News Archive

Gitre, '14, Goes West for Chemistry Research Experience

Haley Gitre, '14
Haley Gitre, a Dean's List student who has achieved distinction on the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Academic Honor Roll three times during her career with the Albion volleyball team, was rewarded for her academic efforts this summer through her internship in Jared Shaw’s lab at the University of California Davis. Gitre's internship was sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Puzzles in Polymers: Joe Thomas, '14, at BASF


"If you use sunscreen, detergents, paint, garden-care products or a car, chances are you own something that uses BASF technology," writes chemistry major Joe Thomas, '14. "BASF is the largest chemical company in the world, but not many people know their name because they don’t put out many products straight to the shelves. It has more than 40 U.S. operations, and I'm spending the summer with BASF’s Wyandotte site in the High Temperature Polymerization Group."

Susan Ford Bales to Present Albion College Stoffer Lecture

Susan Ford Bales
Presidential daughter Susan Ford Bales makes a special visit to Michigan to deliver the 2013 Albion College William K. Stoffer Lecture, the centerpiece of the College's Opening Convocation. Her presentation, titled “The American Presidency: Before Jerry and Betty—and After,” follows the Convocation processional, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 29, in Albion College’s Goodrich Chapel.

FURSCA Feature: Wally Kacher, '14

Wally Kacher, '14

Your Major:

English with a Creative Writing emphasis. Minors in Psychology and Anthropology & Sociology.

Your Adviser:

Lynn Verduzco-Baker

Briefly explain your FURSCA project.

My project is titled "How Hip Hop Is Reviving Detroit," and through a sociological lens, I'm researching the ways Detroit hip-hop artists think about their role in the city as well in the world of hip-hop. In the broadest sense, I'm interviewing rappers at shows, observing producers in the studio, and writing about what I've learned.

What have you learned so far in doing your research?

I've learned that Detroit as a city is not as important to these artists as much as Michigan as a whole is. These artists aren't trying to separate themselves from the rest of the state. They preach "Michigan versus everybody" and an "everybody eats" attitude. "If one of us makes it big, we all make it," one of them said. Their sense of community trumps any of the artists' individual egos, which is rather surprising considering how self-centered rappers are often portrayed.

Why did you pick this particular project?

Because hip-hop is my passion! I only recently discovered sociology last year and after working my advisor, Dr. Lynn Verduzco-Baker, we were able to find a project that engaged my interests and the field of sociology. It's been a perfect match.

How will this FURSCA project help you after Albion?

It has thrown me into an environment far different than our small Albion campus. I assumed myself to be a pretty confident and outgoing dude already, but this project has just tripled that. I've learned not to be so scared to ask questions and open up to people. Most of the time all anyone wants to do is share their story with someone else.

What's next for your project?

Well, my project will be ongoing and exist past this summer. I had one artist tell me that my research was "very special," which has motivated me much more than FURSCA or sociology ever could. I still have much more to learn though. I don't want to make any premature conclusions.

Looking back, how has the project worked out?

I've always been the kind of the student that thrives when given the freedom to explore my studies in my own way, and FURSCA provides exactly the kind of the avenue for that kind of studying. I've met so many cool people from my research and I've grown as a sociologist so much. I completely expected this project to be awesome, yet it still exceeded everything I could have ever wanted.

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