For Judie Bronstein, studying at UMBS in 1978 provided the confidence boost she needed to feel “smart enough” to succeed in graduate school. Coming from a smaller university, Bronstein did not know how she compared to others interested in her field. Her success at the Biological Station, combined with encouragement from professors, led her to commit to a future in research and science.
“People used to go to grad school having very little experience doing research, so going to a place like Bug Camp lets you see up close and personal what the job was. For me, it convinced me even more that this was what I wanted to do for my life,” says Bronstein.
Bronstein continued her graduate education at the University of Michigan largely because of the connections and friendships she formed while at the Biological Station. “I just came away with lots of warm and wonderful feelings about UMich.”
Bronstein went on in academia, and is currently University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. She passed a deep belief in field-based learning on to her students, largely thanks to her experience at UMBS.
Dr. Conrad Istock, Bronstein’s Evolutionary Ecology professor at the Biological Station, was head of the department when she was hired at University of Arizona. During Bronstein’s interview, Istock boasted that “he was the one who convinced [her] to go on in the field when [she] was a student.” Bronstein feels that that connection was “fundamentally important” in securing the faculty position. From confidence to crucial contacts, Bronstein is grateful for the profound influence UMBS has had on her life.