DURHAM, N.C.— The Nicholas School of the Environment and the Duke University Marine Lab honored three outstanding graduating seniors with special awards today during the school’s graduation recognition event for undergraduates.
Samantha Schultheis of Biglerville, Penn., received the Sara LaBoskey Award, which is presented annually to a graduating senior in recognition of personal integrity and academic excellence.
An Environmental Sciences major with a Certificate in Sustainability Engagement, Schulteis earned Graduation with Distinction honors for her senior thesis, “Gleaning for Sustainability: Understanding Farmers’ Social, Environmental and Economic Motivation for Charitable Food Donation.”
She completed a four-month internship at USDA, where she helped launch the new People’s Garden initiative and created a resource conservation plan for the National Plant Materials Center. She also served as co-president of Duke’s Sustainable Oceans Alliance and worked as an outreach liaison for Pasa Sustainable Agriculture.
Daniela Rubio of Lexington, N.C., received the Thomas V. Laska Award, which is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement by a graduating senior majoring in Earth and Climate Sciences.
Rubio, who minored in global health, was a B.N. Duke Scholar. Passionate about teaching and education, she volunteered as a tutor at Durham’s West End Community Foundation and taught there during its summer camp.
She also served as a peer mentor for Duke LIFE; as a volunteer for ArtsConnect at the Emily K Center; and as a marketing and communications intern at Student U, a Durham-based educational nonprofit.
Lauren Miller of San Diego, Calif., received the Marine Science and Conservation Award, which is presented annually by the Duke Marine Lab faculty to a graduating senior in recognition of excellence in scholarship, research and citizenship.
Miller, who majored in Environmental Sciences with a Marine Science and Conservation concentration, earned Graduation with Distinction honors for her senior thesis, “Group Membership and Location Influence Estimates of Behavioral Aerobic Dive Limits in Short-Finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus).”
She was a Rachel Carson Scholar and a Duke Engage intern to the Duke University Marine Lab community.
Department of Biology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Nicholas Kaney of San Lorenzo, Calif., received the Maggie Schneider Award, which is presented annually by the Department of Biology to a graduating senior selected by the Duke Marine Lab faculty in recognition of a demonstrated love of learning and service in marine and conservation biology.
Kaney, who majored in Biology and minored in Environmental Sciences, was a Rachel Carson Scholar and worked for two years as an undergraduate research intern at the Nicholas School’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab.
He will return to the Duke Marine Lab campus this fall as an incoming PhD student.