She’s the one!

When faculty reflect on the students who have excelled in the rigorous study of Integrated Environmental Science, they think of Miranda White. Her love for the study of environmental science at the undergraduate level and now as a part of the University’s Masters of Science degree program is exciting and inspirational. One of her major professors at both levels of study, Dr. Michael Reiter, declares, “With a 3.97 grade point average, Miranda is the strongest major in IES.” He adds, “This is extremely unusual given the rigor of the University’s IES program.” 

Heeding the Call 

Each day, Miranda shows her love and respect for the environment and the delicate balance so importance to all life. She has answered the call to place-based conservation and coastal resilience of sensitive habitats. She cares about reducing nutrient loading caused by storm water runoff, and under the supervision of Dr. Hyun Jung, she has been able to act on concerns about whether native vegetation buffers are effectively controlling nonpoint source pollution. Anyone watching Central Florida news has heard the term “algal blooms” and know the damage they cause. Through work supervised by Dr. Reiter, Miranda has been successful identifying algal blooms’ harmful indicators. As a part of the prestigious Posters on the Hill program, Miranda presented her research in the nation’s capital. Now that’s heeding the call! Dr. Sarah Krejci, assistant professor of biology and environmental science, describes Miranda this way, “Academically, she excelled in everything that was asked of her but early on she also demonstrated a deep curiosity and eagerness to learn beyond the classroom.”

Excellence is her name

This Wildcat demonstrates her excellence is in the classroom, in the field as a researcher, and surprisingly, on the volleyball court. For three of her four years as an undergraduate, she was a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Commissioner’s All-Academic Team (2018, 2019, and 2020). She has received the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference Nike Post-Graduate Scholarship. She is also the recipient of the B-CU Academic All-Star award in the College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics (2019-2020), the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium- Internship Award, and the Bethune-Cookman University Woman of the Year award. This last award also recognizes Miranda’s commitment to the surrounding community.  About Miranda, Dr. Hyun Jung Cho adds, "The strength of Miranda White is that she knows how to take constructive criticisms, uses them to build herself stronger, and comes back with more wisdom and better attitudes."

Community Matters 

As a B-CU graduate student, Miranda is working with a tool that was developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Known as FEGS (Final Ecosystem Goods and Services), Miranda’s work today involves connecting information on stakeholder groups to beneficiaries of ecosystem services. In the end, better decisions will be made about estuarine restoration activities within the Indian River Lagoon, an estuarine system in east central Florida. About Miranda, Krejci adds, “From outreach, research, her athletic achievements and mentoring other students, Miranda is a student who has taken advantage of every opportunity B-CU has offered and made our University proud time and again.” 

“B-CU, IES and STEM professors provided me with constant support, encouragement, innovative ideas, and reliable feedback when completing my assignments and external studies and research.” It is not a surprise that Miranda already has a doctoral Research Assistantship offer just waiting for her to complete her Master’s Degree. It is at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Her doctoral study will be funded and under the direction of Dr. Phillippe Tissot.