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1990 — Robert Edwards makes his first speech as president of the College during Convocation ceremonies at the First Parish Church.

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President, Deans, Staff Welcome (and Reassure) 1st-Year Parents

cristlecollinsjuddParents and family members were likely offering their 18-year-olds plenty of last-minute advice yesterday as they helped the students move into dorm rooms and prepare for their first year of college. At the same time, family members were not spared nuggets of wisdom offered by people very familiar with the Bowdoin experience.

Relatives of incoming students gathered in Kanbar Auditorium/Studzinski Recital Hall for two different sessions to listen to members of Bowdoin’s administration speak about what incoming students might experience in the coming four years. These experts (many of whom have sent their own kids off to college) also offered a bit of advice to parents.

Read excerpts of remarks from President Barry Mills, Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd, Dean of First-Year Student Janet Lohmann, and others.

Stalking the Invasive Green Crab in Harpswell Sound

Aidan Short ’15 is unusually familiar with the invasive green crabs in Harpswell Sound: specifically, with the contents of their stomachs.


Stalking the Invasive Green Crab from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

The green crab has a reputation for devouring soft-shell clams, the species behind one of Maine’s most lucrative fisheries. But how much of the crab’s diet is really made up of clams? What other creatures are falling prey to this clawed invader? And how does all of that vary by habitat? These are some questions that Short is exploring through his research project “What’s for Dinner? A molecular analysis of the feeding habits of the green crab Carcinus maenas in Harpswell Sound.”

Short has been working on the water and in the lab, using a combination of crab trapping, dissection, and molecular techniques to figure out just what these crabs are swallowing - not a task for the faint of stomach. Funded this summer by a Doherty Coastal Studies Research Fellowship, Short will continue his research as part of a year-long honors project in collaboration with biology assistant professor David Carlon, who directs Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center.

Justin Pearson ’17 Offers Hope to Memphis Teens With Innovative Summer Program

Justin Pearson Camp HopeJustin J. Pearson ’17 has founded a new summer program this summer in his home city of Memphis, Tenn., for teenagers growing up in the city’s poorest, and sometimes violent, districts. He designed Camp Hope to give young people a chance to connect with their communities in a positive way.

“The best way for me to help back home was to bring an opportunity to students who might otherwise be involved in activities they shouldn’t,” he said, such as gangs, “and to give them an opportunity to come together and attach themselves to a better side of the community.” A critical component, he added, was “to give them a sense of the benefits of education — to show them there is a way they can move forward.”

Pearson grew up in poverty in Memphis in a family of five boys. In time, his mother and father went back to school to first earn bachelor’s and then master’s degrees. Now his mother is a teacher and his father a pastor. Watching his parents build a new life impressed Pearson. “I know education can be a ladder out of poverty,” he said. Read the full story.

Bowdoin Engineering Student Designs Stander for Disabled Children

scott mitchell

When Scott Mitchell began his junior year away at Thayer Engineering School at Dartmouth College last fall, one of his first assignments was to design and implement a low-cost solution to a social problem. Mitchell is a five-year, dual-degree student at Bowdoin and Dartmouth, pursuing both a liberal arts and an engineering degree.

Mitchell knew from his experience as a volunteer with Medical Ministry International that clinics in developing countries often struggle to obtain equipment common in the United States. Read the full story. 

Students Harness Tech Tools for History, Art, Literature, Education, Politics, and More

Media technologies conceptOne pair of Bowdoin students has spent the summer creating a stop-motion animated film telling the story of how Huntington’s disease works at the molecular level. Two others have developed mobile apps to enhance the experience of visitors to the Bowdoin Museum of Art and Arctic Museum. Another has devised a way to scrape campaign tweets during next fall’s campaign season, and several more have been mapping information such as language spread in Africa, 19th-century shipbuilding records in Maine, and 18th-century literary landmarks in London.

The list goes on: in all, sixteen Bowdoin students have been harnessing digital technology in impressively original ways through this year’s Gibbons Summer Research Program, and the caliber and creativity of their projects was evident in a recent presentation of their work. Take a look at the elevator versions of each project.

Gibbons presentations 2014

Bring on the Science (Bowdoin Magazine)

bring-on-the-scienceAt a research hub on the coast of Maine, scientists are busy investigating the biology and ecology of bats and rats, lobsters and crickets, bacteria and yeast, eelgrass and elderberry. Shedding light on the inner workings of marine and terrestrial landscapes. Exploring the functionality of computer systems and the mystery of particles that cannot be seen. Answering questions with serious implications for human health, cyber security, the environment, and our understanding of the universe.

You might not immediately picture a small college campus as the site of this vibrant research culture, or liberal arts students as the scientists. But it’s all happening at Bowdoin, where undergraduates in the full range of scientific disciplines are becoming seasoned researchers well before graduation, working alongside faculty members who are leaders in their fields.

Read the full story, which originally appeared in the most recent edition of Bowdoin Magazine. Also, check out the online bonus material: students and recent graduates give us the inside scoop on what it’s like to do science research at Bowdoin.

Summer Harvest: Bowdoin Garden Crew Brings New Plot to Life

The new garden on Harpswell Road is producing a bounty of vegetables and flowers this year under the direction of Bowdoin Organic Garden manager Sara Cawthon and her crew. Earlier in the summer, the radishes were the size of plums, and were so abundant that the dining hall chefs had to be inventive in how they used them.

In this video, garden interns Elina Zhang ’16 and Tara Palnitkar ’16 give a brief tour of the plot, showing off the basil, lettuce, watermelon and other crops that the carefully amended and tended soil is producing. The 1/3-acre garden joins the Bowdoin gardens out on Pleasant Street and South Street for a total of 1.5 acres.

Interning at Maine’s Iconic Store — In Japan

STASIW_LLBEAN_062514-5Greg Stasiw ’15 has a paid internship this summer with L.L.Bean, working for its inventory team. This seems a normal enough job for a college student in Maine — until you learn that he’s based in Tokyo.

L.L. Bean, which has had its headquarters in Freeport, Maine, for 102 years, expanded into Japan in 1992 and now has 19 stores throughout the country. This is the first summer the outdoor retailer has hired a Bowdoin intern to work in one of its Japanese branches. Read the full story.

Townies: Students Work for Brunswick, Topsham

Libby Szuflita ’15 and Violet Ranson ’16 are mapping parts of Topsham and Brunswick this summer to help local administrators make land-use decisions that will improve town life and reconcile the sometimes conflicting needs of residents, businesses and wildlife.<

The students — who are both majoring in environmental studies and sociology — are working in the towns’ planning departments this summer. (Ranson is working for Brunswick; Szuflita for Topsham.) Both have Psi Upsilon Sustainability/Environmental Justice Fellowships from Bowdoin’s Environmental Studies program to fund their summertime jobs. The competitive grants are awarded every summer to students who intern at Maine environmental organizations, including town planning offices. Because these fellowships often require competence with GPS and GIS, Environmental Studies Program Manager Eileen Johnson offers a two-day course in mapmaking in early June. Read the full story.

Video: A Bowdoin Summer


A Bowdoin Summer from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

Each summer, students on campus take a break from their busy schedules of work, studies, and recreation to gather at a cookout hosted by President Mills. We asked them to tell us what they’re up to — and what they enjoy most about a Bowdoin summer.

Video by Catherine Yochum ’15 (who’s spending her summer as a multimedia reporter in Bowdoin’s Office of Communications).

To learn more about what students are doing at Bowdoin and all over the world this summer, check out this interactive map by Nina Underman ’15.