COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate Ph.D. student Alison Bockoven for receiving the U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship award for 2012.
Bockoven and six other students from the university were recognized in a special ceremonyon Wednesday, April 11th, at the University Club in Rudder Tower.
Bockoven is a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Micky Eubanks’ laboratory. Her research focuses on the extent, mechanisms and consequences of genetic variation in foraging traits in the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).
Dr. Eubanks was impressed by her hard work and determination. “Alison’s project is extremely exciting, novel and ambitious, and I have been incredibly impressed with her ability to quickly develop this project, master the scientific literature associated with this field, and conduct logistically challenging experiments,” he said.
Bockoven also has been a teaching assistant in the General Entomology (ENTO 201) class for two semesters and is very involved in several activities in the Department, including serving as an officer in the Entomology Graduate Student Organization, helping with outreach activities at local schools, and manning booths at national meetings.
“The students loved Alison’s engaging teaching style, her incredible depth of knowledge, and her ability to explain complex subject material,” her faculty advisor stated. “Alison is one of those teachers that really connects with students, challenges them to really dig deep and learn the material, and ultimately changes their lives for the better.”
One nominator said that Bockoven was incredibly dedicated to her work and studies as a grad student.
“Alison is a very driven student, and rather than taking the easy path of simply following an established protocol and being happy with the results obtained, she has taken great care and dedication to fully understand the procedures involved, optimized her protocols and ensuring she has complete understanding of the techniques and results obtained,” the nominator said.
Bockoven received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Texas A&M University in 2008 and her Master of Science in Zoology from Southern Illinois in 2009. She has received numerous awards during her college career, including the Texas A&M President’s Endowed Scholarship and Director’s Excellence Award, as well as being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
This is the first time in the Department’s history that a Ph.D. student has received the Gramm Award. The endowment was created in 2000 by the Texas A&M Foundation from donations that were given in honor of former U.S. Senator and Texas A&M University Economics Professor. The actual awards for the endowment were given in 2007.