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Results tagged “science”



Watch Noah Wilson-Rich: Every city needs honey bees

Meet Noah Wilson-Rich, one of Simmons College's newest faculty members in the Department of Biology. If there's one thing you need to know about Noah Wilson-Rich, it's that he's an expert on urban beekeeping. He recently gave an extremely popular TED Talk about the importance of honey bees in cities, and the key role they play in creating a sustainable ecosystem. In this edition of Know Your Professor, we chatted with Noah Wilson-Rich to find out more about his passion for bees, what he does when he's not teaching, and why he loves Simmons.


Any plans for a beehive at Simmons?
I am willing and ready to set up a (non-aggressive!) honey bee hive at Simmons anytime. I am a relentless proponent of urban beekeeping, urban agriculture, and sustainability as a whole. Anyone who eats food needs to understand that honey bees are of vital importance because of their role as pollinators.The Simmons Sustainability Club is working hard at getting a honey bee hive on campus. These Simmons honey bees would reflect the Simmons community in many ways.
How so?
Because bees are a female-dominated society that does extremely good work for the betterment of this world. The educational value of honey bees is endless. There are opportunities for hands-on agricultural and sustainability training; we can study systems to test theories relating to economics, sociology, biology, and chemistry; and the sale of honey and beeswax products can be a source of fundraising revenue for student groups. I strongly encourage everyone at Simmons to join the effort to bring honey bees to campus!
What's your favorite class to teach? Why?
Biology 342 - Topics in Behavioral Biology is my baby! I enjoy teaching this class for so many reasons. Animal behavior is so fascinating because we have been studying it our entire lives, whether consciously or not. Beyond studying the human animal, we take a lot of "virtual field trips" to become intimately familiar with all sorts of animals. So far this semester, we have learned interior decorating techniques from bowerbird nests in the dense forests of Papua New Guinea; dating and mate choice advice from seahorses; food selection techniques from platypuses and sharks; navigation techniques from sea turtles, sibling rivalry dynamics from African hyenas; and many, many more! Teaching this behavior course really is a dream come true for me.
What book are you currently reading?
Inferno by Max Hastings and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Noah Wilson-Rich, urban beekeeper.



Faces of the Future student Sandy Lor '14 talks about how she has grown academically and personally during her first two years at Simmons.

Our Faces of the Future students from the Class of 2014 are halfway through their college careers. It seems like only yesterday these four accomplished women agreed to blog about their Simmons College experiences. The transformation they have made in the past two years has been incredible to experience with each woman.

To follow along as they compete for athletic championships, conduct chemistry research, excel in academics and lead clubs and organizations has been thrilling. We can't wait to see where the next two years (and beyond) will take them.

Visit the Faces of the Future blog to catch up with Sandy, Tania, Naomi, and Andree.


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Simmons student presenters in San Diego with Chemistry and Physics Professor Michael Berger.

At Simmons, science and research go hand in hand. Recently, 18 chemistry and biochemistry majors -- including first-year students -- traveled to San Diego to present their science research to more than 16,000 chemistry industry professionals at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), considered the premier gathering for the chemistry field in the country.

Chemistry Professor Rich Gurney says the students made such an impression at the conference, themed "Chemistry for Life," that many thought they were graduate students--or even faculty members!

Continue reading Simmons science majors present their research at national chemistry conference.


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Professor Gurney in front of Bet Giorgis in Lalibela, Ethiopa

Meet Associate Professor and Department Chair Rich Gurney from the Department of Chemistry and Physics. Professor Gurney is known around Simmons as the "green professor," specifically for his work with the "Cups to Cleaners: Trash to Treasure" project. But did you know he has a hidden talent in the kitchen and loves Family Guy?

What is your favorite class to teach?
Like children, I can't pick a favorite!

What book are you currently reading
The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge, by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.

What's your favorite book?
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.

Do you have a favorite TV show?
The Family Guy - vide supra

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Rich Gurney.





Chemistry students at Simmons College work in conjunction with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in order to determine various pigments and dyes used in artwork. Students help the MFA determine how best to display the various artworks that may be sensitive to light.



