Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the City University of New York (CUNY) at Brooklyn College. I completed my doctoral degree in Ecology at the Odum School of Ecology. Learning about other research and sharing my own, has been a great experience. Participating in UGA campus organizations, such as the Georgia Oceans & Health Initiative has given me many great opportunities. Now I am taking the time to learn how to manage classrooms and research programs. It is surprising to learn the new tools and methods of teaching and see that few courses actually use them. As part of my postdoc, I make it easier for faculty to include one of such methods, research experience, into their classrooms through the authentic microbiology research experience (AREM, arem.cuny.edu).
Living in Athens, GA was an adventure but it cannot even compare to the adventure that living in Brooklyn, NY has been. Athens is a charismatic, small town with unpretentious people, great food, and good music! I love buying local products and eating local foods; I’ve become an adventuresome cook after going to our farmer’s market and great potlucks with friends. Learning to live in NYC and maintain what I loved about my lifestyle in Athens is a challenge. I can still bike to most places and sometimes buy local produce (though it is a more expensive farmer’s market). I do appreciate still having great, small restaurants and the art scene expanded from music to broadway and museums.
My dissertation work often brought me back south to my roots in S. Florida, I feel at home when in the FL Keys. I love learning more about the history of the Keys, as well as the current and future management of the marine sanctuary. The sunsets and scuba diving never get old and are some of my greatest experiences during graduate school. After many 12 hour road trips for research, we have a tight research team and we are all well versed in classic NPR/Science podcasts. Those podcasts now keep me company on my subway commutes. Living in NYC has brought me closer to my Italian heritage and my Jersey cousins.
The GA winters have been far more invigorating than I ever expected. Growing up in S. FL I am accustomed to the occasional hurricane, but over the years I had a just taste of what a winter storm can do especially when UGA campus closed for days because of snow and ice. Now I really experience winter, but there is more preparedness for the storms. I actually picked up snowboarding to make the best of cold, white weekends. With the proper gear the cold is not that bad and it is a whole other kind of natural beauty than the endless horizons I’m used to in FL.
Hopefully, what I have learned through the challenges of graduate school and living in Brooklyn, NY will translate to continued personal and professional growth to master what ever lays ahead.