In honor of Black History Month, Episcopal English teacher Lisa Pritchard reflected on single-story stereotypes. She recently encouraged Upper School students in Chapel to create their own life story despite what the world expects from them. She also left them with a charge to tell the story of others and eliminate these preconceived notions. Read more.
When the African Heritage Club first approached me to do a chapel talk on the topic of single-story stereotypes during Black History Month, I was, to say the least, a bit, well, confused. I mean, besides the obvious: not only am I white, but I come from a relatively privileged, middle-class, background. Sure, I’m female, which has resulted in some discrimination over the years, but I haven’t really encountered many instances in my life in which I have been on the receiving end of a negative stereotype. What did I have to contribute to this conversation?
I asked Lauren Reed, co-president of the African Heritage Club what her thought process was and she said that she thought I could be pretty objective – okay, true – and creative – I like to think so. Still, that’s a lot of pressure. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that my background as an English teacher is what could serve me here since, as we have learned, it is the prevalence of stories that can be so powerful. And I know stories.
So, I got to thinking. And, while I was initially intimidated and thought I had to come up with this big, powerful piece that covered all of these important angles while also ringing true and allowing you to take away a message that sticks…I couldn’t get it right. Nothing felt authentic. Ultimately, I chose to go with something that is very me. I hope it does justice to the topic and to Black History Month and that the African Heritage Club doesn’t feel I’m being too flippant or that they’ve made a mistake and, if that does happen, it’s not their fault – it’s entirely mine. Either way, I can assure you that I’m being genuine.
In a Ted Talk that we watched in advisory, this statement by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (she’s an amazing author, by the way, you should definitely go read her books) stood out to me: “So that is how to create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” So, here is the story of the “one thing” or one story that has been told to me over and over again about myself and what I chose to do about it.
Let me begin with one particular story. I went to Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. One of the graduation requirements is to participate in a May “Module,” usually during your junior or senior year, where you focus intensely for three weeks on a topic outside of your major field of study. I was lucky enough to be able to go on the “Greek and Roman Odyssey” module. During the trip, my fellow students and I had a night off to roam around the plaka in Athens when we encountered an elderly Greek gentleman. He was about five feet high and somewhat hunched over. He stared me up and down – twice – and then asked the question that I have been unable to escape since I was around eight years old. In a thick Greek accent came the single word, “Basketball?”
I shook my head, no, and smiled. He returned the smile and we parted ways.
It never fails. At least fifty percent of the time that I meet someone new, the question inevitably arises, Have I played basketball? No. I’m not very good at it, actually. Well, let me back up. I probably could be good at it if I tried, I’ve just never tried. Why? Because everyone assumes I should be playing basketball just because I’m tall. And that’s why I’ve always chaffed against it. Even when I had the chance to try, I refused. Whether it was to prove everyone wrong or because I wanted to be separate from that image they had created of me in their minds, I don’t know, but basketball just wasn’t ever in the cards for me.
I’ve always been tall. I was the little kid who was too tall for the small rides, but not quite big enough for the adult rides. Who people thought was older than she actually was. Who always had trouble finding pants that were long enough and attractive shoes in my size (still do, sometimes). Who was a head taller in group photographs in the yearbook. Who was always at the back of the line or the back of the class. And who was always pushed to play basketball because I would “obviously be good at it.”
Being tall is not only unavoidable for me, but it is also a part of my identity that I am constantly being reminded about. In high school, by the time I was a sophomore, I was already 5’10” and thought I had stopped growing (I hadn’t – for those of you who don’t know, I’m 6’1”.) I and a handful of students had gone on an arts trip to New York City in February. We had split up at one point and were supposed to meet back at a certain location within half an hour. As we were nearing the rendez-vous point I heard – from a city block away, mind you – “I see Lisa’s head!” Apparently, because my head was above the crowd, it served as a good landmark for the rest of the group.
My friends always yelled at me when I wore heels because I was “tall enough already.” I had trouble finding dates who weren’t intimidated by my height. Once, when I was standing on the small team bus to head to a volleyball game, the back of my neck pressed against the ceiling, my friend Blythe – who was and still is 4’9” – exclaimed, “Seriously? You’re that tall? How is that fair? My entire family can be killed by airbags!”
