Local resident to be recognized by PSSHE Board of Governors
Christopher Smyth of Christiana, a Lock Haven University senior marine biology student whose accolades include national oceanic research in California, co-founding a Marine Science Club and studying the virulence genes that lead to white-nose syndrome in bats, will be recognized by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in April for his academic achievements.
Smyth, a 2009 Solanco High School graduate, is a finalist for the 2013 Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence from PASSHE's Board of Governors and will be honored at the April 11 meeting.
The award is given to only one recipient and two finalists from the 14 universities within Pennsylvania's higher education system.
Three years ago, Smyth co-founded the Marine Science Club, a group focused on advanced opportunities outside the classroom.
Over the past four years, Smyth has logged more than 1,000 hours of community service, most during his two years as an AmeriCorps member.
Smyth is currently working on his honors capstone project at LHU: elucidating virulence genes in the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats. He hopes his work will help prevent bats from extinction.
This spring, he will receive a bachelor's degree in biology with a marine biology concentration and a minor in environmental studies.
In the fall, he will begin working on his doctorate degree in the plant pathology and environmental microbiology program at Penn State University.