NSU College of Arts and Science’s Durnin receives scholarship from South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union

Tessa Durnin for web

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University senior Tessa Durnin recently became the 2017 recipient of the South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union Mary E. Baylor Memorial scholarship.

Durnin, a biology/environmental science major with a certificate in organismal biology, is the second NSU student in the past three years to receive this scholarship, totaling $1,200. Durnin follows in the footsteps of 2015 recipient and NSU alum Christina Renz.

Science departments from all South Dakota institutions were invited to nominate one student for the scholarship. Durnin was chosen to represent NSU as the biology department’s nominee for 2017.

“I am extremely thankful to have received this Baylor Scholarship. I have worked very hard to earn my B.S. and receiving extra funding for my last semester is highly appreciated. This scholarship is one of many memories I will have when I look back on my academic career at Northern. As for the future, I would like to attend graduate school so I may continue environmental research. I haven't found a school yet, but I plan to have something set in stone for the following school year,” commented Durnin.

Durnin has also recently made news at Northern regarding her internship with the new Monarch Waystation and also presented a poster at the National Science Foundation’s South Dakota EPSCoR RII Track 1 program site visit.

“On Sept. 7, I attended the NSF SD EPSCoR RII Track 1 site visit at McCrory Gardens in Brookings. I presented my independent research ‘Effects of a Prescribed Burn on a Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) Community at Blue Cloud Abbey Stream’ during a poster session with a panel of seven National Science Foundation members and representatives,” said Durnin.  “The site visit was basically a grant progress report to hear about how the SD EPSCoR grants have benefited undergraduate and graduate students in South Dakota. These grants tend to fund research projects, equipment, and even university faculty members.”

“Tessa is an incredibly well-rounded student and has achieved much during her short time at Northern. She is clearly passionate about her studies; not only does she excel in the classroom, but she has also taken the initiative to pursue independent research that has allowed her to present her work at regional and international conferences. This is quite a feat for an undergraduate,” mentioned Dr. Alyssa Anderson, assistant professor of biology.

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