Margaret Fredricks and Emily Lowe, two
senior science majors who also have a strong interest in German, have
been awarded Deutscher
Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) annual grants to study and do
research in Germany during the academic year 2000&endash;2001.
Fredricks, a double major in chemistry and German studies,
describes the day she learned that she had won the award as one of
her happiest. "My parents were here for the weekend to hear my senior
science symposium talk," says Fredricks. "They were just getting into
the car to go and do some shopping while I got ready for the talk
when I came running out of my dorm in my bath robe and called them
back in to read the email from Hilary Shaw [announcing the award]. It
made my presentation go a lot smoother. At the end of my
presentation, Professor Davis announced the good news to everyone in
the audience. The room lit up with excitement. It was one of my best
Fredricks will spend ten months at the University
of Munich, where she will focus her research on catalytic degradation
in the Heck reaction, which is similar to the Stille reaction that
she researched for her thesis. Both reactions are used to form
carbon-to-carbon bonds. She began her thesis project with a Summer
Undergraduate Research Fellowship from Pfizer Corporation and
continued the project during both semesters this year.
Of her future plans Fredricks says, "I plan to get my Ph.D. in
chemistry. I would like to be a German chemist. That is, I would like
to work for a company that has dealings with both the United States
and Germany and hope to travel and live in both countries."
Emily Lowe, a double major in geology and geography, had
already started looking for a job when she received word that she had
won a DAAD grant. " I thought it [the award] would be announced
earlier, and since it was late March, I assumed they just hadn't
gotten out the 'we-regret' letters," she says. " I am really excited
to be continuing with my research. Although it is not exactly what I
did for my thesis, it is within the same field."
will conduct her work at the University of Heidelberg. The research
will encompass the study of the trace elements of rocks called
pyroxenites. She completed a thesis this year on the ferrous/ferric
iron ratios in metapelites (metamorphosed rocks, which prior to
metamorphism were mudstones). "Emily was a student in both my
mineralogy and petrology classes last year," says M. Darby Dyar,
visiting assistant professor of geology and Lowe's adviser. "In both
classes, she was the most enthusiastic, the hardest working, and the
brightest student (among a peer group of extremely talented women).
In lecture, she was a frequent participant in discussions, and she
was never afraid to ask questions or seek clarification. In lab, she
spent many hundreds of hours mastering the skills needed for the
courses, and she was also generous in giving her time to help others
less talented in the class. Outside of class, Emily read every word
of reading I assigned and sometimes asked for more."
Lowe's future plans include pursuing a graduate degree in some field
of geology, perhaps geochemistry, mineralogy, or petrology. She hopes
to take a year or two off after her year in Germany to "actually do
geologic work in the real world for awhile and see how that focuses
[her] future plans."
About the DAAD
DAAD (The German Academic Exchange
Service) is a private, self-governing organization of the
universities in Germany. Its purpose is to promote international
relations between institutions of higher education, especially in the
fields of academic and scientific exchange. Among the many programs
sponsored by DAAD is the fellowship program to provide a year of
study in a German university to graduates of United States colleges
and universities. The selection committee looks for overall academic
achievement and feasibility of the proposed plan of study. DAAD is
interested in candidates from a broad range of disciplines, but
students in the sciences are especially encouraged to apply. Awards
cover ten months of study, including airfare, health insurance, and a
monthly maintenance allowance.
Twelve Mount Holyoke
nominees have won DAAD awards since the program began in 1985. MHC
seniors have won placements to study chemistry, computer science,
economic development, mathematics, pharmacology, psychology, geology,
German studies, literature, and biology.