Clowning Around STA-Style

Two girls make presentation to a professor.
A culmination of a year-long internship resulted in a stellar presentation by Clare and Abby.


There is pride… and then there is Saints Pride.  The latter is watching two STA students hold their own against a UNH professor on the topic of commercial breeding of decorative clownfish at the University of New Hampshire’s Undergraduate Research Symposium yesterday afternoon. 

Last year, St. Thomas Aquinas received a grant from the Lebor Family Foundation. Allie Scheu is an STA alumna who graduated in 2012 and is the great-granddaughter of John F. Lebor for whom the foundation is named. Allie was instrumental in bringing her family’s foundation into partnership with St. Thomas Aquinas. Science teacher, Piper Bartlett, submitted a proposal and received a $1,000 award designated to providing STA students a one-year Science Research Internship at the University of New Hampshire.  

Of many student proposals and applications, seniors Clare MacRitchie and Abby Barnes were awarded the internship opportunity.  The culmination of a year’s worth of dedication, hard work and statistical/scientific analysis occurred yesterday when both girls presented their research. On hand to pepper them with challenging questions about their work was Steven Hale, Ph.D. who focuses on vertebrate ecology and morphology.

Congratulations to both these intellectual dynamos who learned first-hand the fluidity and unpredictable nature of science. We are very proud of their intellectual pursuits and look forward to watching them advance their research skills (and their curiosity) in their collegiate studies.


For more information on the work of Clare and Abby, please refer to our previous article.