Alumni in Action

Jenna Caderas

Graduate Student, NOVA Southeastern University

Jenna Caderas
Class of 2013
Major: Marine Science
Minor: Coastal Management
Where are you now and what are you doing?

I am working towards my Master's degree in Marine Biology & Coastal Zone Management at NOVA Southeastern University. I will be pursuing Sea Turtle Conservation research.

What do your studies entail and how has your Eckerd experience impacted your preparation?

Being in the Marine Science program, I feel like I am very prepared for all of my classes and that I can bring a lot to the table in discussions. Also, all of those presentation we had to do are really coming in handy.

What unique or special opportunities did your Eckerd education provide and how have they impacted your life?

During my time at Eckerd, I was fortunate enough to go to Bimini for the shark trip to Bimini Biological Field Station. It was such an awesome experience. It really had an impact on how I see sharks as a species and as a part of the ocean. Having such a strong bond with my professors has also impacted my life, because even after graduation I can email or call them anytime and we can have such a great chat. I was also fortunate enough to create an affiliation between Eckerd and The Coastal Society with the help of Professor Hindsley and Ashley Chambers ’14.

Describe some of your best memories or favorite traditions from your time at Eckerd.

Some of my best memories were on south beach, at the waterfront, on kappa field, and in the lab. Being able to go and relax on a paddle board or kayak, or on south beach was truly a treat. Some of my favorite traditions at Eckerd were Spring Ball, Kappa Karnival, and pitchers with professors. I loved getting together with everyone from the Eckerd community to just hang out and relax.

What makes Eckerd so special or why does it stand out to you as a great college? What does it mean to you now that you have been away for awhile?

Eckerd was so special to me because of the family that it provided. When I was away at school and needed someone to lean on, I was able to talk to anyone and they would listen. While at Eckerd, I made some of the greatest friends I have. Now that I have been away for almost a year, I definitely miss Eckerd. I miss the friends that I made, and just being able to live in the "Eckerd Bubble." I'm sure most alumni know the feeling.

Describe some of the people who had a profound impact on your Eckerd experience.

All of my professors had a really large impact on my experience. But I would say that Professor Nancy Smith, my mentor, really had an impact on my experience. She was always there for any questions or just to talk to about anything. She's awesome!

Are there core Eckerd values you see in most Eckerd students and graduates?

Yes. Eckerd students are very similar in the fact that they value helping others and volunteering. There are so many different opportunities for Eckerd students to volunteer with various organizations and places around the world. As a graduate, I see a lot of Eckerd grads still volunteering.

What activities were you involved in while at Eckerd and did they influence what you are involved in now?

I was involved in some volunteering at The Pier Aquarium and The Canterbury School of Marine Biology. Both of those were chosen because of my Marine Science major, and they were very influential. I was able to help teach the community and kids ages kindergarten through fourth grade about marine science.

Why did you choose Eckerd? What advice would you give students who are considering Eckerd?

I chose Eckerd because of the location and my major. When I visited, it felt like home. I would tell students who are considering Eckerd to visit, because once you visit you will definitely attend.

Using 5 words or less complete this sentence: Eckerd is…

the greatest place.

@EckerdLife

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