HPU Junior Finds True Passion Through Summer Internship At Florida Aquarium

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 23, 2010 – Benson Solomon, a junior majoring in chemistry at High Point University, spent his summer with marine life, thanks to a special internship with the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla. Solomon was one of only 10 students to receive a paid internship at the aquarium while there, Solomon completed a study about the red tide while working in the Chemical Ecology Department. He then wrote a paper and presented a poster on his research at a laboratory symposium.

“I analyzed the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus content of the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis as it grows to a dense bloom,” Solomon explains. “When this organism blooms, it can turn the water red and releases potent neurotoxins, called brevetoxins, which can kill fish and cause respiratory problems in humans.”

Solomon says he learned so much about marine science and phytoplankton ecology, and gained valuable experience with lab instruments and more.

“I know this internship has helped me because it gives me something to reach for,” Solomon says. “Up until this summer, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my chemistry degree.”

That changed this summer during his internship, he says, noting that he would like to attend graduate school to become a chemical oceanographer.

“Not only do I now know what I want to do, but the staff at the aquarium told me to come back when I graduate if I?d like to work there full time,” he says.

Solomon plans to submit the paper he wrote during the internship to the Journal of Harmful Algae, and has hopes of it getting published.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 42 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at http://www.highpoint.edu.

Chris Dudley

Vice President for Administration

336-841-4530 cdudley@highpoint.edu

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