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Galveston Students Take Research Honors     

March 29, 2022

Doctoral students Richard Dally, Vergie Greb, and Nick Diaz pose with Abbey Hotard, class of '23, who earned second place in the Doctoral Lightning Round category at Pathways Research Symposium.

By Rebecca Watts

Two Texas A&M University at Galveston students took home honors at The Texas A&M University System Pathways Research Symposium this month.

Eliza Perez, class of ‘22, earned third place in the Life Sciences category and Abbey Hotard, class of ‘23, earned second place in the Doctoral Lightning Talks category. Both students said their competitors inspired them.

“Listening to other student presenters helped reignite my own curiosity and passion for research,” Hotard said. “I loved hearing about research happening across the Texas A&M University System, and after two years of COVID and virtual conferences, getting to connect face-to-face was incredibly refreshing.”

Eliza Perez poses with award certificate from Pathways Research Symposium
Eliza Perez, class of '22, poses with Pathways Research Symposium award. Eliza earned third place in the Life Sciences category.   

“I gained valuable experience networking with others in the Texas A&M System,” agreed Perez. “It gave me copious amounts of insight on how to expand upon the results of my research, motivation to continue my current study and confidence to share my results with others in the scientific community.

Perez, a marine biology student, presented baseline data on sea turtle beaks that will allow further exploration of the structural integrity and mechanical properties of sea turtle beaks that may relate to sea turtle survivability.  

Hotard, a marine and coastal management and science doctoral student, presented her research on how coastal residents are adapting to coastal hazards, such as flooding and hurricanes. Her research explores how coastal residents respond to threats to their homes and the impact those decisions have on their surrounding community. 

Students who participate in Pathways earn research experience from hypothesis formation to meaningful data conclusions and present these findings to a network of their peers and faculty. Participants are comprised of all A&M System schools and are judged on their abstract, preparedness and oral or visual presentation skills.

A complete list of Pathways 2022 Award Winners is available here. The Pathways Student Research Symposium is hosted annually by the Texas A&M System at one of 11 universities located throughout the state. The next Pathways Student Research Symposium in 2023 will take place at the Galveston Campus.


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Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.