Hartwick Receives Second Grant from the Dean M. Graham Foundation

April 11, 2014

Hartwick College has recently received its second grant from the Dean M. Graham Foundation in the amount of $4,600. This funding will support the research of one science student and his or her faculty mentor at Hartwick College.

In 2013, Hartwick received a Dean M. Graham Foundation grant of $3,600, which funded the collaborative biotechnology research of student Kayla Murphy '14 and Professor of Biology Dr. Stanley Sessions. During the course of their research, Murphy and Sessions studied the regenerative properties of local salamanders. The grant provided Murphy with hands-on lab experience and the opportunity to take a step closer to her post-graduate career goals.

The purpose of this grant was to support a STEM student research assistant over the summer (2013) to help with a project to try to understand how salamanders regenerate their hearts. Previous research in the Amphibian Research Laboratory, ARL showed that Eastern Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), an abundant local salamander, can survive amputation of at least 50% of the ventricle and then are able to completely regenerate the missing portion of their hearts within six weeks.

Their research, which will be summarized and presented in a paper to be published this year, has also shown that survival of the animals after this procedure is made possible by the formation of a large blood clot at the site of the wound, and that this blood clot seals the wound, allowing the heart to continue to function.

Molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioengineering represent the future of the life sciences, and those emerging fields need well-educated scientists. Because of this, Hartwick has developed courses which prepare students for careers in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, environmental engineering, and "green" technologies. In 2009, Hartwick received a $552,000 National Science Foundation grant through the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S-STEM) program which provides scholarships for students interested in biotechnology.

Hartwick's liberal arts in practice philosophy, which combines a rigorous curriculum with hands-on learning, is an excellent approach to teaching, particularly in the sciences. Hartwick science majors have incredible opportunities to work side-by-side with faculty who are productive scholars and active researchers. Hartwick's biology department, in particular, has a fine tradition of undergraduate research, with students and faculty being published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Science.

For additional information on the grant, please contact Margaret Arthurs, director of corporate, foundation, and government relations at 607-431-4061 or at

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031