For Megan Pilarczyk White one thing is clear – her work in graduate school at Troy University laid the foundation for her research and pursuit of a doctoral degree at Wake Forest University.
White graduated with a master’s degree in biological sciences in 2005. During her time at TROY as a master’s student, she worked with Dr. Michael Stewart, eminent scholar of biological and environmental sciences, and co-authored several chapters with him in the book Coastal Wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes: Health, Habitat, and Indicators.
White was awarded the Alfa Fellowship while at TROY, which is a funding source started by the Alfa Insurance Corporation.
Stewart said White and he were funded for freshwater mussel studies by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
White has two peer-reviewed publications from her research at TROY, “Current and recent historical freshwater mussel assemblages in the Gulf Coastal Plains” and “Life history and host fish identification for Fusconaia burkei and Pleurobema strodeanum,” which are two species of mussels.
“The peer review is the baseline for quality in scientific research,” said Stewart.
White has written or co-written 10 publications from her research at TROY.
“The currency for academia is scholarly work, and publications are the scholarly work for scientists,” said Stewart. “I think Megan is ahead of the game.”
White said that after she graduates she hopes to teach at the college level.
“TROY was the type of environment that fostered my learning, and it is certainly the type of school that I would love to teach at someday.”
Melissa Harrison, a senior print journalism and public relations major from Dothan, is a student worker in the Office of University Relations.