2022年贝克研究员:“这个机会将改变我的生活”

beplay全站app下载是 自豪地宣布 天使花是两家 大卫J. 贝克奖学金, which rewards outstanding academic achievement and allows top students to further challenge themselves with unique opportunities for undergraduate research and creative study.
大卫J. Beck Fellows are awarded full academic scholarships to cover all tuition, 书, 费用和校内食宿. 他们还能得到10美元,一个暑期项目的学费, 这可能需要研究, 实习或国际学习.

The 贝克奖学金 is one of the most prestigious honors that a student can achieve at beplay全站app下载
We sat down with Flowers to discuss her journey, research and future as a 2022 Beck Fellow. 贝克同乡天使花

问:你能告诉我你的背景和你来伦敦的旅程吗? 是什么让你来到beplay全站app下载?
A: 我是一个36岁的两个孩子的母亲,我的生活正在重新开始. 我在2011年获得了外科技术的副学位 亚瑟港的拉马尔州立大学. I couldn’t get a job in our area with my degree and I was unable to move due to family, 所以我转向了建筑和炼油厂的就业市场. I got a good job as a radio technician and operations supervisor for a communications company that provided Motorola two-way radios to refinery contracting companies. 几年后, our company was bought out by another company and my job was liquidated with company restructuring. 这使我像一条离开水的鱼. 我已经30多岁了,没有工作,没有事业,没有前途.

I spent the first year I was out of work attempting to find a new job that was equivalent to what I was doing before as an operations supervisor and as time passed, 我开始寻找我能找到的任何工作. 一年没有成功,我开始泄气了. My husband then suggested what I had not considered — going back to school and earning a bachelor’s degree. 我立刻想到了拉马尔. 这不仅离家很近, 但对于我的学士学位来说,这也是一个负担得起的选择. 我在2019年秋季注册了课程.

问:你能告诉我你在伦敦大学的经历吗? 你认为你的经历对你将来有什么帮助?
A: My experience in the first couple of years was what I would have expected from college — lots of classes, 学习更好的学习习惯——见鬼, 只是记住如何学习! I had been out of high school for 15 years at this point and I felt slightly out of place at first. It was initially a struggle to balance responsibilities as a mother and wife and responsibilities to classes. 当我在这两个方面都需要帮助时,我必须学会依靠别人. I began to make new friends and once I started getting into upper-level biology courses, my passion and love for nature bloomed and I knew I had made the right decision to come back.

The most impactful thing I learned from my experience at beplay全站app下载是 the importance of collaborating with others and taking advantage of the knowledge that professors share. 本质上,不要害怕问问题!

问:你是如何发现大卫J. 贝克奖学金? 申请过程是怎样的?
A: 我遇到了博士. Matt Hoch during the spring of 2021 when I took his Environmental Toxicology class. 我对自己正在学习的东西表现出极大的兴趣. Hoch provided the chance to go out in the biology boat to test a water sonde, I jumped at the opportunity to get some practical experience outside of the lab. Dr. Hoch remembered my interest later that summer when he received a commission to do sediment coring for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 在一起工作的时间里,我向他学习. Hoch谈到Lamar大学提供的研究机会. 我不知道作为一个本科生我还能做研究!

第二年秋天,我申请并获得了一个 本科研究资助办公室,开始我的研究之旅. 在beplay体育手机版app的颁奖典礼上, we were informed that the 贝克奖学金 was extending the application deadline. The application itself is at first daunting with all its requirements, but with help from Dr. Hoch, my mentor, I managed to navigate the application process and get through it smoothly.

问:你是如何得知自己被提名的?
A: 我真的开始担心我再也得不到回音了! 11月申请后. 似乎过了很久才宣布这个消息. 2月的第一周,beplay体育手机版app与董事会进行了面谈. I must have checked my email 100 times a day for the next couple of weeks, 等待谁被选中的消息.

By this time, I had started work for my OUR project on tardigrades in Live Oak trees. 那个周六,二月,我在beplay全站app下载. 在实验室里整理样品. 那天下午我回到家,当我查看电子邮件时, 我既紧张又兴奋地看到我收到了一封 教务处 关于我和贝克的面谈.

When I realized I was a Beck Fellow, I screamed and started crying; I was so happy and excited! 这个机会将改变我的人生! 祝我迟到的生日快乐! (我的生日是二月. 17).

问:跟我说说你的项目. 你最兴奋的是什么? 你认为最大的挑战是什么?
A: My project is a biodiversity study of the tardigrade populations in Belize. I will be sampling moss from granite and limestone substrates on cliff faces, 瀑布和洞穴入口. No species of tardigrade have been found in Belize before, so this is all new discovery. I hope to document tardigrade species diversity and distribution patterns, as well as compare samples across the different features to see if anything drives tardigrade distribution patterns in this tropical environment. 这些知识将增加beplay体育手机版app对缓步动物的了解, as well as fill in gaps in our understanding of their global distribution and habitat preferences.

I think the most exciting part for me is the chance to travel to a new country. 这将是我第一次出国,我很期待这种经历! I already know the biggest challenge for me will be knowing how to rein myself in and not try to sample every piece of moss I find! 本质上, 我往往会走极端, so lots of planning and a clear game plan will be important for staying on task and gaining the most from this opportunity.

问:你将来有什么计划? 你希望从这次经历中获得什么?
A: My long-term goal is to earn my doctorate in restoration ecology with a focus on microcosms and the role they play in ecosystem health and maintenance. My dream is to rebuild what humans have destroyed so there might be nature left for my children and grandchildren to enjoy. I believe to properly restore an ecosystem; you must first understand how it works down to a microscopic level. 例如, 人体的工作原理类似于一个微观世界, 所有的小部件相互作用,相互影响. 不同的细胞有不同的作用, 但如果一种细胞不能正常工作, 它会影响整个系统. Think of the liver; if the cells in the liver stop working properly, 整个人体都会受到影响. 类似的, 如果生态系统中的微型无脊椎动物不再履行它们的功能, 生态系统无法有效工作. I hope to learn and understand the relationships within microcosmic communities, 以及它们如何影响更大的生态系统.

The research opportunity provided by Beck will allow me to learn from others in their prospective fields. 和我一起工作的 伯利兹城大学 博士教师. 莱莎·托马斯是一位陆地昆虫学家. 海洋生物学家阿莱妮·罗杰斯正在学习野外采样技能. 结束伯利兹之行后,我将飞往堪萨斯州与奥巴马博士一起工作. 威廉·米勒在 贝克大学. 他是一位有超过50年经验的缓步动物学家. 米勒, 一个co-mentor, will be teaching me imaging techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). 然后我会去隔壁旅行 McNeese州立大学 在路易斯安那州,我将与Dr. 凯西·杰克逊和医生. 哈里·迈耶在分子系统学上说. All these experts have agreed to spend one-on-one time with me to teach me various techniques that will directly apply to my future work and career plans as an ecologist. 在本质上, I plan to gain valuable field and laboratory experience as well as make connections within the scientific community that will propel me forward into a future career.

如欲进一步了解 大卫J. 贝克奖学金.