Called to the Water
Sylvie RandallClass of 2022 • Media, Pennsylvania
“The environment surrounding the team is wonderful—every single girl is kind and is concerned with keeping up their academics. We support each other on and off the water,” she shared.
Sylvie’s love of water extends into the classroom, where she studies biology and public health. Her interest in these fields was kickstarted in Dr. Verville’s microbiology class her sophomore year. During class she learned about an internship opportunity with Stroud Water Research Center as a microbiology intern, a position her lab partner had held the summer prior.
She applied for the position and has worked there for two consecutive summers, becoming familiar with tools that help her in the field and in class, such as Quadrant Streaking, DNA extraction and source tracking, and PCR.
“My favorite project has been bacterial monitoring. I see where the bacteria is coming from and understand why it goes where it does. I want to see how and why freshwater bacteria is where it is, and if it can be potentially dangerous to people living in the area,” she explained.
After a summer testing waters, Sylvie isn’t done yet. This fall she is excited to learn more about watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay during Chesapeake Semester, a 16-credit course where students study the complex history, ecology, and culture of the Bay while combining intensive study, fieldwork, and outdoor adventure—along with a week of comparative study in Central America.