SEA Currents: Woods Hole Partnership Education Program
June 21, 2017
Often times the lasting impact of an experience is not something we expect. I had arrived at the SEA campus on June 2. My 21st birthday would be on June 5th. So inevitably I was anxious about being away from home at a momentous stage in my life. My mother, family, and friends weren’t excited about not being able to celebrate this time with me. I was a little sad about not being able to celebrate it with them, as well. The day came and we gave our introductory presentations to our mentors and it would, at first seem like a regular day. I felt blessed to be able to engage in such a prestigious program with well-known scientists as mentors, but as far as my birthday was concerned I was not feeling special.
Within the first couple days of me even knowing my PEP cohorts, who are now my friends for life, they surprised me with a chocolate cake (my favorite)! I was so happy and excited and grateful for them to have done such a thing for me. They did not have to. It was amazing because they’d even taken into consideration my interests and listened to me because they’d gathered from the short time they’d known me that my favorite kind of cake was chocolate.
What makes the PEP program unique is the bonds we’ve developed over the short amount of time we’ve been here. This is the beginning of our third week but a few of us feel like we’ve known each other for years. We enjoy watching movies together, talking in the living and dining area, going for walks to the beach, and a plethora of other things. Coupled with an amazing opportunity to learn about oceanography and marine science from elite members of the Woods Hole community like Ben Harden, Ben Gutierrez, Cassidy D’Aloia, Kathleen Savage, and other well-known scientists is an opportunity to network and build long lasting friendships within the academic, scientific community.
I would like to extend a special thanks to Ambrose Jearld and George Liles for developing and coordinating this program, and making such an opportunity even possible!