Every year it is our honor to choose an ENVS graduating senior who displays significant leadership, presence and service within the ENVS department and Emory community. The Hickcox Award is named in honor of ENVS distinguished Emeritus Professor (and Waffles Thursday King), C. Woodbridge Hickcox, or Woody as we know him. Every year it is a difficult decision to choose just ONE student, but is is our pleasure to announce that Panisara “Por” Jaijongkit is the 2021 Hickcox Award winner. We asked Por to reflect on her time as an ENVS student and she graciously provided the following reflection:
I have zero regrets adding environmental science as my second major at the start of my junior year!
Since then, I have worked as a teaching assistant for ENVS 120 during COVID-19, done research on invasive plants being sold in Atlanta, and worked with Dr Yandle on a research project about turtle excluder devices in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Outside of the department, I was president of Emory’s Thai Student Association, and worked with active minds and CAPS to support mental health.
But the most rewarding Emory experience goes to the Ancient and Modern Tropical Environments Field Course (ENVS 241/242). Those nine days on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas were filled with great memories and all the environmental science fun one could imagine: beaches, fossils, caves, rocks, and reptiles. It taught me that being five feet and 90 pounds couldn’t stop me from feeling a sense of belonging in the field.
What I will miss most is just connecting with other people who share enthusiasm for ecology and environmental science. My creative writing or pre-med friends are just confused when I point out any invasive plant that crosses our path.
I’ve also become fascinated in environmental communications, especially through the use of humor and storytelling. I am also excited take my knowledge back home to Thailand and to see what sort of difference I can make. Thank you so much to the ENVS department for making my Emory experience unforgettable! May plate tectonics be always in your favor.