Teacher: Mrs. Hayes
What college did you go to?
For my bachelor’s degree and went to a small state school in Pennsylvania–which is where I’m from–and the school is called Lock Haven University.
What did you major in?
I majored in environmental geology.
What degrees do you have?
I have a master’s degree and I got that at a school in North Carolina called University of Wilmington and the degree was a masters in Marine Science.
Some of my favorite memories of college in general were probably during my master’s degree or when I did research for my thesis. So the reason why that was my one of my best times is because I got to design the experiment I working on and I was more in charge of my own education at that point. So I made it fun and something I was really interested in, and saw myself really grow intellectually during that time as a result.
What was your thesis on?
My thesis was on cannibalistic moon snails. The experiment itself was part paleontology and part ecology. So it’s a new science that’s getting bigger called paleobiology where I used some fossils from the fossil records to do some background research on how these marine snails have been cannibalistic in geologic past to see if potentially the same reason why they are the same reason why they are cannibalistic today. So I studied the fossil record but I also did a live experiment with snails. I went out and had to catch all these snails, and got a bunch of clams and all sorts of marine life to make sure I was representing their environment as closely and accurately as possible. I kinda just set them loose in different scenarios to see when they would cannibalize to try to figure it out why there were doing it.
The first two months. I just hated it. It seemed like it was the wrong place, I felt really alone. Then, when I started making friends, and when I started getting involved in sports and extracurriculars is when I really settled in and realized that there were so many opportunities I wasn’t taking advantage of. I had such a great time when I started getting involved in things other than my classes. But, I was sad for the first two months. It’s a big change! Being far away, but it did turn around and it was so much fun. I found time to join the rugby team, and got involved in theater and singing groups and get a little more involved in the geology department.
What is one thing that you would tell your high-school self after going through college?
That these are going to be the best years of your life. I found high school really fun but college was just very eye-opening in lots of good ways, emotionally and intellectually, and if I could do any part of my life over again, it would be college.
What advice do you have for the graduating class of 2018?
I would say to not forget why you’re at college, but to make it the time of your life. It’s unlike any other time in your life because you’re not at home living under your parents and you’re not on your own working. It’s this sweet spot in between and that’s what makes it so special. It’s time to develop your independence and discipline but to also have so much fun doing it. Remember why you’re there but to make it unforgettable.