Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn

Mike Ellis ’10, a double major in biology and environmental studies, secured not just one, but two internships this summer.

From culturing fungi at the Ag Station, to hopping aboard the William Scandling with 35 young, aspiring scientists, Ellis has certainly experienced a broad spectrum of scientific activities over the past few months.

With the help of his advisor, Associate Professor of Biology Mark Deutschlander, and Professor of Biology Tom Glover, Ellis obtained his internship at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES).

No two days are ever the same there for Ellis, “I do a bit of everything in our lab, from culturing fungi to use in fungicide studies, to examining DNA of various fruit diseases, to getting down and dirty out in the field with our bushberries and apples,” he says. “It keeps things interesting.”

In addition to a multitude of scientific studies, Ellis is participating in preliminary research. “We’re trying to find out what species of pests and fungi our orchards and fields have, and how they react to various fungicides and pesticides,” he explains.

He credits his science classes, particularly Genetics, Plant Biology, and Chemistry, for preparing him for this internship. “The great thing about this internship is that it builds off what I already know, giving me a broader and deeper understanding,” he explains.

“My goal this summer is to learn the ins and outs of laboratory work, and to learn more about plants, since I hope to go into plant ecology in graduate school.”

In addition to his research at NYSAES, Ellis also interned at the Colleges’ Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute (ESSYI). “My fellow counselors and I were resident advisers, teacher assistants, leaders, chauffeurs, mentors, and friends for the 35 high school students who participated,” Ellis says.

“Together with the kids, we had some amazing lectures given by HWS professors, went to Zurich Bog and out on the lake in the William Scandling, and topped it all off with hiking, camping and canoeing in the Adirondacks.”