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2010 Alumna Receives Honor at Conference

Katelin Shugart-Schmidt 10 was named the Best Oral Student Presenter at the Hawaii Conservation Conference

9/3/2010 10:35:45 AM


LYNCHBURG—Katelin Shugart-Schmidt ’10 was named the Best Oral Student Presenter at the Hawaii Conservation Conference August 4-6 in Honolulu.

The field of students competing for the award, which comes with a cash prize, consisted of mostly PhD candidates. Shugart-Schmidt had not begun her master’s program at the time of the conference.

The 18th annual Hawaii Conservation Conference attracted more than 1,100 people with its various lectures, symposia, and other presentations focusing on the theme Pacific Ecosystem Management and Restoration: Applying Traditional and Western Knowledge Systems.

Each year at the conference, the HCA awards prizes to the top student oral and poster presenters. Monetary awards were sponsored by the Hawaii Conservation Alliance and The Wildlife Society-Hawaii Chapter.

Shugart-Schmidt, who was an environmental science major at Randolph, received the award for her presentation of her Randolph Honors Thesis work, “Assessing the Effectiveness of the Marine Life Conservation District at Waikiki.”

Although Shugart-Schmidt conducted the research with the Hollings scholarship intern program in the summer of 2009, she completed the literature review and project/statistical evaluation throughout her 2009-2010 school year, with the help of her Randolph professors and Honors Committee (Karin Warren, Doug Shedd, and Paul Irwin).

“They helped me prepare my abstract for submission (as it was a professional conference, not all abstracts are selected), and I'm positive that the many times I had to practice my presentation for my honors defense was what allowed me to be confident enough to stand up in front of 200 professionals in my field and explain the project,” Shugart-Schmidt said.

Shugart-Schmidt was named a Hollings Scholar in 2008. The extremely competitive National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship Program provides awards that include academic assistance and a 10-week, full-time internship position at a NOAA facility. In 2009, she also received Honorable Mention in the Morris K. Udall Foundation Scholarship program. This extremely competitive scholarship is given to college undergraduates who are working to preserve and protect their national heritage through studies of the environment.

Shugart-Schmidt is currently studying in the Virginia Tech Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Department and working with the recruitment, training and research unit of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations


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