Jill Azzolini loves and lives close to nature. Working with Drs. Henry John-Alder, Peter Morin, and Lena Struwe among others, she has gained experience studying lizards, frogs, protists, and plants. As the Collections manager for the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers she oversaw the largest taxonomic reorganization of the herbarium in its history. Under the direction of Nathan Dappen of Day's Edge Productions, she directed and produced a short documentary feature film covering Dr. Brooke Maslo's research on white-nose syndrome in bats. Immediately following graduation, she will be studying effects of oyster aquaculture on red knot foraging behavior along the Delaware Bay shore in southern New Jersey. After a gap year, Jill plans to attend graduate school to obtain the Ph.D. she needs to pursue her dream of a career in teaching and research.
Carmela Buono is a budding plant ecologist. She studied effects of urbanization on watershed performance for her Aresty Research Project under guidance of Dr. Jean Marie Hartman, and completed her George H Cook honors research under direction of Dr. Myla Aronson studying biotic and abiotic effects of wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius), an invasive and thorny fruit-bearing shrub. She has served as a Douglass Resident Assistant and as Rutgers Gardens Committee Chair for Alpha Zeta, the coed academic honors fraternity. Carmela earned her Certificate in Environmental Geomatics while completing her major in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, and she aspires to become a university professor after completing her Ph.D. studying invasive exotic plants. In addition to everything else, Carmela was awarded the Botanical Society of America's higher honor for undergrads, the "Young Botanist Award, Certificate of Special Achievement".