We are pleased to announce fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, and other scholarly awards received by Kennedy Center undergraduate and graduate students during 2020-2021. These students are the ‘heart, lungs, soul, and energy’ of the Kennedy Center and its many accomplishments. They will be future leaders in the roles of waterfowl and wetlands science and conservation.
Lauren Hernandez-Rubio, former Kennedy Center Ph.D. Fellow, is now Dr. Lauren Hernandez-Rubio after her doctorate was conferred from Clemson University in May 2021 (see COVID masked photo of Lauren at commencement). Lauren’s dissertation is viewable at: https://www.proquest.com/docview/2541700140?pq-origsite=gscholar&fromopenview=true. Lauren now is a faculty lecturer, teaching an online course in waterfowl ecology and management through Clemson University’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation with Dr. Kaminski and a biology course through The Citadel University in Charleston, SC.
Lucas Clay is a Clemson Ph.D. student under Dr. Tom O’Halloran and receiving the Kennedy Center doctoral student fellowship during academic year 2021-2022. Lucas is researching how wetlands managed for waterfowl and other waterbirds and open tidal salt marsh similarly or differently generate ecosystem services, such as sequestering green-house gas emissions and improving water quality during annual seasonal cycles.
Emily Miller is a Kennedy Center M.S. Student Fellow and Nemours Wildlife Foundation graduate student. Emily has completed her second and final year of field work, conducting research on recruitment by box-nesting female wood ducks in South Carolina and North Carolina. Emily will be analyzing her data and writing her thesis with a plan to graduate in May 2022.
Cindy Von Haugg is a first year M.S. student from SUNY-Cobleskill, NY, who will succeed Emily Miller on the wood duck research project. Cindy has worked on the wood duck project assisting Emily in North Carolina and South Carolina in 2020 and 2021, respectively; thus, she is well skilled to take over reigns of the project. Cindy’s research will focus on continuing the rat snake and woodpecker deterrent experiments that Emily initiated, and begin a radiotelemetry study to determine if female wood ducks in a forest surrounded, large lacustrine wetland (Lake Moultrie, SC) select natural cavities or boxes amid about 200 nest boxes in the lake.
Jacob Shurba is a Kennedy Center, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Graduate Student. Jacob also is a member of Team Wood Duck conducting research on box-nesting wood ducks in Georgia and Florida. Jacob especially is interested in waterfowl diseases; therefore, he is conducting an experiment to test odiferous and plain nest box bedding materials differentially affect microbe communities in nest boxes and on wood duck eggs. He too has completed his field work and is scheduled to graduate in May 2022.
Stephanie Braswell was a senior undergraduate student majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and minoring in Forestry and Animal Science; she graduated in May 2021 and was honored by receiving the Outstanding Senior Award in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation. Stephanie worked as a research assistant at Nemours Wildlife Foundation during spring 2021. She always will be a Clemson Tiger but now is an Auburn University Tiger x War Eagle ‘hybrid,’ as she has begun her M.S. at Auburn under Dr. Robert Gitzen. She also was honored by receiving the Steven L. Potts Award from the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation for academic and other excellence in spring 2020.
Magdalyn Husser is undergraduate student majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries. She was a 2020-202 recipient of a Kennedy Center undergraduate scholarship for her contributions to Team Duck and its students.
Jason Andrews has been a vital contributor to Team Wood Duck, assisting with nest-box monitoring at Clemson University Experimental Forest and clearing vegetation from around dozens of nest boxes at Lake Moultrie in an attempt to deter rat snakes from accessing nest boxes and depredating wood duck eggs. For Jason’s contributions in the field, he was awarded the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation’s Outstanding Field Training Award.
Emery Tumbleston is a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Biology major, who is receiving the Kennedy Center’s undergraduate scholarship for academic year 2021-2021. Emery is a scholar, currently maintaining a perfect GPA of 4.0. Additionally, she is extensively engaged in Clemson’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society, as its secretary. She also is active with her church and parent’s blueberry farm, as well as assisting graduating students of the Kennedy Center. She has an infectious charismatic personality that accompanies her scholarship.
Jordan McCall is Clemson University senior, also with 4.0 GPA, majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and anticipating graduating in December 2021. Jordan was selected as a Clemson summer intern and worked as an assistant for the Kennedy Center and Nemours Wildlife Foundation during summer 2021. This fall, Jordan will receive an undergraduate scholarship toward her tuition from the Kennedy Center. She’s hoping to pursue graduate school studying waterfowl and wetlands.