Prof. Jim Cassarino (music) published an article in Vermont Genealogy “William Griffith (Gwilym Caledffrwd): Slate Baron and Bard of Poultney,” which will be released this week. The article traces the fascinating life of William Griffith who was born in North Wales, emigrated to the Slate Valley, and settled in Poultney. He was a successful slate merchant and became famous throughout the Welsh-American community as a musician and bard. In the spring Jim plans to give a public lecture and the GMC choir, the only college choir in the nation that performs music in Welsh, will present some of Griffith’s music.
This past summer, prof. Bill Landesman (biology) used a $75,000 Vermont Genetics Network Grant to conduct research into the ecology and microbiology of local populations of the black-legged tick (aka the “deer tick”), the primary vector of Lyme disease in the northeastern U.S. Working with three Green Mountain College undergraduates, the team estimated population sizes at 15 locations and tested ticks for infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen that causes Lyme disease in this region. This is Bill’s third year of funding from the Vermont Genetics Network, which in turn is funded by a five-year National Institute of Health grant. Bill included three GMC students on his research this past summer: Brianna Alimonti’ 16, Isabel Schmitt’ 19 and Nang Hseng Leng Wann’ 19. This semester, Student Bonnie Buckley will participate in field and laboratory research. He and his laboratory team are looking forward to transitioning into the new Biomedical Research Complex in Ackley in the coming months. Last month, Bill received a VGN Course Enhancement Award of $750, which recognizes how Bill has integrated his Lyme disease research into laboratory activities for Ecology (BIO 1031) and Microbiology (BIO 4008).