GWU Honors Program Offers Various Opportunities to Connect and Learn 

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Trevor Alexander, ’20, Studies Factors That Influence Fishery Populations

A screenshot of Trevor Alexander's presentation
A screenshot of Trevor Alexander’s Honors Thesis presentation made during the Zoom teleconference. Photo courtesy of Joy Smith, student photographer

 

Trevor Alexander, ’20, of Shelby, N.C., a student in the Gardner-Webb University Honors Program, recently joined other Honors students who presented their theses in a Zoom teleconference. The presentations were moved to the online format because of social distancing recommendations.

Alexander’s topic was “An Investigation of Salmonids: Hybridization, Demands from Fish Markets, and Angler’s Influence on their Future.” He is a senior biology major with a chemistry minor.

Q: Why did you choose your research topic and how do you feel about what you learned?

Alexander: I chose my research topic because I love to fish, and it will probably connect to my future career goals. After researching many different factors that influence the future of salmonids (and fisheries in general), it is alarming to learn the significant impact we have on the fisheries. Whether it is construction polluting water-ways, overfishing, or introducing new species, all of these examples can play a great role in decreasing fishery populations, and most are unintentional.

a photo of Trevor Alexander in the labQ: What valuable lessons did you learn from doing your research?

Alexander: I learned how to research on a large scale. Being a biology major, I am accustomed to writing 10-15 page papers. However, writing a 50-page paper is much more challenging. It is challenging not only to find resources but also to learn how to connect the resources to give a proper flow to your paper. Most importantly, I think I learned to have more confidence in myself. Going into the research, I was uneasy wondering how I would write a 50-plus page paper and present on my research for 15-20 minutes. Now, after I have completed the paper and presentation, I realize that it was not as bad as it sounds. It just takes dedication and belief in yourself.

Q: How has the GWU Honors Program enhanced your GWU experience?

Alexander: The GWU Honors Program has helped me get outside my shell, so to speak. I have gained many new friends by participating in the different events and learned the importance of volunteering.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.