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JRHS Graduate takes part in a REU Program in South Dakota

By Elissa Colombo, Class of 2020

I’m Elissa Colombo, and I graduated from Jesse Remington in 2020. I’m about to enter my senior year of college at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS, where I am pursuing a dual major in chemistry and biology with a concentration in environmental biology and a minor in theatre. I am looking into graduate programs to get a Ph.D. in animal behavior, wildlife biology, or a similar field with the goal of becoming a conservation or wildlife biologist.

While at school, I have been doing independent research regarding the critically endangered dusky gopher frog and am involved in the chemistry club, our theatre department, and a local wildlife sanctuary. The college preparatory chemistry class at Jesse Remington proved to be the most helpful in my studies. However, the skills I acquired at the school, namely time management and organization, have been invaluable as I further my education.

This past summer, I have been blessed with the opportunity to take part in a REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program at South Dakota State University where I have been able to study bioinformatics, biotechnology, and genomics to begin to build the genome of an unidentified bacterial species found in the rumen of a steer to better understand their digestive health. In my spare time, I was able to help out with another research project that dealt with steer nutrition, so it was nice to be able to experience both the technological and hands-on sides of conducting research over an extended period of time. I was also able to present this research at an undergraduate research symposium alongside other undergraduate researchers who partook in similar programs across the state.

I’d like to thank JRHS for helping me to develop the soft skills that have enabled me to complete the work that I have so far and for motivating me to work hard and manage my time well in order that I might glorify God and help take care of His creation.

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