Carly Emes, Biological Science student

Psychologist Sigmund Freud once famously quoted that "biology is destiny." In the case of biology major Carly Emes, the study of life is truly her calling.

"When I was a child, I knew exactly what I wanted to be. I lived two blocks from a pond, and every day I would go down to that pond and bring back buckets of mud, fish, and tadpoles, and dump everything on my porch," recalls Emes. "I loved trying to figure out the science behind everything. It was always an interest for me, and I can't remember a time when it wasn't."

As a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) major, Emes was eligible to apply for a SMaRT scholarship, which ultimately helped cover the bulk of her educational expenses during her time at NCC. Her mentor and advisor, Dr. Sharon Lee-Bond, and Student Success Specialist Robert Colletta, gave Emes the positive reinforcement she needed to not only succeed in her major, but to go the extra mile and take advantage of rare opportunities made available to select students in her program.

"Last summer after I finished bio and had some chemistry under my belt, Dr. Lee-Bond forwarded me an email that gave me an opportunity for mammal and seed dispersal research at Wilkes University, which was a paid internship," Emes explains. "I was the only one who was outside of Wilkes who got the internship. I'm positive that Dr. Lee-Bond giving me the info, and me being a SMaRT Scholar, helped me get the internship."

Emes followed up that first internship with another, this time participating in a saw-whet owl study that ecology professor Karen Klein recommended her for. The field hours took place between 7p.m. and 1a.m. every other night, providing Emes with plenty of opportunity to learn time management - a skill she credits everyone at NCC forhelping her develop.

"Reality slapped me in the face," laughs Emes when describing how she learned to balance and prioritize her schedule.  "I know now that you need to get your work done if you want to succeed.  I'm very lucky to have had the kind of teachers I've had here."

Emes - who calls enrolling at NCC the "best decision of my life" - is transferring to SUNY-ESF (College of Environmental Science & Forestry) in Syracuse, where she'll begin her studies in the fall of 2012.

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