Sandy Lor '14 blogs for Simmons' Faces of the Future, and in her latest entry she details the exciting research she and junior chemistry student Nnennaya Okey-Igwe '13 is doing at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

The research that we are involved with is in collaboration with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) involving the identification of dyes used in 19th-20th century Japanese block prints. The objective of this research deals with the history of Japanese art and whether or not synthetic dyes were used during the 19th to early 20th century.

Learning the history behind the art is important to understanding the cultural background, as well as potentially authenticating a work of art. For example, if our research shows that there were only natural dyes used during that era, then any Japanese painting from that time should not contain synthetic manufactured dyes. If a work did contain a synthetic dye then it can be concluded that it was not an authentic Japanese block print from the late 19th and early 20th century and was created after that time period. We're pretty much crime scene investigators for the MFA. :)

Read more about the MFA research project on Sandy's blog:

Crime Scene Investigator: Museum of Fine Arts


The Faces of the Future blog details the Simmons College experience through the eyes of four students. The students began blogging during their second semester at Simmons and will continue to share their experiences through their four years at the College. Sandy, Andree, Naomi, and Tania are incredible women, involved in all aspects of the Simmons community, and this blog is a way for them to share their college journey.


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Forget cookbook lab instruction. Simmons' science program has transformed the way students learn chemistry, physics, and biology by combining lab training with original undergraduate student and faculty research projects. The innovative curriculum introduces students to the fundamentals of research starting their first semester at the College.

In a recent article in Chemical and Engineering News, Chemistry and Physics Department Chair Rich Gurney says the lab-research approach better prepares students for a career in science.

"Our students need to be trained to enter the workforce immediately, and to do that in chemistry they need to know how to do research when they graduate," says Gurney. "More learning takes place when students experience the ins and outs of an experiment and have to work through or around problems that arise."

Continue reading Science at Simmons integrates lab training with original research.


The Chemistry Department at Simmons is doing something incredible! Students are conducting serious research and are being asked to present their findings at national conferences. Since Simmons is committed to going green, this particular project is important.

Science students are taking the plastic cups that are distributed around the Simmons campus and turning them into a cleaning solution that is comparable to Lysol, 4-in-1 all-purpose cleaner, and other similar products. The Cups to Cleaners: Trash to Treasure project was spearheaded last year by Cassandra Cocoq '10 who worked on the project as her senior thesis, under the tutelage of Associate Professor and Department Chair Rich Gurney.

Continue reading Science students turn trash into treasure.


Time magazine recently interviewed our resident expert on diet and nutrition, Professor Teresa Fung, for a segment they produced about the importance of eating a well-balanced diet. In the video, Teresa talks about her new study, which found that people tend to live longer if they get more of their protein from veggies rather than from meat (when associated with a low-carb diet). Interesting, right? Watch the video to learn more about her research and to hear some tips about what to look for when shopping at the grocery store.

P.S. Anyone else dying to go to that store? It looks amazing!


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Disclaimer: Science was my least favorite subject in high school. I liked earth science OK, but chemistry and biology? Forget about it. Don't even talk to me about physics.

For as long as I can remember, I gravitated toward English, history, and art. Although it never occurred to me that one day I could be a web editor (did we even exist back then?), I definitely knew that I favored the right side of my brain, which ultimately led me to major in photojournalism. Needless to say, being a doctor or a nurse never once crossed my mind. Never! However, I have many friends who have pursued a career in medicine, and nursing is Simmons' most popular major, so I met with Professor Anne-Marie Barron, Ph.D. to find out more.

Continue reading So, you want to be a nurse.


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Meet Caila, a 2010 Simmons graduate who plans to get her Ph.d. in neuroscience.

Hometown: Lancaster, Massachusetts
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior with a concentration in Neurobiology
Class: 2010
Simmons activities: Alzheimer's research lab, College Republicans

Resume builder: "As a first-year student, I was thrilled to work in Alzheimer's research lab. This is an opportunity that you do not get at most big colleges. Initially I did chores around the lab, but eventually I started doing my own experiments. I also learned how to use the UV spectrophotometer, do dissections, and make cell cultures."

Continue reading Spotlight on Caila.


I noticed many students are asking questions about the nursing program.  Some are only thinking about it, while others are fully committed to taking the plunge. Almost everyone is scared to death of organic chemistry.

But what's really on your mind is: how hard is it?

Continue reading Nursing... What? Like it's hard?.


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