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Evan Hall and Sylvan Long Awarded Downing Scholarships to Cambridge

Pomona College seniors Evan Hall and Sylvan Long have been awarded the Downing Scholarship. The award underwrites a one-year exchange to Downing College at the University of Cambridge and covers tuition, fees, living expenses and round-trip travel, as well as a stipend for books, local travel and personal expenses. The program is a special arrangement between Pomona and Downing College that traditionally sends one student each year from one campus to the other.

Hall, a chemistry major from Kenmore, Washington, will earn his Master’s in Philosophy in Biological Science degree and focus his research on quorum sensing, or the way bacteria communicate with each other. “[It’s] a great chance to experience researching a medically relevant phenomena and to see if a research career is something that I find satisfying,” says Hall.

At Pomona, Hall worked in Professor E.J. Crane’s lab researching the enzyme complex that allows bacteria to breathe interesting substances such as metals and sulfur. He was also a Chemistry Department liaison and mentored high school students through Pomona’s Summer Scholars Enrichment Program by introducing them to laboratory science. After earning his M.Phil., he plans to attend graduate school or medical school. His ultimate goal is to work in medicine, either in research or practice.

Long, a geology major from Spokane, Washington, will pursue a Master’s in Philosophy in Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute, an affiliate of the University’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. He will study the long-term evolution of a meltwater drainage system below the Swiss Alps in order to understand how glaciers respond to climate change. Specifically, he will analyze tracer dye measurements collected over a 10-year period.

“The scientific community is so internationally focused, that I think it’s important to do science abroad instead of only experiencing our local brand of scientific culture,” says Long. After earning his M.Phil., he plans to take time off and then pursue a Ph.D. in hydrogeology or another environmentally-focused area of geology.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships with faculty and a range of opportunities for student research.