You can imagine that this type of thing can get old pretty fast. But, as I matured, I slowly learned that the “single-story” of my height that everyone seemed determined to throw in my face could actually become an asset. When I had to give up on ballet because I was too tall for the costumes and had to specially order pointe shoes because they didn’t make them in my size, I regrouped and applied those skills to excelling at sports. When I was nervous giving a speech in front of the school or performing in a play, I looked naturally confident and poised because of my height and soon learned to actually adopt that confidence. And, when many women had to fight to be heard in a crowd of men, I was able to look those men in the eye and command their respect.
Most importantly, though, I learned that I have the ability to change the story. I don’t have to listen to and adapt to the story that is being told to me about me – I can make other people listen to the story I have to tell them about myself. And, once I learned that I could shape that story, I realized I could help shape other people’s stories. Because as someone with that privilege and power, it is my responsibility to speak up for the people who don’t have a voice against the single-story stereotype. I am the one who has to say, “Maybe that’s not true” or “Have you asked that person if that story applies to them?” or “Have you considered this alternative instead?”
So, if you take away nothing else, I want you to remember two things: first, don’t let the story you’re told about yourself limit you. Don’t let the world tell you that because you got that one bad grade on a test you’re a failure or because you came from a different background than everyone else around you, you can’t succeed: write your own story and make everyone else listen to you. Because you matter. Your story matters.
And second, once you’re comfortable with telling your own story, start telling other people’s stories and make sure their perspectives are heard. And this is the part where I am going to get cheesy and preachy, but it’s genuinely how I feel. For those of us who are at an advantage there is an obligation to help those less privileged. We need to be raising each other up, not tearing each other down to make ourselves feel better. Listen to people’s stories and tell them. Spread the word. Eliminate the single-story stereotype. Or, at the very least, make people think about it once in a while. And whether you have to whisper it or yell it or write it or use humor, keep telling it and maybe someone, somewhere will hear it and understand it and they will start to do the same.
We are excited to celebrate members of the Episcopal Class of 2018 as they make their college enrollment decisions!
“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” Theodore Roosevelt
History can teach us countless lessons that remain relevant our entire lives. While you may not remember precisely all of the dates presented to you in your World History or Western Civilization courses, the hope is that the ideas and concepts helped you make connections to current events.
Here at Episcopal, history is much more than reading a textbook and memorizing facts. The six faculty members want to make history come alive for their students. Recently, students had the opportunity to take a history-inspired field trip to the World War II museum in New Orleans to do just that. Students spent the day surrounded by the artifacts and stories of this pivotal period. The experience was made even more powerful when students had the opportunity to meet with veterans of the war, who shared first-hand knowledge of a time these teenagers usually only read about in books.
This past weekend, students had another opportunity to take history beyond the books. Nick Delahaye and Christian Sample participated in a World War II quiz bowl tournament at the museum. The team was quizzed on a range of topics regarding the era. They performed well and had a great time representing Episcopal.
Social Studies Department Chair Dr. Rebecca Kuhn says it’s exciting to be a part of a school where so many students are passionate about the past. In addition, she says it’s a pleasure to work with a group of dedicated teachers who truly are experts in their field.
Combined, Vincent Hoang, Clara Howell, Dr. Billy Pritchard, Jennifer Vu, Edwin Way and Dr. Kuhn have a tremendous depth of knowledge. The group boasts two doctorates and several advanced degrees, but it is their passion and desire to help students understand history that is truly remarkable. Dr. Kuhn says it’s a benefit for students to learn from these experts who are committed to helping them think critically and study concepts in-depth. Ultimately, she says the department staff share the same philosophy when it comes to teaching history.
“What I hope history does is give students a context for the modern world we’re in,” says Dr. Kuhn.
Dr. Kuhn and the social studies team want what students are learning now to help them make sense of the world today and tomorrow. It is just one example of how history and Episcopal School of Baton Rouge are preparing students for meaningful and purposeful lives.
Dear Episcopal Family,
Wow! Our first-ever Give Day was a success thanks to you! Despite the unexpected internet outage and swift staff relocation, an amazing 153 Episcopal community members donated $36,926 to The eFund. Of those donors, 20% were alumni and so many parents, grandparents and friends gave not only one, but multiple gifts to help us reach our goal.
