UT Arlington affiliation: Graduated in May with a B.S. in biology
Stopped: 9:57 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Starbucks in the E.H. Hereford University Center
How often do you come to this Starbucks?
I only come to this one when I’m on campus, but I go to Starbucks all over Arlington all the time. I even used to work at one.
What’s your favorite drink?
Knowing the menu so well makes me a picky customer. My favorite drink is an extra-hot, no-water, soy chai latte with whipped cream and extra cinnamon.
Does caffeine consumption help academic performance?
Coffee definitely makes you more alert in class, and being more alert helps academic performance. So by the transitive property ...
Did you do anything exciting this summer?
I spent a month in the Alaskan tundra shadowing a graduate student from Dr. Laura Gough’s (biology associate professor) lab. We collected a lot of plant and seed samples from the different types of tundra, counted seedlings and determined percent cover of different types of plants. It was different than any other lab work I’ve ever done—mostly because it was outside—so it was pretty cool.
You graduated in May. What’s next?
I’m going to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I’ll be studying life sciences communications.
What are your career plans after graduate school?
I want to go into scientific journalism, maybe write for magazines or make documentaries.
What was your most challenging UT Arlington experience?
Being a McNair Scholar was a huge learning experience. It’s essentially a job. You put long hours into your research and are expected to come up with results in three scant months. I worked in a micro lab, and I got a genuine taste of what life as a scientist would be like. I ultimately decided that 10 hours a day inside a lab is not for me.
You were a writer for UT Arlington Magazine for more than a year. How was the experience?
Working for UT Arlington Magazine and The Shorthorn made me realize how much I love to write. I’m interested in science, but I would rather write about it than actually do all the work.
— Mark Permenter
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