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Friday, September 18, 2009
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Tawny Virgilio

REU '09

Mentor: Dave Orwig, Heidi Lux

Project: The Use of Mixed-Bead Resins to Determine the Effect of Two Invasive Insects on Throughfall Nitrogen Dynamics Under Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) (abstract)

Hometown: Hinsdale, MA

College and major: Westfield State College, Environmental Science/Biology, class of '10

  • Tawny VirgilioWhat you miss most about the REU program: All of the people I met this past summer- the staff at the forest, the researchers, and most of all, my colleagues.
  • What you miss least about the REU program: Worrying about whether or not I contracted Lyme Disease...
  • What about the REU program has stuck with you: It gave me a sense of true accomplishment to be selected based on merit by someone who works for Harvard University. I finally feel like all of my hard work at my small undergraduate institution has paid off, and that I will be able to continue to be competitive in the future.
  • Have you stayed in touch with other REU students?: Absolutely. We all wish we could get together for a reunion- we'll just have to fly in the people from Canada and Puerto Rico and South Africa.
  • Whether your REU experience supported or changed your career plans: Yes it supported my school and career plans by reinforcing the fact that I need to go to graduate school, and that I will.
  • What you're up to now: Right now, as mentioned earlier, I'm giving it my all one last time at Westfield State College as a senior. I'm also in the terrifying process of trying to juggle all of that while being in contact with researchers who I'd like to work with, and trying to figure out which grad school I'd like to attend. All I know now is, I'd like to work in the Behavioral Ecology field or perhaps Urban or Rural Ecology in connection with the concept of Environmental Justice. I'd like to make a smooth transition into a Master's program for the fall semester of 2010. Wish me luck! 
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