Congratulations to the Class of Spring 2021
In the last few years, we have had the opportunity to get to know these amazing students. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from celebrating in person with this outstanding group of students. Nonetheless, we would like to recognize their accomplishments obtained while at East Carolina University.
Congratulations to the Class of Spring 2021.
Alyssa Gowdy | BS-Biology
“Alyssa Gowdy is an outstanding representative of Pirate Nation and well-deserving of the Biology Department’s Outstanding Senior Award. She has an incredibly sharp intellect with an unsurpassed attention to detail as demonstrated in her Honor’s thesis project “Investigating the role of TER94 in Drosophila melanogaster germ cells” in Dr. Elizabeth Able’s lab. She has demonstrated leadership through her service to her Biology peers and the department on the TriBeta Biological Honor Society executive team. I have no doubt that she has an extremely bright future on the horizon.” Patrick Horn, Ph.D.
Peyton Jackson | BS-Biology
“Peyton was an excellent student, earning the top grade in my behavioral ecology course. They also carried out animal husbandry in our live frog colony and were diligent and highly responsible. Peyton was of immense help to my graduate students (and to me), in carrying out key tasks in support of our research projects.” Kyle Summers, Ph.D.
“Peyton is exceptional because they are dedicated to research, to giving back to the community, and to the conservation of nature—and they make first-rate contributions in each of these areas. Peyton is also just an absolute pleasure to work with, one of the most good-natured people you are likely to meet.” Jeff McKinnon, Ph.D.
“Peyton has been working in my lab since Fall 2017. They started off helping my Masters student Christopher Thaxton with his research by sorting ichthyoplankton samples for a study of climate change impacts on larval fishes in Beaufort Inlet, NC. Later on, I dreamed up a research project that I thought would be a good, but ambitious, fit for an undergraduate student. This project involved performing a meta-analysis to evaluate interactions between ocean acidification and the effects of changing phenology on marine organisms. As part of this meta-analysis, Peyton reviewed a total of 2,990 papers and identified 22 species for which information was known on how the species were both impacted by ocean acidification and changing phenology. Peyton’s research indicated that the scientific communities studying ocean acidification and marine phenology generally focus on different target organisms, different life-history stages, and use different research methods. This complicates our ability to understand how organisms will respond to multiple climate stressors since the approaches used by these research communities is so distinct. This research resulted in a senior honors thesis that we are trying to convert into an upcoming publication. Completing this large meta-analysis required an incredible amount of persistence, diligence, and knowledge of marine organisms. I’m so proud of Peyton for rising to this challenge in what has been a very difficult year for so many of us.” Rebecca Asch, Ph.D.
Samantha Gallien | BS-Biochemistry
“Samantha is one of the most dedicated, positive, and hard-working undergraduates I have worked with. As an undergraduate researcher in my lab for the last two years Samantha has been conducting an independent research project that has developed into a graduate student-level project. Even with the challenges and hurdles this last year during the pandemic, Samantha continued to excel and make the most of her research experience.” Erin Field, Ph.D.
Stephen Schwitzgebel | BS-Biochemistry