2016


2016 saw The Diversity Project returning to Mo’orea, French Polynesia for another summer of research. The entire 2016 cohort and peer mentors reunited at the 2017 ASLO meetings in Hawaii where everyone presented the results of their research! Alumni profiles are below.


Name: Kendall Chancellor

School: Hampton University
Major: Marine and Environmental Science (BS)

 Project Title: Epiphytes on Turbinaria ornata, a foundational macroalga, provide 

trophic support to small herbivorous fish

Comments on The Diversity Project:

Where is she now? Kendall finished her undergraduate degree at Hampton and is a PhD student at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.



Name:
 Ashlyn Ford

School: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (BS)

Major: Environmental Science (BS)

Project Title: Spatial patterns in parasite prevalence and load on a coral host suggests parasitism may be driven by anthropogenic stress in Mo’orea, French Polynesia

Comments on The Diversity Project: “Overall, I am very thankful for participating in the Diversity Project. The qualities that I gained through this experience definitely prepared me to be a successful scientist in my field. It taught me how to successfully construct and execute research. I guarantee this program definitely impacted my career ambitions.  It influenced my decisions after my undergraduate degree and it has given me the confidence to continue my studies in graduate school in the hopes of receiving a PhD in Ecology. ‘

Where is she now? After graduation, Ashlyn taught English in Korea before joining the PhD program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA.



Name: Aliyah Griffith

School: Hampton University
Major: Marine and Environmental Science

Project Title: Impacts of Turbinaria ornate density on invertebrate diversity and abundance in the reefs of Mo’orea, French Polynesia. 

Comments on The Diversity Project: ” This program allows you to embrace possibilities in life that you never knew existed. From being educated about graduate plans, meeting amazing people from all over the world, learning to dive, and gaining the ability to develop and present an entire research project, this internship will give you the building blocks to become your best self. Even if you aren’t sure of what you want to do post undergrad, don’t ever think that your career path or ability to apply is limited. Lastly, once you’re accepted into the program you’ll always be apart of the family and the love and support that you’ve gotten is only the beginning of a lifetime of encouragement.”

Where is she now?  After finishing up her degree at Hampton University, she started her PhD in the Department of Marine Science at University of North Carolina. She also founded the non-profit Mahogany Mermaids, to bring more Black women into marine science.



Name: Richard LaPlace

School: University of the Virgin Islands
Major: Marine Biology

 

Project Title: Spatial patterns in parasite prevalence and load on a coral host suggests parasitism may be driven by anthropogenic stress in Mo’orea, French Polynesia

Comments on The Diversity Project: 

Where is she now? Richard graduated in 2017 and is now working in the Seattle area as he prepares for applying to graduate school.



Name: David Munoz

School: California State University, Los Angeles (BS)

Major: Biology

Project Title: Spatial patterns in parasite prevalence and load on a coral host suggests parasitism may be driven by anthropogenic stress in Mo’orea, French Polynesia

Comments on The Diversity Project:

Where is she now? David completed his degree at CSULA and will be starting his Masters degree at Cal State Northridge in Fall 2021.


Name: Julianna Renzi

School: University of Arizona
Major: Environmental Science

Comments on The Diversity Project: “The Diversity Project Changed my life. TDP challenged me to experience the scientific process from start to finish. Over the course of the summer I worked in a team to ask critical questions about coral reef ecology, design a research project, implement it, present our results at a scientific conference, and help prepare it for publication. The program helped me realize my passion for research and made a career in marine scientist feel achievable. But, ultimately, the best part of TDP was the community. Peggy and Paul told us that once we started The Diversity Project we were family for life and as an alumn I can speak to how true that is. I still follow the paths of my TDP cohort and I’m confident that we’ll continue crossing paths for the rest of our lives. Similarly, Peggy and Paul were the two greatest sources of support I’ve had throughout the graduate school application process–even a year after the program. There is no way I would feel equipped to apply for a PhD program if it weren’t for all of the support and guidance they’ve given me. TDP was truly the summer of a lifetime. ”

Where is she now? After completing her B.S. at Arizona, she earned her M.S. at Duke, a NSF GRFP Fellowship, and is now a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara.


Name: DeMarcus Robinson

School: Hampton University

Comments on The Diversity Project: “I enjoyed the opportunity I had with TDP learning new skills in a different field to further enhance my research and scientific development. I’m glad I was able to build bonds and friendship with other students, graduate students and professors even though we were from different places we all had a common interest. I’m thankful for the TDP because before this opportunity I’ve never traveled outside country and I’ve never even thought about learning to scuba dive until then. What I would say to students that are applying is don’t be afraid to try something and do it for the experience”

Where is he now? DeMarcus finished his degree at FAMU and is now a PhD student in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA.


Name: Ciara Schnyder

School: Hampton University
Major: Marine and Environmental Science
Where is she now? Ciara finished her degree and is planning her next steps.

Name: Erick Zerecero

School: Hampton University
Major: Marine and Environmental Science

Comments on The Diversity Project: “Being part of the diversity project helped me have a batter understanding on how to apply to graduate school. I also learned important forms of financial support to pay for graduate school. In addition, the international research component of the project was one of my favorite experiences in my life. The excitement of creating a project from scratch at an international research station was the high light of the program. ”

Where is he now:  Erick graduated from UCLA Spring 2017. He was awarded a NSF GRFP fellowship and is now a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA.