Saint Francis University encourages its students to seek out new opportunities to travel and learn in their discipline. That’s precisely what Alayna Hawkins did with her Fall 2016 semester. Hawkins, a junior Marine Biology student at Saint Francis, spent the semester at Kenai Peninsula College, which is part of the University of Alaska Anchorage. There, she took a slate of hands-on courses, including Ichthyology and Mammal Biology, while exploring the Alaskan wilderness and making valuable networking connections.
“I [gained] experiences from this program that most undergraduate students will not get to experience until graduate level or in their entire lifetimes,” said Hawkins to a KPC publication. “I have assisted in an orca calf necropsy, something that is rare for an undergraduate student. I have had the opportunity to travel to WhaleFest in Sitka to meet scientists who are experts in their studies, and I have been able to make connections with scientists who are in my field that will, no doubt, have a positive impact on my future. I could not be happier with my choice to participate in this incredible program.”
The courses Hawkins took will transfer back as course credits that will support Alayna’s Marine Biology program at Saint Francis University. She will be giving a presentation this spring to other Marine Biology students to talk about her experiences, and to let other students know about this opportunity.