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Eric Keller: 2013 Outstanding Graduate in Marine Biology and Mathematics

Eric Keller, Outstanding Graduate — Marine Bio and Mathematics “Eric Keller is an outstanding student in Marine Biology not only because he maintained a high GPA through his years at UAS but because of his contribution towards the UAS community. He has been an active participant in the Marine Biology club and is a constant presence in the Learning Center.  Eric has taken advantage of the opportunities for research at UAS and worked with Dr. Tamone on crustacean physiology projects in courses and as a summer intern.  Eric was a 2012 NSF-sponsored student in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.  Eric presented the results of his research at the Annual Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in San Francisco.” - Sherry Tamone, Professor of Biology

“Eric started his math career at UAS in Math 105.  It was immediately obvious to the math faculty that he was a very disciplined student.  He has maintained a 4.0 GPA in his math classes which highlights his dedication and aptitude.  In September 2012, Eric became the first recipient of the Ron Seater Math Award for his outstanding performance in math classes. For his mathematics capstone project, he did an undergraduate research project titled, Mathematical Resilience in Biological Systems under the guidance of Dr. Megan Buzby.  This work was presented at the math seminar and at the Pacific Northwest Mathematical Association of America Section Meeting in Salem, OR.” - Brian Blitz, Associate Professor of Mathematics

I came to UAS in the fall of 2008.  During my senior year of high school I applied to several schools, such as MIT and the Seattle Art institute, but as a lifelong Alaskan I really wanted to stay in the state.  I was already enrolled with UAF when a UAS recruiter came to one of my classes and pitched the Juneau Campus.  I was sold.  The combination of academic opportunities like undergraduate research, small class sizes with direct access to professors, and close proximity to the ocean made UAS ideal for me.

When I first arrived at UAS I was enrolled as a Marine Biology major, and I quickly took advantage of the research opportunities UAS offers.  I spent my third semester here working with Dr. Sherry Tamone on a project using DNA replication to identify crabs infected with dinoflagellate  parasites.  At the same time I began working at the UAS learning center as a math tutor and made the decision to add a second major in mathematics.  Since then I have participated in several other research projects in biochemistry and crustacean physiology, and am about to complete a double major in Marine Biology and Mathematics.

It could take me days to describe my experiences here at UAS, but in a few words I would say they have been life changing.  I have had some great opportunities and a lot of fun, but most importantly I have met some incredible people – students, faculty, and staff – who have shared some of their expertise and time with me and in doing so helped me grow as an individual.  I have gained a lot from the people here at UAS both academically and personally , and I will always be grateful for the contributions they have made to my life.

UAS' 2013 Juneau Commencement will be held May 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the UAS Recreation Center.

Student Speaker Link

Crystal Rogers is receiving her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Independent Design, focusing on the art, language, government and history of indigenous and Western societies in Alaska, with a minor in Tlingit.

Learn more about Crystal Rogers, this year's student speaker at the UAS Commencement in Juneau on May 6th.