Alexandra Gulick is from Halfway, Oregon, but during her time at Oregon State, she ended up halfway around the world in the Dutch Caribbean studying coral reef ecology and seabirds.
“That was a huge step for me,” Gulick, a biology major, said. “I had always dreamed about studying abroad, and it was a great experience.”
Gulick has wanted to be a marine biologist since the sixth grade.
“I went to a summer camp, and I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist when I took my little summer camp project a bit too seriously,” she remembered. “I did this full-blown research project on starfish, and I kind of knew then that’s what I was supposed to do.”
She said studying at Oregon State has helped her focus her career goals even more. She hopes to become a research marine biologist. That means she could end up back in an academic setting or working for a government agency.
“Ultimately, I want to be an advocate for ocean conservation through my research,” Gulick said.
She served as an officer for the Life Sciences Club and, after returning from Bonaire, worked as an international ambassador for the International Degree and Education Abroad office. In that role, she held meetings with students and visited classes to talk about what it’s like to study abroad.
Gulick credits her study abroad advisors for helping make her dreams of studying and working abroad a reality.
Leann Adams, an IDEA advisor said she, in turn, is thankful for Gulick’s dedication to her office.
“She has contributed to our mission consistently over the last two years by sharing her experience abroad with others and encouraging them to pursue a similar path.” Gulick will leave the country again in June. This time, she’s headed for St. Croix where she will work as a research assistant for the National Parks service studying sea turtles.
“We are sorry to see her go now that she’s graduating.” Adams said, “But we are delighted that she will head abroad again.”
Gulick will take what she’s learned at Oregon State with her, and may even return for graduate school in the future.
“My experiences at Oregon State made me into the person I am,” she said.