The John M. Rawls Award, named for the original chair of Biology, honors the outstanding graduating senior in Biology. 
This year’s awards are shared by two students, Brian Comer and Brooke Fitts, both of whom graduated in May with Departmental Honors in Biology.
LaTina is from Flomaton, AL and entered USA as a freshman. She received a Presidential Scholarship all four years at USA and graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. While at South, LaTina not only excelled in coursework, but also served as a teaching assistant for our introductory biology courses and participated in research from her sophomore year on. Her honor’s research focused on the effects of a seagrass pathogen, on the expression of plant defense compounds in the seagrass Thalassia testudinum. She has presented the results of this work several national meetings.

This fall, LaTina will be entering the Ph.D. program in Marine Sciences at USA under the mentorship of Dr. John Valentine.

All of us in the department wish her the best of luck in her future pursuits.

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