This scholarship is awarded annually to an academically distinguished graduate student to honor the memory of its namesake, former Professor of Environmental Science Dr. Craig Smith.
This year the core course instructors have recommended Wenda Ribeiro Quidort for this scholarship for her outstanding contributions to research.
As anyone who knows Wendi will tell you, she has an amazing amount of energy, drive, and determination. Wendi received her bachelor's degree from Christopher Newport University and Master's degree in biology from the College of William and Mary. She worked as a technician and laboratory manager on the main campus and here at VIMS. She has returned to VIMS for her doctoral studies after teaching at Thomas Nelson Community College for several years. Never one to take the easy road, Wendi has chosen to embark on a challenging project that involves developing techniques for molecular detection and determination of viability for human pathogenic viruses found in wastewater effluent, Chesapeake Bay waters, shellfish, and in biosolids (yes, that IS processed poop!). Specifically, she is interested in exploring the possibility of using adenoviruses, which can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses in humans, as a general indicator of human viral contamination. She will be conducting genetic analyses to examine the distribution of various strains of adenovirus. She is sure to keep very busy over the next couple of years chasing after her beautiful new daughter, Molly, while conducting her ambitious research. We know that Wendi will face the challenge head on and is up to the task!