VIMS welcomes matriculating class of 2013

  • Welcome to VIMS  The 2013 matriculating class at VIMS. L-R: Lucia Safi, Cassidy Peterson, Nadya Mamoozadeh, Nicole Marshall, Sara Blachman, Amanda Knobloch, William Goldsmith, Sarah Pease, Melissa Karp, Ann Arfken, Benjamin Marcek, Cindy Marin Martinez, Alexander Renaud, Lydia Bienlien, Danielle Tarpley, Haixing Wang, Jonathan Ricks, Andrew Fallon, Quang Huynh, and Fei Ye.  Photo by Erin Kelly
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Nineteen new graduate students make their arrival in Gloucester Point

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science welcomes 19 new graduate students this week, bringing total enrollment in the College of William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at VIMS to 91 students.

VIMS Dean and Director John Wells says "like all matriculating students, the members of this incoming class will maintain the long-standing tradition of bringing an infusion of new ideas and youthful enthusiasm to help maintain the high quality of research and education at VIMS.”

“Our incoming students are extremely talented individuals who will contribute great things to VIMS, the local community, and our knowledge of Chesapeake Bay and the global ocean,” says Associate Dean of Academic Studies Linda Schaffner. “The new students bring a wealth of research experience and academic knowledge that will further enrich the graduate program at VIMS.”

Traveling to VIMS from locations around the globe, the incoming graduate students have no shortage of impressive accomplishments under their belts—both professionally and personally.

One incoming Ph.D. student, Nadya Mamoozadeh, completed her Master’s degree with two publications already on her resume, but also finds pride in her completion of the North Carolina Krispy Kreme challenge—a 5 mile race during which you consume one dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Incoming Master’s student William Goldsmith comes to VIMS with a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and has held positions as a freelance magazine writer and a deckhand, but after exploring an alternate career path at a management consulting firm in Boston, says he is happy to be pursuing his true passion at VIMS.

Lydia Bienlien received the Outstanding Graduate Award in the Sciences from Morningside College—an award given to the top graduating student of all scientific departments for academic excellence, while fellow student Melissa Karp interned at a NOAA lab between her junior and senior years at Tufts University after receiving the NOAA Hollings Scholarship. Alexander Renaud, a self-proclaimed “jack-of-all-trades”, has studied at the Smithsonian’s facilities in Panama, the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, and says he is very proud of his undergraduate rugby career at Princeton University.

International and Continuing Students

The incoming class also features five students from outside the United States. Haixing Wang completed his undergraduate work in 2009 at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China before spending the past three years engaged in several shipbuilding projects in Shanghai. Nicole Marshall hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and has received a number of honors including an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceanographic Engineering Society Scholarship and an Undergraduate Summer Research Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, but uses her downtime for running, yoga, and fossil hunting.

Cindy Marin Martinez comes to VIMS from El Salvador and says her biggest accomplishment both personally and professionally was getting to be a part of UDP Ciencias Neotropicales, an environmental consulting firm committed to the protection of natural resources through scientific research and environmental education in El Salvador. Another international student from China, Fei Ye, took first prize in the Student Paper Competition at the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research Congress in Vancouver, Canada, but says his most notable accomplishment was marrying his high school sweetheart this summer.

Lucia Safi, a new Ph.D. student from Brazil, completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Porto Alegre where she was able to collect and identify several new peritrich ciliate species. Continuing students Ann Arfken and Benjamin Marcek are also completing their doctorates at VIMS.

The rest of the new students arriving at VIMS with a number of accolades and research experience under their belts are Sara Blachman, Andrew Fallon, Quang Huynh, Amanda Knobloch, Sarah Pease, Cassidy Peterson, Jonathan Ricks, and Danielle Tarpley.

The School of Marine Science at VIMS

The School of Marine Science at VIMS is one of five graduate and professional schools of the College of William and Mary. It awarded its first Masters degree in 1943 and inaugurated a Doctoral program in 1964. Nearly 1,000 marine scientists have now earned graduate degrees through the program. Graduate studies and research opportunities are offered in marine science, oceanography, fisheries and marine policy.

VIMS has an enviable record of producing graduates who take on leading roles in academia, government, and industry. VIMS grads head up the University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science, the Virginia Seafood Council, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, one of the leading environmental consulting and engineering firms in the northeastern U.S., and the Smithsonian’s new Ocean Hall, among many other leadership positions.