Five Florida Gulf State University Students received scholarships from Naples Garden Club this academic year. The club has the Naples Garden Club Fellowship Endowed Fund which had two recipients, each receiving approximately $2000 in research fellowships. Three Environmental Science graduate students also received NGC scholarships which were funded at approximately $3500 each from our grant monies.

All five recipients were honored and elated to be selected to receive our scholarships. The students pointed out in letters to Naples Garden Club that our help in relieving their financial challenges allowed them to focus more on their studies and research work.

Cecily Burton works with endangered species, specifically the smalltooth sawfish. She is a fisheries biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She plans to complete her studies and continue work with conservation and management for endangered species.

Jessica Godwin is conducting her thesis project research on proving the effectiveness of current models of mercury intake in fish. She looks forward to working in the local area and hopes to push an initiative for environmental awareness and use efficiency.

Nicole Stevers came to Florida to study marine and coastal environments. She has been researching environmental toxicology and exposure, especially in sharks. She hopes to continue in a doctorate program to research how environmental pollutants may affect the reproductive biology and physiology of sharks.

Leanne Clark is a senior undergraduate majoring in Environmental Studies. Her research is on native bromeliads and their relationship with mosquitos. She plans to work in environmental education for children instilling the importance of conserving and protecting the natural environment for posterity.

Lauren Griffiths is a graduate student majoring in Environment Science. Her thesis research focuses on nutrient cycling in a created wetland. Upon graduation, she plans to work in environmental research which focuses on nutrient and pollution concerns that have plagued water bodies all over the world including Florida.

These five young women certainly reinforce our club’s vision of fostering appreciation, understanding and support of the environment.