Hutchison receives doctorate in physics

Jaime B. Hutchison graduated May 10 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a doctoral degree in physics. Her doctoral dissertation was titled The Effect of Vesicle Shape, Line Tension, and Lateral Tension on Membrane-Binding Proteins.

Hutchison’s research was supported, in part, by a National Science Foundation IGERT fellowship which provides recipients with training in entrepreneurship and community outreach in addition to interdisciplinary research. While a doctoral student, she was selected as one of 70 young researchers from the United States to attend the 2012 Lindau Nobel Laureates meetings in Lindau Germany, a gathering of young physicists from around the world for a week of intense interaction with a group of thirty Nobel Laureates in physics.

Hutchison is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Non Linear Dynamics at the Physics Department of the University of Texas at Austin. Her research group is using microscopy and custom particle-tracking software to try to understand how structure forms in bacterial biofilms. The bacteria they work with, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, are two opportunistic pathogens that often infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. The group hopes that the things they are learning about the early stages of biofilm development will one day allow medical professionals to combat these infections more successfully.

A graduate of Camden-Rockport High School, Hutchison received a bachelor of science degree in physics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the George Washington University in 2006. She also attended the Art Institute of Chicago for two years, and had the honor of being the very first student at the original Children’s House Montessori School, first located on Pearl Street in Camden. Along with publishing a number of articles and papers in various scientific journals, she also likes to create crossword puzzles and has had her puzzles published in the New York Times and in a Simon and Schuster compendium of crossword puzzles published in 2012.

Hutchison continues to encourage and support female students who might have an interest in pursuing careers in the physical sciences.

 

United States Senate Youth Program selection process under way

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Senate Youth Program has begun its statewide selection process, and Maine high school students are encouraged to apply.

The USSYP brings two students from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity to Washington to experience an intensive week-long educational program about the workings of the Senate and the federal government overall. Maine’s two selected students will join 102 other delegates March 8-15, 2014 for the program’s 52nd annual Washington Week.

Each of the 104 student delegates will receive a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship, in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital, where they will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and other historic sites in Washington. They will meet with Senators, cabinet officers, government leaders and other policy-makers. The USSYP program is fully-funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

More than 5,000 students have participated in the leadership program since its creation in 1962, including U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who holds the distinction of being the first program delegate elected to the U.S. Senate.

The delegate selection is administered by each state’s chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals. Delegates must be juniors or seniors and elected student officers for the 2013-2014 academic year, and they must reside in the state where they attend school. Eligibility considerations may also be made for student representatives elected or selected (by a panel, commission or board) to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations.

Names of students selected will be formally announced mid-December. Interested students should contact their high school principal or the state-level selection administrator: Ms. Kristie Littlefield, Social Studies Specialist, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0023, 624-6828 or Kristie.littlefield@maine.gov.

The Maine selection deadline is Oct. 15.

The 2014 program brochure with detailed rules, selection process and the annual yearbook may be accessed at: ussenateyouth.org.