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Beach Clean Up Weekend

Biology Department Honors and Awards for 2022-2023

May 19, 2023

Student Awards:

Mia Alikhan John R. Haldeman Award

Kathleen Amendano - Chelsey G. Magruder Foundation Scholarship

Sadie Atkinson - Helen and Charles McConville Scholarship

Delaney Harris Laurence L. Campbel Award

Sophi Brice Presented research at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biologists Austin, TX NOAA Hollings Fellowship Award

Abiageal Ketchersid - Presented research at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biologists Austin, TX.

Raven Harrison Second Prize Biology Poster Competition; President of the Black Student Union (which won Student Organization of the Year)

Destiny Kimbrough Biology Merit Award, First Place Biology Poster Competition, President of Scientista which was awarded DEI Initiative of the Year

Jill Kinstler Honors Graduate- Emerge Scholar, Second Prize Biology Poster Competition; Orientation Leader of the Year

Rosalie Laconto Biology Post-Baccalaureate Studies Award

Abigail Lillibridge - Helen and Charles McConville Scholarship

Rowan Marshall Honors Graduate, presented research at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biologists Austin TX.

Payton McCain Honors Graduate, presented research at the Annual Meeting of the Florida Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and at the Florida Fisheries Meeting.

Natalie McGinniss Outstanding senior award, First Place Biology Poster Competition

Morgan Misenar Honors Graduate

Olivia Miles Laurence L. Campbell Award

Sierra Robertson Boris T. Sokoloff Southern Biological Research Scholarship

Hailee Schalwig Fulbright Scholarship to Taiwan, President’s Medal for the spring 2023 graduating class, Honors Graduate

Jonathan Sellas Biology Merit Award, Academic Fuel Student of the Year for subject matter, First Place Biology Poster Competition

Abby Tarleton Biology Post-Baccalaureate Studies Award, Academic Fuel Student of the Year for the Writing Center, Honors Graduate, presented research at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biologists Austin TX.

Haley Thomassy Laurence L. Campbell Award

Coral Tolman Herman and Theresa Tieser Baum Scholarship

Francisco Vargas Helen and Charles McConville Scholarship

Kaela Wilks John R. Haldeman Award

Faulty Awards

Dr. Susan Banks Spirit of the Cornerstone Award, ODK Teacher of the Year

Dr. Jason Macrander Advisor of the Year Award

Dr. Nancy Morvillo Scientista Professor of the Year Award

Congratulations Hailee

May 16, 2023

At the spring commencement ceremony on May 6, 2023, the President’s Medal was awarded to Hailee Schalwig, who has achieved academic excellence and exemplified the values of Florida Southern College at the highest level. An outstanding student, she was recently selected for one of the most competitive and prestigious national academic awards, the Fulbright Scholarship.

Schalwig earned degrees in both Environmental Studies and Marine Biology, with minors in English and Communications. She is a top-performing Honors student and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Her passion for education, our global future, and conservation, combined with her study of Mandarin qualifies her as an outstanding Fulbright Scholar to Taiwan. During her time at FSC, she was a teaching assistant and peer mentor, conducted research at the SharkLab in Bimini, The Bahamas and interned as a biologist and educator at Circle B Bar Reserve.

Taking a Breather

May 5, 2023

Jonathan Sellas ’23 has not decided which medical school he wants to attend, but he has made one big decision ahead of resuming his studies.

“Everyone I talked to has pretty much told me to not do anything this summer, and that I need to relax mentally,” Sellas said.

Since choosing Florida Southern over the University of South Florida four years ago because of the sense of community Sellas discovered during Scholar’s Weekend, he has devoted his time to academics and acquiring his major degrees in Biology and Spanish.


Apr 27, 2023

It makes sense for Hailee Schalwig ’23 to go to Taiwan as a Fulbright Student when she graduates from Florida Southern College in May.

When Schalwig, who is majoring in Environmental Studies and Marine Biology, was confirmed as a Fulbright award winner she was already prepared for her upcoming assignment.

“I took eight years of Chinese in middle and high school,” Schalwig said. “That helped influence me to choose Taiwan over other countries because I have that language background.”

The main language spoken in Taiwan is Mandarin (Chinese), and while Schalwig said she is not completely fluent in that dialect she will be more than comfortable in her new environment.


April 24, 2023

Over spring break Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Susan Banks, Ph.D., and Professor of Psychology Dr. Patrick Smith, Ph.D., took three Florida Southern College students to the Max Plank Florida Institute for Neuroscience Sunposium Conference at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

Biology major Ryan Breitenbach ’24 and Psychology majors Ariana Harris ’24 and Madison Meares ’23 were selected to be Florida Fellows, a program supporting undergraduate student participation in the conference.

Biology Department Intramural Soccer Spring 2023

April 19, 2023

Biology faculty and students took the field this spring to compete in intramural soccer at Florida Southern College. Water Bear Don’t Care was out there to have a good time and bond within the department (and with other students that helped fill the roster!). Even though they started the season with no expectations to make the playoffs Water Bear Don’t Care pulled together and worked very well as a team, resulting in a second place ranking after regular season play! Go Water Bear Don’t Care! After an upsetting loss in the semi-finals, they finished in third place overall. Great memories and good times were had (just look at how happy they are in their team photo)!

Interested in joining Water Bear Don’t Care for future intramural competitions? Email the team captain, Dr. Durland (adurland@flsouthern.edu), or just stop by her office (PS 128). We would love to have you join us!

This spring Marine Biology and Environment Studies major Sophi Brice ('25) was awarded the NOAA Hollings Fellowship

April 18, 2023

The NOAA Hollings Fellowship is an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in programs focused on environmental conservation giving students hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities.

"The Hollings Scholarship is only available for second year undergraduate students to apply for, so having research experience in my first year at Florida Southern was a huge advantage in applying for the program." Sophi said. "In my freshman year, Dr. Macrander became an incredible research advisor and mentor to me, allowing me to participate in a collaborative student-faculty research project exploring sea anemone venom expression over the summer. Presenting this research at SICB this past January was also an amazing opportunity made possible by Dr. Macrander. I don't know many other sophomore undergraduates who are given the chance to present at international research conferences, so I was incredibly grateful to be there! In addition to my experiences at FSC, I also volunteered in a research lab at the University of Florida over the summer to gain more experience in data processing and analysis."

This prestigious program provides selected students with a two-year academic scholarship, as well as a paid summer internship at a NOAA facility. Through the Hollings Fellowship, Sophi will be able to gain hands-on experience in environmental research and policy, working alongside leading scientists and professionals in the field at designated NOAA research facilities. Sophi will also be able to take advantage of professional development training and networking opportunities, helping to prepare them for successful careers in environmental conservation.

"I could not be more grateful to have been selected as a NOAA Hollings Scholar" Sophi stated. "Through this opportunity, I will conduct a summer internship with a NOAA mentor and present my project to the NOAA community, as well as receive funding to present at additional research conferences. Through meeting incredible NOAA scientists and staff, I will make invaluable connections that will aid me in my future career in the conservation field. I truly could not be more excited for this opportunity, and I want to thank all of the amazing FSC faculty members, especially Dr. Macrander, who has helped prepare me for this!"


By participating in the NOAA Hollings Fellowship, students like Sophi can gain the skills and knowledge needed to make a significant impact in environmental conservation. This program provides an excellent opportunity for students branch out beyond FSC to develop their leadership abilities and contribute to important environmental initiatives, while also building a strong foundation for future academic and career success.

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