U N E Animal Behavior and Marine Science student Will Szumita helps elementary children at an aquarium during his summer internship
Headshot of U N E student Will Szumita

Will Szumita '23

Animal Behavior Marine Sciences (Marine Biology Track)

Why UNE

One of the best things about marine science at UNE is how hands-on and interactive it is. All of the things that I am doing or have already done are things that people normally don’t do until much later, like in grad school or once they are in their careers. I was doing stuff in lab, dissecting things under microscopes, and getting out on the water in the boats.

We have really knowledgeable and helpful faculty and [professional] staff. They are just awesome to work with and super fun to engage with all around. I think that’s the best part about UNE’s marine science program — you get so much out of your education, and a lot of it is far beyond just reading from a textbook.

Experiential Education

Everything that I am doing is helping me grow as a student. I am an Aquarist and Education Intern at Save the Bay Naragansett in Providence, RI this summer. It’s a nonprofit exploration center and aquarium that focuses on protecting and serving the Narragansett Bay and surrounding areas. 

I am a part of the educational branch in the aquarium and exploration center. All the stuff in the aquarium is from the Narragansett Bay, so a lot of the specimens we've caught ourselves. We educate people about what's in the bay because if they know about what's in the bay, they're more inclined to help protect it. There are a bunch of touch tanks, and I teach people about all of the different animals, and I do science experiments with kids. It’s a combination of doing hands-on work like maintaining tanks and public-facing work like interacting with people and educating. I like it a lot. My education at UNE has taught me about the animals, how to take care of them properly, and how to teach other people about them, which is so cool.

Because I've gotten that education at UNE, I know a lot of stuff about the animals that people might overlook. I think it also goes both ways, so my UNE education is helping my internship, but my internship is also helping further my education. A lot of the stuff that I am learning this summer, I'm very excited to take back to school with me and talk to my professors about. 

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