The wait ended for Jason Beal this spring with a pile of both acceptances and rejections,and even some inconclusive results. He was accepted to Boston University and American University and rejected by Northwestern; two schools didn't reply at all.
#nowwhatsidebar#right#45%#"I chose American University because I got a full-ride scholarship," Beal said with a grin. "I accepted their offer before I even got any of the other acceptance or rejection letters. Getting to go for free was definitely one of the major deciding factors. Plus, they have a nice program down there. I didn't apply to any places that didn't have nice programs."
Beal will enter a two-year master's program in justice, law and society, including theories of justice, criminology and criminal psychology. "There's no forensic science or anything like that," he said. "It's more the public policy side of justice. I'm really excited to get started. I've already been down to visit and I met some of the faculty and sat in on one of the classes. I've already signed up for a couple of classes for next semester."
The prospect of leaving Maine, Beal's home state, for Washington, D.C., is both exciting and daunting, he said. "When I was visiting D.C. I drove around on the Beltway. I knew it wasn't going to be I-95, but there's a big difference between knowing that and experiencing it."
But aside from a few adjustments he'll have to make, Beal is eager to explore what the city has to offer: "I will love having more access to the theater. That will be something I'll enjoy very much. It will also be nice to have more bars, pubs and social life to partake in."
Jason Beal & Jenny Kalman
Now that his plans with Jenny Kalman '04 are securely in place, the process they went through has been worth it. Beal said one of the keys to their success was really just nagging. "It was so important to just be on each other's case about stuff, about communicating what it is we want, what it is we've done, what we're planning to do in the next stage. Nagging is what it was. It's got a negative connotation, but it's got benefits as well. It probably made it so we were both more productive and more on top of things than we'd have been by ourselves."
You might say that Jenny Kalman is looking forward to a year of monkeying around.
Kalman has accepted a one-year fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., where she will be engaged in HIV vaccine research,including testing blood samples from monkeys. She said she likely will have the opportunity to continue for a second year.
At this point, Kalman knows she'll be working on immunological techniques: "For example, determining the number of cells that are responding to the vaccine using photocytometry. I won't actually be working with the monkeys directly, but we'll be going to watch when they are actually vaccinated, first of all to make sure it's done properly and also because it's really important to realize that these are real animals we're working with and to recognize the impact it has on them."
Kalman is excited about the work but cautious in assessing this particular vaccine's likelihood for success. "The thing that I'm hesitant about has more to do with the nature of HIV biology as a whole than with this particular vaccine," she said. "HIV is just a very difficult disease to create a vaccine for because the virus mutates so quickly. But even if this isn't the one, every one that doesn't work takes us one step closer to finding one that does."
Another piece of news was on the ring finger of Kalman's left hand. She and Jason Beal '04 were engaged in February and, on top of plans and preparations for jobs, they are beginning to plan a wedding for July 2005.
One factor that influenced Kalman's decision to accept the NIH offer was Beal's acceptance at American University in D.C. Also, said Kalman, who is from northern Virginia, "We'll be living at my parents' house at least until we get our feet under us. We're going to want to get our own apartment, but just to get down there and get started, it'll be nice to live at home. One of the things I'm most looking forward to is that my dogs are at home and I've really missed them while I've been at Colby."
Kalman said she will miss the relationships she's built with her professors, particularly Lynn Hannum (biology). "I'll especially miss the community of students and professors we play soccer with," she said. "Hopefully we'll find a league to play with in D.C., but it won't be the same."