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Awards, Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships - BEES Students’ Work Pays Off



March 22, 2017

Graduate and undergraduate students in Drexel's Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) received an impressive number of awards, scholarships, grants and fellowships for 2017-18. Their academic prowess also earned the department the record for the highest number of honorees for major scholarships/fellowships out of any department in the University! The students will be conducting research, presenting in far off places, heading to graduate school, and of course, pursuing fieldwork, early and often — the department’s mantra!

Ashleigh Jugan (BS Environmental Science ’18; adviser Elizabeth Watson, PhD) was awarded a Gilman International Scholarship and Freeman-ASIA award to support her three-month co-op in Vietnam this spring. She will be working directly with endangered pangolins at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife. Jugan is the second Drexel student to receive a Freeman-ASIA award since the award was established in 2001. She also received the Udall Scholarship for her leadership, public service and commitment to the environment.

Elizabeth McHone (PhD Student; adviser Tanya Livshultz, PhD,) was awarded the 2017 McLean Fellowship. She will be traveling to China to continue her study of the evolutionary association between dogbane beetle and milkweed.

Vincent O’Leary (BS Environmental Science ’18) has been selected as a 2017 Udall Scholar in recognition of his achievements and passion for leadership, science and the environment. He is also a finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, and was selected as a recipient of the Advocate Grant Program to mentor middle and high school student science fair projects. O’Leary is passionate about the intersection of the environment and society, especially using data to visualize and tell stories about the world around us. At Drexel, he has worked with several groups at the Academy of Natural Sciences, most recently for his co-op with Steve Dilliplane.

Cameron Peterson (BS, Geoscience ’17; adviser Loyc Vanderkluysen, PhD) accepted an offer with Northern Arizona University to study geophysics — he will receive full tuition and a fully paid assistantship.

Lizzie Powell (MS, Environmental Science ’20; adviser Elizabeth Watson, PhD) was awarded a $4000 grant from the Garden Club of America for Coastal Wetlands toward field work for her master's thesis looking at carbon fluxes from tidal marshes.

Farzana Rahman (BS, Environmental Science ’20; adviser Elizabeth Watson, PhD) was awarded a $1500 travel award and will be presenting at meetings in Puerto Rico (Society of Wetland Scientists) and Brazil (Society for Ecological Restoration). Her work over the summer was accepted for publication in Biological Conservation.

Kacy Reitnauer (BS Environmental Science ’20) received a Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Equatorial Guinea in winter 2017 through Drexel's Biodiversity on Bioko Island study abroad program. She is very excited about the opportunity to learn more about tropical biodiversity and conservation in Bioko, and ultimately hopes to work in those fields.

Vaughn Shirey (BS Environmental Sciences ’17; advisers Jon Gelhaus, PhD, and Steve Dillaplane, PhD) accepted a Fulbright Scholarship to do research in Finland. His research project will focus on the value of citizen science observations of plants and animals towards augmenting nearly 16-million specimen records, using biodiversity informatics and artificial intelligence to sort out whether citizen science contributes novel and/or previously unknown information about species phenology and distribution, or if citizen science has any biases.

Nate Shoobs (PhD student; adviser Gary Rosenberg, PhD) received a three-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He plans to explore the morphological variation of the feeding apparatus (the radula and jaw) in the Naesiotus species of Galapagos and its relationship to ecological speciation.

Learn more about degrees in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science