutt was asked if it seems like 50 years have gone by.
“At first, it doesn’t really seem that long ago,” he said. “But then, when I really think about it, a lot of years have gone by. A lot of water has gone over the falls.”
Lakeland to bring South Korean teachers to Kiel kindergarten
Kiel kindergarten classrooms will welcome student teachers from South Korea next fall thanks to an agreement with Lakeland College.
Lakeland and Koje College in Geoje, South Korea, signed an agreement earlier this month creating a Global Internship Program.
Students from Koje’s Early Education Department will come to Lakeland in August 2014 to take English classes and have two opportunities to interact with local children.
The first Koje cohort, which will include four students, will volunteer in Lakeland’s daycare during August and September. Then, in October and November, they will volunteer half-days in kindergarten classrooms at Zielanis Elementary School in Kiel.
The program is expected to continue on a yearly basis.
Jen Siebert, Lakeland’s director of international programs, said Koje has a need for teachers, and due to the international makeup of the region, speaking English is important.
“These internships will give Koje students an opportunity to use their English skills in American classrooms, which will be invaluable experience when they graduate,” Siebert said. “We reached out to our contacts at Zielanis Elementary and they were enthusiastic about welcoming these students into their classrooms. These internships will be valuable international experiences for all involved.”
The agreement was signed at Koje in early November during a week-long visit to South Korea by Siebert and Lakeland Interim President Dan Eck.
Lakeland and Koje initially signed a sister school agreement in 2008, which was renewed during this recent visit. Under the agreement, accounting students from Koje can finish the final two years of their bachelor’s degree at Lakeland. Also, each summer, Koje sends students to participate in Lakeland’s English Language Institute (ELI).
Eck and Siebert also visited Ansan University in Ansan, a suburb of Seoul. Lakeland and Ansan have had a sister school agreement since 2006.
Like Koje, each summer Ansan sends students to Lakeland’s ELI. Lakeland sends up to six students to Ansan each July to participate as conversation partners at Ansan’s English Camp. Last fall, four Ansan students participated in an internship program at Lakeland, enrolling in the ELI and working in on-campus departments.
Nation pauses to remember JFK assassination
President John F. Kennedy visits Lakeland College in 1960
Today, millions of Americans will pause to mark the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Kennedy’s death stunned the world, and while today it is a history lesson or television documentary for many, it remains a fascination thanks, in part, to several story lines and subplots intertwined in and around the event, said Lakeland College Associate Professor of History Rick Dodgson.
“The assassination has become an almost mythical event, a national obsession” said Dodgson, an expert on 20th Century American history. “The fact that the details of the case were mishandled and that there were holes in the investigation gave rise to all sorts of conspiracy theories. Set in the Cold War, with the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, only recently returned from living in Russia, the whole thing reads like a real life James Bond movie.”
The last presidential assassination before Kennedy was William McKinley, who was shot by an anarchist while attending the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, N.Y., in fall 1901. McKinley’s death caused an outpouring of national grief, but his assassination did not generate the same sort of long-term interest as Kennedy’s. Dodgson suggests that is largely the result of media coverage.
“Just like the first presidential debate between Kennedy and Richard Nixon, all these events were viewed in real time by an American television audience,” Dodgson said. “The shooting of Oswald occurred on live television. Kennedy’s assassination was the start of the modern media age.”
The assassination took on additional significance in the years to come. Dodgson noted that many historians believe Kennedy’s death helped his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, persuade Congress to approve two landmark pieces of legislation – the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “Most historians believe their passage would have been more difficult had that tragedy not been hanging over the country,” Dodgson said.
And the story remains relevant today because people use notable events like Kennedy’s assassination to place themselves in the context of history, Dodgson said. “If you can remember where you were when Kennedy died or when the Challenger exploded or when the planes hit the World Trade towers, that makes you a witness to history,” Dodgson said. “It’s a shared experience that adds to our sense of American identity.”
International Food Festival hits Lakeland
Lakeland College’s Global Student Association will presented its annual International Food Festival on Saturday, Nov. 23, in the college’s cafeteria, in the Younger Family Campus Center.
Students from 13 countries prepared dishes from their homeland, giving their fellow students and community members a chance to sample some native dishes.