The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Cammy Toddy in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Cammy Toddy is a senior Biology major at Longwood University. For her independent research project, she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Consuelo Alvarez in the field of synthetic biology to investigate the presence of metal contaminants in baby food products. Cammy said “this topic instantly sparked my interest because when you think of nutrients for infants, who are at the pivotal stage of development, metal toxins do not come to mind. If these substances are being put in baby food, who knows what other impurities are being included.”

Throughout this research project she felt “eager to become involved in an independent research project because I knew it would aid in my development not only as a student but also as a scientist.” Participating in research had a positive impact on her ability to develop a project from the ground up and “has been a highlight of my undergraduate career that I know will benefit me in the future.”

Cammy’s favorite part of her independent research project was “the one-on-one interaction with my research professor, Dr. Alvarez. I valued the personalized learning environment and getting to work through each part of the experiment. Each day in the lab brought a new task to work towards our goal of developing the experiment. It was a different type of class setting that involved hands-on learning every single day.”

The most important lesson Cammy learned during this experience was “to be flexible. At times, you will get unexpected results or perhaps you do not take an external factor into consideration when designing your experiment. Therefore, it is crucial to be adaptable and use the information you have gathered to improve your research. Troubleshooting and problem solving were evident in the lab, but these are skills that I will implement far beyond my time at Longwood.”

Congratulations to Cammy on her successful research!

If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or