MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology student and marine biology major Helen Croce received the Dr. Kerry Bruce Clark Endowed Scholarship in Marine Biology. Croce was publicly recognized on April 22 during the Honors Convocation in the Gleason Performing Arts Center on campus. The award is based on merit.
A junior, Croce earned the award for her strong academic record, her participation in department and campus activities, and involvement in laboratories run by Florida Tech professors Kevin Johnson, Jonathan Shenker and Richard Turner. Her research work at the University of California Santa Barbara was also a deciding factor for her selection.
On campus, Croce is a member of the biological honor society Beta Beta Beta, Sigma XiChapter, and she served as an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team captain this year. Croce hopes to attend graduate school and obtain a doctoral degree in marine biology, with a focus on marine invertebrate zoology.
“Regardless of the option I choose, I will be involved in scientific research for the rest of my professional life,” says Croce. “Research is very important to me, and my current work in Dr. Turner’s lab on the vertebral ossicle morphology of brittlestars has made it clear to me that I want to continue contributing to the field of marine biology through scientific research.”
This summer, Croce will participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduates at Dauphin Island Sea Lab near Mobile, Ala.
Clark, for whom the award is named, was a member of the Florida Tech biological sciences faculty from 1971 until his death in 1999. A full professor, he was named a 1996 Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in honor of his work documenting rare species of sea slugs. His research on mollusks, marine, ecology, psychological ecology and biodiversity was widely published in scientific journals.