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UF Undergrad Wins Outstanding Student Award

Sarah Birkmire was recognized by the UF/IFAS Soil and Water Sciences Department with an Outstanding Undergraduate Award. In addition to the award, Birkmire will receive a scholarship to aid in academic costs.

Sarah Birkmire holds her Outstanding Undergraduate Award at the awards banquet. Photo Credit: UF/IFAS Soil and Water Sciences Department

“I feel honored to have been selected for this award,” Birkmire said. “It is not easy to balance being a full-time employee and full-time student, but my coworkers and boss at MREC have been very supportive of my undergraduate career.”

Currently, Birkmire is working at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) under the guidance of Lance Osborne, professor of entomology. Her undergraduate honors thesis focuses on small-scale, do-it-yourself predator-rearing systems to aid professionals who use biological controls, such as Extension agents and agricultural educators.

“The Soil and Water Sciences Department has introduced me to such diverse fields in the realm of agriculture and natural resources,” Birkmire said. “I am hoping to continue my academic career at the University of Florida after graduation.”

Birkmire plans to pursue graduate school after completing her undergraduate degree and apply for a UF master’s degree in entomology and nematology as well as the Doctor of Plant Medicine program, as she is interested in both fields.

Birkmire is a senior and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental management in agriculture and natural resources through UF Online. The UF Online environmental management degree takes an interdisciplinary approach to assess and manage natural resources such as water, soil science, pests and agricultural ecology.

“It is really important to me that I emerge into the workforce with not just my degrees, but a wealth of knowledge and experiences in my field,” Birkmire noted. “Working at MREC has opened so many doors for me, and I mean that with the utmost sincerity.”

Great job, Sarah!

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