Hannah Brumback: Media Matters

Search for the Cure:

The Discovery of Novel Antibiotics

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Program: The Antibiotics class took on a lot of hands on field experience during their time at Miami. They gathered mushrooms and performed experiments in the lab in an effort to identify the active compounds.

Responsibilities at Miami: Dr. Kennedy is both an undergraduate and graduate professor here at the University of Miami. Aside from teaching class, he takes the time to be a mentor for 5 PhD students, and supervise there research over an extended period of time.

Inspiration for Class: The main inspiration for this course was Kennedy’s undergraduate research involvement. He says that there are, “often teams of undergraduate students that work together on projects.” He has also shared his curiosity in, “the variety of mushrooms around [the] local forests,” and whether or not they had any antibiotic activity.

Student Learning: Students in this module learned a variety of lab skills and procedures, and hopefully gained an, “appreciation for the process of scientific discovery.”

Class Activities: Most of the activities in this module revolved around mushrooms and lab work. The goal of their experiments was to, “hopefully […] discover new antibiotic compounds that work by novel mechanisms.” This was done by isolating, purifying and producing antibiotic compounds from the mushrooms the class gathered in the woods.

Success in Fashion: After receiving and undergraduate education, one can expect to pursue a PhD track, “followed by 1-4 years of postodoc training.” Eventually, one can expect to work as either a professor or a scientist at a biotech company.

Free Trade/Fair Trade: Understanding World Trade from the Local to the Global

Students doing research in their Free/Fair Trade Class -Photo by Adam Bandola


Program: The Free & Fair Trade module took an inside look at behind scenes facts and figures that accompany post-WWII global trade. Students got a chance to study past, and ongoing debates that surround world commerce and exchange while using critical thinking skills to view world trade through a multitude of difference “lenses.”

Responsibilities at Miami: Dr. Jana Evans Braziel, a senior professor at Miami University, is the Chair of the Department of Global and International Studies. She has both a masters and bachelors from the the University of Georgia, as well as a PhD. from the University of Massachusetts. Aside from her various teaching commitments, she is a well published author and researcher.

Inspiration for class: Her main source of inspiration came directly from her course curriculum here at Miami. By doing so, Braziel is able to, “make students aware of the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies.”

Student learning: The overall goal of this program was to help students develop a well rounded education about trade. Braziel listed this to include topics such as, “international trade, global capitalism, free trade agreements, and fair trade as a movement.”

Class activities: The Free/Fair Trade Module scholars conducted, “country research,” as well as worked with partners to, “forge bilateral trade agreements” for their country of research. Students also worked with cacao trade to market chocolate bars through an advertising campaign.

Success in fashion: Braziel described students interested in this field as, “smart, informed, and engaged.” When looking ahead to college, if this is truly their desired career path, she says that they can look to major in, “economics, international studies, and other areas.”

Game of Clones: Genetic Engineering in Society

Program: The Game of Clones class will work with DNA and molecular biology to develop a base understanding of the field of genetic engineering. They will also discuss many of the ethical issues and debates surrounding the practice while comparing and contrasting American and others’ attitudes towards it.

Responsibilities at Miami: Dr. Rebecca Balish is a Senior Lecturer at Miami, so she keeps busy teaching undergraduate students. Some classes she teaches include introductory biology, microbiology, molecular and cell biology, and more. Balish also does a lot of work with the University Studies Program, advising students who have yet to pick a major. As a professor, she also spends a hefty amount of time writing recommendation letters for student endeavors.

Inspiration for Class: Inspiration for the Genetic Engineering module stemmed from Dr. Balish’s own research and interest in GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). It also provides her the opportunity to speak with and teach students, “who are interested in learning about careers related to [her] own research.”

Student Learning: While this module has a primary interest focussed on genetic engineering, Dr. Balish hopes that her students will gain more than skills beyond the central topic. According to Balish, “It’s critical for young scientists to be able to filer out the good from the bad in terms of research,” so she hopes to impress efficient and accurate internet research use on her summer scholars.

Class Activities: In the cloning module, students are doing a lot of extremely interactive work, especially in the laboratory. Not only will they get to transform bacteria and work work with DNA, student will also be able to discuss the ethical issues surrounding the world of genetic engineering.

Success in Fashion: The genetic engineering field has many career path that stem from it. One could work in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, medicine, education, and even small start-up businesses. Some have greater risks or rewards than others but there are, “many opportunities,” in the area.

