2019-2020 Grants Roundup

The Fall Semester is underway here in the Lowcountry, and we at the University of Charleston, S.C. are looking back at the wonderful research and travel funded through our Student Research, Presentation, and Professional Development Grants this past academic year. 14+ students were funded for a combined total of $9,020! Here’s a complete look at the students and projects funded through our grants program during the 2019/2020 academic year:

Sylvie Baele – M.S. Environmental & Sustainability Studies/M.P.A. Concurrent

Sylvie attended the Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. At the conference, Sylvie was able to gain intersectional perspectives and approaches to political ecology, which has helped increase her knowledge and understanding of social science work within her graduate programs. Sylvie credits her attendance at this conference as the turning point in her academic career that gave her the confidence and knowledge necessary to develop her thesis.

Brooke Blosser – M.S. Marine Biology

Brooke attended the North American branch of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s 40th annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. There, Brooke presented her project “Microplastic Content in Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from Charleston Harbor, SC (USA)”. She was also able to attend workshops and networking events pertaining to her research, as well as make meaningful connections that will help her take her next steps in her career.

Kelsey Butcher – M.A. Communication

Kelsey traveled to Florence, Italy with the Communication program. There, she studied pedagogy and assisted with two undergraduate communication courses. Her grant helped cover costs associated with her educational supplies while teaching the courses. Kelsey plans to enter the field of teaching after completing her degree.

M.S. Child Life Cohort

The Child Life cohorts attended the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. There they attended workshops and networking events to learn more about the field of Child Life. The Child Life cohort was able to interface with industry experts, and expand upon the program curriculum through learning new and different techniques, expertise, and tools used in the field of Child Life.

Miranda Dziobak – M.S. Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Miranda attended the 2nd Annual  World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona, Spain. There, she presented her research “Urinary Assessment of Phthalate Exposure in Bottlenose Dolphins (Turisops truncatus) in two poster sessions.

Alejandra Enriquez – M.S. Marine Biology

Alejandra attended the American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, CA. During the meeting, she presented her research project “From Seafloor to Shore: Deep Sea Zetaproteobacteria Community Composition in the Charleston Estuary” during the poster session. Alejandra was able to network with colleagues from around the world, learn new data analysis techniques, and was mentored on how to apply for government positions. She has since gone on to be named one of the 2021 Knauss Fellow Finalists.

Jeffrey Good – M.S. Marine Biology

Jeffrey attended the National Shellfisheries Association’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. At the meeting, he presented his research project “Statolith-based Age Assessments of the Atlantic Brief Squid, Lolliguncula brevis, from the Charleston Harbor Estuary, South Carolina, USA”. Jeffrey was able to network and receive feedback from professionals in his field of study while attending the meeting.

Lloyd Hill – M.S. Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Lloyd attended the 2019 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference in Mobile, AL. There, he presented his research project “Linking landcover, climate, and coastal ecosystems: A watershed perspective for a changing South Carolina coast”. The conference had over 1,400 attendees from 26 different countries, and Lloyd was able to network with attendees and improve his public speaking skills.

Hannah Jefferies – M.A.T. Middle Grades Education

Hannah attended the National Council on Social Studies Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. At the conference, she presented her research on high school social studies teachers’ pedagogy on the American Civil War, discussing teaching methodology surrounding controversial topics. Hannah gave two presentations, one entitled “Teaching About the Civil War in the Deep South”, and the other entitled “We Will Sit: Teacher Strikes and Their Long-Term Effectiveness”.

Jessica Karan – M.S. Marine Biology

Jessica was granted funding for her research project “Determining correlates of gentoo penguin health using captive populations”. For this project, Jessica traveled to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN and the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pittsburgh, PA to study and collect samples from their captive gentoo penguins. Jessica shared her results at our 14th annual Graduate Research Poster Session, as well as at her thesis defense.

Taylor Miller – M.S. Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Taylor attended the Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program in Atlanta, GA. There she became a Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner as part of the workshop. Taylor plans on pursuing a career in corporate sustainability, and this program allowed her to network with professionals in her desired field, as well as gain valuable skills to take with her after graduation.

Brittney Parker – M.S. Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Brittney attended the North American branch of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s 40th annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. At the conference, she presented a poster on her research “Microplastic occurrence in estuarine fish of SC”. Brittney also networked with members of the international field of toxicology, as well as gained feedback on her thesis research, which she applied to her successful defense in the spring.

Kyra Reisenfeld – M.S. Marine Biology

Kyra attended the annual conference for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Austin, TX. There she presented her research project “The effect of head-starting on morphology and bite force in Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin). Kyra was able to present her work to a conference of her peers, network with professionals in her field, as well as attend lectures and workshops relevant to her research.

Eileen Stribling – M.B.A.

Eileen participated in the Net Impact 2019 Conference in Detroit, MI. There, she attended workshops and lectures on topics like community development & urban revitalization, corporate citizenship, environmental sustainability & circular economy, among other related topics. Eileen was also able to network with employers and recruiters to help build her next steps after completing her degree.

Brad Thompson – M.S. Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Brad attended the Geological Society of America’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. At the meeting, he gave two presentations, one entitled “The Development of Commercially-Available Unmanned Aerial Systems for Precision Agricultural Mapping and Change Over Time”, as well as a poster on “A Preserved Thoracic Vertebra of a Palaeophis Snake Represents the Earliest Occurrence of Sea Snakes in South Carolina”.


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