Congratulations to the entire 4th grade and Pre-K 4 who reached 100% parent participation, as well Ms. Bilskie’s 3rd grade class and Mr. Lemoine’s 1st grade class.
While we did not meet our goal of 222 gifts, it was an incredible 24 hours of enthusiasm and engagement by our Episcopal community. Thank you for your support.
Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship
“Throw kindness around like confetti.”
This message is displayed prominently in the bright, welcoming halls of the Lower School building this month. Throughout the year, students have been challenged to “make the world a better place.” Projects like Pinwheels for Peace, December’s Advent Challenge, and partnerships with local organizations, such as Melrose School and the Volunteers of America Laundry Center, have encouraged our Lower School students to spread joy and kindness not only into the Episcopal community, but into their own homes and the local community as well.
Some of our smallest Knights took on a big task this month. On the 100th day of school, the PreK-4 classes were challenged to collectively complete 100 acts of kindness by Valentine’s Day. Parents assisted by capturing these moments in photographs and e-mailing stories to the teachers. In just two weeks, the students not only met their goal, but exceeded it, with 104 acts of kindness reported.
No act of kindness was considered too small. From folding towels and hanging up their clothes, to cleaning up their rooms, kindness was spread throughout the students homes. Many students shared their Mardi Gras spoils with others. Ace Williams even gave away his coveted Zulu coconut to a stranger “just because.” The kindness spread into the classroom as well. Students stopped to pick up things their classmates had dropped, offered them hugs of encouragement and picked up litter that was left behind.
The overall response from parents, students and faculty has been positive. Chelsie Smith, mother of Mazie (’31) writes, “This has been the sweetest month of her learning about kindness. She is so into it and eager to 'do kindness' all the time!” Without even thinking about recognition, this kindness becomes an everyday part of who our students are. Just like a single spark can ignite a fire, it only takes a simple act of kindness, to make the world a better place.
Julie Mendes, a 2001 graduate of Episcopal, returned to teach Pre-K4 at her alma mater in 2012. She received both her undergraduate degree and MEd in elementary education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. After teaching second grade in a Dual Language program in Texas public schools for three years, Julie moved abroad to teach first grade at a bilingual school in Gracias, Lempira Honduras. Julie enjoys teaching alongside some of her former teachers and seeing what life is like on the other side of the desk.
Congratulations to our winter sports athletes who had a tremendous season!
Indoor Track and Field:
Congratulations to the boys’ indoor track and field team who are the 2017 State Champs! This is the third year in a row that the Knights’ team has finished on top. In addition to earning the title, several members also broke school records at the state meet.
Congratulations to the following:
Caden Dickinson leaped for a time of 8.43 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles.
Kenny Schafer came in under the 10 minute mark in the 3200 meter run with a 9:49.07.
The 4X4 team of Trevor Babcock (52.0), Graham Frazier (52.4), Todd McInnis (54.6) and Caden Dickinson (51.0) broke the previous school record by 4 seconds with a 3:30.96.
The combined team score of 86 also topped the previous high point state meet score of 78.5.
After earning a district title, the boys’ soccer team reached the semi-finals where they were defeated in double overtime. Keeper Anders Melton had 16 saves in the match and Eliott Reimann and Logan Robertson both put it in the net. The squad put together a great season and we are proud of their efforts!
Episcopal Athletic Hall of Fame:
Know of a former Episcopal athlete who has excelled since leaving high school? Show them how much they’re appreciated by nominating them for the Episcopal Athletic Hall of Fame. Nominations can be submitted by clicking here or by going to episcopalbr.org under the Athletic Hall of Fame tab. The deadline to submit a nomination is March 25.
Nominees may fall under one of four categories:
2014 Episcopal alums, Charles Cooper (University of Southern California) and Adam Clausen (Birmingham-Southern College), are set to graduate college this spring. Best friends since high school, and even serving as the President/Vice President duo for their senior class, the two continue to collaborate on creative endeavors. As we approach the 5th annual LAUNCH Day, Cooper & Clausen caught up with Thesis Program director, Katie Sutcliffe, to talk about their original vision for LAUNCH and how their time at Episcopal has shaped their dreams and ambitions.
