Marissa Hammond , '12
"After high school, I knew I wanted to study environmental science and marine biology – the question was where. When I toured the UNE campus, it felt like the right place. I grew up in a small coastal town in Midcoast Maine, and UNE recreated that atmosphere. The University offered small class sizes and opportunities to volunteer or work with professors in the Marine Science Center or with surrounding organizations like the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.
"My course load throughout my time at UNE was usually 17 to 18 credits per semester because I chose to double major. Because of my work-study job within the department, I got to know each and every faculty member on a first name basis, and became very close with all of them. This allowed me to interact personally and professionally with the faculty that I was learning from. The department quickly became my home away from home.
"During my sophomore year, I applied for NOAA’s Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship, which I received. If it wasn’t for my experience volunteering for Professor Pam Morgan, interning at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and getting to know each member of the department on a personal and professional level, I don’t think I would have been such a competitive candidate for the scholarship. The scholarship came with funding for two years, along with a paid internship for the summer of 2011. I did mine at the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) field station in Orono, Maine, where I completed an independent project that I later presented at the NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland... My internship sparked my interest in pursuing a graduate degree."