Archives

Matt Brynildson ’93

Matt is like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps? Absolutely, according to “Imbibe” e-magazine. The comparison is apt because Matt is America’s most decorated beer brewer; he’s won awards multiple times in multiple categories at the annual Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Colorado. In the feature profile, Matt credits his Kalamazoo College experience in a number of ways. His health science major provided the organic chemistry experience that came in handy during his first job after graduating–in the hops lab at Kalsec (Kalamazoo Spice Extraction Company). At K he met K alumnus Larry Bell ’80, whom he credits for getting him interested in craft brewing. Larry is the founder of Bell’s Brewery. And during his K years, Matt studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, which gave him the opportunity to experience the beer cultures in Belgium and Germany. Matt’s brewing career featured early stops at the Siebel Institute (Chicago), Goose Island Brewery (Chicago), and SLO Brewing (Paso Robles, California), which was eventually purchased by Firestone Walker. The firm soon recognized his talent and made Matt a brewery partner in 2010.

Peter Erdi, the Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies

In September Peter delivered the 2016 lecture at the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science. The title of his talk was “Complex Systems Perspective in Neuroscience–historical and current approaches.” It provided a general perspective of various approaches of neuroscience systems to an understanding of the complexity of the brain. Peter also is the head of the Theoretical Neuroscience and Complex Systems Group at the Wigner Research Centre for Physics, a research institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. And he is the founding co-director of the Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science study abroad program. Peter is a highly regarding computational neuroscientist with a background in chemical cybernetics.

Lloyd Burns ’50

Lloyd died on February 19, 2014, after a long illness. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., grew up in Garden City, N.Y., and graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in physics. He spent two years in the United States Army Chemical Corp. He worked as an engineer for General Electric’s nuclear energy division for 37 years as well as an additional 10 years after retirement.

Andrew Carroll ’09

Andrew is the founder of Sweetology Dessert Shop (“The Science of Delicious Desserts”) and supplies a wonderful bio on the firm’s website: It reads: “I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Given the choice, I’m always drawn to the sweet over savory. If I could eat desserts 3 meals a day, I would be one very happy man. As a kid I could always be found in the kitchen when my Mom was baking, waiting to fight off my sister Kelly for the first crack at licking a beater or stealing cookie dough. Things didn’t change as I grew up, and my affinity for desserts only heightened. After completing my bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biochemistry from Kalamazoo College, I bummed around awhile not quite sure what to do with my life. Then came the answer in the form of a neighborhood bakery in Rocky River, Ohio. I spent years there learning and cultivating the professional side of what had always been a beloved hobby. It perfectly married my love of science and my love of confections. In 2014 I experimented with my first handcrafted marshmallow, and it was love at first taste. Since that time, I have devoted all of my time and energy to perfecting my craft. Constant innovation, experimentation and commitment to quality ingredients and flavors drives me. Being able to make others happy through my creations, well that is just the icing on the cake.”

 

Jeffrey Hsi ’83, Ph.D.

Jeff has joined the Boston-based intellectual property law firm Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. as a shareholder. Jeff has nearly two decades of experience in corporate counseling, formation and execution of intellectual property strategy and patent prosecution and opinion work in the areas of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health and beauty, agriculture, animal health, nutraceuticals, polymers, diagnostics and medical devices. He also advises on the development of intellectual property, and he is experienced in establishing infrastructure for it. He has counseled multinational chemical and pharmaceutical companies, emerging biopharmaceutical companies, venture capital and financial institutions and academic and governmental research institutions throughout the world. Jeff majored in chemistry at K and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. He earned his M.S. (chemistry) from Indiana University, his Ph.D. (biochemistry) from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Rutgers University. He is a co-inventor on two U.S. patents and co-author of several scientific publications.

Sarah Smith ’17

Sarah at work in Hamburg, Germany.

Sarah at work in Hamburg, Germany.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) announced in October 2015 that Sarah had been accepted into the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE Germany) for the summer of 2016. RISE Germany offers summer research internships in Germany (about 300 a year) for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Students are matched with doctoral students, whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. Interns receive a monthly stipend. Sarah returned to Europe this past summer (she had studied abroad in Spain during the fall and winter terms of her junior year) to spend 12 weeks in Hamburg working on her Senior Individualized Project, the scientific focus of which is Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. In Hamburg, the senior biology major maintained her own malaria cell cultures, no small feat given the difficulty of working with the parasites, which require about an hour or more of daily care and monitoring. Much of the time Sarah spent imaging the parasites, which is the basis of her project.

“I learned how to use two different types of microscopes, fluorescence and confocal, and the software to edit the images from them,” she wrote in her wonderful blog, “Sarah Goes to Hamburg.” “Typically, I could only image the parasites for about an hour before they become too unhealthy. I also had to wait for the parasites to be at the right stage to image them, which made collecting data a tricky and lengthy process.” However, the summer experience was not all work. Sarah learned to played Bubble Soccer and participated in a wattwanderung (mud walk), a fascinating three-hour trek across North Sea mud flats exposed at low tide. These adventures, including visits to Heidelberg and Copenhagen and other northern European sites of interest, are memorably described in her blog.

Sarah continued work on her SIP during her senior fall term. Its working title is “Myosin II localization in Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites suggests role in hemoglobin uptake,” and she will present her research at spring term’s Diebold Symposium. Sarah noted that she received two fellowships from Kalamazoo College–the Beeler Fellowship (through the Center for International Programs) and the Crittenden Fellowship (through the biology department). “They were very important in funding my experience, especially the flight to Germany,” said Sarah.

John Grandin ’63

On a recent trip to Florida from Rhode Island, John and his wife, Carol, stopped in Atlanta and had a great two-day visit with Dick Compans ’63 and his wife, Marian. John is professor emeritus of German and director emeritus of the International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island. Dick is professor of microbiology and immunology in the Emory University School of Medicine. He also directs the Influenza Pathogenesis & Immunology Research Center.

 

AsiaLiza Morales ’15

AsiaLiza is a co-author of the scientific paper, “Effects of Road Dust on the Pollination and Reproduction of Wildflowers,” which appeared in the February 1, 2017, issue of International Journal of Plant Sciences. She and her research team studied whether roadside traffic dust affects the amounts of pollen received and seeds produced in wildflowers. Preliminary results suggest that dust exposure does reduce pollen received by plants closest to unpaved roads but that seeds per flower vary inconsistently as a function of road proximity. More study is necessary. AsiaLiza’s Senior Individualized Project work at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory was part of the data that went into this paper. At K AsiaLiza majored in biology and studed abroad in Caceres, Spain. She currently works with Deb (Tokarski) Yourick ’80 in a mentoring program in Washington, D.C.