The Color of Science

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Isabelle Malouf was so into science she wore it to prom. The gown that she made with organza and sequins had a bubble-type skirt that resembled a bacteriophage. A dress and a virus, it was part of the Daring Night Attire – or DNA – collection she created for a high school design class. “It was fun taking something like that and making it pretty,” said Malouf, a University of Mary Washington senior. “A lot of molecular biology stuff is gorgeous.” These days, rather than fashion, she channels her passion for science into zebrafish. Through them, she’s studying an herbicide that’s been linked to cancer. Her research, along with her hair color – she changes it weekly –make Malouf a standout on campus. And, as a face in UMW’s new branded photos, she hopes to make science seem more accessible, especially for women. “Girls aren’t expected to be good at science,” said Malouf, a biology major with a chemistry minor. Growing up in Boston, she learned to expect the unexpected, … [Read more...]

Lift Off

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Olivia Schiermeyer led fifth graders in a countdown as she manned a miniature rocket launcher at the “3…2…1 Lift Off” station. Several covered their ears in anticipation of the blast. … [Read more...]

Chemistry Connections

Nicole Crowder, assistant professor of chemistry, works with Karmel James '13 on a research project.

When Assistant Professor of Chemistry Nicole Crowder attends national conferences, her peers often mistake her University of Mary Washington students for master’s or Ph.D. students. “They are shocked at the caliber of our undergraduate students,” Crowder said. Senior Karmel James and junior Eric Johnson, chemistry majors and seasoned conference presenters, are two such students. Both James and Johnson are working with Crowder this semester through UMW’s undergraduate research program. Their projects aim to reduce carbon dioxide through manipulating various substances. Johnson is exploring “click chemistry,” while James is using a different method. “It’s about taking something that is viewed as a waste gas and turning it into something useful,” Crowder said. Research like Johnson and James’ can have large potential implications, from turning carbon dioxide into alternate fuel sources to finding ways to remove the gas from the atmosphere. Both students will present … [Read more...]