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Home » Student News » Alexandra Thornton selected as Class of 2024 Outstanding Graduate

Alexandra Thornton selected as Class of 2024 Outstanding Graduate

Apr 26, 2024

 Alexandra ThorntonAlexandra Thornton
Class of 2024 Outstanding Graduate

A native of Nicholson, Pa., Alexandra will graduate cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in both environmental biology and wildlife biology, with a minor in chemistry. An honors scholar, she is a recipient of the Academic Distinction Scholarship and the Kimberly Dorothy Merenze ’91 Endowed Scholarship. Alexandra will continue her education at the University of Connecticut majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and studying caterpillars. While at the University of Connecticut, she will serve as a graduate assistant/research assistant to Dr. David Wagner, who was her inspiration to study in this field.

Alexandra’s passion for the environment is evident in her many volunteer activities and the focus of her research projects. She recently completed her senior research project, “Investigating through Larvae, Lepidoptera Species and Parasitism.” She has presented this research at the Entomology Society of America conference in West Virginia and at Binghamton University in March 2024. In addition, Alexandra was awarded the Excellence in Research award from her academic department and as a presenter at the 2023-2024 Spring Undergraduate Research and Creativity Celebration. Alexandra is also the President of the Eco/Wildlife Society Club, one of the most active clubs on campus, hosting educational events both on and off campus related to maple syrup production and apiary management. She was responsible for bringing Diane Ackerman, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the 2022 recipient of the Stephen Hawking Award for Communication in Science, to campus for a presentation.

Alexandra’s accomplishments don’t just focus on the environment. She is an accomplished musician and has been a member of the Keystone College Performance Music Department since she was 14, participating in the symphonic band, jazz ensemble, chorale, drumline, and the vocal jazz ensemble. She is a featured vocalist for the jazz ensemble, plays alto saxophone, is a vocalist and a percussionist. She is a two-time participant of the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Honors Band Festival.

As an athlete, Alexandra is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, a national honor society that recognizes undergraduate student-athletes who excel in the classroom and in athletic competitions. She is a member of the track and field team and received the 2024 Scholar Athlete Award for Track and Field. She is also a member of the Keystone College field hockey team, and is a National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Academic All-American, a NFHCA Division III Scholar of Distinction, and a United East All-American Team member.