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Eckerd College

Counselor Newsletter

Welcome to Issue 4! Learn more about the chemistry program, Eckerd College Search and Rescue (EC-SAR), our new Molecular and Life Sciences Center and more!

Department Highlight

There is a theory that Eckerd students in chemistry fields positively react to non-Eckerd environments. In order to test this theory, we stuck to the facts and data collected from our research labs here on campus. Our data has shown that 100% of our biochemistry majors in our pre-med program have been accepted into Medical School. Eckerd has also been ranked 24th nationwide in the percent of its students who go on to obtain Ph.D’s, and chemistry students have highly contributed to this ranking. Our students are well prepared, with ample research opportunities independently as well as with professors. Our chemistry degree is certified by the American Chemical Society and students have gone into fields dealing with Forensics, DNA structural Research, Atmospheric Chemistry, Marine Toxiocology, teaching, law school, food sciences, including a haute cuisine chef! This just goes to show the importance of a liberal arts education.

Read more about Chemistry and Biochemistry at Eckerd College.

Alumni Highlight

Name: Tiffany Pasco
Class of: 2004
Major(s): Marine Science
Minor(s): Music

Advanced degree: Master of Science in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University

Where are you now and what are you doing? Currently, I write this from my desk in Germany where I am working an internship with IFM-GEOMAR and SERC.

What does your job entail and how has your Eckerd experience impacted your career? I received an internship initially working at Eckerd with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. The next year, I went up to work with them as an intern. Following graduation from Eckerd, I was offered a job that has literally taken me around the world. Even now, those initial contacts are providing awesome opportunities overseas and potential job options post graduate school.

Describe some of the people who had a profound impact on your Eckerd experience. I still remember every professor I had for class at Eckerd. No matter the subject, they cared about the students learning and being involved in learning. Members of ASPEC (Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College) who sat in our classes or who I met through outside activities(orchestra) also made an impact by encouraging our endeavors and the lifelong learning.

What activities were you involved in while at Eckerd and did they influence what you are involved in now? Thanks to the Swing club, I can go out dancing with most anyone! Orchestra played a huge role in my life, and I try to continue to be involved in music at a community level. Working with the Women’s Resource Center, I dealt with women at various stages in their lives who faced similar problems or discrimination and tried to teach the community about respect and awareness for our fellows.

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

I chose Eckerd because I could have everything I did in high school continue to be part of my life. The hardest thing for me when looking at a public school or another institution was lack of outside activities or being able to participate in classes outside the (science) curriculum. I could play in orchestra. I could be involved with women’s issues. The curriculum is also more rigorous than other schools, which I saw once I reached graduate school.

Using 5 words or less complete this sentence: Eckerd is… Overachievers on the beach.

Ask the Director

"Colleges send too much email and paper materials to my students, so I've encouraged them not to fill out a card at the college fair. Is this a good idea?"

We realize that as an industry we help support the US Postal Service and email vendors everywhere! College reps have noticed a change in students' inquiry patterns over the last few years. But as we try to decide to how best spend limited budget dollars, deans, directors and VPs want to see that that road travel last year yielded names of prospective students, applicants and deposits. If students don't complete cards at the fair, the traveling representative may "feel" it was a good fair, but his/her boss can't see any tangible evidence, and may begin to say "Why would we go to that fair again? We never get any names." Then budget dollars get moved around and less schools attend the fair, giving your student one less opportunity to learn more in depth about more schools.

"My days are so busy in the fall. I don't have time to talk to reps who visit my school. Besides, so many of those young reps won't be around next year."

We understand that your time is precious and we respect that. However, like the costs of sending reps to college fairs, sending reps to high schools is expensive. We really would appreciate 15 minutes of your time, and although many reps won't be around in two years, some will. And in five or ten years, they may be at another school... perhaps a more selective school that your students have great interest in. If you've been building a relationship with the college representative over the years, you will be better able to advocate for your students in later years. College reps move around quite a bit as they build their careers. You never know where they'll end up.

Ask the Director your questions to be featured in the next newsletter.

