Melissa Laurino Gets a Head Start as a Marine Researcher While Helping Wildlife on Campus

“A dolphin’s dorsal fin is like a human fingerprint,” said Melissa Laurino, a junior Marine Biology major. “Every fin is unique.”

Laurino captured thousands of photographs of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins aboard a whale-watching vessel this summer to develop a catalogue of the dolphins found along the Cape May coastline. She tackled the project through an internship with the Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center.

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Argo Editor Giana Milazzo Grows With Stockton, Transforms Student Newspaper

Long before Stockton became an anchor of downtown Hammonton, the Stockton Bursar’s Office was a news hub for the town with a 9-year-old editor at its helm. Giana Milazzo, a senior Literature major, wrote and distributed her version of  “the Hammonton News” from a typewriter in the office of her mother, Mimi Milazzo.

“I’ve been here [at Stockton] all my life,” said Milazzo, who smiled when she recalled memories of using highlighters, labels and pens to report the weather and latest happenings in her hometown on days she visited her mother at work.

“I passed [the paper] out to everyone in her office.”

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Jessica Carey Leads Peers as Team Captain in National ‘It’s Up to Us’ Competition

Jessica Carey, a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology, is leading a group of four other Stockton students in the national “It’s Up To Us” competition. The campaign is sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative and Net Impact, a nonprofit with over 50,000 students and professionals in 300 chapters aiming “to drive transformational change in the workplace and world.” Twenty-five colleges and universities are competing to win a $10,000 prize and be recognized by President Clinton at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) in March.

In an effort to win the competition, Team Captain Carey must make sure the team meets three requirements.

Carey and her team must: organize events which encourage civic engagement and educate Stockton and the local communities on the country’s national debt issue; make an informative YouTube video and engage in social media to encourage as many people as possible take a quiz hosted through Facebook.

As part of encouraging civic engagement, Carey’s team drafted a politically neutral petition asking the New Jersey State Legislature to increase the resources being allocated to civics programs throughout public schools within New Jersey. “This serves as a way to educate and encourage students of the overall importance of being actively involved with the government’s policy-making,” Carey said.

Jessica Carey

Jessica Carey

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Joe Kerstetter Continues to Serve as an Advocate for the Student Veteran Population

Before coming to Stockton, Joe Kerstetter, a junior Social Work major, served for four years in the United States Marine Corps. Kerstetter was a mortar man and served one tour in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He received two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one of which has a combat distinguishing device, which denotes heroism in combat.

Kerstetter enrolled at Stockton as soon as he finished his enlistment.

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Joe Kerstetter poses with a local family while serving in Iraq in July 2008.

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Jamie Taylor Embarks on Journey to Panama

Editor’s Note: Distinctive Stockton Students features students who have received a Board of Trustees Fellowship for Distinguished Students, among others. Jamie Taylor is one of seven who received a fellowship this fall.

Jamie Taylor, a senior double-majoring in Marine Biology and Creative Writing, was recently awarded a $1,000 Board of Trustees Distinguished Fellowship Award for research titled, “Journey to Panama: An Eco-Journal.” Taylor’s award allowed her to complete a research project on coral reef ecology at the Institute of Tropical Ecology and Conservation in Bocas del Toro, Panama over the 2013-14 Winter Break.

“I wanted to join my double major together and try to create something that would encompass both marine science and creative writing,” Taylor said.

From her research, Taylor will construct a creative nonfiction journal about her journey and experiences with the course. She will cover topics such as tropical ecology, the importance of conserving the environment, the adventures of scuba diving, anthropogenic effects on reefs  (the influence of humans on nature, including climate change, overfishing, and diseases), and the personal experiences of a marine science student. The project will also incorporate literary techniques in the context of creative nonfiction.

“I want my journal to stress the importance of keeping a healthy ocean,” said Taylor. “I will focus on the importance of coral reefs and how they affect our oceans. I want to illustrate why people should care about corals and tropical seas.”

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Jamie Taylor’s first time seeing the Pacific Ocean on her journey to Panama.

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