Alumnae Highlights

ASD Alumnae have taken the world by storm, many of whom are pursuing careers and higher education programs in the realm of science and technology.  The positive experiences they had as students at ASD, as well as the strong foundation their ASD education provided, had led to a strong and continuing relationship with our school.

Below are a few updates from recent ASD Alumns:


Hannah, Class of 2015
Hannah
I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at the University of Rhode Island, double majoring in Environmental Science & Management and Wildlife & Conservation Biology. The past two summers I have had incredible internships which has led me to want to conduct research with reptiles and amphibians (herpetology) post graduation. Last summer I took part in an REU (Research Experience for Undergrads) at Georgia Tech which had me working at Zoo Atlanta, conducting research with sidewinder rattlesnakes. This having sparked my interest in herpetology, I began taking classes such as vertebrate biology and herpetology to learn more about these creatures, and spent most of my free time outside looking for reptiles and amphibians just for fun. 

This summer I had the pleasure of working with my adviser at the University of Rhode Island, studying a RI state-endangered turtle: the diamondback terrapin. Under the supervision of my adviser, myself and another student led the project in which we monitored for nesting females, protected any nests with cages, as well as conducted population surveys via kayaks. We also visited multiple other known nesting sites of terrapins within the North East to gather information about the species. In the picture, I can be seen cleaning a small male diamondback terrapin after we caught him (and many others) in Cape Cod. We helped capture the terrapins, take their measurements, and tag them in order to help get an estimate of population size in Cape Cod!

As for the future, I will spend my senior year taking classes as well as working on my honors project which is a stem off of my summer research with the terrapins; I am also currently looking into grad school to get PhD in Wildlife Conservation, and conduct my research in herpetology.

Dom, Class of 2014
Dom
I graduated from Dartmouth College having completed the pre-medical track, a major in Anthropology, and a minor in Hispanic Studies this past June. I just relocated to Chicago to begin a two-year commitment as a Teach for America (TFA) corps member. Through TFA, I will be working as a special education teacher for 10th grade math students at Intrinsic Schools. Intrinsic is a relatively new charter school network in the city that focuses on personalized learning, where a 1:1 student-to-technology ratio and a team-teaching "pod" classroom model allow students to engage in independent work, collaborative work, and direct instruction according to their individual needs each day in order to help them each reach their post-secondary goals. In addition to teaching, I will also be pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching program through the Relay Graduate School of Education with a major in Special Education and a content concentration in Mathematics. Outside of school, I am excited to get involved with one of my favorite extracurriculars that I participated in at ASD and start a high school National Science Bowl team with my students at Intrinsic!

Colin, Class of 2016
I am entering my junior year at Hampshire College. Hampshire College is very similar to ASD in that I am able to somewhat design my own program to concentrate on based on my interests (after completing the required courses), I am pursuing both Game Design and Film. My primary interest in film has always been the editing side, but at Hampshire, I have discovered that I also enjoy writing scripts. I am a part of an extracurricular group that does weekly performances on campus, I film and edit them for our YouTube Channel, and have also learned how to run the sound board and lighting when the need has arisen. 

What I learned at ASD that has stick with me in college is to find the people that make you feel supported, I have made wonderful friends in college, but have also made sure to make real connections with many of my professors and ASD taught me that, the value of having faculty that you can go to if you need help with anything. This has given me many opportunities to work on projects with professors outside of the classroom that has allowed me to make real connections and gain valuable hands on experience that I know will help me in my future. Without learning the value of really getting to know the teachers and staff at ASD, I know that I would not have made sure to do this right away when I started at Hampshire. Ms. Golden, Mrs. Sockey, Mr. Belley and Mrs. Doyle all helped me in different ways at ASD and I am so grateful that they were all a part of my time at ASD. 

I still enjoy returning to ASD to visit and I am still very close friends with most of my ASD classmates. We all get together when we are home on break as often as we can. 

Colette, Class of 2017
Colette
I got to spend my summer in beautiful Sitka Alaska where I manage a gift shop! It has been a very different but welcome experience to see first hand how a business runs. Though I may not want to pursue a career like this, I always want to try new things. The best thing about being here is that it has reminded me how much I love nature and want to be working with wildlife. 

The photo is me after I hiked through the woods to the Indian River Waterfall.

Rayla, Class of 2014

Rayla
I graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in May 2018 with my Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Conservation Biology and a minor in Studio Art. My senior capstone project won the major-wide capstone award, and compared the effects of monoculture and polyculture environments on the efficiency of the hyper-accumulation of lead and arsenic into amaranth and lupine. Phytoremediation projects are an alternative method of naturally restoring polluted brownfield sites, and is a growing field in other parts of the world but have hardly been explored in New England. It was a great opportunity to develop original project methods, use soil from a local brownfield site in Franklin, NH, and analyze using facilities at Dartmouth College to determine metal concentrations in our plant samples.

This image is from the internship I had last summer, working with the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust in Washington State. During that internship, we maintained 10+ miles of the island's trails, maintained 20 acres of restoration plantings, built and rebuilt trail bridges, built 150 ft of trail puncheons and turnpikes, and oversaw volunteers helping to plant and water native species and remove invasives.

In November, I'll be starting a 10-month corps program with the Student Conservation Association in Massachusetts. The first five months will entail teaching environmental education lessons at elementary schools in the area, and the next five months will be leading and participating in various conservation-related and trail-building projects across the state. I'm excited to strengthen my leadership skills, broaden my conservation knowledge and learn from the other 18 people in the program. 


Taylor, Class of 2015
I am pursuing a Bachelor's degree at Northeastern University in Bioengineering: Biomedical Devices, expecting to graduate December 2019. Northeastern is well known for its co-op program, and I have already completed  two 6-month long co-ops during my first three years, and plan to complete another before graduation. My first co-op was at Liberating Technologies, Inc., where I was a Research and Development Engineer for prosthetic and orthotic devices. My second co-op was at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, a lab affiliated with Harvard Medical School. I was a full-time research associate, working on the "Gut-on-a-Chip" project, modeling the human colon in vitro to test regenerative cancer therapies. I have also had the opportunity to study abroad at Yunan University in Kunming, China and will be going abroad again Fall 2018 to University College in Dublin Ireland!
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