Field trips pivotal in career, study choices for biology student; dozens awarded by College of Arts & Sciences

Freshman Taylor Greenan recently completed an internship at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

Freshman Taylor Greenan recently completed an internship at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

SARASOTA, Fla. (April 27, 2015)  – Taylor Greenan was absolutely certain she wanted to become a field biologist after an elementary school trip to MarineLab, the Key Largo-based floating classroom where students learn about marine ecosystems.

Another trip years later confirmed those initial yearnings. This one, involving  STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – brought her to a hands-on summit at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM).

“They had a lot of women speakers who were successful in business and as doctors,” the 19-year-old said. “I thought it was remarkable.”

Now a freshman at USFSM, Greenan is making the most of her time here.

She’s studying biology at USFSM’s College of Arts & Sciences and on Friday was among 10 students awarded for “Outstanding Project” during the college’s Celebration of Student Achievement at the Selby Auditorium.

Greenan was awarded for her work during a fall internship that stretched into spring at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

She studied the maternal transfer of brevetoxins in nesting sea turtles. Essentially, she pored over computer data examining levels of the toxin, a component of red tide, in blood and yolk samples from mother turtles and hatchlings that died prematurely.

She received a certificate and a medal at the ceremony from Dr. Jane Rose, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Dozens more students were awarded in other categories.

“I was really grateful,” Greenan said of the award. “I appreciated the fact that Dr. (Justin) Perrault had written the nomination.”

Dr. Perrault, an adjunct faculty member at USF Sarasota-Manatee and a Mote researcher, said Greenan worked beyond her scheduled internship and showed initiative, even when he wasn’t present, to dive into the reams of computer data.

“The fact that she was even high enough on the list to be selected for this kind of opportunity is very rare,” Dr. Perrault said. “Usually, these internships go to juniors and seniors. So for a freshman to get this internship is rare. She was remarkable.”

Greenan, who worked at least three days a week on the project, said she hopes to become a marine biologist or veterinarian at a research lab or an environmental lawyer. Either prospect will involve years of graduate study, a task she’s willing to undertake.

From left to right, Taylor Greenan and Savannah Grimmer. Both girls made straight As every year from the first to fifth grade at Brentwood Elementary. Photo provided by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

From left to right, Taylor Greenan and Savannah Grimmer. Both girls made straight As every year from the first to fifth grade at Brentwood Elementary. Photo provided by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

On reflection, she credits her love of conservation to her parents, Jason and Jenn Greenan of Sarasota, who often took her and younger sister, Kassie, on nature hikes, fishing trips and camping.

“They taught us about conservation efforts. I know it sounds corny, but it was almost like a calling,” she said. “I could see a career in that field.”

The Celebration of Student Achievement recognized numerous other students as well. They were:

Outstanding Projects

Mackinzie Fakih, psychology

Daniel Melvin, history

Matthew Kerschner, history

Caleb Jordan, English

Christopher M. Bustin, professional & technical communication

Randy Ramos, criminology

Erin Bailey, criminology

Kathryn Sandland, interdisciplinary social sciences

Jessica Ploss, communication sciences & disorders

Taylor Greenan, biology

Notable Acceptances

Vincent Buckwalter, psychology

Jhanna Gilbert, communication sciences & disorders

Jennifer McCullough, communication sciences & disorders

Ashley Metelus, interdisciplinary social sciences

Natalie Moffett, communication sciences & disorders

Ruthann Pannebaker, communication sciences & disorders

Vanessa Perez, communication sciences & disorders

Katherine Reasor, communication sciences & disorders

Haley White, communication sciences & disorders

Erik Miller Prize for Literary Criticism

First Place: Vanessa Rennie Carroll, English

Second Place: Arthur Mugan, English

Outstanding Students, 2014-2015 (undergraduate)

Brad Boserup, biology

Heather Tsui, communication sciences & disorders

Edward Brower, criminology

Caleb Jordan, English

Lance Schneider, history

Ashley Metelus, interdisciplinary social sciences

Jacob Garfield, professional & technical communication

Jennifer Huck, psychology

Outstanding Students, 2014-2015 (graduate)

Melani Mason, criminal justice administration

Charli Maynard, social work

Barbara Bailey, ISS: gerontology

Undergraduate Research Symposium Awards

First Place Poster: Kathryn Sandland

Second Place Poster: Cassandra LaBounty

Third Place Poster: Jessica Ploss

Third Place Poster: William Kittinger

*First Place Oral Presentation: Jennifer Huck

*Second Place Oral Presentation: Ashley Metelus

Third Place Presentation: Mackinzie Fakih

Outstanding Service to Student Clubs

Criminology, Timothy Shannon

Debate Club, Jessie Cordero

English Society, Caleb Jordan

Interdisciplinary Society, Deborah Katz

National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Assn., Kristin Sanders

Psychology, Noele Adams

Students Together And Naturally Diverse (STAND), Jennifer Huck

Notable Conference Presentations

Michaela Cook, “Human trafficking: Perceiving a notorious phenomenon in society”

Sara Jones, “The association of emotional vulnerability and strength of character in highly successful people”

Massiel Monteagudo, “Cuban-American bilinguals’ emotional experiences in the place of work”

Caleb Jordan, “Total assimilation, Marxism and the Imported Bridegroom”

Jennifer Huck, “The role of a Gay Straight Alliance in the lives of LGBTQ youth”

Ashley Metelus, “Haitian-American college students’ motivations for pursuing postsecondary education: The role of parents’ low-wage occupation”

Jeanine Ashforth, “At War with Words”

Marvict Rodriguez, “Objectification of a masculine perspective in The Other Two

Gloria Drane, Samantha Frattallone, Deborah Katz, Jessica Mahon and Ashley Metelus, “One Book One Community Sarasota County,” a panel discussion on the book Orphan Train

Honor Society Inductions: Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society

Jeanine Ashforth

Vincent Buckwalter

Amanda Burns

Madison Coker

Smith Doell

Stephanie Grobleski

Dennis Metz

Nicole Pascarella

Christine Putt

Andrew Scheele

Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke

Honor Society Inductions: Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society

William Abel

Cara DeLoach

Casey Fountain

Jacob Garfield

Sarah Geraldson

Michael Gloff

Bobbilynn Hollifield

Arthur Mugan

Honor Society Inductions: Alpha Iota Sigma Interdisciplinary Studies Honor Society

Gloria Drane

Jessica Mahon

Megan Martinetti

Danielle McGinley

Kathryn Sandland

USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Endowed Scholarship

Hannah Veitkus

USF Sarasota-Manatee Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Endowed Scholarship

Priscilla Sosa

*Awarded a travel grant to present at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.