The SSE Sponsorship Highlights present personal stories from individuals who have received SSE funding. This month we highlight the Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution (UDE) grants, which provide funding from SSE and the BEACON center for undergraduates to attend the annual Evolution meeting. Recipients are paired with mentors, attend a professional development workshop, and network with program alumni at a UDE social event. Continue reading to hear from Morgan Lloyd, one of this year’s recipients.
“As an undergrad, I cannot overstate the value of exposure to a field’s greater community. Experiencing an international conference (especially with a graduate student guide) helped me believe my stomach might not always drop when asked the question that haunts undergraduates everywhere: “So what are your plans, post-college?” I realized that everyone there had once felt as clueless as I did, and that they each found unique paths through it. I was able to meet (remarkably kind) scientists from all over both the field and the world, each of them providing guidance in ways I desperately need. I would not have been able to afford attending the conference if not for the generous funding from the SSE, which means I wouldn’t have simultaneously felt welcomed into my future and learned that the spermatophore of a male cabbage white butterfly is broken down in the female using what is essentially a uterus with teeth. If that isn’t a necessary experience for every undergraduate student, I don’t know what is.”