Maggie Nester wants to pursue a career in a field you might not be too familiar with – mycology. That means she wants to study fungi like mushrooms. AACC doesn’t offer a major in mycology, but that didn't mean Nester couldn’t begin her career path here. As a Transfer Studies student, she’s able to build a degree that suits her interests and needs.
She’s taken courses in botany, environmental science and zoology. She’s a student-worker in the Biology department and has gotten to do some hands-on research in the Environmental Center. She even co-wrote an article in the Journal of Emerging Scholarship, AACC’s undergraduate research journal, about her work with horseshoe crabs.
“I kind of like to call them angry little Roombas because they have such distinct personalities, which you would never assume, but we have one that has the zoomies so bad,” she explained. “As soon as you pick it up, it just wants to bolt and you put it in the tank and then he does these little angry circles. It's adorable. We love them. ... But the study that we did was based on behavior. So, we saw how quickly they ate the food that we gave them and how they responded to the stimulus of food entering a tank.”
Nester plans to transfer to a four-year school and eventually earn her doctorate. She said that attending community college has enabled her to save money and get experiences she wouldn’t have had if she went to a four-year school right away, especially when it comes to research. She encourages other students considering pursuing their research interests to give community college a try.
“It will change your life in such a positive way. You'll be able to get experience here that is impossible to get anywhere else. These opportunities do not happen a lot, so take it while you can.”