Alumnus Will Arrett’12 returns to speak to AP Bio Students

Science teacher Mr. Dwyer regularly brings Holy Family alumni back to speak with students about the connection between the material they are learning today and the possibilities of tomorrow. This week’s guest was Holy Family alumnus Will Arrett ’12. Will, a May 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy.

During his presentation, Will shared how he came to change his major from engineering to conservation biology. He then described research he was involved with while studying abroad, including projects with the Leaf Cutter ant in the Amazon Rainforest, sea turtles near the Galapagos Islands, and monitoring of illegal shark finning at the local fish market in Ecuador. Using terminology and information correlating to his listeners’ AP Bio classes, he explained these projects, the research team’s hypotheses, and the eventual outcomes and conclusions. He also shared the variety of careers available to individuals who choose to major in Conservation Biology.

At the end of the month, Will leaves for Southeast Asia. He will visits several countries before spending the final days of his trip working with TRACC Marine Conservation Program (Tropical Research and Conservation Centre) off Pom Pom Island near Borneo, Malaysia. He will plant coral reef as part of TRACC’s reef conservation program. An adventurer at heart, he will then leave Southeast Asia for a research stay at a preserve in South Africa.

Will’s plan in the “semi-distant” future is to return to school to complete a master’s degree in tropical biology or marine ecology and, perhaps, return to Ecuador to do further research.

Before closing his presentation, Will took a moment to invoke his philosophy background to share a little brotherly advice: “First, find something you love to do and GO DO IT! Second, don’t chase the money; if you are doing what you love to do, it will find you. And, finally, study abroad- it will change your life.”

Four Students Receive National Merit Recognition

Two Holy Family Catholic High School seniors, Jacob Brekke and Tim Zeien, have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit® Scholarship Competition. They were selected based on test scores from the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit® Scholarship Qualifying Test and represent less than one percent of seniors in the United States.

In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a National Merit® Scholarship, Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each Semifinalist.

Two Holy Family Catholic High School seniors, Evan Epple and Dominic Peichel, have been recognized as commended students in the 2017 National Merit® Scholarship Program. In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named by a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Including this year’s recipients, sixteen Holy Family students have received National Merit® recognition in the past four years alone- six National Merit® Finalists and 10 National Merit Commended® Students.