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Summer Photography: A Study Funded by the Class of 1968 V Form Fellowship

By Alie Hyland, VI Form

Summer Photography: A Study Funded by the Class of 1968 V Form Fellowship

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Editor’s Note: At their 25th reunion, the Class of 1968 created a fund to provide grants to V Form students for independent study during the school year or, more commonly, during the summer between V and VI Forms. Their intent in establishing this fund was to reward independent thinking, ingenuity, and planning and to encourage the student exploring non-traditional fields of inquiry or using non-traditional methods of investigation.

Photography has been a passion of mine for years and has only grown during my time at St. Mark’s due to the numerous opportunities to explore and learn more about this art form. When I took the “Art and Science of Photography” Saturday class, I learned the key elements of what makes a photo visually appealing and how to operate the DSLR camera that I borrowed from the St. Mark’s library. Turning in the camera at the end of the Saturday class term was painful, for I was losing a powerful tool that gave me the opportunity to freely express myself and capture the precious moments of life in outstanding quality. In the years following this educational experience, I captured random moments of life’s beauty with my iPhone camera; however, I was always craving a higher image quality and level of professionalism. When I learned about the Class of 1968 V Form Fellowship, I saw my opportunity to obtain a DSLR camera. I filled out the application as soon as it became available and, after weeks of anticipation, I was thrilled when I found out that I had been awarded the grant and would finally own a professional camera. 

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Melatonin’s Effect on Learning and Memory in a Tauopathy Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Drosophila melanogaster

By Sophie Haugen and Sada Nichols-Worley, VI Form

Melatonin’s Effect on Learning and Memory in a Tauopathy Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Drosophila melanogaster

Abstract

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes devastating memory loss and cognitive decline in humans. There is no current cure for AD. Research studies show that oxidative stress is correlated to and possibly a cause of this neurodegeneration. Because antioxidants such as melatonin have been found to reduce oxidative stress, melatonin could alleviate neurodegeneration and serve as an effective dietary supplement for people with with AD. In this experiment, a tauopathy Drosophila melanogaster group

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that express human tau (MAPT) under gal4in neurons were used to model AD in humans. This study measured learning and memory of the Drosophila through an olfactory vortex learning assay in a t-maze. Groups of flies with and without melatonin supplementation were tested in the t-maze. Following experimentation and data collection, preliminary results from this study suggest, but do not confirm, that melatonin reduces memory loss and improves cognitive function in a Drosophila AD model. Further trials are needed to confirm the suggested results.

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The Architecture of New England’s Boarding Schools and Its Significance

By Claudia Chung, VI Form

 

The Architecture of New England Boarding Schools and Its Significance

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Post Revolutionary War boarding schools focused on educating America’s elites. These schools were products of their time; their values reflect a set of specific principles that their founders deemed admirable. Although these values evolved over time, they often included concepts of leadership, service to the nation, and dedication to one’s family. Schools built in the mid- to late- eighteenth century, the “Academies”, seem to reflect vastly different values than those of their  “Episcopal” counterparts founded in the mid- to late- nineteenth century. Following the religious teachings of the Episcopalian tradition, episcopal schools boasted community and family based values; while the academies prided themselves on their focus on classical academics and service. The architecture of these schools closely follows architectural trends of their time and, at the same time, serves as powerful testament to the schools’ founding values. Despite each school founding with different affiliations, purposes, and people, the architectures of these schools deeply reflect the principles valued by the school —from its founding to present day.

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A War Hero Beyond the War

By Hans Zhou, VI Form

A War Hero Beyond the War

In the fall of 1931, a boy with dark hair from Manchester, Massachusetts, who was fairly short for his age, joined the St. Mark’s School Class of 1936 as a new second former.[1] His name was Henry Nichols Ervin, but many people used his nickname, Skip.[2] Born on October 21, 1918, in San Diego, California, Ervin and his family moved several times and attended schools in California, Nebraska, and Massachusetts prior to enrolling at St. Mark’s.[3] Ervin had a brother named Robert Gilpin Ervin, Jr., who was two years ahead of him at St. Mark’s, and a younger sister named Adele Ervin, who is still alive today.[4] Today’s St. Markers might know Henry Nichols Ervin as the abbreviated name “H. N. Ervin” on the board outside the dining hall marked with a star, indicating that he died in the war, among a long list of other people who also fought in this war. When waiting in line outside the servery, few people would look at the name on the wall and think of the life stories of these war heroes. However, Henry Nichols Ervin had a lasting impact on St. Mark’s School through his character. He was a student leader, he volunteered at Brantwood, and his family and friends funded various prizes to honor his character.

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William Peck and Nativist Fears

By Jack Foley, VI Form

William Peck and Nativist Fears

From 1883 to 1894, William E. Peck was the first layman to be Head of St. Mark’s, a conservative, Episcopalian school. Many Trustees at the school believed that Peck was leading the school away from its religious roots. At the same time, in the late nineteenth century, Catholic immigrants came to the U.S. in huge numbers and threatened its Protestant elites. The changing nature of St. Mark’s and the U.S. threatened the Board of Trustees, which led to Peck’s dismissal. (more…)