Katie Sutcliffe: What are you guys up to these days? What are you involved with in college? Major? Other activities?
Charles Cooper: At USC, I’m in the business school studying real estate and finance. In terms of other activities I am involved in, I really enjoy sitting and eating pizza. Just messing (only sometimes). Earlier in college, I was really involved in different clubs and my fraternity. This year and especially this semester, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling. I went to San Diego, Lake Tahoe, and New Orleans all in the last three weeks, so I would say I’m living my best life right now! I am planning on taking the GMAT at the end of the summer to have the option of business graduate school in the distant future, so I’ll be studying for that as well.
Adam Clausen: I just finished my senior soccer season in November so I had to find something to fill the void for this semester as I am no longer a college athlete (sigh). Currently, I am a Biology major with an art minor (art minor and creative side spurred from our Thesis class). So with that creative side, I managed to land a job as a creative intern for a health advising company here in Birmingham called Pack Health. I create helpful infographics and videos for them, and it’s a lot like the Honors Thesis process where I thoroughly research a topic, but instead of writing a paper, I make an infographic to explain the information in a fun and simplified manner.
KS: Tell me about this podcast project you have going on together! I was really excited to see you two collaborating on a project like this and would love to know more about “The Scoop w/ Clausen & Coop.”
AC: Haha, oh that thing? Yeah, so Charles and I lived together this summer. I was lucky enough to land a job footwear designing out in Los Angeles where Charles would be working for Disney. There we decided to bunk up, and along the way we came up with the idea to make our own podcast. Originally we were just making it for our friends from high school and college, but as the summer went by more and more people got interested. We showed our parents, our parents showed other parents, students showed teachers, and so on (much like Malcolm Gladwell’s “tipping point” - definitely just kidding!). As the summer went on we would get snapchats and texts from people we hadn’t seen in a while saying they loved it or they wanted to be featured. Now it is kind of weird when we go home because the first thing people talk about is how they love our podcast and different topics they wish they could have chimed in on. For instance, Charles and I went to a Pelicans game over the break and we saw Coach Richard and Coach Bourgeois and immediately we talked about the Scoop. It was a fun hobby for the summer, but it has been difficult to keep tabs on when we returned to school. Fun Fact: Charles’ friends now sometimes just call him Scoop, so that’s hilarious.
going to be some really long work weeks. While I am excited for this, my real goal is to learn something valuable and gain an expertise in corporate America because Adam and I have big plans to go entrepreneurial together. I’m relying on him for the creativity aspect with his design skills to get us going, but we have big plans in mind (hopefully!).
AC: For me right now it is design. I have found a lot of fun in making ideas come to fruition and much of that spurred from this class [Thesis]. Originally when I got to college I was dead set on going to medical school, but as time went on I reflected on LAUNCH and other events in my life, and I realized that I had a lot of creative energy that I didn’t want to go to waste. Right now I have been talking with Foot Locker and Under Armour for a future in design, and I have an offer in Los Angeles again with Wolf & Shepherd, which was the company I worked for last summer. Hopefully in a few weeks I should know the answer.
KS: Help us understand where LAUNCH all started. What was your original vision? What was your hope for its evolution or integration into student life?
AC: This is one of my favorite stories and I actually use it often in my design interviews today. The first glimpse of what would later become LAUNCH Day started in 2012. I was thinking back how much work Charles’ sister put into her thesis. It seemed as if every time I was over at Charles’ house to study for my sophomore worries she would be working away at her Thesis project. Then when she presented during the time slot that was normally for students’ break, it made it hard for the students to pay attention and care. So I began to think, if I were to present a year long project, I don’t want to present to a bunch of people who’d rather be somewhere else. I began to think of what would make for a more fun environment, and one day I thought what if I could present outside. Then one day I had it all kind of mapped out in my head, and so as bad as it is to say, mid-class when you were teaching, Mrs. Sutcliffe, I just started to sketch the idea because I couldn’t hold the thought back much longer. I drew a stage, speakers, balloons, food, outdoor chairs and seating arrangements, people in the crowd with smiles. It was a simple sketch, but I wanted to get the point across that we needed to move away from making students go into an auditorium and sit and listen during their break. I figured if I could present outside (with snacks) that would at least make it somewhat easier and people more happier. I then turned to Charles and explained the idea. He was thinking the same thing, and it was he who brought it to the class. At that same time our Honors Thesis class hadn’t decided on a class legacy project. So I went to the board and sketched out that picture in my head so that everyone in the class could see. Charles and I pitched the original idea of just moving the presentations outside with other arrangements to make the experience more enjoyable. For some reason we have gotten a lot of credit, but it was everyone in that class that made LAUNCH day what it is. They were the ones who took that glimpse of an idea and created a day. They made presentations outside into a full, fun day involving teachers, students, and guests, and they did it all just in time so that we could present to the administration the idea just in time for it to become our class project and the rest was history.
