Ever since catching his first rattlesnake at age 13, Alex has had a passion for snakes leading him to being the first undergraduate recipient of the John Herman Biodiversity Studies Opportunity Scholarship endowed by Herman’s family and later being one of the two first Goldwater Scholarship recipients at FGCU.
How did your mentors encourage and foster your research and academic trajectory?
My first mentor in college was Dr. Herman. He introduced me to true research, the value of it, and inspired me to continue the research I do. He sadly passed the summer after my freshman year. I was fortunate to have so many wonderful people help me out after this, but none have been more important than Dr. Gunnels and Matt Metcalf. They have had a major impact in the Peru research and continuing the rattlesnake research. The Peru research was a collaborative effort where everyone did their parts and equally contributed, so saying they encouraged “my” research would be wrong. This project is not “my” research and to say they both helped is a major understatement. This project doesn’t just belong to me, Dr. Gunnels or Matt, it’s equally all of ours. They did however help drive my passion for research and discovery. Without these three amazing professors I wouldn’t be where I am at today and I most certainly would not have won the Goldwater. I will be forever grateful for everything they’ve done and continue to do to help me.
What does the OCF mean to you?
The Office of Competitive Fellowships have had played a huge role for me. It opened up so many opportunities for me, not only with scholarships, but with the fellowship community. I have been able to connect with many like-minded students that do incredible things on campus. Additionally, Dr. Terumi is amazing at what he does. He has helped so many students convert what they were already doing into winning competitive fellowships. He has been able to open up so many opportunities for the students in the OCF. I am so glad I came to Terumi and the OCF.
Alex Marsh (middle) with his mentors Dr. Gunnels (left) and Matt Metcalf (right)
What is the Goldwater Scholarship?
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields. 2020 Goldwater Scholars by Institution State