Mary Beth Day '07 Named to USA Today's All-USA College Academic First Team
By Vige Barrie
Contact: Vige Barrie (315) 859-4623
February 15, 2007
Day has received numerous academic honors while a student at Hamilton. As a sophomore, she was recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, a national award recognizing excellence in undergraduate research in math, science and engineering.
Last August, Day was invited to assist Harvard University Professor of Geology Paul Hoffman and Hamilton College Professor of Geosciences Eugene Domack on a field excursion to Namibia where she spent three weeks mapping and collecting rocks from the Neoproterozoic (approximately 1 billion to 540 million years ago) in order to contribute to ongoing research about the Snowball Earth hypothesis, which describes the glacial conditions from high to low latitudes during the late Neoproterozoic.
In June and July 2006 she was a guest student at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she worked in the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometer facility under senior scientist John Hayes on a new method that improves the accuracy of radiocarbon dates of Antarctic marine sediments using stepped-combustion. Day later presented a lecture at 2006 Geological Society of America annual meeting on the research she conducted at Woods Hole.
In 2005 Day was awarded a Hamilton College Emerson Grant that funds 10 weeks of summer research for student and faculty pairs. Her project examined the chemical characterization of stone tool materials used by paleoindians in the Great Basin. She presented a poster on that research at the 2006 Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Puerto Rico.
During the summer of 2003, she was the recipient of a National Science Foundation - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program Grant which is awarded to selected incoming freshmen to support five weeks of summer research prior to the beginning of the first year at Hamilton.
Day also co-authored, with Hamilton chemistry professors, research articles that were published in the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry and Journal of Physical Chemistry.
Day is principal flutist and piccolo player with the Hamilton College Orchestra, and a member of the chamber music group; a teaching assistant for the Geology and Archaeology departments; a Geology Club executive board member; and a former resident advisor.
She participates in several volunteer programs through the Hamilton Action Volunteer Outreach Coalition including the food salvage program, teaching juggling at a local elementary school, serving at a soup kitchen, and the Underground Café, a student-run café and social space for children in nearby Utica.
USA Today's All-USA Academic team program honors students who have not only challenged themselves and excelled in their course work, but extend their academic and broader intellectual abilities beyond the classroom to benefit their schools, their communities and society. A key element given most weight by the judges is the student's essay describing his or her most outstanding original academic or intellectual product.
Unlike scholarships, fellowships or grants, the All-USA Academic Team is a recognition honoring students for what they have done in college, as opposed to what they plan or hope to do upon graduation.
The program is modeled after an all-star sports team, and judges try to build a team of students who are universally outstanding and who excel in different ways. Former First Team members have excelled in the sciences, the humanities, the arts, in public service, journalism and education.
Day is the daughter of Janice and Michael Day of Seneca Falls.