CC: Yeah, we had the same thought process on this. We wanted people to be excited (or at least curious) about our thesis when presenting because we put so much hard work and time in it. We noticed that the previous method of thesis presentations were not as effective in terms of grabbing people’s attention. Logistically, it really is a win win-win for everyone. As thesis students, you get the appropriate stage and attention for your presentations; for the other students, you get an opportunity too to showcase something and you don’t have class, and then the administration gets to pump out some marketing/PR for having a unique event compared to other schools. The big thing for me (which I understand has gone really successfully) was to give students who weren’t in Thesis the opportunity and stage to present in subjects that they were experts in. It’s a really refreshing idea to take a break from a normal school day and listen to what your peers have knowledge and passion about.
And for how it started, I just remember constantly chirping in Adam’s ear about doing something different regarding the Thesis presentations, so he finally drew out a little design of what it would look like and then you and Mr. Engholm liked the idea!
KS: How do you feel about the fact that LAUNCH is now in its fifth year?!
CC: It’s so cool! I love that our class got to start this trend and that it has become an annual event. I can only imagine how much better it is now with you and Mr. Engholm getting the chance to improve it with your students each and every year.
AC: I honestly never thought it would catch like it did. I was amazed at what our class was able to make it into, and to see other classes continuing the tradition is truly something incredible. You know I just finished a book called Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build An Incredible Career by 99u (which is basically a collection of creative minds). In it they talk about how the best creations start off as simple ideas that someone pitches to a group, and if that someone surrounds themself with the right group of people they will build that idea into a juggernaut. That is exactly what our class and the following classes have done with this idea. We have made something that future students will look back and say I wonder what school was like without LAUNCH Day and how did they not think of that sooner? So I guess I have a lot of thanking to do. But it is truly awesome to see what an idea has become thanks to the culture created within that class.
KS: How have your experiences at Episcopal contributed to your successes in college?
CC: The Honors Thesis program was the number one reason I felt comfortable going into my college classes. You get exposed to everything: independent and creative thinking, collaboration, different viewpoints, hard work, and special people! You learn when to ask questions and look for help versus when you need to just be independent and figure something out on your own. I really can’t speak more highly of the overall program, you, and Mr. Engholm. I always tell people it was my best academic experience as a high schooler and recommend anyone going to Episcopal to apply for it.
AC: It helped tremendously my first two years by making public speaking just a little bit easier. It made me unafraid to speak my mind and answer in classes. In science classes (and even in my job today) I walked in with a lot of research experience because of Thesis, so that helped a ton. Often times in a lab setting in college I was often selected for a leadership role because I was used to speaking in front of people, and I still wouldn’t even consider myself anywhere close to a great speaker, it is just that little bit of experience prior to, made a world of a difference.
But the biggest contribution this all has had on my life was that it helped me realize my potential as a creative thinker. I remember sitting in class and Megan [Escott] turned to me one day and said you should really consider some sort of design, and I kind of laughed wishing I could have that kind of career. Then as time went on I realized what the class and myself had achieved with LAUNCH Day was quite the accomplishment and was certainly indicative of a creative mind. A few more experiences in colleges solidified that, and now I am more in tune with what I really enjoy (being creative and design), which will most likely be my passion for a while all thanks to this class.
another quote that inspires me. My quote goes like this, “If you can’t dream, you can’t innovate, and if you can’t innovate, who is going to push this world forward?” Just before that quote in my response I explained that I have many ambitions and to define who I am under one label would do a disservice to my imagination. So the moral of the story is that what you do next in your life (whether it is picking a college, picking a job, picking a career) is not finite you can always change and adapt so don’t be afraid to dream. Then there is a quote that I LOVE from The Shoe Dog (a story on Phil Knight) that originated from Confucius, “A man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones.” And that’s where I will leave it. Thank you guys!
