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THE MAY 11, 2012




Fond Farewells: Three Senior Interviews

By Felicia Thompson

John’s? I dropped out of high school when Senior Matt Summers agreed to be The I was 15. I wasn’t treated too well in Moon’s first interviewee. school because I had my own way of Thompson: How old are you, and doing things. I trusted myself about where are you from? what was important to me, and how Summers: I’m 30 years old, and I’m to go about learning something. That from Salt Lake City, Utah. didn’t endear me to my teachers. I was What journey brought you to St. 25 when I knew I wanted—no, needed—to go back to school. I thought I might eventually teach. My dad showed me the St. John’s College website. He’d heard about it through an article called “Who’s Who of American Colleges.” St. John’s was in the top three. I found myself reading about a program that thought about learning the way I thought about learning. Kant said the process of enlightenment is learning to trust your own judgment. What? That’s what I got in trouble for in high school! What did you expect from St. John’s? I expected emphasis on ideas, your own ideas, not what someone told you to think about an idea. I got to read great authors and, rather than regurgitating what someone else thought, saying what I thought was important. Senior Matt Summers will attend the Univerisity Who was the first tutor to of Chicago in the Fall. Photo by Felicia Thompson.

impress you? Mr. (Grant H.) Franks was my first exposure to someone who asked great questions. I approached Mr. (Russell) Winslow about how to write better and he said, “Let me show you!” Is there something every tutor should do? Anything a tutor should never do? We read the economist, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations Junior year. He was one of the original advocates of a capitalistic society. There was a lot of anti-Smith sentiment among the tutors. They tried to sell us their ideas about him, and guide us to conclude Smith was wrong, rather than asking us what we learned about his conclusions. Students were defending the author! Avoiding an idea because you disagree with it a no-win situation. Everybody loses. Everybody. Anything you wish you had known about St. John’s before you came? I wish I had known how difficult it was going to be. I don’t know where else I would have gone had I known that, but I might have been better prepared to tackle it. On the other hand, I’m glad I didn’t know! It allowed me to show up with enthusiasm, perhaps naïve enthusiasm, and excitement about learning. What would you tell a prospie considereing attending St. John’s? Learn with a purpose. Know what you want to get out of your learning.

ARIEL Award Recipients

By Alicia Dondo

cloning. “I will clone antibodies to The final list of the recipi- use them in the research. They ents of the 2012 ARIEL awards have never done that before, so I am very excited,”said Beckstrand. Her interest in biology stems from a young age when her father died of cancer at the age of nine. Since then, she has wanted to work with cells and DNA. The experience will be invaluable in her deciding what field of biomedicine she wants to pursue after St. John’s. “It will help me decide whether or not I want Sophomore Sharon Beckstrand. to do research, has now been released. The medicine or get an list comprises a great variety advanced degree in of internships from scientific biomedicine. As City research to work in the field of Hope specialof International Relations. I izes in a variety of met with four of the award- things from research ees to gain greater insight into to treating patients their summer internships and on the facilities, I their future aspirations. will be exposed to Sharon Beckstrand is a cur- different aspects of rent Sophomore who will be the field,”said Beckinterning at the City of Hope strand. doing research under a ProfesBeckstrand greatsor in the Division of Tumor ly appreciates the Cell Biology, Dr. Susan Kane. internship opportuBeckstrand’s research will fo- nity that was estabcus on studying multi-drug lished by Dr. Forman to fund resistance in cells which is a Johnnies to intern at City of great impediment to effective Hope. chemotherapy in cancer paAnother Sophomore who tients. She is particularly ex- will be working in the labocited about the opportunity to ratories this summer is Elliot have hands-on experience in Chen. He will be working laboratory procedures such as with a cosmologist on dark

Student Run Coffee Shop Successful

energy in the Los Alamos National Laboratory. According to Chen, dark energy analysis and research helps to explain the expansion of the universe and he is thrilled at the opportunity to do some mathematical modelling, generating models of the cosmos to aid in this research. Like Beckstrand, he found out about this opportunity from the Career Services office. “St. John’s participates in the laboratory’s guest program which allows volunteers to do research and has devel-

Sophomore Elliot Chen oped a working relationship with Los Alamos. Most Johnnies interested in the sciences like me take advantage of this program,” said Chen. (See, ARIEL Interns, Page 2)

Adrian Younge Album

Read with the intention of coming out of the reading with at least one thing that matters to you. What are you going to raid the fridge for at home? I’m cooking rib-eye steaks on my George Forman grill. I buy a stack and just keep them in the fridge. At any time I can grab one, throw it on the grill for five minutes, then go for it! Matt Summers will continue at the University of Chicago, MA program in Social Sciences. Senior Jillian Marie Burgie, the head of The Grout, is the next Senior featured. What was your first impression of St. John’s? My first impression was that it was going to be life changing. I came for the spring tour, so I had the opportunity to meet people who were going to be my classmates. That’s how I met Matt Summers; he was part of that tour as well. The academic sense of the place was palpable. The first week I was here I could feel brain growth. Now, on the eve of graduation, I’ve gotten so much more from the Program than I ever expected. Has that impression changed? It has, and in ways I did not foresee. I’m not just better informed; I’m better. I’m braver, and less helpless. (See, A Look at Our Seniors Page 2)

Robert Bienenfeld to Speak at Commencement

By Peter Horton

goals to be successful in the business world. That isn’t intuitive for people, I think because people often have a limited understanding of the business world. You work to make Honda

This year at commencement, the speech will be given for the first time by a Santa Fe alumus. Robert Bienenfeld, the speaker, has worked with Honda for 25 years and is currently the Senior Manager of Environment and Energy Strategy for Honda’s Product Regulatory Office. He says being invited to speak is an honor, and he’s excited to get the chance to what he hopes will be relevant advice and experiences. He spoke with The Moon about life as an alumnus and Robert Bienenfeldis the Senior Manager of Enhis hopes for the vironment and Energy Strategy for Honda. speech. Horton: Why did you go more environmentally friendinto the automotive field af- ly. What attitude would you ter St. John’s? advise students to take toBienenfeld: I was really just wards global problems? looking for work, and I knew Well, I’ve had a variety of a guy who knew a guy, but it’s jobs with them. IT, Product been fascinating and challeng- Development and Planning, ing. I knew I wanted to go into several things with some asbusiness; for years I’d been pect of environmental strathearing people say St. John’s egy, and now I’m the face of is good for anything you want Honda to the EPA and the to do. Where I work, the first DOE. question is not, “How will it make money,” it’s, “Why are (See, Alumnus Robert Bienenwe doing it?” That’s a good feld, the Face of a Greener question for anybody. It takes Honda, Page 3) a good understanding of your

Senior Reflections

Katrakis on Voting

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