Lynnette Murphy


I enrolled at NEIU shortly after obtaining my associate degree, and besides the Environmental Science Program I was interested in, I was drawn to the school’s affordability, student class diversity, and smaller campus size. I have found that the environment at NEIU encourages close connections among students and faculty to ease access to resources and opportunities that have bolstered my student experience. While a student at NEIU, I was also a mom to three young children, a challenge comparable to the many other various responsibilities fellow students face. NEIU has recognized this reality of student life beyond school, which has allowed me to become empowered and determined to achieve my academic and research goals.

As one of the first cohorts in the Environmental Science Program, I was able to craft my academic path by picking a concentration focus influenced by my personal areas of interest. One way I was able to strengthen my areas of interest was by becoming involved in the 2016 NEIU SCSE (Student Center for Science Engagement) Summer Research Program. My first research experience was working under Dr. Pamela Geddes (Biology Department an Environmental Science Program) to identify cattail plant species through the use of molecular tools. I continued to work in Dr. Geddes’ lab beyond the summer internship and present my research at several conferences throughout my remaining time at NEIU. Due to my academic coursework, NEIU-USDA Multicultural Scholarship Program awardee, and existing research experience, I was fortunate to be selected for two more summer research opportunities, one at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and another at the USDA National Soil Erosion and Research Laboratory in West Lafayette, Ind.

By the time graduation rolled around, I had amassed quite a number of experiences and accomplishments that left me feeling very proud of all the support and opportunities I received while at NEIU. The Environmental Science Program provided me the flexibility and support to navigate those areas of interest that I gravitated towards. I have had some amazing mentors while on campus that I will be forever grateful for. NEIU allowed me to work towards my goals and access opportunities that I didn’t foresee being available to me. I encourage anyone to work towards their goals or “follow their dreams” because the journey of getting there can be filled with lots of surprises.

Lynette Murphy