Friday, August 31, 2012

New biology professor enjoys traveling, riding, remodeling, and teaching

For the past three years, Amanda Rumore and her husband have been restoring a 1920s farm house not far from Randolph College while she finished her Ph.D. This fall, she joined the Randolph faculty teaching biology.

Her first week of teaching here brought a pleasant surprise. "Half of my students turned their homework in early, which has never happened for me before,” said Rumore, who received her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in May.

Amanda Rumore and her husband Michael hiked across a high-altitude glacier
in Europe this summer. She recently began teaching biology at Randolph.
“So far, I have been impressed with how engaged the students have been in the classroom,” she said. “They seem interested in the material.”

Rumore started college wanting to study interior design but later switched her focus to biology. Microbiology courses drew her interest towards biomedical research while an undergraduate at Virginia Tech.

While working towards her Ph.D.,  she researched the interactions between humans and fungi. “I specifically study fungi that cause allergies and asthma,” she said. “My focus is on understanding the mechanism by which the fungi can cause an allergic reaction in humans.”

She and her advisor worked on a minimal budget as they began that line of work. Eventually, their research attracted two grants worth a total of about $1.3 million.

Rumore was offered a position teaching at Randolph this year while Kathy Schaeffer is on sabbatical.

When she is not teaching or researching, Rumore enjoys traveling. This summer, she and her husband traveled to Europe and took a train to the highest point on the continent—Jungfraujoch, at 12,000 feet. They hiked 2.5 miles across the Aletsch Glacier, which took more than two hours due to the thin air present at that altitude.

She also enjoys riding horses (she competed against Randolph when she was an undergraduate) and working on her home remodel, which is the topic of her personal blog.