I received my B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Science with a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from West Virginia University in 2006. I then went on to attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where I received my M.S. in Biology studying the effects of protein sources on gene expression in rainbow trout. Upon completion of my degree in 2008, I began my Ph.D. in Dr. Stepien’s Great Lakes Genetics Laboratory at the Lake Erie Center. My dissertation research focuses on the molecular genetic detection and evolutionary patterns of the fish Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv). I participated in the NSF GK12 program in 2010-2011 where I assisted >30 high school students prepare and present their individual research projects at District Science Day. After a 1-year hiatus to focus on my own research, I am excited to be a part of the program once again to assist students with their projects, assignments, and to motivate them to chose science as a college major. One of my goals for this year is to incorporate my research into the classroom by developing a fun lesson plan on the coevolutionary dynamics between pathogens and their hosts.