Page 13 - Marist Magazine

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AL NOWAK/ON LOCATION
AL NOWAK/ON LOCATION
Teaching and Learning:
Supporting Deserving Students
T
he Campaign for Marist has so far resulted in 38 new endowed funds and 37 expanded endowed funds. One
of the new endowed funds is the Abel Family Scholarship, established in 2009 through a commitment from
Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Abel, whose daughter, Briana ’09, attended Marist.
This academic year, the Abel funding has supported scholarships for four Marist students. One of them
is Nicole Lamorte ’12, whom you’re likely to find in Donnelly 112, the science lab where students explore the
diversity of animals. Inspired to major in biology fromwatching the TV programWild Discovery with her father,
Vincent Lamorte ’83, she spends three hours a week taking care of the reptiles in the lab and has happily taken
them—including the ball python—home over summer and winter breaks.
In fact, her pets at home include her own ball python, a Brazilian rainbow boa, two giant day geckos, a crested
gecko, a green tree frog, a number of creatures in a freshwater fish tank, and a cat, as well as a friend’s chameleon
that she is babysitting. “I love all animals, but reptiles are my favorite,” she says.
She likes not only caring for animals but also conducting animal research and may eventually go to graduate
school to study zoology. She was part of a team that presented a poster on its research at the Eastern Colleges
Science Conference at Wagner College in Staten Island. As part of her genetics course, rather than choose one
of the offered projects, she suggested and carried out a study of the sushi sold in the Donnelly Coffee Shop. She
has also been a teaching assistant for courses in general biology and genetics.
Lamorte’s dream is to care for wildlife as did Steve Irwin of Crocodile Hunter fame, who was dedicated to
the preservation of reptiles, or to be a reptile keeper at a zoo. She currently takes care of animals as part of an
internship at the Trevor Zoo at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY. There for five hours a week, she mixes
food for the animals, which include lemurs, red pandas, and slow loris, and cleans their living areas. “I have some
playtime with them, too,” she smiles. She plans to volunteer there when her internship ends. “I love animals.
They are really my passion.”
She says the scholarship has definitely helped her, and she recalls being ecstatic when she learned she had
received it. The scholarship, she says, looks outstanding on her résumé as she applies for internships, including
one at the New York Aquarium and two doing field work in Alaska. “I hope it will help me to get a good start
on my future.”
Biology major Nicole Lamorte ’12
plans to continue working with
animals after graduation.
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