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

Cecily Hayek is junior at Longwood University and she is earning a degree in Biology. She is applying to veterinary school this summer in hopes of becoming a small animal veterinarian. Cecily’s research in Dr. Wade Znosko’s lab is focused on environmental toxicology and zebrafish development. Her project examines how when zebrafish embryos are raised in impaired water collected from around Farmville, they end up having malformations during their development. Cecily says that she was interested in pursuing an independent research project because “I have always wanted to do undergraduate research, and when picking a school to attend it was clear that Longwood has a welcoming environment for students to get involved and be able to perform research. This project drew my attention because I had zebrafish as a kid and never knew they were used as model organisms in research.”

One of Cecily’s favorite parts of doing independent research was “being able to make great connections and become more confident in myself as a scientist through lab work. Running your own experiment is fantastic and I have been able to really work on important laboratory skills.”

Cecily says that one of the most important lessons she learned by doing research is that “even when our procedures fail or do not yield enough product, it can still be very valuable information. I have been able to work on troubleshooting and having lots of patience.”

Cecily will present her research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in April.

Congratulations to Cecily 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