Enthusiasm plus work ethic equals Fulbright grant

It’s uncommon for undergraduates to receive research grants; 2008 alumnus Robbie Lamb has done it twice.

Mentor Mark Hixon encouraged student Robbie Lamb to aim high with his research. (photo: Jim Folts)

Mentor Mark Hixon encouraged student Robbie Lamb to aim high with his research. (photo: Jim Folts)

During his freshman year, Lamb attended a weekly biology seminar to explore career possibilities. One week, Mark Hixon spoke about his work in marine biology. “I saw what Mark was doing and I knew. That was it; that was what I wanted to do,” Lamb says.

Hixon has been a part of Lamb’s educational career since then, and even acted as Lamb’s undergraduate research project supervisor.

“It has been great watching [Lamb] develop from an enthusiastic freshman with no experience into a senior with a completed publishable study of his own,” Hixon says. “Enthusiasm can be short-lived, but what was great about Robbie is that he was enthusiastic and always willing to work.”

Lamb feels that Hixon’s influence has had a great impact on his undergraduate success. “For me, it’s approachability,” Lamb says. “Mark always encouraged me to set my goals high and was supportive toward doing more than was required.”

Hixon believes that Lamb proved himself early on. “One example is when Lamb found out that if you became scuba qualified, you could work as a field assistant on one of Hixon’s summer research projects. So, Lamb got qualified.”But, Lamb didn’t just get qualified. He developed his own research project, got it funded, gathered the data and worked to have it published.

Lamb’s work has continued. He earned a Fulbright grant last April and spend the fall of last year researching sustainable fishing in Ecuador.

~ Tara Pistorese

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