Duke Tobin: On and Off the Field

Photograph provided by Duke Tobin

Duke Tobin Jr. (17) is a rising senior from Cincinnati, Ohio. He attends The Summit Country Day, a private school in the Cincinnati area, and expresses a, “love for school spirit,” which he demonstrates through participation football, basketball, baseball, and track. Outside of school, he also plays on a club volleyball team. However, he says that football is truly his favorite out of all his athletic endeavors. This passion stems from his family involvement in the professional football industry, which he also hopes to pursue someday.

For his time at the Miami for the Summer Scholars Program, Tobin took a slight break from his athletic endeavors to participate in the Basics of Business module. When asked if this was something he was looking to pursue further as a career, he said that “business management [was] an option, but pre-law is also something [he is] interested in,” and ultimately he was still pretty undecided. Miami of Ohio is Tobin’s second choice school, and he would ultimately like to end up at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Aside from class, the Summer Scholars program has been the highlight of Tobin’s summer thus far, and he said that he, “is not looking forward to going home.” When asked what it was he would miss the most, he responded, “I am going to miss my family the most because we have become so close in these two weeks and we do everything together.” Before returning home after the conclusion, Tobin will be taking a family trip to Chicago with his two younger brothers.

Duke’s Fun Fact: He loves to shop!

Jaime Petit: Shopping ’till She Drops

Photograph provided by Jaime Petit

Jaime Petit (16), from Canton, Ohio, attends Jackson High School where she is a softball enthusiast. She has been playing throughout much of her life, and enjoys representing Jackson in the outfield. Petit is the oldest of four sisters and will be entering her junior year this fall.

Aside from softball, Petit’s favorite hobby is shopping. Some of her favorite brands are Polo Ralph Lauren, J Crew, Coach and Lacoste. She says that “it helps her relieve stress,” and that she has a love for all clothes. While these are all slightly high end brands, Petit also appreciates stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls where she knows she can, “always score some deals.”

Here at the Miami Summer Scholars program, Jaime is participating in the Basics of Business module. She and her group were responsible for creating a product that that they then pitched to the rest of the class, and they came up with what’s called the, “iPack.” It would be an apple produced product that has the capability to keep drinks hot and cold, charge an Apple device up to ten times, and have specialized pockets designed to hold Apple products. If her team is the winner of the Business competition, they will present in front of the entire program at the recognition dinner.

When asking Jaime what her favorite Summer Scholars memory was, she said that is was, “when three of [her] friends pretended to be the Jonas Brothers and sing a parody of their song, ‘Burnin’ Up.'”

Jaime’s Fun Fact: She is spectacular at recognizing famous faces and relating them to different people she sees! 

Journalism: The Experience

These two weeks working in and exploring the Journalism industry were extremely enlightening. My preliminary conception of journalism was focused solely on the newsroom and news reporting aspect of the profession. After talking to and seeing the work of all the different professionals in the journalism industry, I think I can safely say that I am more interested in it now than I was at the beginning of the program.

One trend that I have heard about this week from both Professor Newberry and our multitude of other guests, was the overwhelming struggle to transition journalism from primarily print to a strong online presence. Many organizations are attempting to do this with their own domain web site as well as social media accounts.

This is an area that I could see myself fitting in and contributing to, because the concept of social media and web marketing has always fascinated me. I have always been the kind of writer that fluctuates in quality depending on my level of interest in the subject, so I am not sure that I would be an effective journalist in the newsroom. Another area that I could see myself contributing to would be the graphics and design of magazine spreads and web pages. This correlates well with my marketing interest, because the product must look pleasing to the eye of the consumer.

The media industry has many layers, most of which I had never considered before last week. The number of people it takes to run a news room was especially surprising to me. I suppose that I had just never considered the number of people fact checking, monitoring information, and updating the website would take, as well as the number of hours they worked. This provided me with a clearer view about the number of jobs in the media and journalism industries.

My favorite guests that we got to speak with were Cara Owsley and Ellie Conley. Cara is a photographer with the Cincinnati Enquirer and Ellie was a part of the marketing team at MTV, but is transitioning to an editorial role at an up-and-coming website called Odyssey. I enjoyed talking to Cara because she was so extremely passionate about her job. You could see the amount of care she put into each and every photo. Ellie was extremely interesting, because she is living in New York City and working at high profile businesses. Although not her preferred area of work, her job at MTV intrigued me because it is something I could see myself doing.