When Bella Luikart was looking at colleges, she searched for schools that placed women in STEM-related positions and found ESF.
Now a junior in environmental chemistry, she is conducting research involving pollutants in Jamesville Reservoir with Dr. Mark Teece. "I'm very jazzed about it right now," she said. "Recently I got to go sampling out in the field which was the coolest experience."
"When I toured the campus, they emphasized how early you can get into a research lab and I'm really glad I've been able to take advantage of that. I always knew I wanted to do research, specifically in chemistry. It's one of the reasons I wanted to come here," she said.
Luikart can take advantage of the research opportunities at ESF in part thanks to a National Scholarship.
"Just to go here without too much financial strain is great. Right now, I don't have many loans which is awesome," she said. "Honestly if I didn't have it - it's a big chunk of my tuition - I probably would've gone to UMass rather than coming here, so I'm grateful for that," said the Massachusetts native.
Knowing the difference scholarships have made on her academic career, Luikart is also proud to be a caller for the ESF Annual Fund, reaching out to alumni, friends and families of ESF asking for their financial support for her fellow ESF students.
"I know how important the National Scholarship is to me," she said, "and I want to ensure other ESF students have access to the same opportunities that I have."