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Student-Faculty Collaborations Key Feature of Campus Research

Student-Faculty Collaborations
Key Feature of Campus Research

by Alisa Giardinelli

Alison Holliday
In her lab, Assistant Professor of Chemsitry Alison Holliday uses analytical chemistry to answer environmental questions.

Daniel Pak '12 and Travis Mattingly '13 are just two of the more than 85 students who conducted research in the natural sciences and engineering on campus this summer. Together, they worked with Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Alison Holliday to develop faster and more efficient ways of measuring levels of environmental contaminants.

On the day a reporter from Nature visited their lab, Pak, from Mill Creek, Wash., desorbed pesticides. Mattingly, from Leonardtown, Md., tested for melamine, an illegal additive in pet foods and other products. Their work, which averaged about 40 hours a week and supported by Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Hannay Summer Research Fund, could eventually appear in published research.

Holliday loves teaching as much as being at the bench. "It would be very difficult," she says, "to go back to a research university and not have that level of interaction."

Swarthmore offers numerous summer opportunities across disciplines in the natural sciences and engineering, the social sciences, and humanities. Community service and social action fellowships are also offered through the Eugene M. Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.