Do you work in the marine biology field or know someone who does? Current senior Tessa DeWalt wants to work with every creature in the deep blue sea, focusing on immunology and toxicology as it pertains to marine species. She would love your advice about the best organizations to work for and any other insights that you may want to offer.

Tessa is a current biology major with a love for anything below the water. Her dream job is to be able to study the world’s impact on our water-based ecosystems and how the things we do on dry land affects the creatures that inhabit the bodies of water that make up 71% of the earth’s outer layer. “Living near a body of water meant I always had an interest in animals and more specifically, marine animals, and I could never picture myself working inside.”

Tessa chose Longwood off of a gut feeling really, citing its comparable size to her hometown of Middlesex, Virginia and the community atmosphere on campus and around town. “I knew I wanted and could build relationships with people because of Longwood’s close-knit community,” she said, continuing, “Longwood is a unique place and it has helped me so much.”

Alongside her classes, Tessa is heavily involved on campus, serving as the President of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, Publicity Co-Chair of Mortar Board, and as Greek Awards Co-Chair for Order of Omega. And as if that wasn’t enough, Tessa is also a member of Beta Beta Beta (the biology honor society), Epsilon Eta (the environmental honor society) and has been a part of the Brock Experience at Yellowstone. When she isn't banging the gavel or walking by Old Faithful, Tessa serves as a math tutor at the Quantitative Reasoning Center and conducts research with Dr. Leech with a focus on water flocculants.

“I knew I wanted and could build relationships with people because of Longwood’s close-knit community." 

Tessa DeWalt ‘20 Tweet This

If Tessa could thank one person from her time at Longwood, she would thank Ashley Crute ‘10, Director of Scholarship, as Ashley serves as advisor of Alpha Delta Pi, and always “encourages me to take time for myself because she understands how heavy my workload can be.” And her favorite class you’re wondering? That would have to be BIOL370: Ichthyology with Dr. Henk “because he is an incredible professor and the class affirmed my love for marine biology while being at a university not near a major body of water.”

Behind the plethora of involvement, and focus on her academic success, Tessa says that “knowing she has high aspirations, and the desire to always crave what’s next,” drives her more than anything. And success for Tessa looks like knowing she did her very best and that she walked away happy from her career and her life.

Consider connecting with Tessa on LinkedIn and share your advice and any job opportunities that could be available to her after graduation.

About the Author

Dustyn Hall '18

Dustyn Hall '18 is the Director of Young Alumni & Student Giving in the Office of Institutional Advancement, and has served in that role since July 2019. Before his current service at Longwood began, Dustyn worked for Phi Mu Delta National Fraternity & Educational Foundation as the Director of Advancement, where he oversaw the development, communications, and alumni engagement sectors of their operations.

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