"I was ecstatic," Collins said of receiving word she won the award. "It was a stressful project, but it was worth it."
Dr. Christopher Martine, associate professor of biological sciences at the university, said the BSA doesn't traditionally give many undergraduate awards. The recognition, said Martine, is a way to acknowledge "the most promising graduates in North America who have studied plant-related subjects."
"Only around 25 graduating seniors per year have been honored as Young Botanists since the program began in the mid-1980s," said Martine, adding the Undergraduate Research Award program chooses even fewer recipients. "Only five were awarded last year and I expect it will be something like that for 2011 ... So, the fact that we had two students selected is a big deal."
The five students, overall, are a "real credit to the campus," added Martine.
(Editor's Note: Student award-winner Sasha Dow-Kitson could not be reached for comment by the time this article went to press. Dow-Kitson was recognized for her research of the reproductive biology of Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, an aquatic invasive plant in Lake Champlain.)