December 2012 - Student of the Month - Maureen Correll

Maureen “Mo” Correll, a Doctor of Philosophy student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences is the December 2012 Graduate Student of the Month.

Graduate School: Where are you from originally?

Correll: Conway, Massachusetts, a small town in Western half of the state.

Graduate School: What undergraduate institution(s) did you previously attend?

Correll: The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Graduate School: Why did you choose to attend UMaine?

Correll: I chose UMaine because my advisor's research interests and mine lined up well, funding was available in one of my areas of interest, and I was excited to spend part of my life in Maine!

Graduate School: What degree program are you pursuing?

Correll: I am pursuing a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science.

Graduate School: What are your plans after graduation?

Correll: I hope to work as a research scientist and/or a wildlife manager for a federal agency.

Graduate School: What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?

Correll: I just completed data collection for a large collaborative research project of which I am a part – it involved coordination of dozens of technicians, graduate students, marsh managers and collaborating scientists across 10 states in the summers of 2011 and 2012. We created a database of marsh-bird surveys covering the entire global breeding range of my study organism, the Saltmarsh Sparrow. This database will be used by several graduate students involved in my project, provide the bulk of data for my dissertation work, and eventually be made available to the public for further analyses down the road.

Graduate School: What is the highlight of your academic experience so far?

Correll: The highlight of my academic experience so far was my decision to change from a Master’s student to a PhD student at the end of my first year at UMaine. My advisors and committee members were amazingly supportive, and displayed utter confidence in my ability to complete a doctoral program, something I would have never believed possible when I was a struggling undergraduate at William and Mary.

Graduate School: What is your favorite place on campus?

Correll: My favorite place on campus is our lab - the Olsen Lab- in 213 Deering Hall. 

Graduate School: What awards or other significant recognition (both on or off-campus) have you received since beginning your degree program?

Correll: I recently received nomination as a fellow in the new Abrupt Climate Change National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (A2C2 IGERT )program on campus, and I am a member of the first cohort of graduate students participating in this program. In addition, I was awarded the Green Lake Fund Fellowship through the Ecology and Environmental Science Program, which is supporting me for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. I was also elected Graduate Student Government President in the spring of 2012, and am still functioning in that role on campus. 

Graduate School: What other important information about yourself would you like us to know?

Correll: When I graduated from my undergraduate institution I didn’t think I’d ever have the energy or drive to get a graduate education. Much of the success I’ve found at UMaine I can directly relate to my time away from school and the work experience and confidence I gained during this period of my life – I’m a huge advocate of taking your time before you return to school. In my spare time I like to play Ultimate Frisbee, hike, bike, and collect costumes for my costume bin.