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2010 Summer Honors Fellow Explores Ocean Research

Jack McSweeneyLoyola Marymount University senior Jacqueline McSweeney knows that she wants to pursue a career as a professor, but she doesn’t know the branch of science she wants to teach. This summer, McSweeney hopes to narrow her focus by participating in the Research Internship in Ocean Sciences at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“I’m interested in the more math-based fields of chemistry and have been drawn to oceanography because of its interdisciplinary nature,” said McSweeney, a 2010 Honors Summer Research Fellow who is a chemistry and Spanish double major. “I hope the RIOS program will be an opportunity to better understand my career goals, and affirm my interest in the subject or redirect me towards a suitable field,” she said.

From May 31 to Aug. 6, McSweeney will participate in a range of projects offered by Rutgers’ Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences that will explore the physical and chemical aspects of oceanography. One project will put her on a research vessel in Delaware Bay, where she will use computer modeling to measure levels of light in the bay. McSweeney will work with some of the leading scientific scholars in ocean and environmental research in a collaborative research environment.

“I am fascinated by the complexity of the oceans’ nature and would love to analyze the math and science that drives it,” McSweeney said. “There’s always a learning curve – I’ve never been on a boat before and I’ll be using some instruments for the first time – but I’m looking forward to examining the world of oceanography more in-depth.”

Each year, the LMU Honors Program offers several fellowships for summer projects conducted around the world. Fellows are awarded $5,000 to support research, travel, internships or tuition. “Financial burdens and limitations have always been a reality for me, and I’m ecstatic that I’m not limited by the monetary costs that a program like this one entails. I have such a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation,” McSweeney said.

Posted on July 19, 2010