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Reflections from a Scholar: Erika Toliao



It took two hours in the rain to drive from my Bergen County home to the South Jersey campus of Rowan University for the Governor’s STEM Scholars’ second conference on STEM in Academia. I was thinking this better be worth it. By the end of the day, I knew it certainly was.


The morning consisted of introductions and a panel session, and on our return from lunch, we got to attend STEM classes, including Dr. Beth Christiansen, Professor and Founding Chair of Rowan’s Environmental Science Department. Dr. Christiansen spoke about her role at Rowan including leading student field trips to collect dirt samples to doing research on a boat for two months with people from 26 different countries. She shared one of her professional papers, and as I looked at it closer, I discovered that I have used her paper for a biology project. In m