Student Highlight

Sarah Seniuk ‘13
Santa Cruz, CA

Major: Ancient Studies
Minors: Anthropology and Religious Studies

Tell us a little about yourself. What makes you a unique Eckerd student?

After getting my feet wet here last year, I decided to jump into as many projects as possible this time around. I joined the Ethics Bowl team, Women's Rugby team (go Sirens!), and became an Ambassador, as well as a Ford Scholar. While being involved in so many parts of EC life doesn't make me unique (most of our students seem to be in multiple clubs, organizations, and activities), I'd like to think I have a nice random combination of EC aspects.

Do you have a "that's so Eckerd" moment? What is it?

Once while giving a tour, we walked by a group of students who had hooked up ropes between some of the palm trees. It turns out, they wanted to practice tight rope walking.

Eckerd is recognized as a college That Changes Lives (book by Loren Pope). How has EC changed your life?

Eckerd has changed my life because it has allowed me to view myself as a completely different student. In high school, I was extremely competitive with my fellow AP students and wasn't able to fully concentrate on how and what I enjoyed learning. But at Eckerd, both my classmates and my professors have taught me to become a better student. Your peers and your professors want you to succeed (sometimes I learn just as much from my classmates). If someone told me two years ago that I would be on the seven year running winners of the South East Ethics Bowl team, and entering into the Ford Scholars program, I would have scoffed. But now I truly see that anything is within my grasp with the support that I have found here.

Read more about Sarah’s experience online.

Organization Highlight

It’s 2200 hours on a Friday night. The rain starts to fall, and waves start reaching 2-3 feet. You feel your body start to sway to the rhythm of the waves in Tampa Bay. You and your crew are searching for a disabled vessel on the South side of Egmont Key. Shallow waters are mere inches outside the channel and could cause your vessel to run aground. Local knowledge and quick decisions are required for a successful mission. Thank goodness your training with the Eckerd College Search and Rescue (EC-SAR) Program has prepared you and your crew for this moment. Your hand spotlight flashes a patch of white, and you have located the disabled vessel. This is just one of many cases (about 500 a year) our unique search and rescue program at Eckerd College handles. EC-SAR is the only program of its kind in the country and only the US Coast Guard responds to more calls than EC-SAR. We are the only college in the nation with an organization that provides free maritime services to the greater Tampa Bay and moments like these are true, “Only at Eckerd Moments”. The program is designed for incoming freshmen to work their way to achieve boat captain status by senior year. Extensive training in crewing, radio operations communications and boat handling skills fill your free time so students are prepared to respond to emergency calls. Here is another example of how Eckerd students THINKOUTSIDE.

What's New at Eckerd

As part of the $80 million Campaign for Eckerd College, The Center for Molecular and Life Sciences has begun construction at the north end of campus. The project will cost an expected $30 million and was chosen for a variety of reasons, most prevalent of which is Eckerd’s distinction as a science powerhouse. The new facility will help to enhance chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computational science programs at Eckerd, as well as increase laboratory room for biology and environmental science programs – two of Eckerd’s most popular majors. The main goal is to accommodate the rising number of incoming freshman with interests in molecular and life sciences. Since Eckerd has produced more Hollings scholars (a scholarship created and funded by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) than any other school, the new building will be an asset to Eckerd’s science students. Assistant Professor of Biology Denise Flaherty said, “There are a lot of space and equipment needs at Eckerd, the buildings that the [sciences] are housed in were made in 1964… but then there’s a whole other level about what a new building would mean for the education in the sciences at Eckerd College, and that is on the level of the way in which we teach. It makes a huge difference if we can have something that we would call the ‘studio classroom’ or a ‘classroom in the round’ where you’re able to interact with all of your students… and not only tell them about what’s happening, but then you do the experiment right there and then… there are no classrooms at Eckerd right now that are set up to do science and teach science well at the same time.” The building is set to be finished summer 2012.

Letter of Recommendation

Download the admission recommendation form (pdf)

Fast Facts


Number of Eckerd students who are Hollings Scholars.

Contact Us

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

(800) 456-9009
(727) 867-1166

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Eckerd College