Katie Sutcliffe has served in many capacities involving writing and service learning over the last six years at Episcopal. Currently, she directs the Thesis Program, teaching both Seminar juniors and Thesis seniors, and is the co-creator of LAUNCH, Episcopal’s annual TEDx-style student-planned and executed showcase of ideas and projects. Katie’s own history involves this blend of service and writing: after graduating from a small liberal arts college in Indiana with an English degree, she moved to the Deep South with Teach For America where she taught middle school English and worked passionately on issues of educational inequity. She later earned an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh and returned to Baton Rouge where she has continued freelance writing. Katie infuses social justice initiatives into her curricula and seeks to help her students make meaningful connections with those living a different experience within our larger community. She’s passionate about character education and project-based learning, as well as research and writing that
Every year, I take a moment to ask my 9th grade Honors Biology classes: “Why do we have to learn all this biology, anyway?” It was a question posed by a former student, and I’ve found it an important one to explore each year. Often student responses revolve around ideas such as: “we need to know biology if we want to go into medicine or science” or “because we have to take it to get into college.”
At that point, I counter these arguments by reminding them that not everyone goes into medicine, and certainly there are many people who make a great living without going to college… so why do we “make” them all take biology? For those who are still stumped, I broaden the question to ask: why do we need to learn any science, or history, or languages and culture, or mathematics? Why do we learn anything in school?
Eventually, they come to realize that they have to learn all of these subjects because it is important to understand the world around them. Through our discussion, they realize that one day they will be asked to make important decisions - medical decisions, financial decisions, decisions that affect our broader community. They will need to be able to take the information they have, analyze it, and draw their own conclusions. They come to realize that the courses they are taking now give them both the context and the skills to prepare them for that future. The context, the facts, taught in courses are important, and those facts are often what we remember learning when we think back on our own time in school. However, the critical thinking skills developed are just as important, if often less obvious.
There has been a lot of talk about critical thinking skills over the years, both in education and in the broader world. Critical thinking, the ability to draw logical connections between different ideas, to solve problems systematically, and to ask questions about our own beliefs or assumptions we encounter1, is inherent to so much of what we do in the classroom. It is interwoven not only into scientific, mathematical, historical, cultural, and moral thinking, but also leads to creative thinking. To question what you know and how you know it allows us to think “outside the box”, as it were.
We, as a school, understand the importance of developing these critical thinking skills in our students. In fact, we view it as so essential, we have developed design studio courses in collaboration with a group from Cambridge, MA called NuVu. One of the main purposes of these classes is to develop critical thinking skills in our students. In these courses, students are given a topic, asked to identify a problem related to that topic, analyze that problem, and design a solution. When designing their solution, they must look at current methods of dealing with such problems and question how things could be done differently, done better - to think creatively. They are asked to analyze their project design and process critical feedback to improve that solution. Our design studio courses put the focus squarely on helping students develop these essential thinking skills.
These realizations and others about the “why” behind taking biology are eye-opening for many 9th graders, and such discussions are always popular with my classes. They enjoy exploring the purpose behind the different areas of education, and the realization of the important tasks they face provides greater motivation for some. And even though it isn’t technically time spent learning biology, I value these discussions as time spent helping them develop their critical thinking skills.
1Lau, Joe, and Jonathan Chan. “What Is Critical Thinking.” [C01] What Is Critical Thinking?, Philosophy Department, University of Hong Kong, philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/ct.php.
Dr. Sara Fenske
Dr. Sara Fenske pursued a career in education because of her love of science and desire to share that passion with others. Knowing the impact a great education can have, Sara chose to focus on teaching and curriculum design, with a focus on continuous improvement. Currently, she is a member of the science faculty at Episcopal, and the Academic Programs Special Projects Manager. Previously, she was the science department chair and taught at Linden Hall in Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.